HR Innovation

What are the Characteristics of the “Best Places to Work”? – HR Affiliates Blog

20 years ago, job seekers were mostly concerned about finding a job at the most well-known company. Today, the names of workplaces seem to matter less. Employees are increasingly interested in companies that have missions, goals and programs that they can get behind. People want to believe in the businesses where they spend at least 40 hours a week.

As companies continue to adapt to the ever-transforming business world, how can you create a workplace environment considered by your team as one of the best places to work? Here are a few ways:

Communication, Recognition and Input

Communication is key. Employees need to feel they are receiving constant feedback and they need to feel they have an outlet for sharing their observations and ideas. Employees should feel that someone cares, meaning that supervisors do not simply collect ideas and do nothing with them. Expectations should be clear, so individuals understand what they are working toward and what they need to do to get there. There also needs to be meaningful recognition from multiple levels within a company.

A Flexible Work Environment

Today’s professionals are more excited about being able to work wherever they can to be the most productive. A New York Times study found that home-based employees worked more than office workers, 9.5 percent longer, and were 13 percent more productive. They also were judged to be happier, and voluntary termination rates were cut in half.

Mission, Vision and Values

Associates must believe in the mission, vision and values of their company. They need to understand how their job contributes to the mission, and they need to see how leadership exemplifies it every day. Great leaders are good at explaining how to get there and how to execute. The vision needs to be “sold” throughout the organization. Talented employees want to see a goal they can work toward.


Employees should feel that they have the necessary tools to do their job well. They should feel that their workload is manageable, they have support in dealing with stress, the supplies and equipment available meet their needs and they have enough staff.


Team members want to work in a culture that supports one another and doesn’t point fingers or place blame. The environment should be safe, where they can ask for help and learn from mistakes with leadership support. When conflicts do arise, employees want the issue addressed fairly and without favoritism.

Share the Wealth

Reward your employees when you reach successful milestones. Organization accomplishments are a team effort so have a plan to reward performance.

Manager Effectiveness

Managers have a significant impact and employees who consider their manager to be excellent, are about 10 times more likely to be engaged than those who rate their manager as poor. Employees excel when they are given the right level of autonomy. Companies that empower their workforce to make decisions and move with agility are the ones winning today.


The best leaders make sure that all employees are always treated with respect and in a civil manner. Leaders should not judge and must remember their employee’s output makes a huge difference with company success.

Foster Diversity

Becoming a best place to work requires you to realize the value of a diverse workforce and make it a point to foster a culture that supports it. Empower your people to create, define, and nurture all sorts of roles.

Professional Growth

To stay motivated and inspired, employees want opportunities to grow in their careers with professional development. Employees want to expand their expertise.

Be a Good Corporate Citizen

When your company is anchored to the community, positive word of mouth will boost your “best places to work” recruiting and PR efforts.

There are many ways to assess a workplace but, a great place to work is one that inspires the passion of workers and allows them to use their talent. Workers are motivated more by what they do and who they work for or with. They work for more than the typical reasons. They want to grow, nurture and apply their skills and knowledge in ways that enable them to consistently produce excellence. That’s how today’s workforce defines a great place to work.

For assistance with any or all of your human resource needs, HR Affiliates provides solutions that fit any company.

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