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Top eight lures to catch and keep the best

Shawna Simcik //August 29, 2012//

Top eight lures to catch and keep the best

Shawna Simcik //August 29, 2012//

Recently, I attended the Best Companies to Work for in Colorado event sponsored by Colorado Biz Magazine. This 2012 awards banquet celebrated the top 30 companies in Colorado ranked by their employees as the best in the state. (You can read more about these companies at This celebration of excellence left me thinking about the characteristics of a company that attract the very best talent and ensure they actually stay at the company.

For job seekers, the top eight qualities employers desired most from workers was recently reported by OI Partners. But what do employees want? Here are my top eight: 

1. Communication and Responsive Leadership – Return Path Inc. and Accurence credit communication as one of the key success factors in their organization. They offer weekly updates from the executive team, newsletters, bi-weekly management meetings and monthly all-employee gatherings with time for Q&A. Finally, a company that listens to decades of research! Employees want to feel “in on things.”  

2. Corporate Responsibility and Philanthropy – Every organization that was recognized acknowledged their corporate responsibility to the community in which they do business. ReadyTalk matches all employee donations to charitable organizations up to $500 a year. Insperity allows each employee 12 hours of paid time, per quarter, to volunteer in their local community. 

3. Continuing Education for Employees and Their Children – That’s right, not only do these top companies invest in their current talent by offering funds for coursework and career development, they also provide for the education of their future talent. For example, Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado provides up to $1,000 per year tuition reimbursement to their employees. Encompass Home Health offers a Young Scholars program which assists the dependents of their employees with undergraduate tuition.

4. Flexible Work Environment – A flexible work environment is defined in many ways.  Rally Software offers a work-from-home option. CoBank allows their employees to “work it out” with their supervisor on what time they will start their day – as early as 6:30 or as late as 8:30 to drop those kids off at daycare. All the best companies provide a “flexible” work environment.

5. Social Activities Featuring Wellness –  The time of picnics in the front lawn and BBQ’s is not over. R.A. Nelson and Associates offers spring barbeques and family picnics. Social activities break down organizational silos and create an environment of fun and shared passion. The difference in Colorado is that social activities go outside of hotdogs and hamburgers in Best Companies to Work for in Colorado. Teambuilding now includes off-site rafting trips, inter-company golf tournaments and many best companies, such as Anton Collins Mitchell LLP, offer time during work hours to visit the gym with co-workers while paying part of or all of the membership fees.

6. Food, Food and More Food – Food is a key ingredient in the best companies to work for in Colorado. Crestone Capital Advisors LLC has a kitchen fully stocked and Costco delivers to their office. Black Creek Group and Dividend Capital Group caters lunch once per week to thank employees for their hard work – Free Lunch Fridays are Fantastic!

7. Profit Sharing – Paid for Performance –. Talented, passionate, happy employees perform better, work harder and drive business success? Well, The Best Companies to Work for in Colorado have made this statement a reality.  The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies give all employees the opportunity to earn more than the market will bear by providing bonuses based on the company’s growth and profitability. DaVita’s profit-sharing program pays an average of $100 million each year to its teammates.

8. Leadership and Management Development – As a company who provides these services, this is a refreshing attribute to see in the Best Companies to Work for in Colorado. Quest Diagnostics provides a development plan for every employee. Anton Collins Mitchell LLP aims for every employee to be part of a coaching/mentoring program to assist in career development, guidance and support. A full four-day new management program and hi-potential leadership program for senior employees at PCL Construction makes them a Best Company to Work for in Colorado.

Employers looking to be the “employer of choice;” employers looking to attract new, talented, passionate, happy employees to their organization – who actually stay, enjoy work and drive organizational success and profitability – should take a few notes from these top eight qualities of the Best Companies to Work for in Colorado. Happy job hunting!