How to Get onto Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For List - HighGround

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How to Get onto Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For List

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Fortune recently released its 2017 List of Best Companies to Work For. Many of the same companies make the list year after year. So how can a company crack into this coveted list? We took a look at some of the criteria used to define a company as the “best” and have offered ideas for how your company can take steps closer to joining this elite group.

Quality of their leaders

The definition of a “great leader” is subjective. If you take a look at the 10 characteristics of exceptional leadership, great leaders don’t have personality traits making them inherently better equipped than others. Rather, they enable their employees to do great work. Some of the characteristics on the list include things like “articulate a clear vision,” “push people to do their best” and “focus on helping the team.” In short, great leaders create an atmosphere that’s transparent, challenging and collaborative.

How you can do it too:

Clearly communicate company goals and ask employees to create their own. Cultivate an environment where employees feel comfortable regularly asking for and receiving feedback. Technology can help support agile goal-setting and feedback culture, but it starts at the top. If leadership doesn’t embrace the idea that an empowered and engaged workforce is a business priority, then no technology or process put in place will matter.

Support for their personal and professional lives

According to Wikipedia, the “work–leisure dichotomy was invented in the mid-1801s.” Today’s it’s called “work-life balance” but it’s about much more than finding a balance. If you expect employees to turn over their personal autonomy during the workday and switch it back on once they leave the office, you’re doing it wrong. The “life” part of the equation also means that people find personal fulfillment in their jobs. The best companies construct an environment where employees are encouraged to pursue their interests on and off the clock.

How you can do it too:

As mentioned above, ask employees to create their own professional goals. Additionally, suggest they craft a personal goal like completing a new course, attending a conference or even volunteering more regularly. Discounted gym memberships, sabbaticals and PTO for philanthropy also show employees that their personal lives are supported and not in conflict with their work lives.

Relationships with colleagues

No one expects to work for a company where everyone is best friends with one another. At the same time, no one wants an environment where it feels like everyone is out for themselves. The companies on Fortune’s list have mastered the art of constructing an environment where people perform well in a way that is collaborative rather than competitive. (To be fair, competition is healthy but not at the expense of cooperation and innovation.) Pioneering work doesn’t happen at one desk or in a single silo. It only happens when people bring their unique and essential skills together.

How you can do it too:

Give employees the opportunity to solicit feedback from their peers as well as their managers. For example, project-based work is more common than ever. Put mechanisms in place that allows all constituents to give a “project retrospective” that articulates failures and successes. Because many managers currently struggle with how to coach and give effective feedback, the most valuable lessons will likely come from peer-to-peer input. (Not to worry, learn more about ways to guide managers toward better leadership habits.)

Are you actively working toward being a best place to work? How are you creating a culture where employees are motivated to do their best?

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