Is Your Company a Best Place to Work?

The Best Place to Work - People Development Network
The Best Place to Work - People Development Network

Best Place to Work?

Forbes has released their 2016 list of the 10 best companies to work for, referencing the research of Glassdoor’s ratings are very relevant. Employees rank a variety of factors beyond their personal satisfaction with the company, including pay, benefits, work-life balance, culture, leadership (including rating the CEO), and more.
The top of the list this year was AirBnB. It was the first time the company has appeared.  Employees seem delighted with the company’s growth and its collaborative culture.  Google dropped to eighth (still impressive) in part because along with the many unique perks, there also exists the administrative red tape that tends to multiply in large companies. The full list:

  1. Air BnB
  2. Bain and Company
  3. Guidewire
  4. Hubspot
  5. Facebook
  6. Linked In
  7. Boston Consulting Group
  8. Google
  9. Nestle Purina Petcare
  10. Zillow

If I were doing such a survey, I’d look for companies that WOW their employees, WOW their customers, AND meet or exceed performance expecations.  (Note what I listed first.)  My “big three” are engagement, customer service, and results. Hitting all three can be a rare feat.

I compared the top ten list of 24/7 Wall Street’s best places to work with their 2015 list of Customer Service Hall of Fame members and found it interesting: NONE of the top 10 to work for ALSO made top 10 in customer service!  In the past, there may be one or two, but it would be a rare occurrence apparently for a company to make it on both lists, and particularly make ALL three of my criteria.
But a company doesn’t have to make a Top 10 list to still score on all three areas. The key is doing regular, honest assessments of your team, department or company. Many companies monitor results and profits (even daily), some gather customer service data, but the biggest missing piece of data is employee engagement.  Here are three ways you can assess engagement:

First, define minimum citizenship expectations. Effective leaders formalize how they expect everyone in the organization to treat each other and customers. Define your values in tangible terms.

Second, define minimum contribution expectations. Effective leaders formalize performance standards using a model similar to SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound.)

Third, hold everyone–including all leaders–accountable for both contributions and citizenship. Effective leaders model the team’s valued behaviors in every interaction, and demand that all players do the same.  They don’t tolerate mistreatment of others at any time.

If you don’t aim for the big three and hold others accountable for the big three, you won’t enjoy a high performing, values-aligned organization (and may never make a Top 10 list selected by your unique employees and customers.)


S Chris Edmonds
S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He shares insights on organizational culture, servant leadership, employee engagement, and workplace inspiration. He writes books and articles and records podcasts. In his free time, he's a working musician with the Brian Raine band in Denver, CO.
S Chris Edmonds


I help leaders craft purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. Speaker, author, & executive consultant. Blogger & video-caster. @BrianRaineBand mate.
S Chris Edmonds