In the world of work, it's award season. The time of year when the best places to work lists for 2018 start to emerge. For the tenth year in a row, Glassdoor, one of the world's largest and fastest-growing job sites, has announced the winners of its Employees' Choice Awards, honoring the Best Places to Work in 2018. Unlike any other workplace awards, the Glassdoor list is based entirely on feedback shared over the past year by those who know a company best - the employees. And, when it comes to companies with over 1000 employees, there's a clear pattern in who takes the top spots.

Each Company Wins For Different Reasons

As far as making employees happy, five companies in the top ten of Glassdoor's list really stand out - and all for different reasons.

Facebook - The 3rd time they've taken the #1 spot and recognized for its mission focus.
Bain & Co - A company known for challenging employees to push themselves.
Google - Cited for how well they listen to employees.
Hubspot - Winning high praise for it's incredible commitment to transparency.
World Wide Technologies - Where leaders are seen as "coaches" not "bosses."

But, even though each of these companies is a winner for varying reasons, all of them share a common trait...

The Magic Number Lies Somewhere Over 95%.

Each of these top employers have a 96% or higher CEO approval rating. Think about it, with over 1000 employees each, getting such a high approval rating is statistically challenging. And yet, these five have done it. In HR, we always hear the number one reason why people leave a company is management. Well, how management treats employees starts at the top. If the CEO isn't adored, admired,and appreciated, then you can bet the quality of the leadership team beneath him or her isn't as strong as it can be either. Think of every dysfunctional company you've ever worked for and I guarantee there was a difficult leader in the mix. The companies listed above have leaders that are setting a high standard for how the entire management team needs to treat staff - and that's what gets them on the top of the Best Places to Work list for 2018 - and I'm sure for years to come.

Want To Work For A Top-Ranked Company? Do Your Homework!

For anyone reading this and thinking, "I want to work for a company like that," my advice is to do your homework. Companies like this build their reputation as a top employer for a reason. The ROI is high because it gets them access to the best talent on the planet. Knowing what makes the company a great place to work isn't enough. You need to understand and admire what they do and why they do it. If you don't align with their mission, you won't fit into their tribe. The secret to getting a job at your dream employer is to connect your passions and expertise to the problems they are dedicated to solving. When you can show you understand their purpose, you will get their attention.

Working for a great employer starts with research. Once you identify the right employers for you on the list, you can begin building a strategy to connect with them and get referred into a new job opportunity. It's not rocket science, but it does take some effort. The question is: How much time and energy are you willing to invest to earn a coveted role at a top employer?