What Makes a Workplace Great?

What makes a workplace great?  What attracts top talent and keeps employees too happy to move to another job?

Work place

In a recent article, Inc.com took a look at the top workplaces and what made them employee magnets.  They discovered that:

Top employers offer free medical and dental insurance and often have 401(k) plans that  match an employee’s contribution of 4 to 6%.

There’s often a stock ownership plan so that employees have a stake in the business.

They also give employees a huge amount of autonomy regarding their working hours, vacation time and other important policies.  Some even do away with non-compete clauses in their employment contract.

A popular perk is generous parental leave for a new family addition as well as for times when employees are needed at home.  Subsidized or free childcare, often onsite, is another powerful incentive.

Forbes Magazine says that employers who prioritize creativity and comfort are the ones who attract and retain top talent.  Examples of these types of companies would, of course, include Google, Facebook and many other of the well-known tech companies.

How do these organizations put this into practice?

Work placeGoogle campuses boast areas where employees can take nap breaks, hubs where they can relax or play games and mini movie theaters for watching films and shows.  Google’s Zurich location has a basketball court, an aquarium and a massage lounge and their California offices have playrooms with slides and other adult-sized play equipment!

Other employers encourage employees to change desks (or even jobs!) to keep things fresh and interesting.

Facebook has earned the reputation of being among the most successful of employers when it comes to employee loyalty and job satisfaction.  Their employees were found to be the most satisfied and least stressed of the major tech companies. Aside from offering employees at their Menlo Park Head Office, an amazing campus with onsite hiking trails and multiple retail and recreational facilities, their approach to hiring is also a key to their success.

In the book “Becoming Facebook” by Mike Hoefflinger, Facebook’s approach to hiring and keeping talent boils down to the following:

  • Select for talent, not just experience or determination
  • Define outcomes, not steps
  • Motivate by focusing on strengths, not fixing weaknesses
  • Find the right fit, not just the next rung


Given results from the research done on this approach, it seems clear that making a work environment a place in which top talent is happy, fulfilled and inspired goes beyond the traditional perks such as remuneration and benefits. This new philosophy puts the whole employee in the spotlight.  Rewarding, inspiring, nurturing and motivating people has become key to retaining employees.

Creating this kind of work environment is destined to become the norm as more organizations follow the example of employers who are reaping the rewards of this innovative practice.