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Making Your Company a Best Place to Work

I recently attended the Pittsburgh Business Times Best Places to Work in Western Pennsylvania event. If you haven’t been to Pittsburgh in some time, if at all, I highly urge you to go. The city and the scenery are great – it is an accessible city nestled in rolling hills of low lying fog at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. I was there however not as a professional travel guide (although I can recommend restaurants and places to stay) but to celebrate some of the best places to work in the area.

The luncheon was attended by approximately 500 attendees – all finalists in the overall Best Places to Work contest. That list was then narrowed down to three finalists in a small business, medium business and large business category. And then the Pittsburgh Business Times crowned one area company as the overall champion. I was so impressed with the energy of the finalists and their dedication not only to their businesses but to their employees.

Clearly, those businesses that won top honors are dedicated to their business and their customers. But, what impressed me the most was how the managers of those businesses spoke about their employees. The employees of these winning companies are family. That is not intended to be a cliché. It is a fact. The managers realize that the success of their businesses relies solely on the customer experience and in every case the customer experience is carried not by the owner or “boss” but by the employees who talk to customers every day. And, these stories are focused on more than simply good benefits (although these businesses have those). The focus is on doing the “right” thing, treating people how you would want to be treated and appreciating the employees who deliver on those beliefs every day.

Sharing the stories from the event would make this post too long – it already may be that. But, I’m  always interested in hearing your stories about employees. What are the stories you tell which make your employees famous? What are stories you have heard about other company’s employees that you wish happened at your company? Feel free to share. Sharing those stories is the way we all build our own “best place to work.”

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