Extraordinary Team Blog

What Makes a Business one of the 50 Best Places to Work?

Posted by Kristin Arnold on July 25, 2016

Inc. Magazine posted the 50 best places to work…and I was curious.  What is it that makes a workplace better than another?

shutterstock_277372325Inc. made the comparison based on three main criteria:

  1. Wallet and Workplace (30%) – how well companies look after their staff’s financial security through retirement, insurance, and other financial benefits.  Also included are work arrangements that increase employee satisfaction such as flextime and unlimited vacation time.
  2. Employee Feedback (34%) – how well companies capture, understand and act upon insights from their staff.
  3. Performance Innovation (36%) – what special measures companies take to motivate and recognize employee performance.

I thought I would compile some of their findings/best practices:

Wallet and Workplace

  • 90.3% of applicants offer a retirement plan.
  • 74% of the 50 Best offer one-on-one financial guidance.
  • 72% of the 50 Best match 401(k) contributions up to 4% of income (14% of the 50 Best match MORE than 4%).
  • 18% of the 50 Best fund long-term care insurance for staff.
  • 88% of the 50 Best fund life insurance for staff.  At Google, if a staffer dies, the spouse or partner receives 50% of the employee’s salary for the next 10 years.
  • 28% have onside health care clinics.  Keller-Williams in Austin has a full-time wellness coach.
  • 46% of the 50 Best have onsite fitness facilities, free Crossfit classes, onsite massage and acupuncture.  C15 Group configured the office to have standing cubicles and workout stations.
  • 74% of the 50 Best offer onsite meals.
  • Commonbond helps employees repay student loans to the tune of $100 per month.
  • 64% of the 50 Best offer paternity leave.
  • Keono offers onsite child care with Rafael Marrero offering “as many days as needed.”  Netflix offers a full paid year!
  • IBM and Accenture provide the necessary materials and funds to ship breast milk home when nursing mothers are traveling for work.
  • 84% of the 50 Best let employees telecommute.
  • 24% of the 50 Best offer unlimited vacation.  Airbnb gives employees a $500 quarterly travel credit if they use Airbnb for their accommodations.

Employee Feedback

  • The 50 Best set individual, team, department, and company goals and communicate results in ways visible to all.
  • At Lasalle Network, if the company hits the very aggressive sales goal, everyone gets an all-expenses paid trip!
  • NGP VAN hears employee feedback during paintball outings.  La Salle Network CEO spends half his day talking to employees about all kinds of things – not just work related.  He’s keenly aware of what’s going on and how to leverage people’s talents and interests.
  • Arkadium ends their staff meetings with rousing “Lil’ Wins.”

Performance Innovation

  • Take the day off!  Burton, a snowboarding outfitter in Burlington, VT, offers employees the day off to hit the trails if two feet of snow falls in 24 hours.
  • 74% of the 50 Best give time off for volunteering.  Premier Staffing expects employees to devote 20 days a year to community service!
  • NGP VAN has four-day all-staff retreats to the Caribbean every two years. Arkadium hosts annual trips to the beach and to Great Adventure.
  • Social Mission through a “Buy One-Get One” charitable model:  Take the unit you sell, and then fund the same or similar unit to a disadvantaged group.
  • Make it a Game!  VinoPro plays “MarioKart” among the sales people, has a “Darth MotiVader” video board for sales calls, and has  “Wall of Fame” with a running tally of the biggest individual daily sales.
  • LaSalle Network celebrates “re-birthdays” – the hire-date anniversary – with balloons, streamers, poster-sized photos of the birthday boy/girl at work and a party!

Hope you got a couple of good ideas here…and share what you do to make your workplace one of the BEST!

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KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CMC, CPF, CSP is a high stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator.  She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years.  She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.

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