HR Best Practices From Fortune's Best Employers

HR Best Practices from Fortune’s Top 10 Companies 2017

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Fortune’s ranking of the best companies to work for in 2017 has been revealed with Google, once again, taking the lead. This year’s finalists are companies that take the initiatives to bridge the gaps among different genders, races, generations, and other individual backgrounds. The ultimate goal is to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities to learn and unleash their full potential at work.

While brand awareness is an essential criterion to make the top 100, the number one value that any employer should highlight is trust. According to Great Place to Work®, Fortune’s research partner, trustworthiness in the workplace entails the employees’ trust in their leaders, how they take pride in doing their work, and their experiences in collaborating with other colleagues. Organisations who can build trust and integrity in the workplace are more likely to be recognised as a great place to work and to win their peers in the business battlefield.

In general, employers should take into account not only the tangible employee benefits but also the level of job satisfaction and the overall work experience when it comes to establishing a company culture.

Let’s learn from these top 10 employers how they create the workplaces that boost engagement and nurture loyalty.

  1. Google Inc
  2. Wegmans Food Markets
  3. Boston Consulting Group
  4. Baird
  5. Edward Jones
  6. Genetech
  7. Ultimate Software
  8. Salesforce
  9. Acuity Insurance
  10. Quicken Loans

    Google Inc

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It seems like everyone’s dream job is to work for Google. However, only a few actually look pass the company’s generous perks like free meals and nap pods when asked: “What inspired you to apply for jobs in Google?”

On top of all the amazing practices that make up their hype, Google’s main focus is actually more on building a “safe and inclusive” workplace, as viewed by its employees. Diversity and equality remain the key values that help Google keep its #1 spot on this list for six years in a row.

Lesson #1: Create an environment that fosters growth among all employees, regardless of what their personal and professional backgrounds. This way, you’ll be able to ensure consistent employees’ experiences.

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Wegmans Food Markets

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Recognised as one of the largest grocery chains in the US, this family-owned company also scores high on the employer value scale with its century-long culture of caregiving.

Having more than 46000 employees across the US, Wegmans understands that one of the most fundamental investments to build a sustainable business is the people. To capture the “family spirit”, Wegmans always surprises its employees with profound care and love, like birthday cakes or free hot chocolate during winter for workers.

Lesson #2: Treat your employees as your one big family; a simple act of kindness can go a really long way.

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Boston Consulting Group

Photo credit: BCGcareer Facebook Page

Working in the management consulting field doesn’t mean you have to go through a high level of stress every day. Understand the daunting nature of the industry, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) takes a different approach to its work-life balance policy that radically enhances the employees’ experiences. Some of the benefits include sabbaticals, fitness centres, and telecommuting).

The company also addresses “diversity” as one of their core values. They even run an LGBT network to show support to LGBT individuals besides other initiatives to ensure workplace equality.

Talents from around the world are welcomed at Boston Consulting Group and they are all offered abundant opportunities to flourish in the company.

Lesson #3: It’s critical to create a sense of belonging in your company, to ensure that all employees are recognised for their contributions, regardless of their backgrounds.

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Photo credit: Baird Facebook Page

With up to 94% of 3311 satisfied employees (according to Great Place To Work’s data), Baird’s position on this list is undeniable.

This financial and insurance firm is greatly known for its straightforward “no asshole rule”. At Baird, interpersonal skills and social behaviours are just as important as professional skills, and they won’t hesitate to fire anyone who disrespects others. All potential employees must make a good fit in the company’s culture, which is a part of the assessment criteria when they come for the interview.  

We ask our receptionists for their impressions and direct feedback. Any hint of arrogance or condescension is considered unacceptable, and any candidate who fails our “receptionist test” does not receive a job offer.

– Cheryl Farnsworth, Talent Acquisition Manager at Baird.

One of the “unusual” perks at Baird is that all associates are eligible to buy stock in the company if they meet basic criteria, and two-thirds of employees are now Baird shareholders.

Lesson #4: Cultivate healthy working relationships among your staffs so that everyone can grow together. If you want to boost employee loyalty, let them get involved on a more significant level.

Company website:


Edward Jones

Photo credit: Edward Jones Facebook Page

Established since 1922, Edward Jones is the world’s largest investment firm. As shared by the company, the number one attribution to its success is the human element, which means building long-term relationships with clients.

