Treat Employee Cheer like King, No Matter the Size of Your Business

Glassdoor recently published its list of the “Best Places to Work” in 2015. The company compiled two main categories: companies with 1,000+ employees (big businesses) and those with less than a thousand employees (small businesses). Looking at the lists, it’s hard to ignore the rise of the tech startup: top contenders in both categories include Facebook, Apple, tech giant F5 Networks, biblical social network Faithlife, and IT professional network Spiceworks. The variety of business on the list is impressive, and it goes to show that you can make any kind of businesses a great place to work.

As a recruiter, you can’t exactly mimic the success of these companies to the letter, but there’s always something to learn from the best, especially when it comes to making your organization a great place to work. What makes the “Best Places to Work” so great? Let’s take a look:

Top Big Business: Google

“The benefits and care of employees is obviously world class, and compensation is almost unmatchable. But the company attracts some of the best talent and best people to work with in the world . . . It’s great to wake up in the morning and hear that the company you work for is going to try and defeat death or bring [I]nternet in balloons to rural areas.” – Anonymous employee review of Google on

Ok, so maybe not all companies can afford to give their employees free food and ridiculous life insurance benefits, but we can still learn a few things from this glowing review. Google encourages high levels of employee engagement, with over 90 percent of its employees participating in annual company surveys. Everyone knows Google is motivated to make its workplace better because the company stresses its purpose so clearly and works with its employees to accomplish its goals. It also helps that the company allows its employees to work on their own projects for up to 20 percent of their workweek – which employees tend to use for work-related projects anyway.

If you’re looking to make your employees happier on a budget, start by making sure your employees know why they’re there. Emphasize the difference your organization is making in the world and why it should matter to your employees. Employees need to feel as though they’re working on something that is important to them — not something their boss is forcing them to do. A free lunch every once in a while couldn’t hurt, either.

Top Small Business: Motley Fool

“You are surrounded by intelligent, down-to-earth people that make you better, every day. Your coworkers challenge you to keep improving yourself mentally, physically, and in your role. It is an ever changing job that keeps you interested for the long haul.” — Anonymous employee review of Motley Fool on

Motley Fool is a financial services company, so it can’t stress the good it’s doing for the world as clearly as Google can — not that financial services aren’t important! What the company does offer, though, is just as important: a culture in which everyone is constantly encouraged to improve by the people they work with, not by a boss looking over their shoulder. Many reviews of the company also cited opportunities for upward mobility. A great culture coupled with professional advancement gives employees a great sense of purpose when working.

Both Google and Motley Fool offer us glimpses at how organizations can make the most of their resources to engage their employees. Given that engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave their jobs than disengaged employees aren't, no one can take making employees happy for granted.

Bio: Maren Hogan

Maren Hogan is a community builder and seasoned marketer in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, a full-service marketing and advertising agency serving the HR and Recruiting sectors. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the recruitment and talent space.

You can read more of her work on,,,, Forbes, Entrepreneur and the Glassdoor and Peoplefluent blogs. Follow her on twitter @marenhogan — she’s funnier there.


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