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.