It has been difficult for me to listen to the news these past few years, and to watch as more and more people lose their jobs, their homes, and their retirement funds. I have especially been disheartened by corporate America and the lack of responsibility taken when it came to the very people who garnered the company’s success in the first place–the employees. I feel as though I have watched the American dream begin to dissolve right in front of me. I am also not alone; it seems that more and more people are finding their voice and exclaiming that they, too, feel some aspects of corporate America are unjust and require great improvement.
I desperately want to see changes made in our country’s culture,
but I find it challenging to make political demands in a floundering economy. I would like to see more Americans be able to pay their bills and mortgages, to feel secure in their health benefits and retirement plans, and for these things to not come at the expense of families or work/life balance. But do we have the right to ask for so much when employers are struggling, and many employees feel fortunate to even have a job?
Well, the recent announcement of the 2011 Best Small and Medium Workplaces shouted out a resounding ‘Hell, yes!’ to the demands listed above, with an average job growth of 13% to boot. And, I would like to emphasize, these are small companies that have fewer than 1,000 US employees and not nearly the resources of a larger corporation. They are succeeding in a turbulent economy because they treat their employees so well, not in spite of the fact. Many more companies that competed for a spot on the list offer great workplaces as well, and I personally would like to see this trend continue. It is a win-win game when companies and employees work together to succeed and we have the data to support this.
So if you are interested in taking America back, at reclaiming the dream for so many that have lost so much, then spread the word. Tell someone you know about the Best Companies to Work For and the remarkable achievements they have made. Encourage a friend to speak with their HR and Communications teams or ask their CEO if the company might be interested in being more successful. Invite someone to attend one of our many events, such as our complimentary Great Conversations Series to learn more about “how to” create a Great Workplace and “why” it matters. Even something as simple as a thumbs-up on Facebook or a re-tweet helps to get the word out and precipitates social change.
In the meantime, the Great Place to Work® team is working hard to expand the dream ourselves. In less than one week we will be introducing our very first Global Awards: The World’s Best Multinational Workplaces List that recognizes the top 25 companies to work for in the world.
That’s how big we dream around here. How about you? What does your dream workplace look like?
Lisa Ratner is the Director of the Business Management Team and a blogger for Great Place to Work®.