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To Be The Best Place To Work

Each year, the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal publishes its list of Best Places To Work. Some companies are consistently on the list - year after year.  Other companies come and go.  This year, the publication printed information on the "7 Staples Of Best Places To Work."  I would love to say that this should be a list of common sense business practices, but common sense doesn't seem to be too common anymore (at my home, we call it uncommon sense).  From the Journal's article, here are the 7 practices.
  1. Don't micromanage:  according to Donna DiMenna (quoted in the article - see, the adage "hire good people and get out of the way" is true. Studies show that micromanaging good people is a leading cause of turnover.
  2. Communicate:  it saddens me that this is on the list . . . . . so simple and important, but a common issue in corporate America.  Communication is a basic human need - and communication has to go in all directions.  Employees need information to do their job and need a voice to feel valued.  And sadly, the reverse is true - especially in times of change, lack of communication builds concern and can create its own issues.
  3. Recognize good work:  too many employees are caught doing something wrong - and they are immediately told about it.  Great workplaces catch people doing something right - and let people know.  Paul DeBettignies, Principal of Minnesota Headhunter (see states, "acknowledging and rewarding good work is a key ingredient to a strong workplace culture - and you don't need an elaborate program to get there."  Try a simple 'thank you' when people do something well.  You'll see the impact - immediately and long-term.
  4. Office perks:  providing perks, even small ones, sets a tone at the office.  Free coffee or bring your dog to work day - simple, but well received (we provide unlimited supplies of M&M's - never a complaint).  (NOTE - Donna and Paul, both referenced above, agree - this won't fix a toxic workplace, however.)
  5. Culture this is not the Values that are framed and hanging on the wall.  It is what you do every day - how you treat people, how people feel when they are challenged and how people are valued when they make a contribution.
  6. Professional development:  companies that are on the list see this area as an investment, not an expense.  Employees see that their development is important to you as the employer.  You'll see the return in lower turnover and greater efforts.
  7. Community service:  companies that are consistently on the list give their employees a chance to volunteer in the community and make a difference.  While listed as a separate topic, it is part of the culture.

We know workplace reputations.

As Retained Search Consultants, we talk with candidates everyday about opportunities we represent. We learn the reputation of employers; the candidates seek to learn about the reputation of our clients. The information is out there - we all know employers that will never make the list; we know others that should always be on there.  And if networking doesn't give you the information, Glassdoor (see will.

Strive everyday to make the list.