The Tampa Bay Times recently featured their “2013 Top 100 Workplaces” edition. It is always exciting to read about Tampa companies who are wildly successful while building a culture of employees who LOVE where they work. While reading all of the great articles, we noticed 4 major themes surface which appear to help make a company an exceptional place to work.
- Accessible Executive Team. We have all worked at companies where you either never see the top executives or when you do they scare the daylights out of you. Exceptional places to work have open door polices where the executive team is immersed not only in the day-to-day business, but in the lives of their employees too. Joe Brancucci, CEO of GTE Financial in Tampa is a master at maintaining an open door policy with his employees. He frequently communicates with the entire team in a number of ways including emails, a blog, town hall meetings and other gatherings. His email address is published to both staff and credit union members where anyone is welcome to engage Joe in an email discussion of ideas, suggestions and feedback. The team needs to feel comfortable with their coworkers and especially with the leaders of their company.
- Importance of Work. Companies that are able to demonstrate to employees that their work has a great impact are able to attract and retain the best talent. We’re not suggesting your company has to be a nonprofit saving the world every day. Author Simon Sinek, in his book Start with Why, suggests that every company needs to inspire their employees and customers by answering questions like “Why does your company exist?” “Why do you do what you do?” “Why should anyone care?” People want to go to work every day and feel like the work they do matters and is making a difference in the world and community.
- Work / Life Balance. The sandwich generation has more on their plate (between work, changing technology, continuing education, kids & caring for aging parents) more than any other workforce in our country’s history. Companies who realize this reality and trust their employees to work in nontraditional ways not only create extremely loyal and engaged workforce, they often get employees who produce more too. Also, companies that not only provide paid time off but encourage employees to make sure they use it are exceptional places to work.
- Opportunity To Innovate. Companies that allow their greatest asset, their employees, to freely innovate produce an amazing company culture. There is nothing more frustrating to an employee when they see a better way to do something only to get their ideas shot down again and again. The companies that every year are rated as top places to work have town hall meetings, idea boards and brainstorm sessions to harness the collective brainpower of their employees.