Characteristics of a Great Employer

“If you’re an employer, you want to hire an employee who’ll do their job, not do your bidding.”- Jeffrey Jones

Do you consider your company to be a great employer – an employer of choice? For any company to be perceived as a great employer, it would take the combined efforts of all those working there and more importantly the people that lead and ‘control’ it. A great employer is one who is a beacon, a guide and support and someone who motivates each person working in the company to compete against themselves and get better daily. Most people that are employed at such a company are loyal, hardworking and speak well of the company, thereby raising the reputation of the company in the marketplace. A great employer is also one of the prime concerns and needs of the A-talent that exists in the business world, and anyone running a business knows the value of employing staff that is highly skilled, knowledgeable and aggressive in the matter of learning and improving.  If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. – Red Adair . This is something that every great employer is aware of and hence makes every effort to hire the best, treat their employees well and make sure that their staff remain loyal through good employee schemes and benefits.

Many companies enlist the help of professional companies to understand how they are perceived in the business world. This is crucial for the success of any company – unless you know where you are doing well and where you lack, it would be difficult to create a work culture and environment with the right opportunities for the employees. The hallmark of a great employer is that they are always aware of the needs of their employees and also recognize and reward the hard work of each person in their employ. A great employer ensures that adequate training is provided to their employees not just to work better but also for their personal development and growth.

There is no business without its challenges and roadblocks. Those who blame their employees and processes rather than facing their challenges are not employers of choice and would not be sought after. A great employer on the other hand, will recognize the challenges and find the most appropriate solutions to counter any issues that arise before they snowball into bigger problems. A great employer will always enlist the help of and solicit the feedback of their employees, will keep them informed on the latest happenings, future plans and anything else that concerns the employees and their future in the company. This shows that the employer values each person working with them and would do whatever it takes to keep them motivated, happy and committed.

The other characteristic of a great employer is that they would be aware of and concerned with the safety, health and security of their employees. They keep themselves abreast with the latest rules and regulations applicable for employees and do whatever it take to provide a happy, safe and comfortable work environment for their employees. For example – a friend worked in a company that was aware of workstation efficiency – providing adequate lighting, adjustable desks and chairs and other such provisions to ensure that the employees with desk jobs were not inconvenienced. A great employer will not be afraid to publicize their employment guidelines over every visible platform – this is a good sign for all potential hires that could be confident that their rights and safety will be taken care of by the employer. A great employer is open, honest and transparent.

It is obvious that a company’s success would depend largely on the level of motivation, enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile of the employees and these employees would also be customers and great testimonials of this set of customers always works in a company’s favour. A great employer is ‘visible’ due to the outstanding qualities of integrity, respect, concern and kind attention they pay to every aspect of their employees. The work environment at such an office is upbeat, negligible levels of stress and minimal conflicts. Employees are highly trained, possess great communication and interpersonal skills and endeavour to excel in their field of work and also go beyond trying to learn new skills and acquire a different knowledge base.

The sign of a great employer is that they are not focused on only gaining from their staff – they first invest in them, give them the leeway and discretion to perform their duties and inspire them through great leadership to give their best to their job each day.  There are so many companies which still don’t recognize the importance of treating their staff well – it is no surprise that their staff is de-motivated, not engaged, downbeat and constantly suspicious of those they work with. They drag themselves to office because they need to earn a livelihood and are constantly on the look-out for other jobs. What kind of output and performance do you expect from such a workforce? What do you think are the characteristics of a great employer apart from those mentioned?

More companies are moving towards providing flexible working hours and also include work from home possibilities. So much work is conducted online as it is, so forward thinking companies allow this flexibility to their employees. Flexible working conditions shows care and support of the employer and makes it easier to attract great talent and also keep them for a longer time. Apart from such adaptable working conditions, a great employer ensures that the workplace is fun and encourages innovation and creativity. They would set aside time / day of the week which is reserved to provide recreation for their employees in an endeavour to promote teamwork and appreciation of co-workers. Simple things like putting in board games, a basketball hoop, some food stalls and other such ideas dramatically enhance the motivation levels in a large insurance company which till then was a highly ‘sad’ and de-motivating place to work at.

Of course, people are working to earn well so that they can provide for their families. A great employer ensures that each person is paid according to their skill and experience levels and also according to the jobs they do at the company. A great employer would also provide incentives and benefits like bonuses and increments for all and in addition offer stock options and other monetary benefits for their high performers. This motivates each person to work smarter and achieve high levels within the organization and make themselves eligible for the extra monetary benefits and growth opportunities. A highly charged workforce is no doubt great with customer service too and with consistent high levels of service customers too are happier doing business with you and will provide repeat business and be happy and willing ambassadors of your company, its offerings and service.

A great employer is not stingy and controlling – apart from a safe, secure and well-done up office, they are also careful to provide hygienic, healthy and nutritious food to their employees. Many companies provide meals free of cost while others charge a minimal amount from their employees (this is a good practice since when employees incur some expense, the tendency to waste food is drastically reduced) for the meals and also have a pantry providing water and hot and cold beverages.

Not just food, a great employer ensures that even the wash-rooms for employees are well-lit, sanitized and clean. They also provide ‘break-out’ areas where employees can take short breaks during the day to grab a cup of coffee and ‘hang-out’ with their friends and other co-workers. This encourages bonding and affinity amongst the staff.

The list of things mentioned above as the characteristics of a great employer is not an exhaustive. There are many more such qualities that prospective and current staff deserve and look forward to – make it worth their while to work with you. Be a great employer!

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