How Does a Company Earn Top Workplaces Status

High‑performing, people‑first workplace cultures are successful because they have put their people at the center of all they do. By prioritizing the employee experience, they out-produce, out-innovate, and out-deliver the competition. Top Workplaces represent the best of the best, and winning that distinction is no easy feat.

How Does a Company Earn Top Workplaces Status

Since winning a Top Workplaces award is a true achievement, we get a lot of questions about the process, and the science, and how it all actually works. Here is a little information to help you understand it all a little bit better.

First, it is important to realize that Top Workplaces competitors represent an elite breed of organization. Research shows that companies that choose to participate are, on average, 20 to 30 percentage points higher on employee engagement than the national average.

Second, the program is based entirely on employee feedback. Employees can be your harshest critics or your greatest advocates. You have to know what matters to them.

That is why the Top Workplace program process begins with the Energage employee engagement survey. This survey is scientifically designed, and it uses data captured from more than 70,000 organizations of all sizes, sectors, and locations during the last 15 years. There is a lot of science and data behind it.

The survey is broken into three major parts. First questions are asked related to employee engagement. How motivated are employees? Are they willing to refer others to work at their company? Are they loyal? In other words, are they looking for jobs elsewhere?

Next, are questions related to what are called the culture drivers. These are aspects of the culture and the cultural experience that drive better engagement and better business results. How much appreciation are people getting? How strong are the values? How are the managers doing?

Finally, questions on the basics including pay, benefits, and training. Once the survey is complete, Energage identifies which companies rise to the level of being a Top Workplace. This is really just based on how well similarly sized organizations score across all the items of the survey.

When employees are reporting that their companies are highly engaged, driving a great culture experience, and taking care of the basics, these industry‑leading benchmarks confirm they are a high‑performing, people‑first culture.

All winners that earn the coveted Top Workplaces badge are able to showcase the prestigious recognition to their employees and to the world. This helps to support their brand reputation and reinforces that internal feeling that employees have about the strength of their culture.

It does not stop there, either. The national Top Workplaces program evaluates companies by industry as well as by key aspects of cultural excellence that really matter to employees and job seekers. These include companies that are really doing well in appreciation, the direction of the company, the strength of their values, how they are innovating, and diversity and inclusion, as well.

The program looks at the authentic voice of employees, use well‑designed, scientific measurement, and combine years of experience in massive, big data to measure and reward companies that have built truly special cultures.

Is your employer exemplary? Nominate it for The Washington Post’s 2023 Top Workplaces awards. Enter to be one of DMV Top Workplace of 2023Nominations may be submitted by visiting or calling 202-417-3866

Greg Barnett is chief people scientist at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s partner for Top Workplaces. The Post will release the 2021 list of Top Workplaces on June 18.

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