2023 Best Workplaces in Chicago Make Fairness Top Priority

 Chicago landmarks, including the Willis Tower, Chicago Theater, and the Bean

Benchmarks & Trends Best Workplaces

Here’s what sets the best employers apart from their competitors.

It’s incredibly hard to create a workplace that employees believe is fair.

Even the best employers can see disappointing results when surveying employees about metrics that measure fairness in the workplace across pay, promotion, and more.

Creating an equitable workplace isn’t the same as creating an equal workplace. It demands removing bias from the system so that every employee is rewarded for their unique merit — not their background or privileged social status.

For companies on the 2023 Fortune Best Workplaces in Chicago™ List, fairness is one of the experiences that sets these organizations apart, with 94% of employees reporting that they are treated like a full member of the organization, regardless of role.

A key experience that helps drive this sense of belonging is having a warm welcome when joining the organization. More than nine in 10 employees (96%) at winning organizations reported a welcoming environment.

Great Place To Work® developed the Best Workplaces in Chicago list by analyzing surveys from companies that employee 7.5 million people in the U.S. Of the 1.3 million surveys collected, nearly 50,000 responses came from employees at companies eligible for the Chicago list, and these rankings are based on that feedback.

Here are the top experiences as reported by employees on this year’s list:

  1. Feeling welcomed when joining the company
  2. Feeling pride in their organization
  3. Being treated as a full member of the company, regardless of role

Here’s how these experiences drive key business metrics:

2x more likely to stay

when employees feel pride in their company.

4.3x more likely to recommend their employer

when employees feel pride in their company.

2.6x more likely to say they have a great workplace

when employees feel pride in their company.

“Congratulations to the Best Workplaces in Chicago,” says Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place To Work. “Amid ongoing uncertainty and challenging market pressures, these companies kept their focus on the employee experience. As a result, workers are giving their full effort, driving productivity, innovation, and a great experience for their customers.

Fortune congratulates the Best Workplaces in Chicago,” says Fortune Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell. “Their willingness to prioritize employee experience helps them stand out from their competitors and better serve their customers.”

Who made the list

The list is segmented into two categories: large companies with 1,000 or more employees and small- and medium-sized companies with 10 to 999 employees.

Here are the companies at the top of the list for large employers in Chicago:

  2. Crowe
  3. Horizon Therapeutics
  4. Grainger
  5. Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Here are the companies at the top of the list for small- and medium-sized employers in Chicago:

  1. Basis Technologies
  2. Sprout Social
  3. Zoro
  4. TopBloc
  5. Assurance Agency, Ltd.
What employees said

As part of the survey, employees answered two open-ended questions about their experience in the workplace. Here’s what one employee at Basis Technologies, No. 1, small category, said about the importance of a warm welcome when joining the organization:

“As a new hire, I felt immediately welcomed into this organization. I was never an outsider and always felt supported. For example, in my onboarding process I met individually with many different team members, and they all were incredibly welcoming to me.” 

What you can learn

Winners on this year’s list offer a few key takeaways for companies looking to improve the employee experience. Here’s what you should consider:

1. Create ways for everyone to participate. With nine in 10 employees feeling like a full member of the organization, regardless of role, winning companies on this year’s list have successfully created an inclusive environment where everyone can participate. Being treated as a full member is also an important employee experience during an economic downturn.

2. Offer flexibility. For winning companies, employees who were able to take time off when needed had 30% higher odds that they would recommend their employer to friends and family. Flexible has become a top tool for leaders looking to improve employee well-being in 2023.

3. Make sure new hires feel welcome. When employees say they get a warm welcome, they have 30% higher odds of also reporting they can quickly adapt to business changes. With agility playing a huge role in business success in the post-pandemic era, business leaders can’t afford to ignore the importance of welcoming new hires to create innovation-friendly cultures.

How to make the list

Think your company deserves special recognition? Get started here to become eligible for next year’s Best Workplaces™ honors.

Ted Kitterman