A Simple Formula For Becoming An Enviable Place To Work

Eventually, all leadership teams come to a realization that if they “win” in attracting higher caliber people than their competitors to their company then they will also “win” in their marketplace. Having a better team of people in place than your competitors is a sure-fire way to create a sustainable competitive advantage. But doing so is tricky.


Look no further than Google as a means of proving my point. Google “enviable work place” or, better yet, “best place to work,” and you’ll be bombarded with endless frameworks, strategies, processes and “how-to” tips for building a better workplace for your current and future employees. So who do executive teams typically turn to for guidance and counsel? Who do they ask to lead them to the Promised Land? Yep, enter the CHRO and their HR team. Most HR teams today are charged to lead a strategy that transforms their run-of-the-mill workplace into one that will attract and retain a better and more capable talent mix. Such a charge typically comes in the form of improving employment brand, increasing employee engagement, and improving staff attrition rates—or all of the above.

But the formulas for achieving this are mind-numbing. So, I’m here to offer a more basic way to think about this challenge, and frame your solutions:

1. First, make sure you offer competitive total rewards for the contributions your employees make. By competitive I don’t mean top quartile, or even 50th percentile. It simply means you’ve got to be in the ballpark. Pay competitively enough that compensation comes off the table as a reason people won’t come to work for you. If you don’t offer competitive pay and benefits, then being unique and different won’t matter. Other strategies won’t matter either. Pay strategies (mix of base/variable, and benefits offerings) vary dramatically based on position, level and role. But do your homework on what your competitors are paying for similar roles, and make sure you are in the same zip code.

2. Second, create opportunities for growth and professional development. Again, not just promotion or paying for someone’s MBA. I’m talking about professional development in-role, access to working in new areas or functions, job shadowing or stretch assignments. Sure, tuition reimbursement policies, promotions, and rotation programs are great ways to show you’re committed to each employee’s professional development. But what if I don’t want to climb the career ladder? What if I’m unwilling to trade the additional time for the incremental pay associated with the next rung on the ladder? Making sure each employee in your company has the opportunity to grow and develop professionally is critical to becoming an enviable place to work.

3. Third, make certain your work environment is appealing and attractive. It doesn’t have to look like Apple, Google or Facebook. You don’t have to offer five star meals, have ping-pong and pool tables in the commons, or offer on-site child care (although any of these would certainly help). You just have to be certain that employees have the tools to do their jobs at high levels, and that they are comfortable, feel supported, and enjoy those they work with. The latter two (feeling supported and enjoying those they work with) are often the most challenging part of this formula. But great people attract more great people. Diversity attracts diversity. Innovation attracts innovation. Brilliance attracts brilliance. And yes, arrogance breeds more arrogance so be careful who you hire and be absolutely certain they will attract more of those you want to be part of the team, not attract more who will detract from the work environment you are trying to create.

4. And finally, be unique and different, and don’t attempt copy anyone else’s formula. Great employers crafted their own unique cultures. Apple didn’t copy IBM, Google didn’t copy Facebook, and Zappos didn’t copy Amazon. Figure out what makes your company different, why someone would want to work there, and promote those enviable traits. If you can offer more advancement opportunity than your competitors, great. Maybe you offer greater professional development, or your employees get to work on cooler more “resume building” projects. Maybe work-from-home or schedule flexibility is your shtick. Don’t just think about the tangible elements of employment (pay and benefits) that can be your differentiators, but rather anything that your company can offer that others can’t—or at least not in the same supply.

If you offer something unique and different, pay and reward competitively, invest in employee development and offer a solid work environment then you are on your way to being an enviable place to work. Not for all, but for those you want to attract most. Remember, you need all of the above. If you have a great work environment but don’t offer professional development then people will leave for better opportunity. If you offer professional development opportunities and a great work environment but don’t pay competitively then people will go where the financial rewards pay them what they’re worth.
Follow this simple formula and you can avoid the pitfalls of complicated strategies and frameworks for what might be the greatest challenge facing HR teams today. Yes, it’s that simple.

