Several key ingredients make a workplace great
The very best bring it all together
Free waffles, paid sabbaticals, make it easy to go to work
L.M. SIXEL, Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
Published 05:30 a.m., Friday, October 29, 2010
It all started when one of the engineers brought a griddle to work and made pancakes for everyone. When a co-worker showed up a short time later with a waffle iron, a competition was born.
On Thursday mornings, employees at Oil & Gas Solutions arrive to breakfast, as their co-workers take turns churning out such specialties as omelets, breakfast tacos and empanadas. The engineering company reimburses employees for the ingredients, and meetings are planned around the feasts.
"We want to build a culture here where people enjoy coming to work," human resources manager Cassie Brady said of the 3-year-old company.
That effort looks to have been successful, as employees had enough good things to say to earn their company a spot on the inaugural list of Houston's Top Workplaces.
Ranked No. 31 among small companies, Oil & Gas Solutions is one of 100 businesses found to be among the area's top places to work by the firm WorkplaceDynamics. The rankings were based on anonymous employee surveys.
Perks are great, and many of the top workplaces offered an array of fabulous, and sometimes unusual, benefits. But the top companies didn't stop at fancy food or paid sabbaticals.
Over and over, employees said in the surveys that they love their jobs because their bosses listen to them, they feel respected for their opinions instead of micromanaged, and they're encouraged to take risks.
Great workplaces offer challenges, career opportunities and a sense of fairness, according to the comments. For many employees, a great work-life balance is key; they want their companies to respect the fact that they have lives away from the office.