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Best Places to Work: What List-Making Tech Companies Have In Common

Devs @ 7pace
Account for the devs at 7pace because we all write but don't want to deal with multiple accounts. Check out 7pace Timetracker for Azure DevOps (and soon GitHub)
・5 min read

It’s that time of year — when publications like Glassdoor, Fortune, and Forbes announce their annual lists of the best places in the world to work.

Every year, maybe unsurprisingly, tech companies fill the top spots. But why? What is it that makes tech companies (and the other companies that make the lists) places so many people want to work?

Well, we definitely know that companies need to be of a certain size and influence to make one of these big lists — there are certainly small companies out there that are wonderful places to work and will never land on a Best Of list simply because they fly under the radar. What matters is creating a work environment that’s so loved by your teams — and that fosters such quality work — that you don’t need to make a list to know you work at one of the best companies in the world.

So whatever the size of your company, let’s look at the kinds of things that “Best Places to Work” companies all have in common — and how any company can put them into practice to become a better place to work.

Best Places to Work: The Basics

First things first: There are some things a company just has to offer if it wants to be considered a great place to work.

Now for the good news: For the most part, any successful, profitable company should be able to offer these basics to its teams.

Competitive Compensation

While it’s true that there’s more to satisfaction at work than just pay, it’s also true that your team members won’t do their best work or be happy if they’re constantly struggling to pay their bills and meet their basic needs. So that’s step one: Ensure that pay for even your lowest-paid team members will cover a decent standard of living in your area.

Step two? Ensuring that your compensation is competitive with similarly sized companies where people do similar work. Any company that strives to be aa truly great place to work needs to start here: paying people what they’re worth.

Good Benefits (and Maybe Some Perks, Too)

In addition to salaries and pay, be sure to offer competitive benefits, as well. This will vary depending on what’s standard in your area, but at a minimum, consider things like health benefits, paid vacation time, paid leave for new parents, and retirement accounts with employer matching.

In addition to basic benefits, consider some perks that are designed to help keep your team members happy and engaged. Things like healthy catered lunches from time to time, local gym memberships, education or book credits, and flexible hours or telecommuting are good ideas, but these can be customized to what will be most appealing to your teams.

Opportunities to Grow and Advance

Another necessary part of being a great workplace is making sure there’s a clear ladder that team members can climb if they’re interested in advancing within the organization. If that isn’t possible, at the very least, companies can provide training and engagement that helps their team members grow their skills and learn new ones.

Transparent Leadership

An important part of keeping team morale high and making your company a place people want to work is having transparency throughout the entire organization — but particularly in leadership. According to Forbes, organizations where trust in leadership is high are 2.5 times more likely to be high functioning.

That means being transparent about the company’s goals and direction. It also means keeping open lines of communication across the organization. For a team to function at its best, it needs to be united and working toward a common goal, and transparency from leadership all the way down to the lowest levels of your teams will support that.

Challenging and Exciting Work that Has an Impact

And lastly, companies where people love to work don’t stick their team members doing rote or menial work. Sure, there may be some menial tasks involved in every job — you can’t always avoid that. But whenever possible, you should strive to place team members in positions where they have work that challenges and excites them.

One way to keep team members engaged and excited about their work is to always clearly demonstrate the impact that it has — how it’s helping the company move toward shared goals that will benefit everyone.

How the Best Places to Work Become Even Better

Like we said, those things in the first part of this list were just the basics. Those are the minimum that a company should be offering to be considered a great place to work.

Now it’s time to raise the bar.

There are even more things companies can do to create more inclusive, collaborative, and healthy work environments. These are the things those big tech companies that top the lists are known for.

They’re harder to implement, because in most cases, these are intangible values that are powered by a company’s overall culture. But by embracing these values and putting them into practice every day, for every member of your team, you can all but guarantee you’ll have a workplace that your teams love to be a part of.

An Environment Where Employees Feel Valued

In a company that’s among the best places to work, employees should always know how valued they are — and how critical they are to the organization’s success.

That’s why it’s so necessary to reward team members for work well done, and guide them toward success should they stumble. Transparency and open communication will help uphold these values, too.

A People First Culture

At the besst places to work, valuable members of the team should be considered more important than maximizing profits. Work-life balance and well-being should be encouraged for all members of the team, from the top to the bottom.

In addition, team members should always feel empowered to pursue their passions at work. They’re there to fulfill their job duties, yes, but if they have something to offer that can benefit the organization outside of the job they were hired for, that should be encouraged, too.

Mission-Driven Company Cultures

The best companies go beyond just having a mission statement.

Workers who value what their company stands for are 54 percent more likely to stay in their jobs for more than five years. And 30 percent more mission-driven workers grow into high performers, compared to those who only work for a paycheck.

In other words, your team members want their employer to have values they can stand behind.

A Diverse, Inclusive Workforce

Similarly, your team members want to work for a company that hires diverse candidates for jobs and fosters an environment that is inclusive to all. In 2021, does anything more need to be said about that?

Constant Innovation

The best places to work should also be constantly striving to become even better. To compete with the companies that make the lists, your organization should be constantly innovating in how it creates the best possible work environment. It should also be iterating and improving on the new things it tries — constantly.

Ownership and Autonomy for Teams

This is a big one that we often preach here at 7pace: Good teams do their best work when they’re given autonomy and ownership over their projects and goals.

If you provide the best possible place to work, you should easily attract employees who don’t need to be micromanaged at work. Giving them autonomy and ownership over their work will only spur them to do better, benefitting the organization while they’re at it.

As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. Let that be true of your organization, and your team is sure to feel like they have the best place to work.


7pace Timetracker is the only integrated, professional time management solution for teams using Azure DevOps and GitHub.

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