What Makes A Company Good To Work For?

Why that company?
There are hundreds of companies in the UK every possible trade, skill and career is available on this massive island of ours.  So who do you work for?  What makes you want to work for that company? Money? Benefits? Perks? Or is it the feeling of being wanted that makes you go that extra mile for your employer?

Even though in the UK there has been an ongoing recession since 2008 companies in 2011 there had been an overwhelming amount of entries for ‘Best Company to work for’ category at the Excellence in Business Awards.  This highlights the confidence that employers have when taking care of their staff and keeping them happy.

A shining example
But for those companies who aren’t doing so well in staff satisfaction surveys, who can they look to in order to improve their workers employer relations?  Forbes magazine release a survey each year of the happiest workers and details why.  The top company was a US business analytics software company who have a staff turnover rate of only 2 per cent since 2009.

The company attributes some of its success to the benefits which staff get; subsidised nurseries and summer camps for kids provide a relief to parents who may stress about childcare when schools are off or there aren’t good enough nurseries elsewhere.  Also, staff are treated to an on-site health centre which cost $4.5 million to build but they believe will save $5 million in sick days and appointments.  A stroke of genius I’m sure you’ll agree.

Money aside, people are drawn to things that make their lives easier and health on-site is certainly up there.  International company Google are synonymous with making their employees easier; they can claim a free laundry service and any of Google’s cafeterias anywhere in the world staff will get free meals meaning lunches aren’t a thought when navigating through a morning routine!

What do smaller companies do?
Obviously the previous two examples are from some of the best companies on the globe and have the resources to host such lavish staff benefits.  Most people would be grateful for health benefits and the traditional Christmas bonus.  But what do small companies do to keep their staff happy?  Shine communications believe that engaging with staff and making them feel ‘wanted’ is essential.

Shine are actively involved in the local community and staff are very much engaged with this ethos and get extremely involved.  Also, The Managing Director “speed dates” the staff four times a year in order to get a feel for they are thinking and their opinions, again in order to keep that feeling of being wanted.

Even if your company isn’t making millions of pounds and can afford high end perks it pays to think outside of the box.  Staff will always have a need for healthcare and is most likely to be the most important to them, but my getting people involved and engaging them in activities which makes them feel good and valued, goes a long way to creating a successful, happy workforce.

Jenny Jones writes many articles along the theme of business health care and her work can be found on sites such as healthybusiness and pmiuk.