A few years back, I worked at a company deeply motivated to earn the Great Places to Work certification but couldn’t get the necessary Trust Index survey results. It was excruciating for the executive team.
You see, the process to land on these lists starts with decades of research into best practices to build strong work cultures. This foundation pairs with a unique-to-company survey that they must pass to go through the certification process. When I worked at the company during the process, I realized the power of this certification. For employers, it holds the key to much esteem in the industry and for attracting top talent. For employees, it’s eye-opening because going through the survey sheds light on what’s happening in the workplace and your feelings about it.
Now, I use annual Best Companies to Work For lists as a tool for my clients looking for their next career step or mapping out their career trajectory.
Great Place To Work In Your Job Search
I’m all about intentional job search tactics. Jumping off the hamster wheel of endless notifications from the big box boards authorizes control and confidence. One of the first steps to harnessing more power is identifying what you want in your next company and going after the ones checking those boxes. Flexibility, engagement, growth, benefits, and strong leadership are areas that can help you to start identifying what’s most important in your next company. The Great Places to Work List is a collection of companies that are likely to check those boxes. Thereby, a perfect first step in building your target list.
A target list is a group of five companies (that’s my recommended number to keep track of and foster meaningful relationships) that have jobs you want, a mission you back, and a culture that suits your vision of work/life integration.
Identifying a target list is a bridge to uncover jobs amidst the hidden job market. Lisa Rangel writes that 75% of all available positions are filled through employee referrals, social media recruiting, and hiring managers’ networks, sourced by a 2012 study by Career Xroads. Nurturing relationships and communicating your depth of appreciation for the work and mission of a company is a sure way to catch these need-to-know-basis jobs.
How Are Other Companies Building Trust
It’s not professional rocket science. Trust builds employee retention and engagement. When you trust your team, manager, and leadership, it just feels right to be there and fuels effort.
If that experience is missing in your current work scene, dive into what other companies are doing to build the trust muscle and infuse those tactics into your workplace. The Trust Model serves as the backbone in the Great Places to Work strategy. The five dimensions in the model are credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. The model goes on to share areas in which managers and leaders must excel to build trust: hiring, inspiring, speaking, listening, thanking, developing, caring, celebrating, and sharing.
The Trust Model can highlight high-functioning aspects of your workplace and those that need improvement, yielding more trust for you and others. Sharing your reflective thoughts and sourcing the credibility of the Great Places to Work model can perk ears and spark real constructive change.
Finding best practices that have led to gaining certification is easy. Most companies are so amped to tout their Great Places to Work award; they include an essential play-by-play on their blog. Here are a few:
Your Future Leadership Strategy
Whether growing with your current company, starting your own, or jumping to another professional sector is part of your 5-year plan, understanding the work world done right will help your future career goals.
If your current company is not on the list, spearheading the initiative to gain certification is a sure to get your name of the future leaders list. The certification process serves not only the improvement of the work culture but the talent (your future coworkers) along with the company growth and progress of the future. You’ll find the story of Wonolo and Bankers Healthcare Group create compelling employer brands that attract more great job applicants on the website, and there are dozens more on the websites of certified companies.
The most crucial point I want to make clear is-- work can be enjoyable and meaningful, and there are tools to help us obtain an elevated version of our 9-5. Great Places to Work is just one of the many sources to identify and praise good work. The more that pop up, the closer we get to widespread work fulfillment.