What Makes a Company a Great Place to Work?

Lauren O'Donnell

We have experienced a wide array of work environments, ranging from awesome to awful. These experiences have taught us that the type of work environment we are in directly impacts both our personal and professional lives. When looking for a company to work for, it’s not all about salary and vacation time anymore. People want to know about the culture, the opportunities for upward mobility, and the education and training made available to employees. People want to know which companies are the best places to work and what truly makes them great.

A great workplace is not beer on tap, bountiful benefits, sushi lunches or nice offices. Making your company the place your employees want to be requires taking the time to assess your workplace and determine where you can improve the culture to help you retain that talent and succeed as a business.

Every business is different, but the following tips can help you think about how to cultivate a great workplace and help your company reach its potential.

In order to create a company culture that not only attracts the best and the brightest but also helps them achieve their highest potential (all the while reducing turnover...), it’s important to define what makes a workplace great.


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A great workplace is all about:

  • The level of trust that employees experience in their leaders
  • The level of pride they have in their jobs
  • The extent to which they like their colleagues

This means no amount of free sushi lunches or Friday happy hours will create a great workplace unless, of course, these perks are part of a larger effort to cultivate trust, pride, and healthy relationships in the office. Achieving the goal of a great workplace will vary from organisation to organisation.

Organisations that actively improve their company culture can reduce employee turnover, facilitate better relationships with customers, and, ultimately, position their organisation for growth. When your employees trust their managers, take pride in their work, and have camaraderie with their colleagues, the whole company prospers. Here’s a couple of tips to get you started on the road to improved company culture:


Do things differently

Leaders need to understand that different approaches work better for different employees, preferably with the involvement and empowerment of employees. Remember to communicate clearly and be transparent when making decisions.


Be patient

You’re not going to transform the workplace overnight, so don’t get rattled by temporary setbacks and keep your eyes on the end goal.


Integrate trust

Rather than a top-down action plan, integrate the types of practices and behaviors that build trust throughout the organisation.


Make sure your values are aligned

Just putting together a list of company values won’t cut it. These values must be integrated throughout the organisation, including the hiring process. If a prospective new hire doesn’t seem receptive to your company’s values or culture, then it’s probably not a great match.


More resources on this topic:


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About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. We help organisations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. We recognise Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and the Best Workplaces™ in more than 60 countries.

To join the thousands of companies that have committed to building high-trust company cultures that help them attract, retain and take care of their people, contact us about getting Certified™ today.


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