Posted by Rich DiGirolamo on January 8th, 2010 | No Comments
The Top 50 Great Places to Work in Canada was just released. Is your company on the list? Probably not. Probably because most of you reading this are not in Canada.
But it got me thinking about those Top Whatever lists. Does it mean your company sucks if you don’t make a list? Just because you didn’t meet some criteria that was created by some organization; that your company didn’t fit a mold, template or model; does that mean your place of work is not great? Shame on you. Try harder next year.
So enough with my sarcasm. I’ve always believed that Great Places To Work are individual. Let’s face it, how can two people at the same company be on complete opposite sides of a discussion when it comes to what the company does to keep employees happy; to make their workplace a great place to work.
Years ago I worked for a concrete company. Our VP of Administration walked the building every morning at 8:30 to see who had or had not arrived. How messed up is it when people are turning on lights and computers in a friend’s office and spreading papers on a desk to give an appearance? We worked long hours when it wasn’t necessary and leaving before 7:00 PM was frowned upon. If you were seen socializing or having some water cooler chat you were immediately interrupted by your superior with an “urgent request.” You were encouraged to have the Controller’s secretary order your lunch each day. Layoffs were a best practice at this company. But the kicker…..an employee who was going through a very bad divorce; that included domestic violence was not allowed to take time off to move when the judge okayed it. This wasn’t work – it was prison.
So why were people there for 15 and 20 years? Yes, they paid employees well; but at what expense to your sanity? And yes, I know it is work and you are expected to be there. But bed check? Cutting off all socialization? When you keep people together in closed spaces for that long a period of time each week you better let them socialize! I’m sure the best places to work do so.
After 6 months I knew this was a bad place to be – for me.
My point: Every company has its challenges. Every company has way too many rules and policies that too often keep people from being engaged and happy. Every company has been tightening the purse strings and asking employees to sacrifice; even the Great Places To Work. To me it has always been about finding those sweet spots in your work that get you jumping out of bed every day; that get you excited to be part of your team. That’s what makes a workplace great.
So just in case your place of work isn’t considered an Official Great Place To Work I offer you these ideas:
- Is it your relationships with customers that make you happy?
- Are the people you work alongside the source of this great place?
- Is the work challenging?
- Does your work offer opportunity to use your creativity and know-how to make a difference?
- Have you found the opportunities to learn and grow on a regular basis?
- Have you made connections with not only important people, but interesting people in your organization?
- Do your opinions matter?
These are just some of the criteria that I offer you before you to look at before you send your resume off to a new employer. Take some time to develop a list of your own that would make your workplace a great place to work – for you.
I’m not knocking the Top 50 and Top 100 Great Places to Work lists that come out on a regular basis. They offer value and give every company something to strive for. I just want to make sure you’re not walking around the office feeling like you’re missing out on something. Trust me; even those great places have people who think their job and company suck. And if that is the case…….
Who is really in the better place to work?