How to Land Your Company on a “Great Places to Work” List [Part 4]

We recently kicked off a series of articles that are of high interest to the CEO and senior leaders at companies large and small. “How to Recruit, Reward and Retain Top Talent in 2018.”

In this fourth and final installment, we’ll share several ideas that could help your company land on the next “Top 100 Great Places to Work” list.


If you’re looking for a job this year, many business publications have proclaimed 2018 a job seeker’s market. This distinction is primarily the result of fewer people looking for work due to record low unemployment and a reasonably healthy economy. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can quickly land a new position, as competition for jobs is still keen. However, for the most part, there are plenty of jobs.

As always, companies that are eager to lure the best candidates come to the negotiating table with competitive compensation packages — a necessity — and robust benefits. However, most workers today are looking for compelling reasons to work for companies beyond the typical allure of money and benefits.

The Best Places to Work Phenomenon

In the past several years, leaders at most firms have come to realize they must offer employees far more than good pay and benefits to attract and keep the best talent. Oh, and that usually means more than adding casual Fridays, beer and foosball tables. Organizations want to create raving employees — workers who are genuinely excited about going to work every day.

The stampede to create fabulous workplace cultures has inspired an industry of list curation by different organizations that are eager to cash in on the “great places to work” phenomenon. In the Twin Cities alone, the StarTribune produces its annual list “Top Workplaces” list of 150 companies, while Minnesota Business magazine publishes an annual “100 Best Companies to Work For.”

However, what makes an organization a great place to work? If you’re a senior leader at a local company and you have a goal to land your company on one of these lists, where do you start? As it turns out, there are similarities at many of the companies that adorn these lists, and, of course, business and culture experts have been researching and writing about this topic for years.

After a fair amount of research on this topic ourselves, we found the following tips and ideas that will help you transform your firm into a great place to work contender:

High Level of Trust, Generous Compensation

According to Fast Company, it seems that many of the companies on a national survey of top 100 companies — Google/Alphabet, Edward Jones, SAS Institute — “have a high level of trust for their companies and report feeling engaged in their work.

These companies also offer generous compensation and benefits. “In 2016, 79 percent of employees surveyed at winning companies felt that people in their organizations were paid fairly for the work that they do, and 73 percent said they receive a fair share of the profits.”

Generous Vacation Time

“Another common strategy among the top 100,” reports Fast Company, “is to offer generous vacation time. Sixty-three of the companies on the list offer more than 26 days off, and a few offer unlimited paid time off.”

A Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The companies that made it on this list also care about promoting “diversity of thoughts, backgrounds, and contributions.” Most of the companies have strategies in place for hiring, retaining and promoting employees from diverse backgrounds.”

Along with an openness to recruit people with diverse backgrounds, also comes an attitude of acceptance embraced by all employees, says Success magazine. “A business runs smoothly when the culture is one of acceptance toward peers’ idiosyncrasies. Acceptance does away with the time-wasters of back-stabbing and social climbing. It takes team-building experiences to foster acceptance. It takes tight control of yourself to not roll your eyes at a ludicrous idea.”

Additional Food for Thought

When the StarTribune surveyed firms to compile its 2017 list of Top Workplaces, company leaders weighed in with several ideas of how to retain employees. It documented the feedback in an informative article, “7 Ways to Keep Your Employees.

7 Ways to Keep Your Employees:

  1. Make your employees feel appreciated
  2. Be nice
  3. Help employees give back
  4. Provide opportunities to learn and grow
  5. Offer good benefits
  6. Be flexible
  7. Provide a pleasant workspace

We’ve Moved Way Beyond a Paycheck and Benefits

For leaders who are committed to recruiting and retaining top talent in 2018, we’ve explored many strategies and tactics the best companies are using to attract, compensate and reward employees in our four-part series. With the sobering reality that “one in four employees intends to leave your employ within the year,” forward-thinking organizations are busy creating enticing corporate cultures that offer employees more than a paycheck and benefits. Today, the stakes are higher than ever.

Learn how to recruit, reward, and retain top talent in 2018!


About the author

Gary Teagarden
Vistage Minnesota

Gary is an accomplished copywriter and B2B content marketing strategist. He’s written numerous articles and member stories for Vistage Minnesota since 2012.


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