- Offer flexible schedules's. My hometown favorite, Wegmans, is a bastion of opportunity for students, mom's, and people seeking second jobs - in addition to providing high-longevity career paths for employees looking for career options.
- Offer health and welfare benefits. I know, benefits are expensive. But, companies that get the COST of absenteeism, and poor employee health understand the return on this investment. And, Maslov's theory requires our basic needs to be fulfilled before allowing us to reach higher levels of 'actualization' - if you don't have good employee health, you won't have good employee performance. Some industry leaders (like the List's 12th place mention, Nugget, another supermarket) offer 100% paid benefits.
- Respect, respect, respect, respect. Rember the addage, people quit managers not companies? Look at the home builder David Weekly (#17). They don't offer many perks of employment compared to most on the list. But, according to the writers at Forbes "when the homebuilding industry slowed, the privately held firm canceled its annual reward trip and tripled severance pay for laid-off employees." Huh.
- Career Pathing. How do you start out as a high-school student bagging groceries, and end up managing a department or a retail store? Wegmans has this figured out; with great success.
- Support Continued Education and Personal Growth. Let's talk Paid Sabbaticals (#31 Alston & Bird). Or, how about robust tuition reimbursement programs (#42 Mitre)?
So, does any of this sound unreasonable? Many organizations balk at flexible scheduling, citing fears that scheduling needs won't be met, mass chaos will ensue, and that western civilization will fall. Ok, it is more work to schedule a dynamic staffing plan (and there is very little more challenging than staffing a 24/7 retail operation). But how productive is a staff that is distracted by being at work when outside obligations are calling them? Not very.
The take away from all of this is simple, each of these companies has found a message that was important to their business (retailers looking to reduce churn, consultancy looking to retain thought leaders) and created programs (great medical benefits, incredible work-life balance options) to stand shore up business need AND human need.
These companies identified issues that mattered to the bottom-line, connected it the issues of their employees all to find a win-win solution. Look into your own organization, find one employee issue and I'll bet you can find a solution that yields bottom-line success.