Image: Employees at Bounteous, number 2 in the SMB category for the Best Workplaces in Chicago™ list.
Businesses were thrust into crisis in 2020, grappling with the economic and health impacts of a global pandemic, and forced into courageous conversations about racial injustice.
But those who made our 2021 list of the Best Workplaces in Chicago™ all demonstrated a commitment to supporting their staff and the community at large during this difficult time.
Read on to discover which companies are the best places to work in the Chicago area, why they stood out and what their employees have to say.
How we determine the list
To determine the 2021 Best Workplaces in Chicago, Great Place to Work® analyzed confidential survey feedback from over 30,000 employees in the Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™.
Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization.
What are the best companies to work for in Chicago?
- Power Home Remodeling Group
- Bain & Company
- Slalom Consulting
- West Monroe Partners
- SAP America
- Ryan LLC
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs):
What employees have to say about the best workplaces in Chicago
Power Home Remodeling Group (large-sized business)
Power is an exterior home remodeling business that was swift to respond to the racial injustices and subsequent protests of 2020 – an initiative that helped land them top spot as the best company to work for in Chicago.
Through a virtual town hall meeting with Black leaders in the business, Power’s staff discussed the history of police brutality and racism in the U.S., as well as what Power needed to do to make its workplace more diverse, inclusive and equitable.
“The Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Initiative and Power Veterans Initiative are two of the most unique and amazing programs I have ever seen inside of an organization. Additionally, the genuine care for the mental, emotional and physical health of the employees by leadership is second to none. The unique working environment is like nothing I have ever had the pleasure of working with.” – Employee at Power
Salesforce is a cloud-based marketing software company that went above and beyond with their COVID-19 response – not just for employees, but for the community at large.
Their efforts included sourcing more than 60 million pieces of PPE, providing free access to technology for emergency response and care management teams, fundraising for marginalized communities, and offering grants for small businesses.
“I am constantly impressed at the level of compassion Salesforce has for the wellbeing of not only its employees, but customers and communities where their offices are located. After joining, it didn't take long for me to realize they really do care – not something I have been accustomed to in my 30+ years in the workforce. They not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk. They live it. They are committed to making the world a better place with their contributions to it. Who does that these days?! I am proud to be part of that.” – Employee at Salesforce, Chicago
Bain & Company (large)
Bain is a change management consulting firm that boasts a 10-year commitment to invest more than $1 billion in pro-bono services.
When COVID-19 hit, Bain’s Chicago and Atlanta employees helped a charter school network shift to distance learning. Through the partnership, they developed a communications plan to connect families, provided meals to students in need and equipped students with remote-learning materials such as Chromebooks and hotspots.
“I do think there is a genuine sense of collegiality towards fellow Bainees, regardless of who they are, which office they are from. ‘A Bainee never lets another Bainee fail’ are words that are borne out in reality more often than not. I think Bain is also unique in the commitment it makes to social impact. No other consulting firm I know of has made a public commitment (and the corresponding processes, targets and metrics in place) to donate $1B of pro bono consulting capacity (now $1.1B) over 10 years to help leading social pioneers scale transformative solutions in education, economic development, environment and racial equity.” – Employee at Bain.
Peterson Technologies (SMB)
Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) is an IT staffing and consulting firm. They were named the best SMB to work for in the Chicago area, thanks to their welcoming environment and commitment to employee development.
“PTP takes care of every employee at both the business and personal level, which you will not find in many companies. When you are new to a company, the initial months are difficult, which makes you conscious of how that impacts your work. That’s not true of PTP. They make you feel like you are working with friends, and they offer great care and support. They allow you to open your wings and just fly.” – Employee at Peterson, Chicago
Bounteous is a digitally focused brand marketing agency. Their strong team environment helped them to score a spot as one of the best companies to work for in Chicago.
“It's easy to get in touch with anyone at any level. I can meet almost just as easily with the C-suite of this company as I can any of my peers. People are prioritized here. Your desired career outcomes are taken into consideration, and if you express wanting to be part of different work or expand your skills somehow, you really see staffing take that in and make changes for you. We have a lot of bottom-up processes that are quickly supported top-down.” – Employee at Bounteous, Chicago
Sprout Social (SMB)
Sprout Social is an IT company specializing in social media marketing. Strong employee recognition and the sense that management truly cares helped them place as the third best SMB to work for in the Chicago area.
“I've worked for startups and huge organizations but nowhere else have I been made to feel like those in management truly care about every employee. People are rewarded for their work and commitment to the company in unique and amazing ways, regardless of their level or seniority. Everyone has an opportunity to schedule time with anyone at the company, all the way up to the CEO, and I've never seen that before.” – Employee at Sprout Social, Chicago
Does your Chicago-based company have an incredible work culture? Apply to be considered for the Best Workplaces in Chicago list or another industry list.