It isn't easy to become the employer of choice. It takes time, intention, and a relentless dedication to do what's right even when your competitors may not be. But creating a culture that is inclusive, welcoming, transparent, and vibrant — one that actually attracts your ideal candidates straight to you and makes them never want to leave — will pay off in spades.
Here are six characteristics shared by great companies.
- Invest in their people.
Great companies understand the value of investing in their people. They demonstrate a commitment to improving the lives of their employees by offering a wide range of benefits and perks — from competitive, merit-based pay and solid insurance coverage to tuition reimbursement and relaxed dress codes.
They also provide personal and professional employee development initiatives that go well beyond just a state-mandated webinar or recertification course. These include opportunities like immersion and teambuilding experiences, training and mentorship programs, and paid time off to volunteer with a favorite organization. Great companies know that happy, well-rounded, and socially-aware employees are always worth investing in.
- Encourage risk-taking and mistake-making.
Great companies don't aim for perfection — they have their eye on progress. They encourage their people to take risks, constantly test, refine and improve procedures, and garner helpful lessons from any mistakes made. They know that an obsessive focus on perfection as the end goal only stifles creativity and motivation, sending employees into a downward spiral as they try to hit an unrealistic and unattainable target. The pursuit of continuous improvement and progress, even with a fair share of mistakes sprinkled in, nets much greater gains.
- Active in their communities.