Top Workplaces Prove Company Culture Remains of Paramount Importance
Which D.C. metro workplaces are the best to work for? And what earns a company that designation? Is it the culture? Benefits? Something else or a combination?
Each year, The Washington Post partners with Energage LLC, an independent employee-engagement firm, to survey employees representing hundreds of companies, nonprofits, and associations. Now in its 10th year, The Washington Post Top Workplaces program winners will be announced at an event hosted at The Washington Post headquarters on Thursday, June 15th.
Top Workplaces USA is a national program created by Energage that began in 2021. The program is open to all organizations with at least 150 U.S. employees, and results are determined by employee feedback captured through Energage’s confidential, research-based engagement survey, powered by 16 years of feedback data from more than 27 million employees across 70,000 organizations.
Questions aim to identify which workplaces are deemed the best and which qualities those employers embody that make them unique. The survey results in the Top Workplaces USA, a list of notable employers as recognized by their employees for having gone above and beyond traditional benefits to build remarkable workplaces that put employees first.
"These companies represent the country’s best employers with high-performing, people-first cultures. They’re successful because they put their employees front and center in everything they do. By prioritizing the employee experience above all else, they’re more innovative, productive, and successful than their competitors and the rest of the market," shared Dan Kessler, president of Energage.
The 2023 Top Workplaces USA Greater Washington Winners list includes 118 companies. Winners span four different size bands based on their number of employees:
Within the region, this year’s Top Workplaces span a variety of specialties, ranging from locally based food-service providers to non-profit organizations, government contractors, and privately owned businesses. The 2023 list also includes several newcomers alongside several consecutive winners.
GDIT is a 2023 Top Workplaces USA winner in the largest size category. With more than 25,000 employees, the organization is well-known for its work in supporting some of the most complex government, defense, and intelligence projects throughout the region and nation.
“GDIT is a company with a soul that delivers. We believe that by taking care of our employees and supporting their long-term careers, they will continue to innovate and perform for our customers and our business,” shared GDIT President, Amy Gilliland.
While there are numerous qualities that earn companies the distinction of a Top Workplace, all tie back to the general themes of culture and values.
IntelliBridge, a Virginia-based, woman-owned small business serving the government IT space, is another 2023 Top Workplaces USA Winner.
“We value creating an inclusive environment for our employees. We have an employee-led Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Belonging team that provides monthly educational programming as well as regular employee spotlights, policy reviews, and recommendations to ensure IntelliBridge is a place where everyone is welcome,” shared IntelliBridge CEO Cass Panciocco. “The work that we do at IntelliBridge has real-world impact. Our people are helping to solve some of the nation’s most complex technology challenges, and they derive real meaning from helping to protect and serve the American people.”
As employee priorities have shifted over the past several years, workplaces have had to prove nimbleness and creativity to keep up. Companies featured on this year’s Top Places to Work list have shown agility and a commitment to their people and communities.
“IntelliBridge is committed to being a good corporate citizen within our communities. We have an employee-led charitable giving program where every year we contribute to, fundraise, and sponsor teams for more than a dozen organizations selected by our people,” shared Panciocco. “Team members develop technical skillsets on project, while also receiving mentorship and community through our TechBridge initiative that helps colleagues connect, share ideas and best practices, and contribute to the overall development of our people.”
Employees continue to seek out cultures in which they feel included, seen, and valued. Companies can achieve this in a variety of ways, but surveys, continual feedback, more routine check-ins, and evidenced appreciation and recognition programs are popular methods that are proving to be effective.
“We have built a vibrant, inclusive, and innovative culture at GDIT by continuously investing in our people and technologies. Just last month, we launched a multipronged investment in cutting-edge technology solutions, talent development and employee growth programs. Building such a culture has enabled us to better serve our customers, create a meaningful workplace for our employees, and drive innovation and growth,” said Gilliland.
Another element of importance to employees is seeing evidence of their company—and its employees—living out their values authentically and transparently.
“In general, our leaders look for three qualities in every employee who wants to join GDIT: empathy, accountability, and an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Gilliland. “We believe that organizations can lead with compassion while still driving results, and our performance reflects this. As a company, we emphasize listening and supporting teams with empathy as a key component of our leadership culture. We have clear priorities around growth, technology, and our people, and establish goals to hold ourselves accountable.”
Companies that prioritize their employees’ wellbeing continue to see returns through increased retention, productivity, and engagement.
“Every year, we make investments to support our employees’ professional growth, long-term careers, and wellbeing. For example, we’ve built an AI-based platform to help our employees advance their career within GDIT, we’ve doubled our investment in tuition and technical training programs, and we have invested in several initiatives to support our employees’ wellbeing, including mental health, diversity programs and employee resource groups,” said Gilliland. “The progress we have made so far motivates us to continue building a workplace where every employee feels seen, heard and fully supported.”
Worker wellbeing extends beyond benefits to support physical health, like healthcare plans and gym memberships, to focus on the full employee, ensuring psychological safety, and that each worker feels comfortable bringing their whole self to work.
“We pride ourselves on maintaining a small company feel, even as we continue to grow in the DMV and across the country. We’re working every day to ensure that team members are supported, engaged, and empowered to deliver for our customers,” said Pancicco. “We want our people to feel part of something bigger and to know that when IntelliBridge wins, we all win.”
To view the full Top Workplaces USA 2023 rankings, visit https://topworkplaces.com/award/top-workplaces-usa/2023/. For more information about how to become a top workplace, or to nominate a company to become a Top Workplace, visit topworkplaces.com.