What it Takes to be a Top Workplace in 2017

While charismatic leadership may make the news, when it comes to determining whether or not a company is a great place to work, the opinion that matters is that of the regular employee.

This is why The Denver Post focuses on reaching and receiving input directly from employees when they compile their yearly list of Top Workplace honorees.

This year, SurveyGizmo was named one of the 2017 Workplace Achievers, an honor based entirely on employee feedback. This recognition highlights what SurveyGizmo employees already know: SurveyGizmo is one of the best places to work in Colorado.

Take a peek into what makes a company more than just a place to work.

Why Perks Alone Won’t Make Your Company a Top Workplace

“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits,” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics, the organization that administered the employee surveys.

While very few employees will say no to fancy perks (SurveyGizmo boasts a fully stocked kitchen, competitive 401k, gym reimbursement, and an ongoing ping-pong tournament), these things don’t get to the root of employee happiness.

Instead, employees are happiest and most engaged when they are Aligned with the goals and values of the organization, are confident in their ability be Effective when acting on different viewpoints and new ideas, and feel Connected to and appreciated for both the results of their work and the work of the company as a whole.

That said, benefits, pay, and workplace flexibility to contribute to a happy, healthy, financially secure workforce. When leadership cares about every employee at every level, employees feel happier and more secure. Even if you don’t have a fully stocked beer fridge on site.

Finding Business Success With a People-First Company Culture

As a bootstrapped company, CEO Christian Vanek built SurveyGizmo carefully, with an eye on what is best for customers and employees alike. Sustainable growth was his intention from day one, and it shows.

Now, after a decade of business, SurveyGizmo has over 90 employees, some of whom have been with the company since seemingly the very beginning.

“I’ve watched the company grow from 14 to 95 employees,” says Garrett Glissmann, Software Developer. “They continue to recruit some of the kindest and most supportive people out there. I have always been encouraged to contribute my ideas, and I consistently feel that my voice is heard and appreciated.”

Growing internal talent is also a priority at SurveyGizmo. Our friendly human resources department is empowered to help employees cultivate their skills and explore new opportunities.

Taylor Morgan, for example, was hired six years ago as a customer support agent. She moved up the ranks and now directs the entire team of customer services professionals with 24/7 support.

“We have a clear vision,” Taylor says about the future of SurveyGizmo, “and I am excited to tackle the challenges ahead with this truly amazing group of people.”

Four Ingredients for a Top Workplace According to the Denver Post

Alignment

Are employees on board with and feel invested in the company’s direction, values, and internal cooperation?

Effectiveness

Is the company operating well? Are employees able to freely share different viewpoints and does the organization openly encourage new ideas?

Connection

Do employees feel appreciated in their day-to-day work and that their work is meaningful?

Management

Do team managers care about the concerns of the employees they supervise? Do they actively help each person learn and grow?

Employee Engagement

Are employees loyal to the company and motivated to go to work? Are employees actively referring other people to work for the company from their networks?


Leaderships

Do employees have confidence in leadership to steer the company in the right direction for growth, product/service quality, and work environment?


The Basics

And of course, do employees feel adequately compensated and supported through pay, benefits, and work/life balance.

Again, it turns out that alignment and connection are among the most highly rated statements when it comes to what’s most important to employees. This is contrasted with pay and benefits. While businesses must pay people well and treat employees fairly, they are poor indicators of overall employee engagement.

Workplace Excellence Starts With Leadership, But it Grows With Employees

In many ways, creating a positive workplace that candidates are clamoring to join starts at the very top. It’s up to the leadership team to establish the foundations of what will be a great place to work.

Once the leadership team has bought into the importance of workplace culture, the employees can then step forward and become part of the process.

“Our culture is very important to us,” says Christian Vanek, CEO & Co-Founder of SurveyGizmo. “Building a collaborative, fun, and supportive environment is vital to employee happiness. As we grow, company culture continues to be a critical part of our success. We’re grateful to be named a Workplace Achiever–because it came from our employees themselves.”

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

SurveyGizmo really is a great place to work, and we’re growing fast! No matter when you’re reading this, there’s a good chance we’re hiring.

Visit our Careers Page for more information and to find the open position that’s right for you.

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