Does Being a ‘Best Place to Work’ Really Matter?

Being recognized for and eventually building a reputation as a “Best Place to Work” or “Top Workplace” gives an organization the opportunity to leverage its industry-leading retention rate to attract top talent and differentiate from the competition. That’s becoming more and more important as our industry continues to grow.

According to Staffing Industry Analysts, the forecast is for the total U.S. staffing industry to grow 6 percent in both 2014 and 2015, reaching $132.1 billion. That is manifesting inabout 17,000 staffing and recruiting companies, which altogether operate about 35,000 offices. If that doesn’t portray the need for differentiation, I don’t know what does.

Building a “Best Place to Work” environment is ultimately about creating a place where employees trust the organizational leadership, have pride in what they do and enjoy working alongside their colleagues. It’s about the interpersonal connections built within that endure beyond employment with the company. At first blush, that may not appear to benefit your particular organization, but it really does — especially if you plan for the company to be around a while.

When we think about our best jobs, the odds are that what made it a great experience wasn’t just the work, but the environment in which that work was conducted. Regardless of the reason for departing, we generally still speak fondly of those experiences and of the company itself. Perhaps we recommend promising talent their way or even refer business. These are the long-term benefits of a strong company culture.

Hire Dynamics has had the good fortune of being recognized for our culture and employee programs over the years, but it’s been about the journey, not the destination. The end goal isn’t the award as much as seeing the smiling faces of the people we get to work with every day, then sending those people out in the marketplace to represent a company they are proud to be a part of.

Fred Reichheld, founder of Bain & Company’s Loyalty Practice and creator of the Net Promoter System, offered great advice we took to heart when he said, “No company has ever proven (especially in the service industry) that you can maintain client loyalty without first having employee loyalty.” Like everything in today’s professional environment, building loyalty can be a moving target, but it must remain a focus of leadership.

Here are three best practices to begin the journey of becoming a “Best Place to Work”:

Get commitment from senior management. A successful leadership team develops a vision and core values, and then commits to creating a great workplace. Managers at all levels must consistently live these values to foster trust, pride and camaraderie. Business practices must also align with the vision/core values and support trust building for an overall cohesive approach.

Positive attitudes and practices are the norm. Team-focused philosophies with open communication among employees and management should be standard protocol. A genuine belief that people are key to the success of the business is essential in creating a culture of inclusivity. Owning your recognition and mindset of, “We are not like others,” will promote the perception and pride of a special and unique culture that will continue to drive momentum.

Clarity and consistency foster success. Complexity will not build greatness, so keep things simple. Rather than just solving problems, build on what is special at your organization, then consistency in focus will become essential. Be clear on what you want to accomplish and have a plan on who should drive it.

Delivering an exceptional workplace experience for internal teams is often followed by the sharing of that experience with others. This leads to both brand awareness and industry-recognition, but more importantly, it leads to positive results at the heart of the business where it counts — within walls of your organization and the lives of those that comprise it.