Every year for the past ten years, Glassdoor announces the top places to work all across North America and parts of Europe. The most unique part of this award? You can only win the award if your employees say so.

Glassdoor's methodology for the award includes a collection of anonymous company reviews where employees share their honest opinion on pros and cons of working for the company, overall satisfaction, the CEO, and workplace attributes. They're also asked if they would recommend their employer to a friend. It's a juicy turn of the tables.

Within the top 100 best places to work for, the industries that came out on top were tech, retail, healthcare, consulting, finance, and travel and tourism. The top cities included the Bay Area, Boston, and Los Angeles (just to name a few). So, what does it take to be the top of the top?

Glassdoor reported eight common themes among the winners, and these are the values that the award-winning companies possessed:

1. Employees feel valued.

Whether it's through genuine thank you's or a team off-site, companies that make an effort to let their employees know that they are important tend to have a more positive environment and a harder working team.

I remember a time before when I worked for a company where the CEO would cook for us a few times a month. It was a great way to bring the team together and bond over something other than work. Maybe you don't have to cook for your team--find a way to show that you genuinely care inside of a busy week. 

2. Mission-driven company cultures.

Why does your company exist? Does your team know why, too? When people know exactly what they are working towards, they tend to feel more important in their role and take pride in their work.

A colleague of mine calls it having a "mission-critical" product. Make sure you are creating something that your clients or consumers just can't live without and you can be sure that your team will be on board, too. 

3. Smart colleagues.

One of the biggest motivating factors for a person is being surrounded by those are motivated, as well. When employees see their colleagues advancing and contributing to the team, they are more likely to jump on board and push their limits.

4. Competitive compensation.

An employee measures their growth in compensation and even though it'd be nice to say that this doesn't matter, it does. Companies that can take care of their employees and their livelihood by providing competitive compensation are more likely to retain top talent.

5. Great perks and benefits.

The quintessential tech startup began this trend and it looks like it's here to stay. From free meals to shuttle services to a state-of-the-art gym, making work feel like home helps employees really settle into their role and work life.

6. Opportunity for advancement.

When all is said and done, nothing motivates an employee more than knowing they have somewhere to go. The key here is to ask employees where they see themselves within the company and then co-create an actionable path to getting there.

Tracing it back to that old job I had, I felt motivated every single day because I knew exactly where I was headed and how I would get there. 

7. Transparent senior leadership.

Whether it's a large or small company, it's hard for employees to know who to report to and when. By making it clear what the leadership team's role and responsibilities are, employees are more likely to respond better when given direction.

8. Challenging and exciting work that delivers impact.

This is why companies are in existence. When you can see direct impact and influence of your audience, everything comes full circle. There is a reason for why you do what you do and when employees can feel that, too, then your job is done.

Published on: Dec 21, 2017