Looking for a Job for the Long Haul? Get Hired by the Best

Posted by Michelle V. Rafter on February 17 2014

michelle-v-rafter By Michelle V. Rafter

Employees who join companies they identify as great workplaces tend to stick.

The average annual turnover at organizations on the 2014 100 Best Companies list is 11 percent, half of the national average. Put another way, for every 1,000 people working on Jan. 1 at a company from this year’s 100 Best list, 890 will still be working there on Dec. 31.

Even at the best companies, the rate at which employees leave jobs varies. In the past year, here are the turnover rates for full-time employees who left jobs voluntarily at 2014 Best Companies in various industries:














Why Turnover is Low at Great Workplaces

People stay at great workplaces because they enjoy the work, appreciate their co-workers and trust their bosses, according to Great Place to Work Institute research.

According to research from Great Place to Work, employees also stay because, among other things, they:

  • Have some say over how they do their jobs, including calling the shots in how tasks or projects get done, having some flexibility in when, how or where they work, and taking time off to attend to non-work affairs when it’s needed.
  • Are recognized for their accomplishments, whether it’s on-the-spot or annual bonuses, a public thank you from the boss or their name and photo on the employee intranet for a job well done.
  • Feel that they’re paid fairly for the work they do and receive a fair share of the organization’s profits.
  • Receive special and unique benefits and perks, ranging from paid time off, medical benefits and wellness programs, to informal get-togethers and in-office goodies.
  • Celebrate special events, large and small.
  • Have ample opportunity for training and to develop professionally, including internal programs and courses and tuition reimbursement for pursuing higher education courses outside of work.

  Adobe Employee Photo

Hiring to Fit Corporate Culture

Though great workplaces differ in many ways, they have a few other things in common. During the hiring process, they pay attention to how job seekers would fit into their corporate culture, or the main tenets by which the business is run. The reason for the intense focus on culture is simple; history has shown that employees are more apt to stay in a job longer if their motivations, interests, passions and outlooks mirror those of the organization they work for.

Great companies also have found that job seekers who come to them through employee referrals are more likely to fit into the culture, and as a result, stay in their jobs longer. Given those circumstances, it’s not surprising that many companies considered to be superior workplaces make employee referrals a mainstay of their recruiting programs, and pay bonuses of hundreds or thousands of dollars to staff when they introduce a prospect who works out.

If You’re Job Hunting

If you’re looking for work, here are some things to consider when talking to a potential employer to make sure the company fits you well enough you’ll want to stick around:

What’s the culture? Explore how an organization defines what it does, and how that manifests itself in interactions with employees, and stakeholders such as customers and investors.

What’s the onboarding process? Many companies use a new employee’s first days, weeks or months to introduce them to the culture. The process may include formal training programs, meals, office tours, team-building exercises and other activities to bring them into the fold.

What do employees say about working there? Read reviews on GreatRated.com to see what employees at more than 175 U.S. companies say about their workplaces, plus information on the organizations’ benefits, perks and hiring practices.

GreatRated contributor Michelle V. Rafter is a freelance journalist covering job hunting and workplace issues. Find her online at @MichelleRafter or www.michellerafter.com, or contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .