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The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters

The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters

ISBN: 9780470596265
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Edition: 1
Publication Date: 2011-01-04
Number of pages: 272
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Trust, Pride and Camaraderie-transform your company into a "Great place to Work"

The Great Place to Work Institute develops the annual ranking of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. In this book, the authors explore the model of a Great Place to Work For-one which fosters employee trust, pride in what they do, and enjoyment in the people they work with. They answer the fundamental question, "What is the business value of creating a great workplace?" and brings the definition of a Great Place to work alive with anecdotes, best practices, and quotes from employees working at the best workplaces in the U.S.

Reveals the essential ingredients in and the trends of the best places to work Explores Great Place to Work model developed in 1984 and validated through its enduring resonance in both the United States and in over 40 countries around the world Written by Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin two Great Place to Work Institute Insiders

If you organization is struggling with the challenges of leveraging human capital, discover why some companies have what it takes to be great.

Q&A with Authors Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin

What prompted you to write this book?

Author Michael Burchell Both of us have served in various capacities at Great Place to Work® Institute, the research and consulting firm that produces the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® Annual List. After our speaking engagements, people would tell us that they wanted to bottle up the knowledge of the Institute and our advice so they could better take action back home. The message in The Great Workplace encapsulates what we teach in our workshops: great workplaces are ones in which people trust those they work for, have pride in what they do, and enjoy the people they work with. And, we know that any workplace can be or become a great one. We wrote this book to share that message with more people and to serve as a reference tool long after our workshops were over. It inspires us to know more leaders will be empowered to create more workplaces built upon trust, pride, and camaraderie.

What is one thing that people are often surprised about when they hear about great workplaces?
People are often excited to hear about the best practices at and the perks offered by companies that make the list, many of which are profiled in the book. But, they are surprised to learn that behind every company’s great workplace is not a magical set of programs or practices, or an unlimited budget for perks. What we find behind the curtain are leaders who build strong relationships with employees. We often say that “it’s not what you do; it’s how you do it.” The policies and programs and the perks and celebrations are all examples of “what” is done. But it’s not about those things at all. It’s about the relationships that these leaders foster, and that depends upon the “how.”

If a great workplace isn’t about policies, money, or time, but about creating strong relationships, why do you think managers have such a difficult time doing it?
We have never met a manager who didn’t intend to create trust, pride, and camaraderie in the workplace. But, in most cases, those intentions aren’t supported in today’s competitive workplace environment. Managers are often working managers who produce alongside employees--in addition to being held accountable for financial and production goals, upstream and downstream communications, performance management, and countless other administrative responsibilities. Relationships form whether a manager is paying attention or not. Strong relationships, however, take more conscious effort--at least up front.

Author Jennifer Robin What are the three key relationships that are found in a great workplace?
Great Place to Work® Institute has been researching great workplaces for 30 years, and in the millions of employee interviews and survey comments, it is clear that trust, pride, and camaraderie are the relationships that matter.

Trust: It is the first of the relationships, and the one that employees spoke of the most often as they described their workplaces. In fact, their comments about this relationship were so numerous and nuanced that they form three dimensions in the Great Place to Work® Model©. They are:
Credibility: The degree to which leaders communicate openly and honestly, are perceived as competent in their decisions and in the direction of the organization, and match their words with actions.
Respect: The degree to which employees feel supported and cared for and sense that their ideas matter. Employees in great workplaces feel that they have appropriate resources and training, and that they can make suggestions and recommendations. They also feel appreciated, and that their work life-balance, physical work environment, and benefits are all contributors to their great workplace experience.

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