How Companies Earn Their Spot on the Fortune 100 Best Companies List

 How Companies Earn Their Spot on the Fortune 100 Best Companies List

Best Workplaces Employer Brand

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list is based on a transparent, employee-driven methodology. Discover the steps to securing a coveted spot by fostering an inclusive and positive workplace culture. 

In the nuanced world of business, the formula for staff retention is refreshingly clear: keep them happy.

A spot on the Fortune 100 Best Companies 100 Best Companies list is more than a trophy for CEOs and CHROs; it's a testament to a company's dedication to fostering a healthy, inclusive, and rewarding work environment.

Happy employees naturally become ambassadors, attracting talent with the magnetic appeal of a workplace where satisfaction reigns. Yet, even as accolades pour in, there are lingering questions and myths about how this esteemed recognition is awarded.

How does a company get on the Fortune 100 Best Companies List? Is the selection process fair? What really goes into choosing the companies?

Let’s shed light on the meticulous employee-focused approach behind the Great Place To Work® evaluation and why this list stands above the rest. 

The heart of the matter: Employee experiences 

At the core of the Great Place To Work selection process is the belief that a great workplace is built on the experiences of its employees.  

Unlike other awards that might rely on evaluations from outside sources, such as industry experts or third-party organizations, the Fortune 100 Best Companies List is determined by the people who know the company best – its employees.  

Rather than using public data or observable factors alone, our methodology focuses on the direct feedback and perspectives of the employees, ensuring a more authentic and representative understanding of the company's culture. 

Surveying employee sentiments: A true reflection of workplace culture 

At the heart of our evaluation process is the Trust Index™ Survey, a tool that sets this list apart by providing authentic and comprehensive information about employee experiences.

Here’s how we guarantee that our list is an honest reflection of day-to-day workplace culture: 

Inclusive and representative: To ensure our data accurately reflects the entire workforce, we require that employers either survey all employees or use a statistically valid random sample. This approach captures a wide range of experiences, from the front line to the executive suite, making the results truly representative of the whole company. 

Safeguarding integrity: We understand the importance of honest feedback. That’s why we have safeguards in place for employees to report any unfair distribution of surveys or pressure to skew their responses. These measures protect the integrity of the data and ensure that the findings represent employees’ genuine perspectives. 

Grounded in employee insights: The Trust Index™ Survey is based on what employees have told us are the essential elements of great workplaces. This means the survey is rooted in real-world experiences and reflects what truly matters to the people within organizations.

Depth and detail: With 60 questions covering various dimensions of the workplace experience, our survey is thorough and comprehensive. It explores the nuances of things like trust, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie, providing a well-rounded view of the company culture. 

By sticking to these principles, we ensure that the 100 Best Companies List is a true representation of the best workplace cultures, as experienced by the people who live them every day. 

Analyzing cultural practices: Companies also complete a Culture Brief™ and Culture Audit™, providing insights into the policies, practices, and initiatives that create their unique workplace culture.  

This step shows us how companies create the positive environment their employees have described, ensuring that making the list is based on real efforts to foster a great workplace. 

Rigorous evaluation: We use our For All™ Methodology to analyze the data, focusing on how well companies create a consistent experience for all employees, regardless of their role, background, or demographic.

This methodology helps us see the full picture, ensuring the companies that make our list aren’t just “good on paper” but are creating a workplace where everyone can thrive. 

The gateway to recognition: Earning Certification 

Before a company can be considered for the 100 Best Companies List, it must first achieve Great Place To Work Certification™. This certification is more than a badge on your website, it’s a testament to your company’s dedication to creating a positive work environment.

Learn more about the 2-step Certification process in our 5-minute pre-recorded webinar.

Survey your employees: Begin by conducting the Trust Index™ Survey among your employees. This survey is designed to gauge the level of trust, respect, and fairness in your workplace. It’s a crucial step in understanding the strengths and areas for improvement in your company culture. 

Submit the Culture Brief: Alongside the survey, you’ll need to complete the Culture Brief, which provides a snapshot of your company’s policies, benefits, and practices. This helps in showcasing the tangible actions you’ve taken to create a great workplace. The Culture Audit, mentioned earlier in this article, is only required for Best Workplaces™ List applications.

Achieve Certification: Once your survey results meet the benchmark criteria, and your Culture Brief™ is reviewed, your company will be Great Place To Work Certified™. This certification is a powerful tool — it’s a magnet for top talent and a signal to the market that your company cares deeply about its employees. 

Transparency and trust: Elevating the list 

Great Place To Work is committed to an honest evaluation process. While companies do invest in accessing our Trust Index Survey to become eligible, their placement on the list cannot be bought.

The rankings are determined by an impartial analysis of employee feedback and cultural practices. This transparency ensures that the 100 Best Companies to Work For List is a true reflection of workplace excellence, open to businesses of all sizes and sectors. 

Celebrating success and continuous improvement 

Companies like Salesforce, which not only can call itself a Certified great workplace, but also enjoys a position on the Fortune 100 list, have observed a significant trend: 50% of their new hires applied for positions after seeing the company's recognition. This underscores the powerful attraction that a strong workplace reputation can have on job seekers.

For those not making the list, the journey doesn't end here. Great Place To Work provides feedback and coaching to help companies enhance their culture and aim for a spot in the future.

Hear how Best Workplaces winners are using their award for lasting benefits. 

A commitment to excellence 

The 100 Best Companies List is far from just a leaderboard. It mirrors a company's dedication to crafting a space where every team member is seen, valued, and heard. It's a shining endorsement of what happens when businesses truly place their people at the core of their mission.

For the inquisitive employers reading this, understand that the road to this esteemed recognition is built on the authentic experiences and voices of your workforce.

It's about weaving a tapestry of engagement and happiness that not only elevates your company but also contributes to the broader tapestry of our economy. This virtuous cycle is what fuels the quest for a place among the Best Workplaces – a journey where the ultimate reward is a thriving, vibrant, and empowered team.

Apply now to be counted among the next 100 Best Companies

Ready to showcase your commitment to creating an exceptional workplace? Apply now to be considered for the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list and other prestigious rankings. Elevate your company’s reputation, attract top talent, and join the ranks of the best workplaces in the nation. Start your journey today: Apply for a Great Place To Work list

Claire Hastwell