Work. We’re all doing it. From the humble ant to the bellicose barman, everyone toils for their bread. If we agree that money is a necessary unit of exchange for essential goods and services, like hydrogenated lard and manicures, then everyone needs a little dough. Most of us plebes get our money from having a job at a company (hope you aren’t lost in the jargon), but with millions of companies employing millions of workers across the great plains of America —

What on earth makes a company one of the BEST places to work?

For starters, leaders need to show that they actually care about their employees. Take our buddy Mike Mortellaro, the COO of ZogSports, who recently wrote a post entitled “How Much Do You Care?” Mike believes that a leader must ask themselves, “Would I want my own child’s manager to care for my kid the same way I care for my team?”

Just as giving your toddler a ping pong table and cheap swill won’t make you a caring parent, you’ll need to truly know your team to show them how you care about them. No, you don’t need to love them like a child, but you do need to consider their wellbeing, much like you would for your own brood. Caring means actually helping your employees live better, more fulfilled lives both inside, and outside, the office.

Caring takes time and energy. But it will save you double in the long-run.

If you really show you care, employees will stick around longer, do better work, and be an advocate for your company’s mission. I’ve seen it happen here.

As a five-year employee of ZogSports, I’ve watched our culture develop with a consistent focus on core values. It should come as no surprise that one of those values is CARING. The leadership at ZogSports has repeatedly shown that they care about us, their loyal worker bees, and it helps us do better work, support one another like teammates, and make this place even better.

Because caring, like the plague, is contagious.

And it’s exactly that kind of caring that has earned ZogSports a spot on the Crain’s Best Places To Work in NYC list in 2014, 2015 and 2017. (Don’t ask about 2016. Dark times.)

But what does caring for employees look like? Well, at ZogSports, it looks a little something like this:

Providing great benefits and perks.

  1. Paying for 100% of employees’ healthcare.
  2. Contributing 3% of employees’ income to their 401k.

3. Offering up to 20% annual salary bonus as well as an annual companywide incentive trip.

4. Offering unlimited paid sick/vacation days and Summer Fridays.

Encouraging us to keep learning and pursuing our passions.

5. Maintaining a strong focus on continued education by way of companywide learning sessions, an annual retreat and a $400 learning stipend.

6. Offering free registration in any ZogSports social sports league.

Creating an engaged, fun workplace where people can thrive.

7. Fostering a fun and comfortable office environment, allowing employees to dress how they please, listen to music, play ping-pong, and enjoy a beer.

8. Valuing employee feedback by having every employee involved in the annual priority planning and giving employees the freedom to try out new ideas.

Actively supporting our ideas, feedback, and careers.

9. Encouraging employees to experiment. Failure is applauded as a stepping stone to success.

10. Requiring every manager to have frequent check-ins with their employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Shape your company culture into one which not only cares for your employees’ development within the office, but also cares for their personal development outside the office. Do that and you won’t need a list to tell you that your company is the best place to work.