Little, Latest, Likeable: 3 Qualities of Five-Star Companies

Little Latest Likeable - 3 Qualities of Five-Star Companies

If you’re not a startup, acting like one could decrease your turnover.

If you’ve looked for a job in the last five years, chances are you are familiar with Glassdoor. Known as the go-to website for employee reviews of their companies, Glassdoor only has 37 companies (out of nearly 150,000) with a perfect five-star rating. In order to determine what these highly-praised companies were doing right, consulting firm Software Advice analyzed their qualities and reported the following.

Little and Latest: Startups Rein Supreme

Nearly three-quarters of the top-rated companies were founded in the past 10 years, while 90 percent employed 149 employees or less. This makes sense if you understand that half of all visitors to the Glassdoor site are 18-34 year-old millennials, and millennials are known for preferring work at smaller companies. The top-rated companies also tend to be stereotypical startups. Forty-two percent are in the business services sector, while 39 percent are in the information technology sector. Sixteen out of 37 five-star companies are located in California – the global hub of tech-startup action.

If your company is old and large, there’s not much you can do about that. However, you can promote a startup-like culture – through the fostering of innovation, flexible schedules, and shifting challenges and responsibilities – in order to capture some of the Glassdoor magic.

Likeable: Collegial Support Makes the Employment Experience

Over-the-top perks are not what excite Glassdoor reviewers. Rather, it’s the camaraderie and support of co-workers that keep them enthused to show up at work. Thirty-eight percent of reviewers commented on the importance of their team, and managers that promote group cohesiveness and bonding were mentioned as well.

If you’re relying exclusively on benefits to retain your top talent, you might want to re-think that. Benefits are important, but your people and their relationships to one another are what will decrease your turnover. You can start small and simple, perhaps by planning one “official” team-building activity a month or bringing your people together for some low-key fun every once in a while.

A focus on employee careers and helping your people connect with work-related passions will keep them too. The Glassdoor research cites professional development (32 percent) and meaningful work (22 percent) as the second and third characteristics most critical to a top-notch employment experience.

Danger: Growing Pains Ahead

So do employees at five-star companies think anything is wrong with them? The truth is, not really. However, many expressed concern that their currently nimble organizations would experience growing pains that would be detrimental to the strong company culture. Indeed, the need to establish new processes and strategies and bring more employees on board can negatively impact a startup climate.

Employers at five-star organizations should be mindful of what makes their cultures special, and ensure that new hires (particularly those arriving from large, established companies) will support rather than detract from their cultures. Just because you’re growing doesn’t mean you have to become an inefficient bureaucracy.

As for those not at the top of the Glassdoor rankings, it’s worth a look at the five-stars’ employee messaging (via the website, internal handbook, news articles, etc.) to assess exactly why their cultures are praised so profusely. If you can, spend some time on the ground at these companies and see for yourself what they do to keep employees happy with their jobs and motivated to share their positive opinions on Glassdoor. Incorporating some aspects of their vision and strategies into your own operations could be beneficial in improving your own Glassdoor standing and recruitment ROI.

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