We hear it over and over again at Inc.: The biggest challenge that your business faces is finding and keeping the best people. That's why building a workplace culture that allows your staff to grow with the bottom line is critical. To guide and inspire you, Inc. has produced a roster of the 50 Best Workplaces, the first such measurement of American companies with up to 500 employees. From managing people overseas to helping workers pay off student loans, these companies deploy state-of-the-art techniques to keep their staff happy and productive. We hope you will join us in celebrating them--and learning from them.
Inc. has long been a specialist in small companies that grow fast. And as an expert in employee engagement and culture, Quantum Workplace knows that the pressures of rapid growth can take the pleasure out of work. So, in this inaugural list of the 50 Best Workplaces, Inc. and Quantum honor a group of companies that make the happiness of their employees a prime goal.
To find the true innovators in managing and motivating people, we audited more than 500 companies that completed online applications in February and March. To be eligible, applicants had to have been in business at least three years, have between five and 500 employees, be based in the United States, and be independent and privately owned, with 2015 revenue of at least $2 million.
We scored companies in three main areas:
1. Wallet and workplace: 30 percent of the score
We assessed how well companies look after their staff's financial security through retirement, insurance, and other financial benefits. We also explored work arrangements that increase employee satisfaction, such as flextime and unlimited vacation time.
2. Employee feedback: 34 percent of the score
The best companies by this measure go to great lengths to capture, understand, and act upon insights from their staff. We scored companies on the design of their systems, the depth of their insights, and the thoroughness of their follow-up.
3. Performance innovation: 36 percent of the score
We looked for companies that take special measures to motivate and recognize employee performance.
Among our findings, offering a retirement plan is merely table stakes in the talent game: 90.3 percent of applicants have one. The high scorers distinguish themselves by the proportion of employee 401(k) contributions they match: 56.7 percent of applicants match contributions of up to 4 percent of income versus 72 percent of the 50 Best. Only 9.3 percent of applicants match more than 4 percent; 14 percent of the 50 Best do.
The most glaring difference between the best performers and the also-rans is how companies set and track goals. The high scorers set individual, team, department, and company goals and communicate results in ways visible to all. The majority of companies still rely on email, physical bulletin boards, or paper-based scorecards to communicate goals, and 7 percent of companies have no organized method for making company goals visible at all.
See what you can learn from our honorees that will help you lead your company. Your employees will love you for it.
--Greg Harris, CEO, Quantum Workplace, Omaha