Shirley's Articles / Personal Effectiveness

Six Characteristics Every Workplace Should Have

Figuring out what sort of work you’re best suited to is really only half the battle when it comes to cultivating a rich and successful professional life. The other half lies in finding exactly the right environment in which to work, learn, and grow as an employee and as a person.

The actual science behind what separates a truly great workplace from someplace that’s simply ‘OK’ can be complex. However, experts agree that the regardless of the field you work in, the very best places to work share several extremely important characteristics in common. Check out these characteristics and see if your office has one or more of these.

  1. The best workplaces place an emphasis on stellar communication – Any terrific relationship is based on effective communication that flows freely. Your relationships with your boss and co-workers are no different. The best employers keep their staff in the know, allowing them to feel involved and informed about the path the company’s direction. Does your workplace have regular newsletters and opportunities to attend luncheons with CEOs, for example? They show that a company considers it important for you to feel like you’re part of things.
  2. A strong commitment to employee training is key – Good companies that are committed to their vision and to the well-being of their employees will be very serious when it comes to staff training and ongoing education. Happy workers are never allowed to feel stagnant or ‘stuck’ when it comes to what they do. Instead, they are encouraged to seek promotions and upward movement within the company. That means features like ongoing training and tuition assistance designed to help hone job-related skills.
  3. Outstanding performance should be rewarded via valuable incentives – I hope you’ve never had the misfortune of working somewhere you felt like your work was thankless. When employees don’t feel properly appreciated, it’s hard for them to see their job as a calling, as opposed to just a way to earn a salary. The companies that have the happiest employees offer bonuses and additional perks for a job well done.
  4. Healthy employees are happy employees – The best workplaces always understand that happy employees are healthy employees. Healthy, balanced lifestyles mean better overall well-being and enhanced productivity. Health insurance and sick day coverage are absolute musts. On-site fitness facilities and perks like subsidised gym memberships are becoming more and more common. Some employers even offer financial incentives for successfully maintaining optimal health and leading wholesome, body-conscious lifestyles.
  5. The best workplaces will show you the money – When it comes right down to it, we work in order to pay our bills and put food on the table to feed our families. The best employers understand that in order to keep the very best people interested in working for them, they need to pay them accordingly. Not only will pay be fair and competitive at the best workplaces, but perks such as profit-sharing options, plenty of paid vacation each year, and regular performance bonuses will be part of the mix as well.
  6. Working should be fun, too! – Last but definitely not least, it’s important to enjoy your job. A fun work environment helps to encourage creativity and makes time spent at the office fly by, meaning employees are more likely to stick with a particular organisation for longer. For this reason, many workplaces will organise events such as company baseball games, team-building exercises, corporate events, and birthday parties. They help everyone come together as a team and they ensure that employees always have something to look forward to!
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Shirley is an international bestselling author. She has established herself as a leading authority in email and business writing skills. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages. Her book Email Essentials reached #2 in the USA for publishers Marshall Cavendish International. Find out more about Shirley at

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