The characteristics of a great employer

A terrific feature in the Financial Times on what makes a company a consistently great employer uses US companies such as AG Edwards, Goldman Sachs, Nordstrom, SC Johnson, Whole Foods Market, Cisco Systems and Microsoft as their classic examples of such great employers.

And what makes a great employer? With frequent reference to Built to Last, the 1990s bestseller by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, and Collins’ 2001 follow-up, Good to Great, the FT examines the cultures and leadership behaviours of such companies and says great employers have all of these characteristics:

  • Trust their staff to make the right decisions
  • Take customer service seriously
  • Cut jobs only as a last resort
  • Share rewards with everyone, not just senior management
  • Tend to have longer-serving chief executives
  • Offer benefits well beyond what is required by law
  • Respond to emerging trends, such as demands for flexible working, or networks for minorities
  • Have been around long enough to establish a strong culture and sense of belonging

Financial Times | The measure of a great employer (paid sub)