7 Things Great Companies Do That Make Them Great

February 10 10:50 2015
They top the lists as great companies to work with and to work for, so what is it that makes them thrive and continue to achieve new levels of success? It is a question I have been researching for years. I noticed that a lot of the companies that hired me to speak at their annual leadership meetings, were rated as one of the best in their state or nationwide to work for. If you ask enough of the right questions, you will find the answers you seek.

I was able to find close to 100 things great companies do that make them great, but here are the top 6 that seemed to be the most universal and the one thing you will notice about them is they are not complex.  They are simple, easy and work.  Great companies who do these 7 things understand it’s apart of what makes them continue to be great.

1. Inter-Company Mentoring

If a manager isn’t scoring well with his staff or duties, chances are they may not need a lecture or a fireside chat, but rather they need some positive mentoring from someone who can communicate how to do things better or more efficiently. Sometimes, when people are put into leadership roles, they may have the potential to be a great leader, but it doesn’t necessarily qualify them to be an actual leader.  Mentoring is a way to ensure there is no gap in performance and that everything stays on track and improves.  Having someone mentor you for a short time doesn’t diminish your leadership, but rather empowers it.

2. Their Culture is their Brand – it is their Marketing and Fuel for Success.

Imagine asking people randomly  as they are leaving work what they think about their boss, supervisor, manager or company they work for.  What message do you want people communicate?  What things do you do to ensure that when people walk out the door at the end of the day, they communicate a message that is positive?

3. Continued Training and Education

This is about getting better and ensuring people stay sharp and dedicated.  Helping people get better is a component that helps your organization get better.  Training has to be on-going.  Educational opportunities should always an option.  Does your company have a personal development library – physical or online, where people can go and invest in themselves or work on developing new skills that could be of greater value to what they do and the organization?

My evaluation is excellent leaders encourage continued education.  Some will even buy everyone a book. Has your company gotten every employee a book that would add value to that person’s life and to the organization?  If not, why?  If you say, “We don’t have the budget?” The question is why not?  Why is there not enough to invest in quality training that improves people and the organization?  Mix it up a little and get everyone a good book or offer a book of the month club and give people the option that if they want a book, they can get one.  A book appears to be something little, but yet has such a big and lasting impact.

4. Low Turnover

If your turnover is relatively high, then it is a strong indication that employees are not connecting well with leadership or have no real sustaining engagement or purpose to what they are doing. Also, great companies recognize that this is where a good sum of profit and losses happens.  Turnover is expensive. If turnover is a constant, then the recruiting process needs to be upgraded. You want to develop an organization that attracts top talent and that top talent actually stays. They money you save in turnover expenses, you use that to protect your investment by offering more perks like continued education or activities that translate into wellness, loyalty and engagement.

5. Great companies offer great perks.

Hey, we can’t all be Google and offer the pie in the sky like subsidized massages throughout the week, free gourmet food, on site laundry, daycare and facilities that make you wonder if it really is Google or is it Heaven? Hmm… It is being aware and offering perks that make people feel like you have their best interests at hand.

If you don’t take care for your people, someone else is ready too and you don’t want to lose good people by signing them up for the Jelly of the Month club.

You know what I am talking about. Maybe one perk is “trust”, letting someone work from home one day of the week.  Another perk maybe a gym membership.  How about monthly movie tickets so the family can get out and enjoy a fun family night out??  Or what about a surprise gift card to somewhere with a note that says, Just Because!  How cool would that be??  Little things make a big difference.

6. Recognition.

Who doesn’t love to know they are contributing to the big picture or making a difference. We all want to know we are contributing in a way that translates into achieving organizational goals or progress.  Some people will up and quit their job just because they don’t feel valued.  If someone doesn’t feel valued in an organization, what will their message to others be outside the company?

Recognition from leadership is vital, essential, top of the list of things that has to happen. It can be as simple as remembering someone’s name.  Sounds a little crazy, but I have gotten letters from people who want to look for other work because leadership doesn’t even know their name.  Just a few kind words that acknowledge effort and attitude is all it takes to inspire someone to feel connected to the big picture.

7. Communication.

The number one constant in any organization is change – be it new growth, new software, new people, new regulations, new cut backs, and the list of changes can go on and on. But, great organizations understand that communication is essential.  They don’t sugar coat the hard stuff or beat around a bush until people get a clue, they communicate the message.  Without quality communication from leadership, it leads people to assume and when people assume – their imagination goes wild and take them to a place that disrupts workplace performance and morale.

Communication is not about holding more meetings or sending out more memos, it is about getting down to the message and ensuring people understand, while addressing any concerns or questions. Quality communication is about being open to feedback or sharing new ideas.  Employees need to feel confident they can share ideas or ways to improve upon something that will help the overall organization.  If they are afraid to communicate, then you will possibly lose that one idea that could be the step to the next level or simply set off a chain of negative consequences.  A lack of qualify communication has big time consequences. Great organizations make open communication a priority.
 
Sam Glenn is an award winning keynote speaker and is often the highest rated speaker at every conference he speaks at.  If you are looking for an uplifting speaker that your audience will absolutely love and gain value from, then contact Sam Glenn’s office about booking him. – Sam@samGlenn.com

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