Behind the Crain’s Best Places to Work: What Employees Have to Say - HighGround

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Behind the Crain’s Best Places to Work: What Employees Have to Say

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Ever wonder what it takes to be named one of Crain’s Best Places to Work? Well, we’ve gone behind the scenes to find out, and have learned a lot about the state of employee happiness.

To earn a spot on the list, companies shared a bit about their HR practices. That’s a given. Employees also responded to a separate questionnaire, called the Employee Engagement Survey, that tackles their sentiment in four key areas: employee engagement, career development, total rewards and work environment.

Some areas companies seem to be getting it right, but let’s take a look at some of the places where employers can do better.

“I believe that I can achieve many of my future career- and work-related goals at my company.”

Of all the questions in the section on employee engagement, this statement garnered the fewest people who “strongly agreed”, and it should raise some serious red flags for HR teams. If employees don’t feel their managers and co-workers support them enough to reach their goals – they won’t. And instead of trying, they’ll spend their time job searching. This can be remedied by approaching the issue from the top-down and bottom-up: managers should be coaching employees to help them succeed, and companies should create a culture of collaboration and teamwork.

“My company makes it clear how I can advance.”

“The company uses transparent methods to identify and promote talent.”

Less than 40 percent of respondents strongly agreed with each of these statements. Confusion on how to advance and why others might be while you aren’t is de-motivating. Worse yet, the path to promotion can vary from department to department even within the same company. The takeaway here is to increase transparency across the entire organization. Doing so will create a culture where employees support each other, cheer for others’ achievements and know their own path to success.

“I am fairly paid for the work I do.”

“There is a clear link between my performance and my total pay.”

“The employee performance review process does a good job measuring my work performance.”

All three of these statements had less than 40 percent of respondents strongly agreeing. Imagine that you feel the same way – underpaid, undercompensated and then, adding insult to injury, not given a fair way to be measured. These people will leave your company — that’s not up for debate — so it likely time to revisit your performance management practices.

“People in my company treat each other with respect and trust.”

Only 50 percent of respondents strongly agreed with this statement,spelling trouble for company culture. Success isn’t built by individuals who work through a personal checklist and never interact with others. Check out this infographic to learn more about the importance of culture.

Surveys like these are a good reminder of why employee engagement is an ongoing, company-wide effort. HR and managers alone can’t fix the problem – employees themselves and leadership teams play an active an important role in improving company culture. To learn more about how companies are transitioning into real-time, ongoing engagement, download our eBook, Continuous Employee Engagement: The Real-Time Difference.

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