Every year, Fortune reveals its prestigious 100 Best Companies to work for list, highlightling the organizations where employees report they are thriving. Who doesn’t want to be one of the best companies to work for? And who doesn’t want to work at a company like that? Not only does it feel good, in a tight labor market, it can be a competitive differentiator to be a truly great place to work. Remember, while trendy options like nap pods or office gaming rooms might garner some attention, it’s the core values and structures that stand out long term for employees in the research – and staff augmentation may be poised to meet many of those needs. Cultivating an organization that is truly a great place to work has a kind of balloon effect: the better it is to work there, the more talented people will want to join. And then, those talented people will be happy. They will stay, enrich their skillsets, and show up to work excited to contribute. Research shows satisfied employees are more productive employees – by about 20% according to one study. So, not only will your organization be filled with generally satisfied, committed employees, but it will also continuously sharpen its competitive edge. Being a great place to work is great for employees, the organization, and business. What is the Great Place to Work? People analytics firm Great Place to Work conducts the “largest ongoing annual workforce study, representing more than 4.3 million employees this year alone,” according to the website. This determines Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For™ list. Results reflect reports from employees about their experiences within the organization, regardless of what they do. This year, the top winner was Hilton, and employees were nearly in unanimous agreement that Hilton earns top marks on some of factors across the board. And while Hilton also has 55,522 employees, small and midsized organizations can strive to boost their workplace engagement as well. Let’s take a look at a few of these factors: When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome. I’m proud to tell others I work here. I am treated as a full member here regardless of my position. When I look at what we accomplish, I feel a sense of pride. I am given the resources and equipment to do my job. Building a better team Regardless of size or tenure, any organization can adopt some basic practices and philosophies that cultivate a great place to work. President and CEO of The Energy Project and the author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working Tony Schwartz writes in the Harvard Business Review, “It’s common sense. Fuel people on a diet that lacks essential nutrients and it’s no surprise that they’ll end up undernourished, disengaged and unable to perform at their best.” So what are some attributes that can really make your organization a great place to work? Let’s take a look:
- Pay everyone a living wage. For most organizations, the pressure to cut costs, increase speed, and boost productivity is merciless. But that doesn’t mean when it comes to paying people, the business should be equally so. Thanks to leaps in technology, business can make the most of budgets by leveraging one of many IT outsourcing models to enable outsourced product development services, whether that is nearshore software development or IT outsourcing offshore, or a combination of the two. For example, in Mexico a living wage is lower than in the United States.
- Define clear, specific expectations, and review them regularly. Once expectations are set, employees can be granted the freedom and autonomy to meet those expectations on their own (remember, we’re all adults here). In the realm of IT, this may mean regular team meetings, which will depend of course on whether your organizations uses an Agile, Waterfall, or other methodology.
- Provide opportunities for continuous growth and development. Development doesn’t have to limited to hard skills, but should include adding new job-specific skills, both technical and soft. Grow and develop your people from individual contributors into leaders and managers. Given the rampant page of technology, adding in additional hard skills can be a challenge for organizations with small staff and on-demand, custom needs. IT staff augmentation can not only meet specific, custom software development needs, but can also enrich your existing staff’s knowledge as they work in partnership with other savvy professionals. Whether an organization is looking to hire a java developer, a python programmer, an ROR developer, or any other niche skill, augmenting that skillset with an IT staff augmentation service can enable immediate expertise – that can be passed on to the in-house team.
- Hold leaders and managers accountable for treating all employees with respect. Culture comes from the top down, and it’s imperative for leaders to set the tone when it comes to respect and inclusion. All leaders, regardless of location, should be held to the same standard of respect. At the outset, this means recruiting top leadership talent, and then holding those leaders accountable.
- Cultivate diversity. Diverse organizations typically have employees with broader outlines and better open-mindedness, MD and Founder of Core Diagnostics Zoya Brar writes in Entrepreneur. Hire and mentor all different types of employees, diverse across gender, language, race, ethnicity and religion. This means building an international team, though outsourcing, nearshoring, staff augmentation or direct recruiting, can actually be a strategic advantage, not a challenge to navigate. While that’s not to say more diversity won’t unlock new challenges for the business to navigate, it does introduce a bevy of new, enriching perspectives into the business.
- Expect – and encourage – everyone to participate. Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated, and it turns out, organizations stand to benefit from expecting all employees to participate in innovation. Organizations that approached innovation inclusively achieved 5.5 times greater revenue growth than those that were less inclusive, according to a recent Great Place to Work
- Avoid scarcity. Pressure to run lean abounds in today’s business landscape as businesses look to cut waste and costs. But running too lean can create a sense of scarcity that curbs innovation. For example, IT employees may feel they are buried beneath too many daily tasks to manage creative development.