Communication essentials: a great place to work

Have you heard of Great Place to Work? No, not ‘great places to work’…the actual organization that literally is ‘Great Place to Work.’

They say they are the ‘global authority on workplace culture.’ And with a statement like that, how can they not be?

But they aren’t just the organization that awards companies as a great place (to work) – they consider themselves an advocacy group that wants to help businesses be great to people.

I read a lot about them in a book I’m reading called Lab Rats, by Dan Lyons. It’s awesome, and I highly suggest it if you want to learn about what happens when companies stop being polite…and start being real. Forgive The Real World reference, but it’s appropriate – because in the real world, we are dealing with a labor shortage, the great resignation and an overall crisis of confidence in what employees want, need and are pursuing. And I’m in a business that’s trying to counsel and support those companies that desperately need to retain and attract employees. So when it comes to defining a great company…and how to be great to employees…I’m all ears.

The answer to this question, is on page 172 of Lyons’ book. Are you ready? Here goes (from the book):

Great Place to Work has been sifting through its annual data to identify traits that consistently great companies share, and boiled it down to these: “Trust, pride and camaraderie.”

Yep. Three things – trust, pride and camaraderie.

And as the book points out numerous times, those are things that are built over time and need to be consistent with the culture and values of the organization. Mainly because they are tied to ‘soft’ skills that may be getting overlooked in exchange for other perks that employees may not value as much. Especially now in a hybrid or at-home environment. (Hard to enjoy the bar, yoga studio, coffee station, ping pong table, etc., when no one is there to partake.)

Don’t get me wrong – there are quick fixes to attract and retain talent. But they are just that. Quick. As in solved…for now. And while these are important too, especially given the immediate need so many companies have, don’t ignore the heavy-lifting strategy that needs to be put in place. Sacrifice this and your existing strategy and longer-term employees will notice. And it won’t take long for those new employees to see that there isn’t anything backing-up what was promised.

Enjoy the long Labor Day weekend…but try to spend a minute thinking of just that: labor – and if you’re prepared for the long-run sprint to build an organization that values trust, pride and camaraderie.