Direct selling companies work hard at helping distributors grow personally and economically. It’s no surprise those same companies are good to their employees. What does it take to be a best workplace? Plenty of voices are answering this question. In June 2018, Inc Magazine published their list of best workplaces. Xyngular made the list. Xyngular stated that they “enjoy helping employees to become the best version of themselves.” For the past three years, Direct Selling News has published Great Places to Work.
Next week we’ll release a podcast interview with Todd Eliason—DSN Editor-In-Chief—in which we ask him about DSN’s selection process. Keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, I want to talk about strategies known to create a great work environment and why those strategies work.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: great employers pay a good salary with benefits and create a safe work environment. Few of us will nominate our company for workplace of the year if we don’t bring home enough money to pay the bills or if our health is at risk on the job. However, we know that salary and safety are not enough to be considered a great place to work.
What else can employers do to create loyal workers? The answers vary from massages to food to ping pong tables to unlimited vacation days. Aside from offering perks, great workplaces tend to establish positive company values, support employees in their work and their lives, and provide for positive work relationships. Let’s look at each of these characteristics more closely.
We like to feel like or work is meaningful. One way that employers can boost their employees’ sense of meaning is through the company’s values. We like to work at a place with values that are like our own values.
Companies can demonstrate their values through the quality of their product and its impact on the consumer and the world. Another important demonstration of a company’s values are the ethics demonstrated by its business practices. Giving back to the community also shows the company values.
Direct selling companies shine in giving back to the community. At MLM.com, we have written and said quite a bit about direct sales companies with a cause. We’ve written about how, why, and how much direct sales companies give back. And on our podcast, we’ve spoken with Trades of Hope and Xyngular about the good works they’re involved with.
Companies can support their employees in more than one way. Most typically we think of this in terms of the way the company supports the employee in their work life. This type of support may come from training that empowers workers to improve their skills or to acquire entirely new skill sets. Contemporary workers advance their careers either by moving within the company or by changing employers. The modern workplace that offers internal advancement opportunities is better able to keep its employees.
Timely and specific feedback is another form of employee support. We all need to know how our work helps the company and how well we are doing in that work. Effective feedback from peers and from management creates an opportunity to feel appreciated and to improve.
Employers can also support an employee’s out-of-work life. Flexible work times let you work when you are at your best. This can also help support your family by allowing you to get your kids off to school before you go to work. Being able to work from home can also provide more time in the day for family because you can take travel to work time out of the equation.
Happiness on the job
What about all those perks like free food and ping pong tables? How does encouraging rest, snacking, and play at the office benefit the company’s bottom line? Happy employees are more productive than unhappy employees—up to 20% more productive. We are happier when we’re well fed, well rested, and among friends.
In a 24-hour period, we spend eight to twelve hours at work and getting to work. We spend six to eight hours sleeping. That leaves us with four to six hours to spend with family and friends. We may only spend 15 minutes talking to our teenager. That means we spend more hours a day (or at least the same number of hours a day) with workmates. This category of fun perks provides opportunities to bond with those workmates, creating work friendships. If we have satisfying relationships at work they can keep us going even when the work is stressful.