Company Culture Qualities of a “Best Places to Work”

April 18, 2016   //   Careers, , , ,

According to a recent study by Fidelity, people ages 25 – 35 would take an average pay cut of $7,500 if they could improve their “quality of work life.” Clearly, money alone is not enough to retain a loyal workforce in today’s competitive marketplace. So how do organizations create a company culture that attracts top talent?

At SWC, we are excited about the numerous workplace awards and accolades we have received over the years, especially most recently being named Crain’s Chicago Business Best Places to Work 2016 – our fifth consecutive annual recognition by Crain’s. This recognition is largely due to the career development, work-life balance and company culture that SWC has cultivated over the past 35 years.

For us, we define our success by our employees. We live by the motto, “happy employee = happy clients.” Our focus has always been on acquiring top talent and making sure they are happy and can grow not only in their technical and consulting skills, but also in other practical areas throughout the organization.

SWC’s award-winning culture has now extended beyond our organization. Many of our top clients and other companies have engage with us to learn more about our best practices and how to apply them to their organizational change strategies. We recognize that we’re operating in the same unpredictable and constantly changing environment that many businesses are today, so we’ve developed a number of strategies and best practices to help organizations of all sizes create a culture where their employees and businesses can thrive.



Sometimes life gets in the way of a 9-5 work schedule. Organizations that recognize this and are able to offer work-life time adjustments to their employees not only cultivate happier, more balanced employees, but they also earn a hard-working and dedicated staff who can be counted on to get the job done, regardless of the time of day.  Companies who can offer flextime increase productivity and decrease absenteeism and turnover – a win-win for both employee and business!

Formal Mentoring Program

career mentorship

On-the-job mentoring is a significant part of SWC’s work environment. Each new employee is assigned a Career Manager who serves as a mentor and point of contact when it comes to different assignments and exposure to new technologies. This encourages a collaborative culture among all departments. SWC’s formal Mentoring program is proud of our efforts in launching SWC University Program this year, focused on building entry-level developers into consultants.

Most candidates choose to accept an offer with us based on our ability to help them develop their talent and grow their career.”

– SWC’s HR manager

Recognition & Incentives

employee appreciation

Recognition and appreciation is key to maintaining moral and boosting productivity within the workplace. Ways in which organizations can cultivate a culture in which employees feel appreciated and motivated are through incentives programs that recognize and reward employees for their performance. Beyond monetary rewards, other effective recognition programs include team member of the month, in-office celebrations, out-of-office activities and even a simple, “great job, thanks!” goes a long way.

Our future as a firm is inherently tied to our commitment to each other. SWC is a special place to work because of the employees that work here, not the other way around.


Wellness Initiatives

employee appreciation

Your employees are the most valuable asset to your company, so it pays to invest in their health and well-being. Wellness programs that boost the physical, mental, and emotional health of staff are growing in popularity across the country. However, many companies struggle to get these programs off the ground. By appointing a dedicated wellness team, companies can begin to organize activities both in the office, such as educational lunch and learns or weekly fruit delivery, or out of the office, with intermural sports or gym membership discounts. Group fitness events such as Chicago’s infamous Color Run was a big hit this past year with our SWC staff. These activities not only help employees stay active, but they also create a sense of camaraderie among co-workers.

Opportunities to Advance

career development

A 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that the opportunity to progress as leaders was the second most important driver of earning Millennials loyalty next to work-life balance.

Today’s workforce wants the opportunity to take on challenging projects and is looking for the support/training from their employer to help them advance. Companies that are not having these conversations risk losing more than half of their workforce, as 71% of Millennials surveyed said they would leave a job after 2 years if they felt their leadership skills were not being fully developed.

If you are not already making some of these organizational changes to attract and retain top talent, you may end up losing your best employees to companies that can offer the type of culture that today’s workforce desires.

We’re hiring!

If you are looking to reimagine your career by joining SWC’s award winning team, learn more about some of our job perks and benefits. Ready to apply? Visit our careers page to check out open positions!

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