Do Your Employees Love You?

Glassdoor recently published its ranking of the 50 best companies to work for in 2013. The top 50 winners were selected by the people who know these companies best – their employees.

I took the top 10 winners and the employee comments about their employer to determine what we can learn in order to engage and retain our talent in 2013.

The top ten companies were:

1. Facebook
2. McKinsey & Company
3. Riverbed Technology
4. Bain & Company
5. M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre
6. Google
7. Edelman
8. National Instruments
9. In-N-Out Burger
10. Boston Consulting Group

There were key themes emerging from the employee’s comments about these companies. These included:

Accessibility to Management

Employees feel close to management and that they have the ability to engage the decision makers. One employee said ‘the lines are very short and its easy to get a hold of the right person to talk to on any topic’. Employees commented about management mingling on a regular basis with employees, in and out of work, and knowing their staff well. They talk about a culture that is down to earth, collegial and supportive.

When did you last join your staff in the lunchroom? Do you know the names of your employee’s partners or spouses?

Empowerment and Autonomy

Many of the employees in these top ten companies commented about feeling empowered to make a difference and teams having autonomy. There is a feeling that each individual can make a difference and carve a path for themselves within the company. They comment on working in a challenging and stimulating environment that encourages innovation.

When did you last encourage your staff to try out a new idea and celebrate success or failure?

Recognition and Reward

A common theme emerging was recognition and reward. Employees know that they will be recognized and rewarded for their efforts regardless of their job title or level of experience. There is mention of rewards that include verbal recognition as well as financial incentives.

When did you last say ‘thank-you’ for a job well done?


Career opportunities were a key theme in these top ten organizations. Employees feel that many doors are open to them and they know were their next opportunity lies. There is room for growth.

Do your staff know what their next career move within your organization could be?


Employees feel that their organization is forward-looking, innovative and leading the market in their particular field. Their words express excitement and stimulation. They feel challenged and enjoying the opportunities presented to them.

Are your employees excited to be working for you?

Source: Wordle from employee comments about the top ten organizations to work for.


Employees are mentored and helped to develop their professional goals. They have access to other employees in other departments within the organization. They feel connected.

Are your employees being mentored and coached for their next role within the organization?

Work Life Balance

The top ten companies actively encourage work-life balance. One employee commented that ‘office heads go out of the way to make life better for employees’.

Do you know how many hours each of your staff work on average each week?

Pride and Purpose

Employees feel that management make sure that their work has purpose. They know why they are doing what they are doing and how it fits in to the strategic direction of the organization. They feel that management takes pride in what they are doing and the product or service that they are producing. They feel they are doing ‘work that makes a difference”.

Do your employees know how they contribute to your goals and objectives?


Employees feel that they work in a fair and transparent environment.
They talk about an open and collaborative workspace.

Do you openly talk about the direction of the organization and the impact on your staff?


As can be seen from the Wordle above that I created using the comments from the employees of the top ten organizations to work for, the most quoted word was ‘people’. Employees feel that the organization genuinely cares about its people. They recognize and reward them, they mentor and coach them, they develop and promote them, they live and breathe work-life balance, the take pride in their people and products, they are accessible and they know them and are seen as fair and equitable.

Do your employees talk about you in that way?


Employees use words and phrases such as ‘enjoyable’, ‘out right fun’, and ‘I love coming to here’.

Would your staff say the same as one of the employees of these top ten organizations? “I absolutely love coming to work here and truly miss the office and our people when I’m away. That’s a rarity and something I cherish each day”.

Could you become one of the ‘best places to work in 2013’? That sounds like a great New Years Resolution!

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