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Dec 22, 2016

If business leaders refuse to settle for second best in consumer satisfaction, then it should also be unacceptable to hold back from becoming one of the best places to work. Fighting for the status of best places to work means holding tightly to high retention rates, employee satisfaction, and productivity. So, where do you stand?

Becoming one of the best places to work cannot be achieved by leadership alone; employees play a major part in getting organizations to this status. Just like any relationship, both sides need to put the work in and feel their efforts add value to the end goal.

Unfortunately, according to the 2016 Employee Engagement Trends report of half a million employees in the 50 Best Places To Work contest by my company, Quantum Workplace, employees’ satisfaction with managers has declined.

Employee engagement has remained stagnant for the last two years, which means it’s time leaders start bringing their ‘A’ game to the office. Here are three ways your company can focus on employees and reach ‘best places to work’ status:

1. Show employees how their work ties into company goals

Poor communication throughout the office will result in disengaged employees. While most employees hope their work is somehow affecting a greater good, they may not know the overall importance of their role to the company, its customers, and the mission.

When your team understands the weight of their role, the likelihood of becoming fully passionate about and dedicated to their goals and the company increases. Communicating the significance of each employee’s position will enhance productivity, retention, and employee referrals.

Gather your team and revisit the company’s mission statement often. As positions change and grow, it’s important to re-evaluate how each employee and the evolving company goals tie into bringing the statement to life.

With the mission statement in mind, begin monthly job description meetings. Have an employee from each department/role host a meeting where they can explain what their job entails and how everyone else’s duties are crucial for their success. Bring dedication to the forefront by showing how their teamwork interconnects to produce the best outcomes possible.

2. Try teamwork and team-building on for size

The sitcom portrayal of slacking co-workers who can’t wait to clock out at the end of the day doesn’t ring true for employees at the best places to work. Actually, our research shows the number of employees who feel their co-workers consistently go the extra mile to achieve great results has risen by 1.8% in the last year.

Success is contagious, but so is slacking. When your employees feel their colleagues are going above and beyond the call of duty, they’ll be more willing to put their best efforts forward. However, if co-workers don’t feel like a cohesive team, this drive for matching each other’s hard work may go by the wayside.

In fact, out of 1,700 professionals surveyed, 54% believe low performers contribute to a lack of initiative and motivation in the workplace, according to Are Low Performers Destroying Your Culture and Driving Away Your Best Employees?, a May 2015 study by Eagle Hill Consulting. The lack of motivation leads to a work culture where employees feel mediocre performance was acceptable.

Leaders should encourage and facilitate team bonding for both employees in a physical office and remote workers. To enhance motivation and productivity, try an online employee recognition system to help co-workers encourage one another to continue pushing for success.

Even if you’ve reached ‘Best Places To Work’ status, employees will still need to blow off steam. Give everyone a safe place to discuss their shared successes, failures, and concerns with an online communication platform.

Create separate chat rooms for each “team,” this way nobody is worried about what the boss will think about their gripes or requests for support from peers. For those in a shared space, offer a half hour each day — outside of lunch breaks — for co-workers to go on a refreshing walk, or chat over a cup of coffee.

3. Recognize, review, rinse and repeat

Survey manager effectiveness engagement studyThose ranked among the Best Places To Work all agree: keeping the lines of communication open is key to productive and satisfied employees. Unfortunately, our report shows leaders aren’t effectively hitting this key area of engagement. In fact, those who feel their supervisor gives regular constructive feedback on their job performance is down 2.3% and trust in organizations’ leaders has also fallen.

Thanks to a decrease in feedback, manager effectiveness has seen the biggest decline out of 10 cultural elements in our survey. What does this mean for your company? If recognizing employee achievements and frequent reviews aren’t already a part of your company culture, it’s time to add them in.

Frequent one-on-one review meetings with leaders and peer-to-peer reviews can keep expectations and goals in check. Always knowing what needs improvement and where they’re doing well, keeps employees feeling motivated, productive, and successful.

You won’t reach “Best Places To Work” status overnight, but business leaders who invest time and money into their employees will get you there faster. Believe it or not, your team needs more than just a paycheck every other week. If you don’t give them the time, feedback, and dedication they need, they’ll find it somewhere else.

How do you think a company can reach “Best Places To Work” status? Let us know!