Last month, the New York Times wrote a rather brutal exposé about Amazon. The article examined the company’s workplace practices and painted it as an absolutely horrible place to work. The Internet then proceeded to light up with everyone trying to tell both sides of the story.

Regardless of whether you love or hate Amazon, or whether all that we’ve read is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, there’s an important lesson that every business can learn from Amazon’s experience – and that’s how to avoid being in Amazon’s position in the first place. The New York Times was able to write the article after all, because employees who had complaints wanted to talk about it. If a media organization wanted to write an exposé on your company, what would your employees and managers say about working there?

Take a look at these four attributes of great companies – companies that make great places to work and places employees feel good about going to every day. If your business models these behaviours, your employees and managers will have nothing bad to say.

Strong, positive culture. Culture often gets confused with ‘perks.’ But what employees value is to work in an environment that supports and rewards excellence, honesty and dedication. In other words, great companies create an atmosphere where employees are treated fairly, meaning they’ll be more inclined to produce great results.

Real chances to grow professionally. As dedicated as an employee is, he or she still wants to find ways to positively affect their career. Great companies support their employees’ desires to continually grow, train and learn and periodically remember to ask their employees what they’re interested in doing and how they would like their career to unfold. 

Fair compensation. To be great, a company doesn’t have to offer the highest level of going-market pay. Instead, employees know that they’re being treated fairly and equally when it comes to compensation – whether financial or through other incentives.

Flexible.  Great companies understand that employees have a life outside of the office. Companies that don’t, often end up with stressed out employees that have high levels of conflict between work and family life. A great company finds a way to offer flexibility in the workplace to best meet their needs and well as the needs of their employees.

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