How to Be a Best Place to Work

January 23, 2019
Inside HR
Engagement & Retention
Read time: 3 mins
Late last year, MRA hosted a free Business Insights event for close to 100 members, highlighting what it takes to become a Best Place to Work organization, as awarded by the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Attendees learned tips and techniques from MRA pros, and interacted with a panel of some of the latest Best Places to Work winners, who spoke to the group about their companies’ successes.

The panel of experts included:

  • Susan Bach, Chief Human Resources Officer with von Briesen & Roper, s.c.
  • Chad Bathke, Partner and COO at VJS Construction
  • Joe Fazio, Chairman and CEO at Commerce State Bank
  • Monica Kiesig, Director, Human Resources for the Milwaukee Bucks

Some suggestions they shared with attendees were:

  • Make sure your company’s culture is a good fit for a potential employee. Not all people fit in all cultures, and that’s okay. Don’t hire someone if the culture fit isn’t there.
  • Improve and regularly update your onboarding process. A successful onboarding experience is more important than ever for a new hire.
  • Listen to what your employees say AND act on it. Find out what’s important to them, what they want and need, and what makes them stay. Then make it happen, if at all possible.
  • Your work environment should be a place employees want to be. What does that look like? Free snacks, an on-site workout room, and a company-wide monthly chair massage were a few ideas that the panelists heard from their employees and incorporated into their workspaces.
  • Send out (and take seriously) internal surveys to see what additional benefits would be of value to your workforce, even if they aren’t considered mainstream. Some examples mentioned were free, late-night Uber rides for employees, paid time off for employees to volunteer in their communities, cash bonuses for all staff members when certain business goals were reached, and an employee referral program that pays a current employee for referring a successful new hire.

Panelists were asked how they planned on keeping or maintaining their “best place to work” status. Here’s what was said:

  • Treat employees well. Figure out what they need to be happy and make it come to fruition.
  • Continually talk and listen to your employees and then improve your workplace with the information you’ve learned.
  • Understand that what works now most likely won’t work a few years down the road. Be flexible and agile and open to new ideas.

Attendees walked away with the sense that every business, big or small, for-profit or nonprofit, has what it takes to be a best place to work. It’s a worthy endeavor. Not only is it great for morale, it’s a fruitful way to attract and retain quality talent.

Source: Lynell Meeth, MSHR, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Director, Member Content, MRA - The Management Association