That personal approach is also carried into the work culture, especially through mentorship. What makes them great is the people, everyone helps each other to succeed instead of competing for clients. Furthermore, full-time staffs are entitled to 100 hours of training annually. According to Great Place To Work, 97% of employees enjoy the challenges from their careers at Edward Jones.

Lesson #5: In order to achieve the business goals, you must enable everyone to achieve their career development goals at the same time.

Company website:



Photo credit: Genentech Facebook Page

Being the pioneer of the biotechnology industry, Genentech knows exactly what it takes to build a powerful brand that makes its employees proud to work here –  create a business that cares for others.

Life at Genentech is always fun-filling with competitive employee benefits. On top of the usual luxe perks like free beverage and take-home meals or massage therapy, the company is best known for its “celebrating culture”. They applause and celebrate the team’s everyday efforts that contribute to the overall success, not just for the milestone achievements.

Lesson #6: Don’t overlook the effects of individual and team recognition, even just for their small accomplishments. It’s also important to maintain a positive vibe in the company in order to keep everyone motivated.

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Ultimate Software

Photo credit: Ultimate Software Facebook Page

What is the best branding impression of an HR firm? It’s the way they treat their own employees.

Ultimate Software’s vision and mission revolve around the “People First” principle, and that distinctive value is reflected through the company culture as well – a culture built on innovation, trust, respect, and care for all people. From medical coverage for both employees (and their next of kin) to luxury vacations every year, the values that everyone receives in Ultimate Software are limitless.

The company’s generous packages for new hires also raise the bar for any onboarding program. Some of the benefits offered include restricted stock units and a fully paid 2-day orientation in their Florida HQ.

Lesson #7: Your business can only achieve success when you put people first.

Company website:



Photo credit: Salesforce Facebook Page

Behind the world’s best CRM Company is a team that prides themselves as #SalesforceOhana (“ohana” means family in Hawaiian). Not only do they care for one another within the team, they also put the community’s well-being as the company’s top priority.

Salesforce’s most respectable corporate culture is “giving back”. The company has established a social enterprise ( through which 1% of their product, 1% of their equity and 1% of the employees’ time will be contributed to nonprofits and educators. That model is known as Salesforce’s 1-1-1 philanthropy.

There are also many internal training and development programs to help each and everyone advance their careers in the company.

Lesson #8: The best way to build a sustainable business is to support your community and let all employees involved in the company’s mission.

Company website:


Acuity Insurance

Photo credit: Acuity Insurance Facebook Page

At Acuity, open communication is the core of their corporate culture. There are various platforms for all employees to give and receive feedbacks, from professional to personal matters. The two most special initiatives include: “Magic Happens” program whereby a selected group of staffs who received positive comments for their works will be recognised and rewarded, and the “Town Hall” session whereby all employees will be gathered at the company’s own theatre to discuss the outlook of the company.

The casual dress code and flexible work schedule also make a significant impact on Acuity’s employees’ experiences.

Lesson #9: No matter how big your team is, always maintain an open (two-way) communication to help each other realise their strengths and weaknesses at work.

Company website:


Quicken Loans

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Google is not the only #officegoal as Quicken Loans’ Detroit HQ is also famous for its vibrant spaces (think unique decorations and collaborative environment).

Besides the physical indulgence, employees at this insurance firm also get to enjoy the freedom of ideation. Not only are they encouraged to pitch ideas to grow the company (with generous rewards like free trips or monetary gift cards), they are also given a weekly four-hour session to work on any project that they desire to.

What even more remarkable is the fact that Quicken Loans’ CEO Bill Emerson actually conducts a formal lunch discussion with all employees (up to 20 staffs at once) to boost the overall employee engagement, regardless of their positions in the company.

Lesson #10: If you expect honest feedbacks from your employees, you need to let them know that their contributions matter. Try to foster an open-door policy as much as you can.

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We understand that it takes great effort and resources to build a strong employer brand. But sometimes, it’s the little things like giving, encouragement and recognition at work that greatly contribute to your employees’ satisfaction.

With the examples set by the listed top companies above, we believe that any employer in Malaysia is able to attract good talent, retain high performers and grow the business quickly through a positive culture.

Together, we can transform the future workplace, where any one of us is a part of something bigger than ourselves.


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