Podcast | Becoming A Great Place To Work-Certified Company

May 19, 2023
June 26, 2023

Great Place To Work-Certified companies are up to four times more successful at attracting, retaining, and engaging talent…

​But, you have to be a fantastic place to work in the first place!

​👉 So, how can you figure out if you’re ready to apply?

👉 How do you approach the entry to stack the odds in your favour?

​👉 And can you use the insights from the survey to keep building that great environment?

​Our panel has been there and done it at GPTW-certified companies, so they’ll be giving you the tools and mindset to build a great application.

Meet our guests

​👋 Michael Brown, VP Global Talent Attraction and Growth, Snyk

​👋 Jeni Brown, Chief People Officer, Teamwork

​👋 Harrison Ryle, L&D Manager, i-Pharm Consulting

Watch the episode

Listen to the episode

Running order

0:00 Intro.
1:45 Are you ready to apply for GPTW certification?
7:27 Getting buy-in internally.
14:13 The application survey.
27:50 The culture audit.
32:56 Using the survey insights.
46:00 The benefits for your employer brand.

Five steps to building a useful Great Place To Work application

1. Understand if you are already a great place to work

“I think Great Place To Work as an accreditation should always be a result of having a great place to work. It shouldn’t be the thing in itself, it’s just about validation.” – Jeni Brown, Chief People Officer, Teamwork.

This mindset is crucial! The goal is to go and look at what employees are already telling us about working here and see if we really have got a great place to work.

“So, having done this a couple of times now, in my experience, it’s best to start with data analysis and some sort of data collection, you can look at things like your engagement survey, or Glassdoor, or if you’ve done any sort of like focus groups.

Anything that’s kind of like the voice of the employee, so tend to start there.” – Michael Brown, VP Global Talent Attraction and Growth, Snyk.

2. Get the buy-in you need

As Jeni put it, ask yourself: “Why are you doing this at all? Is it important from a talent brand perspective for attraction, retention? You know, understanding why we’re doing this helps us to kind of lean in.”

It also helps you pitch the value to others and get buy-in, as the process is an extremely collaborative one! We need employees to participate in the survey, and we need other departments to help complete our culture audit.

Winning over employees:

“Before we made the decision to go ahead and make the application, one of the things that we did put a lot of thought into was how are we going to get people to complete the surveys without us essentially having to nag them to do so…” – Harrison Ryle, L&D Manager, i-Pharm Consulting.

A great tip from Harrison was to leverage your marketing team to create a compelling message. If you can make it clear how the end user benefits, in this case through an externally validated and anonymous survey, you’ll win more people over.

Winning over leaders and C-suite:

The big one here is connecting it to a business need or goal, as Jeni explains from personal experience:

“The opportunity for Teamwork was that we were scaling, we needed to build brand and Great Place To Work is really a very useful, recognisable badge externally. And so it aligned very much with the job that we needed to do from a hiring perspective.

“I mean, we’ve added something like 50% headcount over the last 18 months to two years. And we all know that culture is now more important for our potential candidates than nearly everything else, even salary.” – Jeni Brown, Chief People Officer, Teamwork

3. The survey and the culture audit

Part one: The survey. This two-week process involves using Great Place To Work’s Trust Index to capture responses from 70% of your total employee headcount.

Part two: The culture audit. This is all about your culture, your policies and processes, so it’s a really collaborative process. Michael explained how we can expect to work with colleagues from the people, finance, marketing and PR team among others.

He also gave some great advice on being aligned with those other teams and being clear on the timelines:

“I think it’s important that they, they know what their role is, and then you know, the timeline, like when you want that information, because if you don’t, this is the thing that could potentially drag on, and you could end up with some scope creep around this part of the process.

“So trying to box them in and give them some deadlines on when they have that information completed by is very critical.”
– Michael Brown, VP Global Talent Attraction and Growth, Snyk

4. Use the findings to keep building your culture

Whether you’re successful or not, you’ll get some brilliant insights on your current culture and you can use those to improve and build trust in the Great Place To Work process.

Jeni explained that Great Place To Work will provide you with a psychologist, who’ll walk you through the data to gain a true understanding of what the findings mean.

It’s then up to you with how you use those. Luckily for us, Harrison was happy to share some real-life examples…

“We made some additions and changes to our D&I policies, and gave employees a lot more involvement in the policies that we had in that side of the business… It also completely changed how the business communicates, especially communicates change.

“Again, that was something that we felt our perception was that we were doing that to a high standard, but in reality, that was actually falling a bit below people’s expectations of what they would have liked to have seen. So now that the business does a great job of communicating things more clearly.” – Harrison Ryle, L&D Manager, i-Pharm Consulting.

5. Tell a story that builds your employer brand

“I think there’s a great opportunity behind it to use it as a storyteller, a differentiator, as a content builder.” – Michael Brown, VP Global Talent Attraction and Growth, Snyk

But as Harrison reiterated, there is a real need to bring that story to life with examples and personal anecdotes.

“If you can’t give them specific examples of how your business exhibits that, then I tend to find people are quite sceptical of accreditations and qualifications, unless you’re actually able to say: Okay, well, we’re a Great Place To Work. But this is why, these are the salaries and benefits, and this is what our culture looks like.” – Harrison Ryle, L&D Manager, i-Pharm Consulting.