The Most Valuable Thing About Top Workplaces Isn't Making the List

By now, almost everyone has heard about Top Workplaces, the annual list of companies that provide exceptional work cultures to their employees.

What makes it unique is the fact that it’s based upon confidential employee surveys, which means that the results are honest and trustable and real. That’s a big reason why it feels so good to make the list, which we modestly confess we’ve done again this year.

But Top Workplaces is about a lot more than giving yourself a pat on the back. It’s actually a powerful tool for improving your work culture going forward—no matter where it stands right now. 

Every company that submits an application receives detailed feedback about their performance at the end of the process. You’ll find out about the things you’re doing right and those (hopefully not too many!) that could stand improvement. It’s an unvarnished look into what your employees really think about you, neatly broken down into key categories.

What’s more, because this information comes to you in chart form, comparing your scores with those you received in past years and with those of other companies, you’ll have solid benchmarks against which to judge your data.

Again, all of this is handled confidentially, so you’ll gain your insights without ever knowing which employee said what, which is critical to protecting the quality of the answers.

Should you discover an area that needs improvement, consider hosting a focus group with your employees to explore the issue in more depth. Draw up a list of starter questions, choose a well-respected manager to host it and recruit volunteer employees to attend it. 

If you’re like us, you may be surprised by all you’ll learn. In addition to offering fresh insights into the topic, sessions like this can generate a lot of good ideas from your employees that you can evaluate and put into practice.

However, there’s another, perhaps less tangible, benefit to doing this kind of follow-up: it clearly communicates to employees that you’re listening, have their best interests at heart and are serious about making their work environment better.

And that may be the highest reward any company could ever receive from Top Workplaces.