What It Takes to Be One of the Top 5 Best Companies to Work For®

 What It Takes to Be One of the Top 5 Best Companies to Work For®

Best Workplaces

Several elite organizations are showing us exactly what it take to create truly great workplaces - we call them the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® .

Here are the top 10 Best Companies to Work For in 2020:
1. Hilton
2. Ultimate Software
3. Wegman's Food Markets, Inc.
4. Cisco
5. Workday
6. Salesforce
7. Edward Jones
8. Stryker
9. American Express
10. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

Their examples give us a roadmap to improve your company culture and your business as a whole.

Every one of the 100 Best Companies uses the Great Place To Work Trust Indexsurvey to measure their workplace experience.  Taken by millions of employees each year, the Trust Index is made up of 60 statements that cover credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie.  It asks employees to consider how they experience their team and organization as a whole.

What do these companies do differently?

To learn more about these and other ways the 100 Best Companies build employee engagement, let’s take a look at the people practices of the top 5 winners for 2020.

1. Hilton

Care about diversity, inclusion and social justice

Hilton exemplifies Hospitality For All, meaning they empower all individuals, not matter their role or background, to reach their full human potential. Hilton seek to be a leader in actions, programs, behaviors and attitudes around inclusion and diversity.

This commitment to advancing diversity is front and center at Hilton:

  •  In 2019, Hilton signed on to an amicus brief in support of a case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court involving discrimination against LGBT people.
  • They are the first and only hospitality company to join the Global Equality Fund, a U.S. State Department initiative that advances and protects the human rights of LGBTQ persons around the world.
  • Hilton is also the first hospitality company to establish a strategic partnership with MAKERS, a women’s media platform focused on advancing representation of women.
  • Benefits include coverage for gender reassignment surgery, $10K per adoption for adoptive parents and increased coverage for in vitro fertilization — $10,000 for medications and $25,000 for care
  • CEO Chris Nassetta has signed several action documents and joined many CEO-led agendas regarding discrimination.


Create a culture of thanks

Recognizing and thanking employees, or “UltiPeeps,” as they are known, for a job well done goes far beyond simple in-office praise or a thumbs-up every so often:

  • Ultimate offers reward trips for employees in all departments—not just those in Sales.
  • While some departments restrict family-inclusive trips to employees who have met goals, there are learning and development trips that include all employees. This means all employees at Ultimate get to enjoy team events.
  • Every year, employees nominate their peers for the Brendan Naughton MVP Award. One lucky winner gets $500, two round-trip flights, and a Rolex watch.
  • For advancing equality, the “UltiMan” and “UltiWoman” of the year awards give two winners $5,000 each to donate to a charity of their choice.
  • Peers can also thank one another through the “UltiRecognition” program, where over 30,000 peer acknowledgments have been submitted to date.

3. Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

Leaders who listen

If employees at Wegmans want to share an idea or ask a question of a senior leader, all they need to do is “Ask Jack” by sending a comment to the company’s SVP of operations Jack DePeters.

He may forward questions to a subject matter expert or VP to answer, but he takes pride in reviewing and personalizing each and every final response.

Since the program launched in 2002, it has become one of Wegmans’ favorite and most important listening channels:

  • Jack has responded to over 16,000 employee comments.
  • In 2018, he received 780 submissions.
  • Wegmans is proud that 68% of employees chose to identify themselves by name when writing to him (when employees do identify themselves, they know they’ll receive a direct response from Jack).
  • Jack posts five responses each week to “MyWegmansConnect” for all to read, as well as a monthly video message where he discusses trending issues or recognizes the accomplishments of Wegmans’ people.

4. Cisco

Help employees balance work and life

Cisco has great balancing benefits that support employees through day-to-day challenges and big life changes (while shedding old-fashioned definitions).

  • The time an employee receives to care for a newly born or adopted child is based on the role they’ll play as caregiver (main or supporting) rather than gender, giving employees the freedom to deciding how they’ll care for their child.
  • Grandparents also get to take up to three paid days off to bond with their newborn grandchildren.
  • The company’s “Rethink” program gives parents of children with autism seven free hours of coaching per year.
  • Cisco’s mental health benefits cover many out-of-network psychologists and counselors for their employees.
  • Their on-campus treatment and health centers provide depression and anxiety screening, meditation and yoga classes free of charge.

5. Workday

Encourage collaboration and well-being

Workday's 410,000-square-foot, six-story headquarters encourages collaboration at every turn.

There, you'll find:

  • Large game rooms on every floor
  • A bevy of indoor trees and open seating spaces
  • Well-being rooms
  • Therapeutic massage services
  • Dog runs

To ensure each office makes employees’ well-being a priority, Workday has a network of 90 well-being champions who lead activities, offering concierge service and booking for outings focused on movement, nutrition, health or happiness. 

At Workday, fun is an essential part of staying balanced and cultivating well-being. From this year's Summer Bash at Great America to the Mountain Day tradition of taking group hikes and nature walks, “Workmates,” as employees are known, get many opportunities to have fun together.

Does your culture deserve to be recognized? The first step to finding out is simple as surveying your employees. Get started today. 

Claire Hastwell