Watching short videos at Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work event was inspiring. An employee at each nominated company talked about what made the organization a great place to work.
We picked up at least five clear themes employees cited over and over. Here’s a quick look:
Employees at great places to work feel their managers believe in them and empowered to do their jobs and stretch. At Kraft CPAs, “They support me in a way that helps me be my best both professionally and personally,” senior manager Cindy Anderson said. Cash Forshee, senior vp at Medalogix, said the company creates a place where employees can “be bold and experiment and work with other who share the same passion.”
Great places to work create workplace cultures that recognize success and work-life balance. Employees at the Calvert Group can bring their dogs to work. Jeans are standard daily dress at Resource Communications Group. LPS Integration allows people to work from home. Kraft CPAs allows employees to set their own hours. Winning companies embrace transparency and understand that all work and no play is not a winning formula.
That great places to work create time to play is an understatement. A company-sponsored or even hosted happy hour is common but alcohol is not always involved. Laser tag (Rockhouse Partners), bowling (Baker Donelson), zoo trips (Benchmark Realty), darts and Dance Revolution (Trinysis), river rafting and CEO-hosted cookout (Medalogix), pro baseball game outings (Robins & Morton, to Cardinals games in St. Louis), skeet shooting (Red Pepper) zipline (Infoworks) and dodgeball (LBMC) are on the long list.
The way to employees’ hearts may well be by way of their stomachs. MANY of the Best Places to Work nominees provide free or at-cost food: InQuicker (free breakfast and lunch everyday to their employees); Revive Health (hot chicken on Fridays); Concept Technology (catered breakfast twice each week); potlucks (Benchmark Realty); LBMC (ice cream socials) and Permobil (cafe serves at-cost breakfast and lunch).
People want to be proud of the role their company plays in the community and they are. Deloitte, TVA’s Economic Development division and Zeitlin & Company realtors were notable examples. In answering the inquiry, Stephanie Brooks, a Zeitlin real estate agent, told the Business Journal that she valued the company’s “leadership, integrity and most of all community involvement.”
Clearly, many Middle Tennessee companies know what it takes to build an engaged workforce, and organizations everywhere can learn from them. Not every method will fit every company but examples of engagement in action can elevate the conversation beyond mere theory.
The Callibrain blog will explore these themes and some of the companies honored in the months to come (see full list from the NBJ) but we leave you with this: The Lampo Group has a “director of all things fun.”