How 5 Top Companies Keep Employees Happy

Part III – Investing in Employees – We’ve previously discussed how belonging and recognition are important ways that Cisco, Hilton, Wegman’s, Salesforce, and NVIDIA strive to cultivate high levels of employee satisfaction. In this article we’ll discuss another important predictor of employee happiness – investing in employees. Here, we are primarily looking at a training and development lens.

Why Training & Development Matters

Training and development are important ways for all organizations to invest in their employees. It allows employees to enhance their skills, address shortcomings, and hone strengths. From a business standpoint, it brings increased technical skills, strengthens operations, and can allow companies to take advantage of more agile technologies.

The benefits  of training are far great than these outcomes. Research shows that 93% of employees stay longer when companies invest in their professional development and those that invest in employee growth reap 41% lower absences and 17% higher productivity. Investing in employees is not only about helping them grow in their careers but creating a pool of internal talent for future promotion.

How Industry Leaders in Satisfaction Develop Talent

The ways that companies facilitate training and development varies widely.   The one commonality is that companies with high employee satisfaction develop their talent effectively. For example, Salesforce makes leadership development accessible to every employee through a six-stage program that trains people at each stage on specific competencies.

Hilton recognizes that its associates represent an excellent opportunity for future leadership, leveraging the Lead@Hilton program to allow people to develop from entry level jobs to managerial and eventually higher level roles. They have also partnered with Guild Education to allow employees to further their formal education at no cost.

Building success from within is a tactic utilized by Wegmen’s. The supermarket chain invests over $50 million annually into training and development programs. 10% goes towards tuition assistance while the rest goes towards more general management trainee and leadership development workshops.

Mentoring Is Another Key Aspect for Investing in Staff

While formal training and development programs are certainly key to the success of these companies, mentoring can be another valuable tool for investing in staff. This provides a way for more seasoned staff to help coach newer employees. It can improve skills while also fostering a strong connection to the company.

Cisco does an excellent job of this in multiple ways like, including mentoring circles that align numerous people with common goals, traditional peer mentoring, and inverse mentoring – where junior employees help advise senior employees on things like upskilling.  Companies like NVIDIA have benefitted so much from internal mentoring that they have begun pairing employees with families in their communities to help develop the next generation.

Three Themes for Enhancing Employee Satisfaction

When it comes to promoting employee happiness, the recipe is far from simple. A look at these five companies with high employee satisfaction reveals three important themes that is common across all of them. By cultivating involvement & belonging, recognizing employees, and investing in them companies can facilitate employee satisfaction.

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