The Truth about Great Workplaces

The Truth about Great Workplaces

Being a Great Workplace isn’t about Perks—it’s about Trust

What people often think makes a great workplace isn’t actually what makes it so. At last year’s Great Place To Work® Conference, attendees got a rare behind-the-scenes look at the 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, list 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.

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.