A panel at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference.
Photo credit: Jordan Curet for Fortune Brainstorm Tech
By Adam Lashinsky
July 18, 2017

It seems like a straightforward proposition: Treat your employees well and they’ll work hard for your company, which will lead to superior financial results.

Straightforward, perhaps. And yet not all companies deliver on the proposition, perhaps because they’re not paying careful enough attention to the data. Dawn Lyon, chief reputation officer for employer ratings firm Glassdoor, says a series of leadership attributes drive a company’s “employer brand” while three specific policies overwhelmingly influence employee sentiment. She says employees pay attention to a company’s culture and values, want to know they have opportunities for advancement, and, critically have high demands on the behavior of senior leadership.

The specific policies that drive sentiment, says Lyon, are having some sort of paid time off policy; funding some type of retirement program; and providing for parental leave for the birth of a child.

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The time seems ripe for this conversation, versions of which are rippling through the ongoing Brainstorm Tech conference, Fortune’s annual tech-industry event in Aspen, Colo. Discussion among participants in a lunchtime panel at the conference ranged from improving employee sentiment to achieving gender parity though more rigorous hiring practices.

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Lyon also cited Glassdoor data citing that employees, especially younger ones, want and expect their companies to take a stand on issues that are important to them. Eighty-four percent believe employees believe companies should have a voice in social and political issues, said Lyon.


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