From Marriott to Ernst & Young to General Mills, why some companies excel
From personalized development plans to comprehensive wellness programs, some of America's top companies excel through treating their employees excellently.
There are good reasons that some companies are consistently rated among the best employers to work for. Consider:Skip to next paragraph
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•Marriott International in partnership with Rosetta Stone pays for any staffer to learn a foreign language. Since the hotel chain announced a new phase of globalization earlier this year, the program has grown 40 to 50 percent.
•Accenture employees can put money away to fund a sabbatical of up to three months.
•Ernst & Young is so eager to help its employees progress that each one – and there are 144,000 worldwide – gets a customized “learning map” that shows what skills and training they need to move up in the ranks.
Although these employers represent different industries, their corporate cultures share key traits. To see if your company measures up, ask yourself: Does it go out of its way to care for your needs, develop your skills, and foster a sense that your work – and everyone’s job – matters? If it does, there’s a corporate payoff: Happy workers tend to be productive employees. The payoff may be doubly important today.
As the economy flickers back to life, many workers are itching for change. Some 45 percent said they planned to seek a new employer, career, or industry when the economy revives, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder and Robert Half International. Such wholesale flight could trigger alarm bells in much of corporate America. That’s because finding and training a replacement manager or professional employee can cost at least as much as a new hire’s annual salary, says James Dulebohn, a management professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing.
But employers that excel in motivating employees don’t appear too worried. “We have very low employee turnover – always less than half of conventional turnover,” says Mike Davis, senior vice president of global human resources for General Mills.
By offering a slew of programs for employees, from comprehensive healthcare and wellness programs, to career development, child care, and other offerings, the Minneapolis-based food giant ranks quite high in employee satisfaction. Just ask Diane Hughes and Laurie Brown, mothers who in 2005 were senior finance managers at General Mills.