Volume 3, 22

November 30, 2002

A Fact Sheet

Becoming an Employer of Choice: What Does It Mean?
Common attributes of employer of choice are: -Recognize employees as their most valuable resources. -Continually seek ways to improve. -Stresses leadership at every level. -Provides assurances of company confidence and responsibility. FOR FREE ASSISTANCE TO COMMUNITIES AND COMPANIES , CONTACT:
Dr. Jacquelyn P. Robinson Workforce Development Specialist State Headquarters 216 Extension Hall Auburn University, AL 36849 Telephone (334) 844-5353 FAX (334) 844-9022

It has been said that the best companies hire the best employees. If the best employees decide to work for certain companies, the n there must be commonalities among comp anies that enable them to boast of being included in a list of best companies. The

purpose of this issue of The Workplace is to highlight characteristics retail and manufacturing companies have in common that make them the choice of places to work by employees.

Employer of Choice

Just as the term “employer of choice” is called by various names, it also means different things to various stakeholder groups. To stockholders, this term Companies that consistently have large pools of applicants for job openings and a low employee may mean dividends and profit sharing. To CEOs and turnover rate generally are good places to work. upper management, being an employer of choice means the board is pleased with the market share and the bottom line. To supervisors, it may mean having enough work to keep production running or sales up. To workers, it can mean being valued as an employee. In actuality, the idea of being an employer of choice is really a perception about the establishment—a perception commonly held by workers, vendors, stock holders, and the general public. Companies who generally have a large applicant pool share common traits. First, these companies recognize their employees as their most valuable resources. They recognize that company success depends on the employees feeling empowered, moti-

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V O L U M E 3, 22

vated, and trained. Employees are treated with to success, not a result of success. Further, many small respect and dignity and are encompanies strongly believe that employee empowerment couraged to continue their per“The idea of being an employer and recognition programs are sonal and career development. only for larger companies. Employee Assistance Programs of choice is really a They fail to realize that the (EAP) are also commonplace. Secperception . . . commonly held by utilization of programs and ond, these companies continually incentive to motivate and enseek ways to improve —ways to workers, vendors, stockholders, courage employees is one of increase productivity, improve orthe methods used by forganizationally, and continually and the general public.” merly small companies to beevaluate processes. Third, leadercome larger companies. ship is stressed at every level. Each employee is expected to communicate effectively, including lisFree assistance is available. There is no cost tening to other viewpoints and processing inforfor the services of the Alabama Cooperative Extenmation, and access and adapt to changing situasion System. The development and retention of a tions. Fourth, company confidence and responsihigh performance workforce requires a substantial bility are assured. Management works diligently commitment over time. The Alabama Cooperative to guarantee financial solvency. By communicatExtension System is ready to assist employers ing regularly with employees, trust between emevaluate their current situation and help custom ployees and management is fostered. When e mdesign programs to produce a high performance ployees are hired they completely understand workforce, thus increasing profits. company expectations, evaluation procedures, and promotion possibilities. The company tends For more information about setting up one of to include family members, and sometime s the these workshops, contact Dr. Jacquelyn P. Robinbroader community, in company sponsored son, Workforce Development Specialist, at 334-844events. 5353 or Most companies that enjoy large applicant pools also enjoy healthy profits, a better than average share of the market, and more efficient procedures from accounting to production to sales. They also tend to experience less worker turnover. The reason for these measurable successes is Dr. Jacquelyn P. Robinson Workforce Development Specialist Alabama Cooperative Extension System

consistently providing employees with a good, safe working environment and streamlining business, sales, and production procedures. While many companies see employee empowerment and recognition programs as “fluff,” the experience of the most successful companies is that programs to train, motivate, recognize, and support employees are essential

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work in agriculture and home economics, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, and other related acts, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Alabama Cooperative Extension Sy stem (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) offers educational programs, materials, and equal opportunity employment to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability.