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In 2020, the World’s Best Workplaces Have Met the Moment

In 2020, the World’s Best Workplaces Have Met the Moment

The story of 2020 is one of historic challenges.

The novel coronavirus arose. Economic shutdowns aiming to “flatten the curve” triggered a recession on the scale of the Great Depression. And in the midst of these challenges, the brutal murder of George Floyd ignited a racial justice reckoning that began in the U.S. and sparked sympathetic protests across the globe.

These historic challenges touched nearly every part of the world this year. The two viruses of COVID-19 and racism combined to sow immense fear, chaos and pain in countries and companies alike.

But 2020 also is a story of deeply human responses by the Fortune World’s Best Workplaces.

We’ll tell their story more fully October 13, when we reveal the World’s Best ranking and release an accompanying report.

For now, here’s a teaser of what’s to come: in a year unlike any other, the World’s Best Workplaces took the opportunity to become better. They got creative in how they care for people, they deepened their commitment to community, they courageously connected in new ways.

Collectively, the World’s Best Workplaces have accelerated the movement toward a better future, in which all organizations become great places to work For All. Their story this year, ultimately, is one of hope.

The Best of the Best

The Fortune World’s Best Workplaces 2020 list is the product of surveys representing 10.2 million employees. These employees work at some 10,000 organizations that partner with Great Place to Work across the globe.

From 2019 through mid-2020, employees responded to more than 60 questions on our Trust Index survey. Based on this data set, companies were recognized on Great Place to Work national Best Workplaces lists in the United States, Canada and countries in Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Great Place to Work’s team selected the best of the best to create the Fortune World’s Best Workplaces 2020. These 25 organizations stand out for creating globally great cultures and they employ roughly 2.1 million people worldwide in industries ranging from manufacturing to technology to transportation.

Of course, we can’t share which companies made the list yet! But we can tell you that winning organizations have inspiring, instructive tales to tell. On October 13, we’ll publish a report sharing these stories:

  • A hospitality company that demonstrated Creativity in Caring
  • A transportation company that deepened its Commitment to Community
  • A technology company that displayed the Courage to Connect in new ways

Doing well by doing good

Our report will also share our findings that being better for people is better for business, even in tough times. The last time our global economy shook this hard was the Great Recession. That downturn resulted in a loss of more than $2 trillion in global economic growth.

What can we learn from the Great Recession to navigate today’s uncertainties? Great Place to Work studied its database from 2007 to 2009 to see what employee experiences could predict about a company’s success during economic downturns.

Our research uncovered a striking finding – organizations that were people-first, for all their people, soared during the last recession.

Companies with consistently positive experiences for all their employees – including people from historically marginalized groups – posted a remarkable 14.4 percent gain during 2007–2009, the same period that the S&P 500 lost 35.5% and the FTSE 100 lost 31%. In short, more humane companies proved more resilient and ultimately more profitable.

And we’re seeing the start of that story again.

Tune in October 13 for the full story of how the World’s Best have met the moment this year.


Ed Frauenheim