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Glassdoor just released its Best Places to Work 2023, and not a single food or beverage manufacturer made the list. As the industry continues to deal with a labor shortage and struggles to attract a new generation of talent, it’s worth taking a moment to consider what makes a company a great place to work in the eyes of employees.

The Best Places to Work data gives us insight into exactly what this means. Here are four areas Glassdoor recommends companies work on to improve their reviews (and reviews matter — 55% of job seekers who have read a negative review have decided against applying for a position at that company).


According to Glassdoor, this is the most frequently mentioned factor in reviews of Best Places to Work companies. The key thing to understand is that culture is not a nebulous characteristic. It has been extensively researched, and it’s something that can be measured and managed.

This Harvard Business Review article distills the research on culture into a framework that leaders can use to “model the impact of culture on their business and assess its alignment with strategy,” as well as “achieve change and build organizations that thrive in even the most trying times.”

Employee development

There are a host of studies showing that one of the things younger employees want most is career development and advancement opportunities. In a 2022 survey of 52,000 workers worldwide, PwC found that training is one of the top things younger workers want, because they’re concerned they won’t have the skills they need to advance in their career.

Another survey by Amazon found that a lack of skills development opportunities is the #1 reason employees are thinking about leaving their job – and this is especially true for younger workers.


Transparency is a big priority for younger workers, and it ties into company culture by fostering trust. And, as Glassdoor notes, “being transparent costs nothing, which gives it an exceptional ROI.”

Being transparent means communicating openly and honestly. According to BetterUp, the most important areas where companies need to be transparent are pay, hiring, diversity, career development, and company performance.


Finally, Best Places to Work have comprehensive benefits packages that typically involve perks beyond pay and health insurance. Here are the most valued employee benefits from a survey of over 10,000 full-time workers:

  • Flexible work hours
  • Company-sponsored retirement plan or pension
  • Early finish on Fridays
  • 4-day work week
  • Family health insurance
  • Private health insurance
  • Healthcare cost reimbursements
  • Paid self-care days or time off for mental health
  • Miscarriage leave
  • Private dental insurance

The labor market is very tight, and all signs point to this tightness continuing into the future. By focusing on improving these four things, food and beverage manufacturers can distinguish themselves from their peers – as well from companies in other industries competing for the exact same talent.

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