What Makes Fortune’s "Best Companies to Work For" So Great?

Timothy Hinkin and Bruce Tracey published a study in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly on the human resource practices of 21 service companies from Forturne’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.  Here is what they found:

  • A culture of caring for employees and open communication
  • Flexible scheduling to meet the needs of a changing workforce
  • Innovative methods to attract, select, and retain a loyal and competent workforce
  • Training programs that are viewed as an investment in people with emphasis on career tracks and promotion from within
  • Performance management systems that are aligned with organizational objec­tives
  • Compensation programs that reflect the values of the organization and link pay to performance

Reading this list, it is no surprise why these companies are great places to work.  Many companies do some of these things well.  Collectively, these initiatives show a genuine recognition that employees are the most important part of the organization.  By creating this type of culture these companies are able to attract and select the best employees who, in turn, increase company performance.
We find that perceptions of communication are a strong indicator for how “loved” employees feel by their company.  If an organization scores low on “I can speak up without fear and retribution” on an employee engagement survey, the overall level of engagement also suffers.  It indicates a corporate attitude that employees should be grateful for their jobs and all that the company does for them.
Employee appreciation cannot be faked.  A culture of caring for employees is apparent in all HR practices and has to be lead by the senior management team.  HR’s role is to help create the vision for senior leaders and explain how these best practices increase company performance.
Related Post: 5 Things the Fortune 100 Best Companies Have and You Don’t
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Related White Paper: ENGAGEMENT MAGIC®: The Five Keys of Employee Engagement

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