Back in November 2019, Polish branch of Great Place to Work, the Global Authority on Workplace Culture. This means a great deal to ITMAGINATION and we treat it as affirmation that the company is on the right track, and that employees feel positively about working with ITMAGINATION. Since that time, we’ve taken the opportunity to exchange some thoughts with Maria Zakrzewski, CEO of the Great Place to Work Institute in Poland about what it means to be certified. This blog post is based on a conversation between ITMAGINATION Leadership (Daniel Arak, Paweł Borowski, Dawid Łaziński) and Maria Zakrzewski.
Below, ITMAGINATION was asking the questions, Maria Zakrzewski was providing the answers.
Why is Great Place to Work® a great choice for companies wishing to be certified?
Maria Zakrzewski: Some would consider that trying to get certified by Great Place to Work® is a risky choice. After all, achieving certification is not easy. At the same time, this fact makes the decision an excellent choice, because only some companies can showcase their success. Everything depends on the opinions of employees, which are shared through the anonymous survey used by Great Place to Work®.
How does being certified by Great Place to Work® help companies in how they are perceived on the market? How many companies are certified each year?
Maria Zakrzewski: Between March 2018 and January 2019, 80 companies were surveyed in Poland. Of those, only 33 (41%) were successful in achieving certification. From these numbers, it’s clear to see that becoming certified is a form of distinction. Great Place to Work® is a recognized and respected brand, and being certified is a sign that the certified company is on the right path to building a strong organizational culture or to creating a friendly workplace environment for its employees. Companies can also see certification as a challenge – the point is to maintain the distinction once it has been earned.
In Poland, there are many companies that are surveyed by Great Place to Work® on a regular basis. They treat survey findings as important feedback and as input on which to plan activities that are geared towards the development of their organizational culture.
How do Polish and Poland-based companies compare to companies from elsewhere in Europe and around the world?
Maria Zakrzewski: In 2019, 43% of respondents in our national norm study agreed with the statement: “Taking everything into account, I would say my company is a great place to work”. In the case of the 29 companies recognized as Best Workplaces in Poland, the percentage of people agreeing with this statement was 80%. Of these 29 Best Workplaces, 10 made it into our ranking of the top 125 Best Workplaces in Europe, and 5 made it into the top 25 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces.
What are the most common pain points of companies? Are there areas in which Polish companies really need to work harder?
Maria Zakrzewski: Two areas come into my mind. One is about serious doubts that employees have concerning the impartiality and fairness of decisions made by their managers with regard to their career development. Making improvements in this area is not easy. The second key area is employee wellbeing. Employees in Poland are dealing with a lot of stress, and it is a challenge for them to find the right balance between their professional and private lives.
How should ITMAGINATION’s certification by Great Place to Work® be seen, given that the company is still relatively young?
Maria Zakrzewski: ITMAGINATION’s certification by Great Place to Work® shows that the company is currently on the right path. It’s great that the company achieved this certification while still so relatively young. Of course, much work is still required to solidify the success that led to certification and to address some of the areas that could still be improved. That’s advice for ITMAGINATION and every company.
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