What You Can Learn from the Best Companies

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Having a reputation as a great place to work can help you land some top talent, so here’s what some of the best companies do to earn that reputation.

Great Place to Work’s annual “World’s Best Multinational Workplaces List” is a good place to look for innovate ideas for making your small business a great place to work. Some might be beyond the reach of startups, while others are so easy that anyone could do them.

SAS CEO Jim Goodnight hosts monthly “Conversations Over Coffee” with employees in which any topic is fair game.

Google team members have equal authority, and autonomy is encouraged. And video games, pianos, gyms and table tennis sets don’t hurt morale either.

Kimberly-Clark’s new hires get a “Godfather” peer, who guides them through their adjustment period. At W.L. Gore & Associates, every employee gets a sponsor who acts as an advocate during the compensation process.

Autodesk encourages sabbaticals— with six weeks of paid time off every four years—during which nothing is expected of employees.

Marriott offers the “Living Our Core Values” program, which covers topics such as saving for retirement, opening a checking account and getting a car loan.

FedEx boasts its annual FedEx Cares Week. This year, more than 4,000 employees volunteered in 185 projects in 67 countries.

Diageo offers flex work, concierge, daycare, exercise and college-placement services.

It can be pretty easy to offer programs that can make your company a great place to work. And best of all, as the owner of a small business or startup, you can set the tone and create the culture to make that happen.

Adapted from The World’s 10 Best Places to Work by Dennis McCafferty at BaselineMag.com.


As business people, we can all learn from Diageo. Offering flexible work options has proven to be beneficial for employers, employees and the company as a whole. However, Diageo has taken flexibility a step further by further accommodating employees by offering services such as concierge, daycare, exercise and college-placement. Additional options that are being introduced by other companies are laundry/housecleaning services and dinner opportunities for families. As flexibility becomes the norm, a better work/life alignment becomes a must. Organizations will need to work towards implementing programs such as these for their employees. -Allison O'Kelly, founder/CEO Mom Corps


Margaux, you raise a couple of very good points about these companies.  I would broaden the lens further to say that while fair compensation is a component of creating these working havens, our research and expertise show that trust is at the core of these companies' success in creating great workplaces (which drives the list's selection methodology).  Employees believe they work for great organizations when they consistently trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do and enjoy the people they work with.  You'd be amazed to see how, when these elements are in place, compensation falls to the bottom of the list of reasons why employees stay loyal to their company.


Significantly, these companies offer the best working haven for their employees. They strive to provide exceptional compensation plans, working environment and probably the best paying jobs. These companies really take good care of their most valuable assets – their employees! Analyzing employees’ data really help to provide the best compensation plans for your employees. In this way, you can be assured that you will have their loyal service for a very long time.


For further info, feel free to reach out to me directly:  lsmylie@greatplacetowork.com