As the job market improves, it will become increasingly important to focus on retaining your strong employee base, as well as attracting new talent. Employers are finding that if they don't offer compelling incentives above and beyond salary and health benefits to their employees, they may lose some of their best assets. 

5 tips to consider when seeking employer of choice recognition

As the job market improves, it will become increasingly important to focus on retaining your strong employee base, as well as attracting new talent. Employers are finding that if they don't offer compelling incentives above and beyond salary and health benefits to their employees, they may lose some of their best assets.

One path many employers are taking to remain competitive in the marketplace is applying for "best company" lists. Christine Adoni, regional vice president, account management at Ceridian, says, "When companies are nationally recognized as a leader in diversity, or a best place to work, it increases the talent pool from which they have to pull."

"Moreover," adds Adoni, "the programs many of these top companies offer, such as work-life programs or other wellness incentives, can help change the culture of an organization and impact retention. For many employees, these programs are a primary reason they stay at their companies."

By considering the advantages of earning recognition as an employer of choice, understanding the application process and offering impactful employee assistance and work-life programs, your company may also become one of "the best."

Five considerations when applying to become "the best"

According to Linda Roundtree, founder and president of Roundtree Consulting, "Organizations on 'best company' lists can receive a significant return on their investment. Not only does winning these awards help a company's reputation, recruitment and retention efforts, but it also boosts employee engagement and pride in working for their organization."

Roundtree offers five suggestions for companies interested in applying for a coveted spot on one of these lists.

1. Determine the award that best fits your company's goals

  • Research local, regional, national and global award lists in various categories such as work-life excellence, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, etc.
  • Understand how your application is evaluated - what do you need to know about the evaluation teams? What do the evaluators want to see most in applications?


2. Perform a thorough company audit to determine which policies, programs and practices you already have in place and where gaps exist

3. For every gap, consider what it would take to fill it

  • Ensure appropriate tracking metrics are in place to enable you to respond to application questions about utilization of various programs


4. Evaluate the competition

  • Review articles featuring best practice stories about the winners


5. Prepare to showcase your "employer of choice" culture through storytelling

  • Gather human interest stories from employees that demonstrate the personal impact of company benefits
  • Highlight new policies, programs and practices and the role employees have played in their development

Work-life program trends among "the best"

As the employment landscape continues to evolve, so, too, will the programs and offerings many of the best companies offer. Jennifer Piliero, senior product manager, Ceridian LifeWorks, notes four trends taking place in the employee assistance program (EAP) and work-life product landscape. They include a growing demand for programs addressing the following needs:

  • Caring for adults or elders
  • Wellness coaching - including the availability of mobile and web based applications
  • Supporting employees and family members raising children with special health care needs
  • Engaging the growing number of younger workers seeking flexibility and telecommuting options


Piliero says, "As the needs of employees and family members evolve, employers need to keep pace and offer services to support, retain and engage their workforce. For example, with a larger aging population, there's been an increase in the need for elder and adult care resources and services. Likewise, as health care costs continue to rise, wellness coaching offers a measurable way to save money on health expenses."

For organizations applying to various "best company" lists, it is important to leverage the employee assistance and work-life programs they have in place. These programs are not only strong differentiators when it comes to the awards processes, but they are also critical to retaining top employees in general.

As you look to boost recruitment, retention and employee wellness and engagement efforts, consider the benefits your company might gain by leveraging your programs to apply for a spot on a "best company" list.

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