Your executive team is happy, your employees are even happier, and you’ll sleep well at night knowing you’ve created an environment where employees can thrive and prospective employees want to be. Job well done.

FOT Background Check

Guest: Ed Baldwin
Ed Baldwin is a career HR front man who’s advised and consulted with business owners and the C-suite on developing great cultures and inspiring work environments since the profession was called "personnel." Yeah, that makes him seasoned but also pretty quick to call out the fluffy HR theoretical crap from HR strategies that actually work – so don’t even bring that here. His versatility has taken him all over the world continually acquiring knowledge of how to build a great company through great HR practice, learning mostly from real world experience and his own mistakes. Reach out to him at ebaldwinkc@gmail.com.


  1. As a result, does not assure the accuracy, high
    quality, or completeness of any translated content material, and we strongly suggest just
    before basing any healthcare-connected choices on it, that you
    execute extra due diligence to confirm it.

  2. Liu Jo says:

    Hi, I do belikeve this is an excellent web site.
    I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return once again sinbce I bookmarked it.
    Money and freedom iss the best way to change,
    may you be rich and continue to help other people.

  3. The set-up of spam filters varies by email service, but ‘Hara recommends identifying certain indicators (such as a component of the topic line), and generating a rule that will automatically move messages
    containing these indicators to the trash.

  4. Hey there I am so happpy I found your blog page, I really found yyou by accident, while I was browsing
    on Yahoo for something else, Nonetheless I am here now annd would just like to say
    thanks foor a remarkable post and a all rround interesting
    blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also included
    your RSS feeds, so when I hhave time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome jo.

  5. There was logical progression into every single subject.

  6. Antonetta says:

    Efforts have been made to improve info-sharing amongst
    government and private insurers, which includes the creation of a public-private forum, the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA).

  7. This piece of writing will help the internet users
    for building up new webpage or even a blog from start to

  8. Lakeisha says:

    Yes! Finally someone writes aboiut supplement companies.

  9. agario hack says:

    Host Stores: US, Greqt Britain, France, New Zealand,
    Australia, Canada, Denmark and Chicken.

  10. mydomain.com says:

    Good answers in return of this query with real arguments and
    telling the whole thing concerning that.

  11. Useful info. Lucky me I disovered your weeb site unintentionally, and I’m surprised why
    this accident didn’t hapopened in advance! I bookmarked it.

  12. help wanted says:

    These are actually great ideas in regareing blogging.

    You have touched some nice factors here. Any wway keeep up wrinting.

  13. Excellent blog you have here but I was wanting to
    know if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed in this article?
    I’d really like to be a part of group where
    I can get responses from other knowledgeable individuals that
    share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let
    me know. Kudos!

  14. Katherine says:

    The first consideration is naturally the credit score they have.
    However, if a borrower has a higher monthly income, that range can go higher.
    It is because having your own car is most likely more beneficial to you in so many
    ways than not having one.

  15. For those website homeowners seeking a fast search engine marketing fix, a dilemma is created by the fact that buying back-links can and does work, if
    solely quickly.

  16. vs3.us says:

    Stacking (combining two or more supplements) is widespread amongst bodybuilders,
    sports enthusiasts and dieters.

  17. If you are going for brst contents like myself, only visit this
    sit everyday as it provides quality contents, thanks

  18. Anonymous says:

    A viewer гecently aѕked thhe Savings Mother һow to bbe аlways a mystery buyer, аѕ well
    aѕ in tɦis montһ’ѕ column, ѕһе tᥱlls hoԝ tⲟ

  19. I would like to take the ability of thanking you for
    the professional assistance I have constantly enjoyed checking
    out your site. I am looking forward to the particular commencement of
    my college research and the complete groundwork would never
    have been complete without coming over to your site.
    If I may be of any assistance to others, I would be thankful to help as a result of what
    I have learned from here.

Comments are now closed for this article.

Contact Us | Hire FOT to Speak | About FOT