What Organizations Can Learn From the Industries Most Loved by Their Employees
Over the past three years, Most Loved Workplace® has issued its Love of Workplace Index™ survey to over 156,000 employees across nearly 250 companies from industries around the world.
By analyzing the results of this survey, we can begin to understand the practices that contribute to employee engagement and satisfaction in the most loved businesses. From this, organizations gain invaluable insights on how to improve their company culture and become a Most Loved Workplace®.
Since the survey’s inception, the following three industries have consistently received the highest SPARK ratings from their employees:
While these industries perform well across every SPARK domain, each possesses particular strengths that differentiate them from competitors and define them as a business.
In this article, we will delve into our survey results to find out exactly what these elements are so that organizations have the valuable resources for creating an inclusive, thriving workplace that fosters employee loyalty and success.
Organizations from the Internet/E-Commerce industry are strongest in the following three SPARK areas:
Positive Future: Workplaces that cultivate a positive future focus on emotional connectedness and collaboration among employees, driving them toward common goals.
Respect: Workplaces that understand respect is a two-way social currency and make it a fundamental part of their culture and employee management. Dedication to respect positively impacts all areas of the organization and employees.
Killer Achievement: Workplaces that pursue meaningful outcomes to benefit both employees and the organization. They offer development programs, eliminate conflicting interests, and provide clear goals, allowing employees to focus on important objectives.
The organizations within these industries can teach us a lot about becoming a Most Loved Workplace®, here are the best examples from our research.
TapRM, a prominent beer and seltzer e-commerce platform, is a prime example of having a clear and compelling vision at the heart of the organization. It provides a guiding light for employees by empowering them to foster a workplace that thrives with passion and dedication.
Establishing a Positive Vision: TapRm understands the significance of aligning its employees’ aspirations with the company’s overarching mission.
From the moment a new team member is welcomed on board, TapRm instills in them a profound sense of purpose by clearly communicating the company’s vision for the future.
This open and transparent approach ensures that every employee feels emotionally connected to the journey and understands how their efforts contribute to the bigger picture.
Connecting Vision to Individual Impact: A vision alone is not enough to inspire employees; it needs to be complemented by a robust system that helps individuals see how their contributions directly influence the company’s success.
At TapRm, this connection between vision and individual impact is done correctly. By mapping team members’ key performance indicators (KPIs) and responsibilities onto the broader vision, TapRm creates a sense of ownership and accountability within its workforce.
Fostering a Culture of Empowerment: Empowerment is a core value at TapRm, and it spreads into every aspect of the organization. Leadership at TapRm actively encourages employees to voice their ideas and opinions.
Team members are not just seen as cogs in the machine, but instead as invaluable contributors to the company’s growth and success. Because of this, employees feel motivated and engaged to take the initiative and push innovative boundaries, knowing their voices are heard and their efforts recognized.
BARK, the visionary company behind the popular BarkBox subscription service for dogs, stands as an example of how embracing respect and diversity can transform company culture and enhance employee satisfaction.
Empowering Employee Resource Groups: One of BARK’s most notable initiatives is the establishment of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These groups are designed to provide employees with spaces to connect, share experiences, and advocate for diversity and inclusion within the company.
ERGs at BARK are crucial in nurturing a sense of belonging and community, ensuring employees feel valued for their unique perspectives and contributions.
The DIG (Diversity, Inclusion, and Global) Committee: BARK’s commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond ERGs. The company’s DIG committee drives diversity initiatives throughout the entire organization.
This committee promotes diversity within various company experiences, employee groups, and even hiring practices.
By prioritizing diversity, BARK ensures that its workforce represents a rich mixture of backgrounds, ideas, and cultures, further enhancing its ability to innovate and resonate with a diverse customer base.
Inclusive Hiring Practice: BARK uses inclusive hiring practices to build a diverse and talented team. They actively seek out candidates from various backgrounds and experiences, fostering a culture that values and celebrates differences.
By incorporating diversity as a core value in the hiring process, BARK ensures its team is well-equipped to address various challenges and create innovative solutions.
Promoting Education and Empathy: BARK actively engages in educational efforts to raise awareness about the importance of inclusivity and empathy.
Workshops and training programs on unconscious bias, cultural sensitivity, and allyship are held regularly, giving employees a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives and experiences.
Zapier, a workflow automation platform, has set itself apart by demonstrating an unwavering commitment to its employees’ growth and career development.
Fostering a Culture of Continuous Growth: Zapier’s commitment to employee growth is deeply ingrained in its company culture. From the day employees join the organization, they are welcomed into an environment that values and prioritizes continuous learning and development.
By fostering a culture that encourages curiosity and embraces new challenges, Zapier motivates its team members to strive for personal and professional growth.
Personalized Development Approach: The forward-thinking Next Play Program is at the heart of Zapier’s success, which has become a driving force behind employee empowerment. Unlike traditional career advancement models, the Next Play Program takes a personalized approach to employee development. It encourages individuals to explore their passions and future career paths.
Since Zapier recognizes that each employee’s journey is unique, it allows for clearer career pathways that let their skills and experiences shine and open further opportunities within the company.
Career Coaching: Within the Next Play Program, Zapier provides roadmaps, guiding employees toward their desired roles and highlighting the necessary steps to get there. Additionally, Zapier offers career coaching, which provides valuable guidance and support to those navigating their career development.
Companies within the Pharmaceuticals/Biotech industry particularly excel in Killer Achievement.
Schröginger is paving the way as a developer of chemical simulation software, with its main success lying in the unwavering commitment to employee empowerment.
With a strong company culture of growth and offering diverse development initiatives, Schröginger has created a workplace where employees are motivated to excel and inspired to continuously push the boundaries of scientific discovery.
