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3 Employee Experiences That Set the Worlds Best Workplaces Apart

3 Employee Experiences That Set the Worlds Best Workplaces Apart

What makes the best workplaces better than all the rest? According to the Fortune World’s Best Workplaces™ 2021 list, three factors in particular stand out.

On average, compared to other workplaces, employees at the World’s Best Workplaces are:

  • 17% more likely to say they receive special and unique benefits
  • 14% more likely to say they are offered training opportunities to develop professionally
  • 13% more likely to say everyone has the opportunity to receive special recognition

This year’s list surveyed nearly 20 million employees from 10,000 companies worldwide, spanning 106 countries.

To be considered in the top 25, companies must be identified as outstanding global employers by appearing on at least five Best Workplaces lists in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa, North America or Australia during 2020 or early 2021.

Here are 3 companies that made the list — and how they beat the competition.

Special and unique benefits at Hilton: Lean in when there’s a crisis

  • At the World’s Best Workplaces, 85% of employees said they have access to unique and special benefits
  • That compares to just 68% at other workplaces*

While many companies — especially in the hospitality industry — scaled back on benefits in 2020 and 2021 because of the financial impacts of COVID-19, hotel chain Hilton (#3 on the list) leaned in and ensured its benefits would suit the times.

Furloughed employees continued to receive healthcare coverage, parental leave at full salary, financial relief through the 401K Cares Act and continued access to the employee assistance program, short-term disability and basic life insurance.

An assistance fund provided financial help with medical expenses, groceries and child and elder care for employees with COVID-19.

Hilton also built a Workforce Resource Centre to connect furloughed employees with new short-term and permanent jobs at other companies. The initiative now has more than 1 million jobs with more than 150 company partners across the  globe..

Finally, with the pandemic pushing employees across all industries to seek out more flexible work arrangements, Hilton is meeting demand.

The company is introducing a program in which U.S. employees can work a four-day week while retaining full benefits, as well as sabbaticals of 30, 60 or 90 days. There’s also a “SuperFlex” model in which employees can choose their own schedule and hours.

Training and development at Atlassian: It starts before employees even begin

  • At the World’s Best Workplaces, 84% of employees say they are offered training opportunities to further themselves professionally
  • At companies that did not place on our list, just 70% of employees say the same

Software developer Atlassian (#23 on the list) wants to make sure everyone has the best chance at joining the team — which is why they’ve put together a Candidate Resource Hub to support candidates as they advance through the interview process. The hub houses resources for prospective candidates, as well as those who are actively interviewing.

Once candidates are hired on, they’re brought through a robust onboarding experience that includes product crash courses and individualized 90-day action plans.

When COVID-19 hit, Atlassian had to switch its orientation to be entirely virtual, practically overnight. To ensure employees felt more connected despite being remote, the team incorporated smaller breakout rooms on Zoom as part of the introduction.

Atlassian is also taking its recruitment expertise into the wider community, by offering interview skills workshops.

Created in response to COVID-19 displacing so many workers across industries, these workshops give a behind-the-scenes perspective from Atlassian’s own recruitment team, so that candidates can feel more confident about their next interview — whether that’s with Atlassian or elsewhere.

The workshops dive into tips and tricks to help candidates regardless of craft or profession, including interview basics, question techniques and time management during an interview.

Special recognition at DHL: Workers do more than just work

  • At the World’s Best Workplaces, 82% of employees say everyone has an opportunity to get special recognition
  • At other workplaces, just 69% of employees feel that hard work is recognized by their employer

At logistics company DHL Express, which took the top spot on the list this year, employee recognition isn’t just about how hard you work, but about bringing your full self to work — whether that’s through community contributions or developing your own passion projects.

Backed by the company’s mission of “connecting people and improving lives,” the DHL’s Got Heart program is a global initiative encouraging employees to share uplifting stories of any volunteer or fundraising work that they do in their personal time.

Finalists are recognized at the annual Employee of the Year event, with DHL donating to the finalists’ causes.

Typically, the three-day event, which also recognizes top performers, is held in a luxury resort with activities and a gala night presentation. Due to the pandemic, this year’s celebrations had to move to a Zoom conference, with winners receiving 25,000 donations for their causes.

Other recognition efforts include the Can Do Awards, which honor employees who have gone out of their way to help others, and the Festiv-ALL event, a new celebration in which employees can showcase their personal talents — anything from cooking to art to dance — for the chance to win prizes.

Benchmark your company culture

How does your company culture measure up on recognition, unique benefits and professional development? See how your company culture stacks up through Great Place to Work Certification and our Trust Index™ employee survey.

* “Other workplaces” are companies that contented for a place on our national Best Workplaces lists around the world; this includes both winning and non-winning companies. 


Claire Hastwell