For HR professionals, winning a “best workplace” award for their employer is a big accomplishment. It draws top-notch employees, attracts attention to the organization, and provides favorable publicity for the company. Such awards don't happen by accident. There are many things you can do as an HR professional to increase the odds of your company winning one. The good news is that this effort is a "win-win" scenario. Even if you don't win an award, you've improved the workplace for your workforce.
Who Gives Out Best Place to Work Awards?
There are dozens, if not more, "best place to work" awards given out each year. Some are given by national publications or job-recruiting sites like Glassdoor's Employees Choice Awards and Indeed's Best Places to Work Award. Others are given by local magazines and media. Still, others are awarded to businesses in a single industry or profession, such as the best law firms to work for or the best nonprofit to work for.
How Are Winners Selected?
Each award has its own unique set of criteria for choosing the winner. Some are based on employee feedback, like the Glassdoor award. However, most are chosen from companies that apply to be considered for the award. Once applications are received, editors choose the winners using criteria such as growth potential for employees within the company, corporate culture, benefits and compensation, access to management, and corporate values. For example, editors of the "Fortune 100" list share that they evaluate companies for their list based on "Values, Innovation, Financial Growth, Leadership Effectiveness, Maximizing Human Potential, and Trust.”
Employee-rated awards, such as the Glassdoor award, use criteria such as "overall company rating, career opportunities, compensation and benefits, culture and values, senior management, work-life balance, recommend to a friend, and six-month business outlook." According to Glassdoor, if there aren't enough responses in every category, the company won't be considered for the award.
How Is Earning This Award Beneficial to Your Organization?
There are many benefits that come with earning a "best place to work" honor. With a “best workplace” award, you could attract more top candidates to your organizations for job openings. Everyone wants to work for a company that treats its employees well. Earning an award like this will likely also help your company's marketing efforts. Local media may source stories about awards like this, so you could be featured (for free) on local television and in local newspapers.
How Can Human Resources Help Earn This Award?
There are a number of things your human resources (HR) department can do to increase your odds of receiving a "best place to work" award and increase recognition for your company, including:
Apply to Be Considered for an Award
Most of these awards are rather like the lottery in that you can't win if you don't play. Make sure to apply to be considered for a “best place” award each year. Most of these award applications take some time and thought to complete well (think college entrance application). Some even require an essay. Plan ahead if you want to increase your odds to win this award.
Cultivate Your Company Culture
Company culture is a broad term that encompasses a company's values, ethics, procedures, policies, and code of conduct. For example, does your company treat all employees equally, according to the employee handbook? Does it act ethically or do managers ask employees to do things the employees aren't comfortable with? Does it pay employees equally for the same work? Company culture is important or very important to 72 percent of job applicants, according to Indeed.
Focus on Trust and Transparency
Employees work well in a positive, transparent, open, and supportive environment. On the opposite end, negative environments stifle creativity and may lead to a high employee turnover rate. Counter this by empowering your employees to make decisions in their area without having to get higher management approval, be consistent in your policies and actions towards employees, be aware of non-verbal cues and the messages they are sending, and make as much company information available to all employees as possible.
Support Employees' Career Goals
The best companies to work for help their employees grow with the company in ways that support their career goals. Not only does that save your company money in recruiting and training, but it fosters a more positive work environment for employees and management alike. Support employee career goals by making an effort to find out where individuals want to be in five or ten years, helping employees foster a healthy work-life balance, and making available training and projects that will further employees’ career goals.
Offer Professional Development Opportunities
Investing in your employees is always a smart business choice. Even a small company with a limited budget can offer education and development opportunities for employees. If you have a small budget,, consider enlisting one or more of your vendors to help pay for the training. After all, the more your employees learn, the better they may perform.
Retain Your Best Employees
Many award organizations consider an organization’s employee retention in their evaluation of a “best place to work.” If you have a high rate of turnover, it begs the question of why people don’t want to work at this company. Make your best employees want to stay with your company by practicing employee engagement, ensuring employees feel heard and valued, making sure to pay them a competitive wage, and offering a clear path to advancement.
Live Your Company's Core Values
It's one thing to state your company's goals in your employee handbook. It's quite another to put those goals into practice on a daily basis. In an organization’s work, always keep the mission and core values in mind.
Get Feedback from Your Employees
It might seem scary to ask for feedback from your employees, but if you don't ask, you may not identify or understand the true areas of improvement. Encouraging employee engagement can be tricky. Some employees may be wary of openly sharing their opinions. You may want to promote an anonymous suggestion box or send out a questionnaire that employees can return anonymously.
Earn an Advanced Degree in Human Resource Management with Johnson and Wales
Earning a master's degree in human resources can help you reach the top echelons of corporate management where you can affect the corporate culture and help your company win a “best workplace award.’ Johnson & Wales University offers a master's degree in human resource management as well as an MBA in Human Resource Management. Both of these degree programs can be completed in two years and are offered online or on our Providence, RI campus.
About Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University, founded in 1914, is a private, nonprofit, accredited university by the New England Commission of Higher Education with approximately 8,600 undergraduate, graduate, and online students.
Take your human resources career to the next level and earn your master’s degree in Human Resource Management or MBA in HR Management from Johnson & Wales University. For more information about completing your degree online or on-campus, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].