Mentorship Program: A standout initiative at Schröginger is its mentorship program, which boasts an impressive 75% participation rate among employees.
The mentorship program pairs experienced mentors with employees seeking guidance in their professional journeys. This not only provides valuable insights and advice, but also fosters a sense of community, support, and open communication within the organization.
Management Training Programs: Recognizing the important role of effective leadership in employee development, Schröginger offers comprehensive management training programs.
These initiatives give managers the necessary skills to provide guidance, support, and mentorship to their teams. By investing in strong and empathetic leadership, Schröginger ensures that every employee receives the necessary support to thrive.
Encouraging a Sense of Belonging: Schröginger actively fosters a sense of belonging among its workforce. By encouraging open communication and feedback, the company ensures that every employee is listened to.
This makes employees feel valued within the company and thus creates a sense of belonging, an environment where they have a positive impact and shared goal.
Companies belonging to the Computer Software industry are especially proficient in the areas of Respect and Killer Achievement.
The generative AI platform, Moveworks, has risen in prominence for its technical advancement and dedication to cultivating a workplace that prioritizes psychological safety and feedback-driven culture.
Creating an environment where employees feel valued, heard, and safe is an influential model for other organizations to achieve a supportive, inclusive workplace.
Prioritizing Psychological Safety: Psychological safety in the workplace refers to employees’ belief that they won’t be punished for speaking up or making mistakes.
One of the biggest causes of Moveworks’ success is its understanding of making employees feel psychologically safe, as it makes them more inclined to share ideas and contribute to the organization’s mission without fear of judgment, humiliation, or punishment.
To promote psychological safety, Moveworks actively encourages open communication, where every team member’s input is respected and valued.
Frequent Employee Feedback: Moveworks regularly use anonymous feedback surveys, which provide a safe, secure method for employees to express their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions without revealing their identities.
Providing employees with this freedom to share their honest feedback without fear of repercussion, Moveworks demonstrates its commitment to fostering an inclusive and transparent feedback culture.
Proactive Problem Solving: Moveworks goes beyond simply collecting employee feedback; the company puts solutions to any issues or insights into action.
By addressing concerns and implementing improvements, Moveworks shows employees it’s worth speaking up as their voices are heard and valued. This approach further reinforces the value employees have to accomplish the company’s goals.
Strava, the fitness app, is a great example of how organizations can support and empower their employees to achieve greatness through various diverse initiatives.
Their commitment to creating a personal and professional growth culture has resulted in a work environment where employees feel inspired and confident enough to push their limits and excel without the risk of burnout.
Professional Coaching for Personal Growth: Personal development is an essential part of overall employee achievement, and to ensure this, Strava provides its employees with professional coaching.
Through coaching sessions, team members gain essential guidance to enhance their skills, overcome challenges, and reach their full potential as a member of Strava and as an individual.
Participation in Cross-Functional Teams: Strava values collaboration and the sharing of knowledge among its employees. To facilitate this, they encourage team members to participate in cross-functional teams.
Cross-functional teams are groups of employees from different company departments; they are given a common goal and must work together to achieve it. This combination of diverse expertise and perspectives enables employees to learn from one another and contribute to projects outside of their typical roles.
Employee Recognition and Celebration: Strava celebrates the achievements of its employees and ensures that dedication and hard work are appreciated. To achieve this, the company has a special recognition program that acknowledges outstanding contributions and milestones reached by team members.
By publicly celebrating employee achievements, a company culture of appreciation is reinforced, motivating employees to continue to go above and beyond.
Survey Findings: What Organizations Should Prioritize
From what we have covered regarding the three industries most loved by their employees (Internet/E-Commerce, Pharmaceuticals/Biotech, and Computer Software), we can pinpoint the most successful methods for creating a positive work culture and engaged employees.
From these findings, organizations from all industries can apply them, witness how it breeds success, and put you on the map as a Most Loved Workplace®.
Provide Professional and Personal Guidance
Companies that offer professional development programs and career coaching empower employees to grow as team members and individuals.
A personalized approach allows employees to explore their passions and future career paths, as demonstrated by Zapier’s Next Play Program, which builds confidence and encourages internal growth and innovation to accommodate budding new talent.
Prioritize Employee Well-Being
Employee well-being is a central theme in the most loved industries. Organizations that prioritize employee psychological safety, work-life balance, and putting into action employee feedback foster a sense of care and compassion.
Employee well-being initiatives increase job satisfaction, reduce burnout, and increase productivity.
Encourage Recognition and Appreciation
Recognizing and appreciating employee contributions are vital aspects of a loving workplace. Industries that actively celebrate their employees’ achievements and milestones create a culture that makes employees feel valued and respected, motivating them to continue producing outstanding work.
Create Opportunities for Collaboration and Innovation
Collaboration and innovation are nurtured in the most loved industries through initiatives like cross-functional teams and idea-sharing forums that bridge the gap between departments and allow employees to learn from one another.
This fosters a collaborative company culture that works cohesively to achieve shared goals. Creating this sense of teamwork and belonging also makes employees feel confident that they can push the boundaries of their operations and make innovative strides.
The practices used by industries most loved by their employees allow them to maintain high employee engagement and productivity, even during adversity.
To foster more loving work environments, employers from all industries can take inspiration from these best practices and use SPARK to create a Most Loved Workplace® that empowers employees and motivates them to go above and beyond to achieve common goals continuously.
Louis Carter is the founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute, Most Loved Workplace, and Results-Based Culture. Author of In Great Company, Change Champions Field Guide, and Best Practices in Talent Management, as well as a series of Leadership Development books. He is a trusted strategic advisor and coach to CEOs, CHROs, and leaders of mid-sized to F500 companies – enabling change and steering employer brand development together with highly effective teams, leaders, and organizations as a whole.