Finding Companies That Are Great Places to Work

Employees appreciated at their company

You don’t just want a job. You want to find a company that ranks among great places to work. But how do you find the right employer?

According to an SHRM report, U.S. employers spend $100 billion annually on incentive programs, because they know the importance of keeping their employees happy. Employees who feel appreciated are more productive and stay at a company longer, which gives employers good reason to appreciate their employees regularly.

If you’re not sure how to find a company that cares about employee appreciation, here are methods for researching companies. And if you’re an employer, better make sure you convey your commitment to employees to prospective applicants.

1. Check out the website

Most companies have a website that lists their job openings, along with a pitch about why they’d be a great place to work — from 401(k)s to stock options. This will usually tip you off to the types of benefits — or lack thereof — you might receive at your next company. For smaller companies, you may need to look at job ads to see benefits and other culture issues listed.

2. Read reviews

Websites like Glassdoor, featuring insider reviews, can illuminate what a workplace is really like, for better or worse. The website covers everything from CEO approval rating to listed salaries. Discussions around company culture, employee appreciation, and perks often make the cut as well. Other places to look for company info on great places to work include Contently and Quora (for bigger firms).

3. Read lists

For rigorous review, look no further than publications like Forbes and Crain’s New York, which offer annual reports that showcase the best places to work in various industries. The site Great Place to Work also offers research on best workplaces for millennials, diversity, technology, and everything in between.

4. Network

When in doubt, use your network to find out if your next potential company really appreciates their employees. Find people through LinkedIn with experience at the company (not current employees!) or ask through the grapevine if your personal friends know anyone who works at your target company. Be careful about contacting current employees — word may get back to your interviewer about what questions you asked.

5. Interpret and ask (appropriately)

During the interview process, there are plenty of ways to suss out whether the company is one that you’d truly enjoy working for. Observe how colleagues talk about their teammates, what expectations managers seem to have, and how enthusiastic they seem.

Employee appreciation perks to look for

Found some companies you like? Now look for evidence of employee appreciation. These extras often make the difference between a decent place to work and a phenomenal place to work.

1. High-quality benefits

Companies of all sizes should be able to offer a basic suite of essential benefits. Look for these benefits in any employer.

• Medical
• Dental
• Vision
• FSAs/HSAs
• Life insurance
• Disability insurance
• Commuter benefits
• Employee assistance programs

2. Massages

Nothing says employee appreciation like bringing in a free massage! Employers can bring on-demand massages to their team in 85+ cities through Zeel’s app, for the corporate office massage of your dreams.

Related article: Creating a Workplace Wellness Program for a Happy, Healthy Team

3. Gym subsidies

Good health is beneficial for the employee and the company. According to SHRM, offering employee wellness incentives results in higher productivity and energy in the office, which increases positivity, too. See if your next employer offers gym subsidies, a free class pass, or even CitiBike to help you get moving.

4. Employee wellness classes

Even if you don’t get a gym subsidy, employers who bring in wellness instructors are also competitive in offering great employee appreciation ideas. Yoga, meditation, aerobics — all work to keep employees fit and happy.

Related: 11 Ways to Celebrate National Employee Wellness Month

5. PTO and flexible schedules

Something that costs an employer little but benefits employees enormously is paid time off and flexible schedules. In fact, according to a study by Justworks and SquareFoot, 76% of employers believe flexible work hours have a big impact on their ability to hire, and 68% of employees believe flexible hours have a positive impact on their team.

6. Free snacks and meals

Order’s up! Does the company you’re looking at offer free meals or regular snacks around the office? Healthy snacks have been shown to fight weight gain, regulate mood, and improve overall health.

Every company will offer a different degree of perks and benefits to appreciate their employees, but great places to work do most of the things on this list. Combine that with a fantastic team and an intriguing role, and you’ll have the recipe for your dream job in no time.

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