Best Pay and Best People is A Great Place To Work? Think Again.

Majority of the time, people have a misconception that making a great place to work is all about raising one’s pay, benefits and perks that come with the job. This is true only if the person is a task-oriented ‘alien’ and requires zero emotional support from people around him.

In reality, we do require emotional support, and this is one important ingredient in making a great place to work. We spent more than 50% of the day’s time at work. In fact, the work environment is termed as a second home because we might potentially spend more time at work than at home. Therefore, it is paramount that we have great people at work so that we can call it a second home and not a ‘house.’

Years of research including my personal great place experience had proved that people is the key equation in determining whether we have a great place to work. For me, I prefer to go from great to awesome! How can we create an awesome place to work? The answer begins with us. “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”

Years ago, I was glad that I joined an organization where I have great team players and leaders. The truth is, the organization was involved in some great place to work survey, but it did not bother me as to what and why they are doing this. I was already in a great team and an awesome place to work in. In short, the survey result did not matter, but the people around me make a difference, and so is my attitude.

1. You can get the best pay package but not the best people.

An organization can give the greatest perk in the world and provide all the state of the art facilities, investing millions in programs and engagement and still, not get anywhere near to an awesome place to work in. Why?

The answer lies in the mindset of leaders. Very often, leaders wait for the organization to do their part. The mindset of “I am not paid to do this” directly destroys the leader’s credibility. Team members look to the leaders for direction. I dare to say this, if you have a great leader that you respect and admire right now, you do have a great team and you are already in a great place working. If not, start looking elsewhere.

The fact is, no one is the world would give up the best people environment in exchange for greater monetary gain. Because people do work for money, but people live for a MEANING. It is the meaning that drives people to work and motivate them to go the extra mile because they know they will always have the right people backing them up.

2. You can get the best people, but not Trust.

“I believe in my leader” signified that the leader is highly trusted by his team. “Everyone is on the same playing field,” says that this leader gives everyone the opportunity to shine, based on personal effort and not string pulling. “I am valued by my leader and team,” says that the team members receive respect from his leaders as well as team members. Building trust is about elevating Credibility, amplifying Respect and creating Fairness.

Trust needs to be built and to be earned by the leaders. It is not about authority. Leaders have to take proactive steps to explore how they can elevate trust not just on a personal level, but also for and within the team. Only when the team leader and members within are trusted, can the team do greater things.

3. You can get the most brilliant people, but people with pride in what they do matter most!

Pride has nothing to do with ego. Pride is about the meaning your people give to their work, and this is the most important part where leader have to give meaning to people’s work. If I am a security officer today, my job is not about patrol, guarding building and checking people in at the lobby.

If I take pride in my work as a security officer, this is what I would say, “I protect people who are working in the building from harm. I ensure that people gets home to their family safely every night because I am the security officer for THIS BUILDING.” Now that is a security officer I want for my office!

This is the statement that you as a leader would like to hear if you are managing a team of security officers. This shows that you have successfully embedded pride in their role, and not just a job. Does your team members have pride in what they do? Or do they just see their role as only a job, task, and a 9 to 5 routine?

If you can embed pride in their work, you can be sure when the time comes, they will go the extra mile for you. People work for money, but people live strongly for meaning. Give them the meaning and see the effect it will have on you as a leader.

At the end of the day, if your team members are being interviewed on what they think of you as their leader, what do you think they will say? While survey result can give only a number or percentage, what the people says about you are the real stuff on whether you truly have a great place to work in and an awesome place to be in, a great leader where people would love to follow and give you their very best.

I have this philosophy of mine, “People leave the organization because of People”, but “People stay because of Leaders.” When a crisis hits an organization, those who are willing to stay can say” I am staying because of my leader and my teammates.” The secret ingredient for this – An AWESOME place to work.

It is always in the small little things that
you do that makes your workplace


Article By:
Joseph Wong is the Founding Director and Behavioral Transformation Coach of TrainingGearAsia Pte Ltd, with a purpose on “Building Influential Leadership Across Asia”. For enquiry on his Great Place To Work keynote, “Happy People. Happy Workplace”, do email us at .

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