The Best Workplaces Have Much to Teach Us

Leadership Headlines

During good economic times, it’s much easier for employees to feel good about their company.

When bonuses are plentiful and corporate retreats don’t consist of just the conversations around the water cooler. Some companies are keeping up the goodwill even during the recession and amidst layoffs.

The San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal  recently published their sixth annual edition of our Best Places to Work in the Bay Area.

There are many lessons to be learned by examining how some of the best companies have nurtured productive, happy employees. I wanted to share a few of them with you.

Brocade Communications Systems has a development program that helps integrate new employees into the company. It includes pairing new hires with mentors. Klayko the CEO says it has been so successful that there are more mentors and mentees.

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has started a contest called the $10,000 Kimpton Moment in which guest comments or employee citations of superlative service by a peer serves as nominations. At the end of the year the winning employee will be rewarded.

Workday INC.’s office layout includes open cubicles with wallboards within 10 feet of every desk. The CEO and President sit in the middle of the room. People can walk right up and talk to anybody else; including the bosses.

Heffernan Insurance Brokers  employs a full time wellness director and yoga classes. Most of the office staff work 35 hour weeks with every other Friday off.

According to HR Director Maria Warlich, “it’s nice to work at a place that reduces my stress rather than adding to it.”

Richrelevance  invests a significant amount of money in an executive coaching firm that meets periodically on a confidential basis with individuals to help them achieve their goals.

Vox Network Solutions says a key is bringing in the right people with the right attitude and right skills. Part of the reason their employees’ love their jobs is they are working with competent, smart people.

Great business leaders understand that even the most trying economic times don’t diminish the importance of creating a positive work environment.

What makes your company a great place to work? If it is a great place to work, is it the people, the policies, or the processes that make it so. If it isn’t such a great place to work, what could be done to turn things around? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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Kristi Royse

Kristi Royse is CEO of KLR Consulting
She inspires success in leaders and teams with coaching and staff development
 Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Blog | Articles | Services | (650) 578-9626

Image Source: tommyland

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