The phrase good employer evokes images of generous, nice companies.  While such attributes are part of the equation, being a good employer is more complex – and more difficult to achieve.  There are many moving parts, tradeoffs, and judgments that companies must make with regard to their employees.

There are three main elements to being a good employer:

  • A value-creating organization committed to its employees, through active management of the organization’s leadership, work, and learning environments
  • Creating business intelligence for being a worthy employer; this makes it possible for a company to masterfully manage the tension between employees as costs and employees as assets
  • Providing an inspiring purpose with compelling answers to the questions “Whom is the company designed to benefit?” and “What is the company trying to achieve?”

Why would a company seek to be a good employer?  This is basic to being a good company for at least three reasons:

  • Employees are fundamental stakeholders in a company and deserve to be treated and managed well
  • Over the long run, it’s hard for companies to deliver great value to their customers if their employees are surly, disenfranchised, and/or in short supply
  • If companies mistreat or mismanage their workers and fail their customers, the company’s capacity to deliver value to its investors and other stakeholders will suffer correspondingly