Top Places to Work/Employer of Choice: What Does It Really Mean?

May 3, 2023

Hello, my Blog Faithful,

Many employers have faced a “tough winter” trying to keep employees happy, but the good news is that spring always follows winter. But what does it mean to be an employer of choice or the best place to work? What are they doing to keep morale up and encourage their employees to focus on making a difference in the spirit of a “job well done.” It is not easy and there is no one solution to follow. The playbook is not the same for everyone and each company has its own unique hurdles to jump.

Happy business people smile during a planning meeting in a startup marketing agency office. Diversity, collaboration and teamwork in a healthy work environment in an international advertising company.

With that said, I have had the pleasure of visiting many companies over my career, talking to CEOs, CFOs and CHROs, and working closely with them. Now I want to share with you the five key things that stand out to me when I consider organizations that are truly the best places to work.

1. Management

Employees typically do not quit their job, they quit their manager or direct report. Questions I would pose: Are these managers really “for” the people on their teams. Do they care – really care? Are they transparent, will they support them, roll up their sleeves and fight the fight with them? I can speak to this because at one point in my career I was a director of sales. I had a team of 15 and when I was promoted to Regional Director, I had 90 people underneath me. The manager is such an important role – because if you have the right people, your employees will run laps for them.

2. Culture of Gratitude

Defining culture starts at the top. One good example, have your CEOs engage on LinkedIn and recognize their employees. Not just a share but taking the time to write something uplifting. By singling them out they will help build them up. Just think when possible recruits see this type of culture…what could that do? Then multiply that one action with all your top managers doing the same. What are the possibilities of being genuine and grateful?

3. Transparency

How is the company doing, what are the hurdles, what do we need from the workforce, what are the results of the employee survey, what is the call to action from senior leadership? People want to be in the know and get anxious when they feel like they are outside the “circle of trust.” Are you performing stay interviews?

4. Accessibility

Are the executives in the “west wing” or is there an open-door policy? Does senior leadership have breakfast, lunch, or time set aside to socialize with the employees. Are the employees fearful to approach, or do they feel welcomed? Executive open-door policies have become more popular and play a role in the culture of an organization. The easier it is for employees to communicate open and freely, the more comfortable they will be.

5. Mission

What does the company stand for. We have an interesting time where our workforce is so multi-generational. More than 50% of the workforce is Millennials and Gen Z. They want to stand for something, they want to be a part of something special. And they do want to make a difference. How is the mission of what you sell, or the service you deliver, and the impact to the community infused to your employees on a daily basis?

Group of young business colleagues communicating and having fun on a meeting in the office.

In the words of the Rembrandts and the song I’ll Be There For You: “It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear. When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year, I’ll be there for you (Cause you’re there for me too).” People want to belong, they want to be appreciated, they want transparency, they want to have access, and a mission they believe in. Call to action – what else is important that is under the radar? Hit me up.

Welcome to Carlozo’s Corner! I’m Anthony Carlozo, a client executive at Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA), the employee benefits division of Marsh.

At Marsh McLennan Agency, I work with organizations of all sizes to help them minimize their risk and maximize the value of their benefits programs.

Here I’ll be sharing insights about a current market trend and the strategies I’m seeing employers adopt to adapt to today’s evolving business landscape.