At the turn of the century, job seekers started to care less about working for a well-known company and more for workplaces that support their goals. Modern employees universally agree that employers need to do more than just offer a bi-weekly paycheck and 40-hour weeks.

As companies continue to adapt to the changing landscape the Great Resignation created, quality employers should look towards “Best Places to Work” winners for inspiration.

5 Traits Prospective Employees Want From Companies

Employer review websites like JobSage are noticing a grammatical shift in workplace attitudes. Nowadays, you can’t win over candidates by offering high wages, but decent pay doesn’t hurt.

1. The Best Companies Take Care of Their Employees

Your company is only as good as the people within it, but some businesses are more concerned with filling vacancies instead of finding talent. Employers will often put profits ahead of their employee’s needs, which ironically does more to empty their pockets than it fills them.

When your employees feel cared for, they start to trust their employers. Generous perks, like top-of-the-line health insurance and paid days off, can improve your employee relationships.

A healthy culture should matter to all employers who want their employees to not only work well, but live well. When your employees are healthy, everything else falls into place.

BAF, one of the Glassdoor winners on the “Best Places to Work” list, moved one of their employees to a first-floor apartment after an accident with the technology they needed to stay connected. Gestures like these prove to employees that they aren’t just workhorses.

2. The Best Companies Help Workers Pursue Their Passions

The best companies to work for don’t put their employees in strict cardboard boxes that limit their growth. Instead, these employers fit jobs to their employees. By giving their employees the freedom to explore new opportunities, they’re able to pursue their passions and goals.

The profit motive leads us to believe that the only thing worth striving for is a paycheck, but modern employers are seeing that all that money talk kills creativity and stifles innovation.

That’s why some pharmaceutical companies are letting their people “follow the science,” it’s why certain businesses are nurturing employees with sabbaticals or time-off to start a company.

Your employees want to grow within your company, but you need to offer the groundwork for them to flourish. 

Any business that encourages in-house promotions, raises, or training sessions will build a community that’s multi-talented and focused on creating valuable, profitable work.

3. The Best Companies Prioritize Human Connection

The Harvard Business Review found that employee engagement at work has been at an all-time low since 2013. However, research shows that work friendships improve employee satisfaction rates by 50%. People with a best friend at work are 7 times more likely to stay engaged.

Camaraderie isn’t just about having fun; it’s more about a sense of togetherness, developing strong bonds, and solidifying teamwork. Only the best companies support its development. 

Having friends at work is a great predictor of job satisfaction. It isn’t a waste of time to participate in team happy hours, celebrate special occasions, or talk while on the job. Team-building activities, whether in-person or virtual, are a perfect opportunity to build trust between members while boosting morale. Specialized companies like Escapely offer team-building games in which each coworker can bring something to the table, enhancing the team’s feeling of success.

The more connected a workplace is, the more likely they are to be productive as a team. Not only that, but work friends can provide assistance, give advice, and offer support for personal situations. Employers can model their culture by also spending time with their employees.

4. The Best Companies Don’t Micromanage Their People

Employers micromanage for many reasons, but a loss of control, insecurity, and inexperience are the most common. It can be difficult to trust other people with your company, but if you delegate correctly, train your employees, and focus on the big picture, you’ll be much better off.

No one likes to have someone watching their every move, and the very best employers agree. Instead of micromanaging, they’ll encourage employees to take control of their projects.

Once your employees prove themselves, it’s important you let them navigate their workload because you’ll increase their confidence and prepare them for managerial roles in the future.

The companies on the “Best Places to Work” list find that setting individual project goals produces better outcomes than constantly insisting on updates. As long as your employees reach these goals, they’ll “succeed” with the project, so there’s no need to watch over them.

5. The Best Companies Let Their Employees Be Authentic

There’s nothing more demotivating to your employees than confirming that who they are isn’t good enough. Restrictive dress codes for non-safety reasons, punishments for being opinionated, and reducing workplace diversity are all archaic in the modern era.

However, the best employers aren’t willing to force their employees to fit in. Instead, they only put rules in place for other people’s comfort, aka, no strong perfume in the office.

When you’re allowed to be authentic at your job, it’s life-affirming. You’re told by your employer, someone you trust and want to impress, that you’re great just the way you are.
Authenticity has another incredible effect on the workplace: stricter work ethics. People who act in accordance with their values are more likely to choose principle over enticement, are more respectful to their peers, stand up for themselves, and often stay morally engaged.