Over half a million employees in the U.S. have weighed in to determine the 2021 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®. Based on confidential employee surveys gathered during the pandemic, workplaces that put employee health first – both physical and psychological – enjoyed record jumps in employee experience scores.
Great Place to Work® – the global authority on company culture – determines the list each year through rigorous analysis of data from their proprietary Trust Index™ employee experience survey.
Seventy-one percent of companies on this year’s list saw an increase in their Trust Index scores from last year, increasing on average by 3%.
“These companies stood out for heroic efforts to care for their employees, their customers and our society in a difficult year,” said Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “Remarkably, our research found that employee experience scores rose at these workplaces overall – a testament to the resilience of their inclusive, high-trust cultures.”
Companies whose employee trust scores rose during the pandemic are characterized by widespread faith in colleagues and their leaders. Seventy-two percent of employees at winning companies have confidence in executive teams.
Companies went beyond with unique benefits and compensation
Some key distinguishing features of this year’s list were generous community giving efforts, and leaders showing exceptional care and a clear vision for the future. This year, employee benefits and compensation also went above and beyond, including extra PTO, backup childcare, and hazard pay for frontline workers.
Employee experience reached record highs in industries hit hardest by COVID-19
Many companies on the list are in industries squeezed severely by the pandemic. For example, Texas Health Resources, a non-profit health system headquartered in Arlington, Texas, is number 7 on the list and global hotel chain, Hilton, took position number 3.
Companies such as Texas Health stood out for how they connected their employees to a sense of purpose. Texas Health, a hospital at the frontlines of the health care catastrophe, had 87% of employees saying it’s a great place to work during the pandemic.
Barclay Berdan, CEO of Texas Health was moved when he saw how the people he leads went above and beyond during a once-in-a-lifetime crisis. “It’s not really just a job. For many, if not most, it’s a calling,” said Barclay. “I get choked up almost every day.”
Corporate social responsibility separated the 100 Best from other companies
Another key feature of this year’s list is the generous donations of time, company resources and funds to social justice and pandemic relief efforts.
Camden Property Trust, which owns and manages 165 apartment communities across the country, set up a rent deferral program for their tenants to apply for grants of up to $2,000.
“We just figured we needed to do something and do something in a big way,” said CEO and president, Ric Campo. The number 8 Best company, Camden put $10.4 million into the fund—including $1 million directly from Ric’s and executive vice chairman of the board, D. Keith Oden’s pockets.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the mutual insurance company Nationwide – number 25 on the list – committed $1 million to social justice organizations. They also contributed $1 million to the National Fair Housing Alliance.
Employees place higher value on two-way communication and leadership integrity
In survey questions that probed employees’ perceptions of management, the top 100 companies saw a 5 to 6-point increase on measures of two-way communication, integrity and competence – key leadership qualities crucial for leading through a crisis.
Nationwide also enjoyed an astonishing climb in employee scores. In addition to its financial contributions to address the needs of 2020, Nationwide stepped up by holding a “unity day” for employee conversations about racial injustice and instituting a program to bring in civil rights speakers.
Amid these efforts, survey scores for Black employees rose 9%, such that 92% of Black employees now say it’s a great place to work.
For comparison, at the average U.S. workplace, just 49% of employees across all demographic groups say theirs is a great place to work. Nationwide’s Black employee scores on the question of whether “my work has special meaning” rose a remarkable 16 points, to 90%.
How Great Place to Work determines the 100 Best Companies to Work For
Great Place to Work surveyed employees on issues including how trustworthy, caring and fair the company is in times of crises; employees’ physical, emotional and financial health; and the company’s community impact.
Particular attention was paid to how employees’ experiences varied depending on their job role, gender, race/ethnicity, payroll status, and other characteristics to ensure that the company is creating a great workplace For All™.
This year, 60% of each company’s score is based on confidential employee feedback. The remaining 40% is based on the programs each company said they created to support their people and communities in response to the pandemic. This methodology represents a change in response to the unique circumstances of 2020.
What are the top 10 best companies to work for?
|4. Wegmans Food Markets Inc.|
|5. Rocket Companies|
|7. Texas Health Resources|
|8. Camden Property Trust|
|9. Capital One Financial Corporation|
|10. American Express|