January 24, 2017

What Does It Take to Be a ‘Best Place to Work’? Glassdoor’s Roadshow Aims to Answer That Question


Every year for the past nine years, workplace review site Glassdoor has released a list of the “Best Places to Work” – that is, the companies with the highest ratings on the platform.

While this list tends to attract a lot of attention from talented professionals who want to work for the best employers, it also catches the eyes of many employers themselves – especially those that don’t make the list.

“We find that there is this audience of employers that are really curious about how to become better workplaces themselves,” says Lisa Holden, employer communications manager at Glassdoor.

That’s why last year Glassdoor launched its first Best Places to Work Roadshow, a multi-city event where representatives of best-place-to-work companies share their insights on what makes their organizations great and how other employers can follow their lead.

“The purpose of the roadshow is first to give an overview of the best places to work list and how it comes together and second to give these winners the opportunity to show what they’ve learned and share a little about their process for cultivating a positive workplace culture and making employees feel empowered,” Holden says.

The 2017 roadshow kicks off on Feb. 2 and will feature organizations like Johnson & Johnson, SpaceX, Salesforce, and more.

What Happens at the Roadshow?

According to Holden, each stop on the 10-date tour is a little different, but in general, attendees can expect a rundown of the Best Places to Work list followed by a panel discussion where some of the list’s winners will elaborate on how they build great cultures and the common traits of the best places to work.

“[Winning organizations] are basically going to be asked a series questions giving them the opportunity to talk about their best practices and what they do to inspire their employees and create those really rich cultures that put them on this list,” Holden says.

Some common topics of conversation include:

– how to improve a company culture and keep it working;

– tips on how to get your company in the running for next year’s Best Places to Work list;

– and guidelines for making a great company culture part of your employer brand.

The Economic Benefits of Being a Best Place to Work

ConferenceThe roadshow stops will also feature some economic research conducted by Glassdoor’s chief economist, Andrew Chamberlain. The gist of the research? It pays to be one of the best places to work.

“We know culture is valuable and that the right thing to do is to have a workplace culture that is vibrant and thriving, but beyond that, there’s real economic research behind why this is so important,” Holden says.

For example, in one study, Chamberlain looked at which workplace factors have the biggest impact on employee satisfaction. He found that compensation and benefits rank toward the bottom of the list, whereas things like senior leadership, culture and values, and career opportunities all contribute significantly to employee satisfaction.

In a second study, Chamberlain found that public companies on the Best Places to Work list tend to outperform the S&P 500. Chamberlain compared the performance of a stock portfolio composed of Best Places to Work companies to the overall market and found the portfolio outperformed the market by 115.6 percent.

Chamberlain’s research also suggests that bad company cultures actively harm organizations. It turns out the lowest-rated companies on Glassdoor underperform against the overall market by almost 30 percent.

Where to Catch the Roadshow

Want to earn your organization a spot on next year’s Best Places to Work list? You can catch the Glassdoor roadshow on one of the following dates:

Feb. 2 – Los Angeles, CA

Feb. 9 – Washington, DC

Feb. 16 – Dallas, TX

Feb. 16 – London, UK

Feb. 23 – San Francisco, CA

March 2 – New York, NY

March 2 – Manchester, UK

March 9 – Toronto, ON

March 16 – Chicago, IL

March 23 – Boston, MA

If you’re unable to make it in person, the San Francisco and Chicago dates will be streamed live. They’ll also be recorded, in case you want to watch later on your own time. Just register to receive the video in your inbox.

Read more in Organizational Culture

Matthew Kosinski is the managing editor of Recruiter.com.