Learn a trick from the big guys

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Of course, companies of every size are striving to attract and retain great people. Could you adapt any strategies from these giants in the realm of great employers?

Of course, companies of every size are striving to attract and retain great people. Could you adapt any strategies from these giants in the realm of great employers?

Disney has no "employees," instead it has "cast members." Each cast member knows his or her role and is an integral part of the Disney experience. Service workers in Orlando, Fla., and Anaheim, Calif., could choose to work at a plethora of resorts, restaurants, and theme parks. They choose Disney because it's an honor.

The Ritz Carlton facilitates outstanding customer service by creating standards for team members to follow. For example, team members are taught to make eye contact when they're five steps away from guests, ask how the guests are doing at four steps, and offer any necessary help or assistance. The Ritz also staffs for success, with one of the highest ratios of employees to guests. And giving the right number of people the right training and skills means team members at the Ritz are prepared to meet and exceed visitors' expectations—and to shine at their jobs.

Dell uses a stated vision and great leadership to build a positive working environment. Part of the formula: Michael Dell walks the floor and keeps a finger on the pulse of what is going on in his company. Employees get to choose the music played in their work area, the snack foods that are available, and the hours they work. To top it off, Dell employees receive excellent benefits and above-average compensation.

Costco may treat employees better than it treats its investors—something shareholders grumble about. But the company's efforts to offer employees top-tier benefits, pay, and satisfaction pay off in the long term. The company saves money by keeping turnover rates to half of the industry average. And those ultra-happy employees are ultra-productive, which boosts profits—something investors should smile about.

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