I took a look at this year’s list of the 100 best US workplaces, and while I don’t know many of the companies on there, many of the “usual suspects” are certainly included. Google, Container Store, Whole Foods, W.L. Gore, Starbucks, Nordstrom and others are certainly familiar cases from the books I’ve read about happiness at work. I’m not sure if this validates the top 100 list or the case literature. Or neither :o)
However, we should remember that not every company competes here. In fact, only around 500 companies entered the competition, so making the top 100 list is not THAT impressive. Companies with less than 1000 employees can not participate – even though many of them are probably better workplaces than the big organizations.
Also, a company’s score depends not only on what its employees say. Here’s some info from the website:
Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the survey, which is sent to a minimum of 400 randomly selected employees from each company and asks about things such as attitudes toward management, job satisfaction, and camaraderie.
The remaining third of the score comes from our evaluation of each company’s responses to the institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about demographic makeup, pay, and benefits programs, and open-ended questions about the company’s people-management philosophy, internal communications, opportunities, compensation practices, diversity programs, etc.
All in all, I’m sure that the companies on this list are all good places to work – and I’m equally sure that there are many even better ones out there that simply didn’t compete in this particular contest.
(A big thank you to Andrew Ferrier for asking the question that inspired this post).