Is your company culture what job seekers want?

Tens of thousands of employees and the unemployed hope to find jobs in a better work environment. Your business can become that best place to work.

You see the signs everywhere: “We are hiring”. Stores, restaurants, and many other businesses are begging for workers, even though the state’s unemployment rate is 7.7% as of this writing.

Why do 50,000 unemployed people not accept these jobs? The reasons vary, and people often have several reasons for staying at home: unemployment benefits can provide enough money to survive; they have to take care of their children, brothers and sisters or grandchildren; they fear catching COVID-19 at work; they live far from available full-time jobs and the bus ride is long.

Some cling to the hope of finding better jobs than their previous ones – jobs they love, for companies and bosses who appreciate them, who pay decent wages and leave them feeling good at the end of the day. ‘A day of work. Things we all want. Maybe unemployment benefits give them the freedom to shy away from the first – or 10th – job available, because they know that once they start working, they may not have the time and the energy to find something better. They are looking for the best place to work.

What your employees really think

The main factor in selecting businesses and nonprofits for our annual list of the best places to work in Hawai’i – 75% of the score – is a confidential employee survey conducted by our partner, Best Companies Group.

On condition of anonymity, workers answer the survey honestly. According to the company, the answers range from anger and indifference to genuine gratitude and a desire to work hard for the organization. It usually depends on the corporate culture of the company and how it has treated employees over the years.

Every company that nominates itself for the list of the best places to work wants to receive this feedback. They want to know: What do our employees really think? With this knowledge, they can keep employees engaged and committed to the company and rectify the flaws that employees see and feel.

It is an ongoing process of seeking feedback on the survey, acting on the results, and resuming the survey next year to see what worked and what needs refinement.

The companies on the list, year after year, always strive to improve their culture because they know they compete with every other workplace in Hawai’i to find the best new employees – and to keep their existing employees engaged and not looking for employment elsewhere.

There is no charge for your organization to be nominated for the Best Workplaces list – just go to to register. And there is no risk; if your business is not on the list, it remains confidential.

Salary is not the most important factor

After getting the list every year, I study the reasons why winning companies have engaged employees. Engagement typically means that employees:

  • Expect to go to work most days.
  • Plan to stay with the organization for at least two more years.
  • Are willing to recommend the company to a friend as a place to work.
  • Are willing to go the extra mile to help the organization succeed.

Compensation isn’t even in the top 10 factors that drive engagement. The top six of this year are:

  1. I feel valued in this organization.
  2. I have confidence in the management.
  3. I like the type of work that I do.
  4. Most of the time, I feel like I’ve made progress at work.
  5. Overall, I am happy with the overall benefits of this organization.
  6. The leaders of this organization care about the well-being of their employees.

That’s why people keep jobs and do their best. This is what many of these unemployed people are looking for. If you want your business to be recognized as a Best Place to Work, go to and register to begin the process.