The 7 secrets to becoming a good employer

Marlies Pellikaan

Organizations that listen to the feedback and ideas of their employees are often more innovative, user-friendly and customer focused. There are always organizations that excel at listening to their employees. What sets these companies apart? Every year we perform an annual survey across over 800 organizations.

The 7 secrets of the best employers

Our findings show seven commonalities of organizations that are considered the best employers:

  1. An inspiring board
  2. An appealing direction
  3. Less rules & bureaucracy
  4. Less management
  5. Appreciation of specialists
  6. Social innovation
  7. Sharing information

Secret 1: An Inspiring Board

Many executives depart from their ivory tower only once every three months. They’ll venture down to the cafeteria – review the core values, results and quarterly balances of the organization to a sea of employees. That’s not the way to inspire your employees. An inspiring management team can level with their people. They talk with them and constantly deliver what the organization wants and employees need – giving employees the freedom to make decisions within set frameworks.

Secret 2: An Appealing Direction

Many employees want something for society. They seek meaningfulness in their work and wonder if they are relevant. According to Guido Heezen (founder of Effectory), it’s important that organizations formulate their social mission. “It’s so incredibly important to tell employees why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Global Employee Engagement Index™

A comprehensive overview of employee engagement with benchmarks from 57 countries with essential lessons for your HR strategy .


Secret 3: Less rules & bureaucracy

According to Heezen, the best employers perform on trust instead of control. Employees can perform optimally if there are as few rules and protocols as possible.

Secret 4: Less management

Little management is a commonality of the best employers. “The best employers have as few management layers as possible,” says Heezen. “Due to the economic crisis, many management teams have disappeared from organizations. Our studies show that organizations are almost always functioning better than before, both financially and in terms of involvement and employee engagement. The manager’s role has also changed: from hierarchical overlord to a serving leader who gives people experience and shares information.”

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The step-by-step guide to creating your employee engagement survey.


Secret 5: Appreciate specialists

The fifth secret of the best employers is that they highly appreciate their specialists. “We see with these companies that all employees are valued. In addition, they are very aware that their employees are the backbone of the organization,” said Guido.

Secret 6: Social innovation

Your own employees know how to be more innovative and customer focused. By involving them more in organizational strategy, they’ll experience more value which impacts their engagement and commitment. The best employers make the most of the innovations and ideas of their employees.

Secret 7: Sharing information

The best employers share information. They benefit from having transparency in their policies and decision making, which ensures that employees have information they need to develop and grow – themselves and the organization. When employees can see that their work directly impacts the performance of their organization, they feel a sense of pride which impacts their work engagement.