Every year the Great Place to Work institute examines the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For.
This year they asked top executives from each company to share their insights of what makes their company a great places to work, what inspires fun, and what forms the core of their leadership philosophy.
Great companies and brands are built through nurturing the relationships that employees experience — not a checklist of performance TO DO lists. Great Leaders achieve greatness by inspiring, speaking and listening.
They work on creating a culture where employees give their personal best by thanking, developing and caring. They work together by creating a family atmosphere by hiring, celebrating and sharing.
In the Great Place to Work Guide to Greatness, two leadership themes came out as the most notable among the top 100 companies:
“A strong company culture is considered critical to business success.”
“100 best companies are committed to employee development as a top strategic priority.”
In an increasingly competitive economy, the best companies seek to keep their top talent and strategically position themselves for success.
“People will come to understand that having a great workplace is not optional anymore and has instead become essential. The urgency for leaders to take action now it to get there before their competitors do.” Robert Levering, Co-Founder, Great Place to Work.
One of the companies that seem to demonstrate inspiring leadership as a Great Place to work is Whole Foods Market.
John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market shares his Great Place to Work philosophy:
“Businesses should create value for all of their major stakeholders; customers, team members, suppliers, investors, and larger communities. One of the critical keys to that is the overall happiness of the team members, because they are the ones that create value for customers.”
When their team member talked about the company culture, they mentioned the following attributes to what makes them a Great Place to Work
Everyone has a voice
Everyone is connected to a higher purpose
Everyone is an entrepreneur
So WHY a company culture is so critical and a must-have for the Great Places to Work? Why leaders are taking the time cultivate a strong culture in their organizations?
Three reasons stood out for leaders who focused on culture as a business imperative:
According to the Great Place to Work Guide to Greatness
“A strong culture helps companies attract and retain employees.- The best companies experience as much as 65% less turnover.
A strong culture strengthens the company Brand.-Happy employees are likely to become brand ambassadors.
A strong culture can be leveraged to execute strategy.-Everyone in the company has a stake in the company overall strategy.”
What can we learn from the Great Places to Work? How can we lead and create a Great Place to Work?
A key area that seem to surface over and over in the Best Companies to work for was Employee Development.
Leaders can examine the following key questions and then decide on an action plan to create a thriving working place for your employees.
- Are there ample opportunities for any employee, in any role, in any location, to develop themselves professionally?
- Are the development opportunities unique to the needs of the company, or do they tend to be more cookie-cutter?
- Is there widespread support for learning and development?
- What is our company approach to leadership development?