Lesson 3 of 5: Lessons for Leaders as they Build a Great Workplace

Lesson 3 of 5: Lessons for Leaders as they Build a Great Workplace

Lesson #3: Being recognized as a Best Company is less about perks and more about the employee experience.
What people often think makes a great workplace isn’t actually what makes it so.

So say the Great Place To Work® Institute’s Leslie Caccamese and Katie Popp, two of the masterminds behind the FORTUNE Best Companies to Work For Lists. In their breakout session at the 2014 Great Place To Work® Conference, they gave attendees a behind-the-scenes look at our selection process for FORTUNE Magazine’s most popular list franchise: The FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® in America.

The key takeaway? While famed amenities such as workout facilities, on-site massages, gourmet cafeterias, game rooms, and much more are all well and good, evaluators are ultimately looking for evidence of trust-based interactions in the workplace.

That’s because more than any other factor, employees’ experience of the workplace determines List placement. Two-thirds of a company’s overall score is based solely on employees’ responses to the Trust Index© Employee Survey assessing trust in the workplace, and the remaining one-third is based on the extent to which workplace practices are “gift-like”—not transactional—in nature (see “Lesson 5” featured in the white paper noted below.)

So by all means, install slides and fireman poles; scatter about lava lamps and bean bag chairs. Bring in the manicurist and the barista, and cater to people’s pets. Just make sure these things aren’t happening in lieu of deeper, more substantial practices like involving employees in workplace decisions, keeping them informed of important issues, tending to their ongoing professional development, and sharing profits fairly.

These types of practices will go much further in helping employees feel that theirs is a great workplace.

5 Lessons Whitepaper Action Item

Is your company a Great Place To Work®? If you decide to share your company’s outstanding workplace practices with Great Place To Work® via the List process, be sure to bolster them with evidence of a genuine sense of trust and care in the employer/employee relationship.

Download the Five Lessons for Leaders as they Build a Great Workplace whitepaper to read more about this and other key takeaways from the 2014 Great Place To Work® Conference!