Business team working together24/7 Wall Street just released their 2015 “America’s Best Companies to Work For” list.

They studied current and former employees’ company ratings and testimonials on Glassdoor.com to establish the top 54 best places to work.

Glassdoor’s ratings are very relevant. Employees rank a variety of factors beyond their personal satisfaction with the company, including pay, benefits, work-life balance, culture, leadership (including rating the CEO), and more.

On Glassdoor’s five-point scale, only nine of the 54 best places to work scored a 4.0 or better. Five of those are in technology, including Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Adobe, and Apple. Rounding out the top ten are Insight Global, McKinsey & Company, Expedia, Nike, and Chick-Fil-A.

An interesting note: being a great place to work doesn’t guarantee financial success or consistent results! A number of the 54 companies on this list reported revenue losses, including T-Mobile.

I am much more impressed by companies that WOW their employees, WOW their customers, AND meet or exceed performance expectations. Those are my big three – engagement, customer service, and results. Hitting all three of those targets is much less common today.

I compared the top ten list of 24/7 Wall Street’s best places to work with their 2015 list of Customer Service Hall of Fame members.

Only two companies made both top 10 lists: Apple and Chick-Fil-A. Along with their top engagement scores and customer service ratings, both these companies have outstanding fiscal performance. Apple is expected to announce last quarter gross revenues of $49 billion, a 30 percent increase over the same quarter’s sales last year. Chick-Fil-A has enjoyed 47 consecutive years of sales growth – including nearly $6 billion in sales in 2014.

That sweet spot – delivering consistently on my big three – is a unique, exciting, rewarding experience for companies, their leaders, their customers, and employees.

How do you know how your team or department or company is doing on those big three? You need to do regular, honest assessment of employee engagement, customer service, and results. Most companies monitor results, profits, etc. hourly or daily, with major milestones assessed monthly.

Some companies gather regular customer service data. Too few gather employee engagement data, as well. Only when you have reliable data on each of these three elements can you assess your organization’s impact.

How can you make your team or department or company a great place to work? My research proves you can boost engagement, service, and results by doing these three things:

First, define minimum citizenship expectations. Effective leaders formalize how they expect everyone in the organization to treat each other and customers. By defining values in observable, tangible, measurable terms, a leader creates the opportunity for workplace interactions that demonstrate trust, respect, and dignity.

Second, define minimum contribution expectations. Effective leaders formalize performance standards. They ensure projects, goals, and tasks are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and trackable. By defining SMART performance standards, a leader creates a clear path to consistent contribution.

Third, hold everyone – including all leaders – accountable for both contributions and citizenship. Effective leaders model the team’s valued behaviors in every interaction – and demand that all players do the same. They measure, monitor, and reward performance traction and values alignment regularly. They don’t tolerate mis-treatment of others at any time.

If you don’t aim for the big three and hold others accountable for the big three, you won’t enjoy a high performing, values-aligned organization.

What is your experience? To what extent does your company measure engagement, service, and results? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Rido – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

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S. Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of The Culture Engine and six other books.
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