Behind the Top 50 Best Places to Work

Jan 16, 2013
3 Min Read

Last month, Glassdoor released their 5th annual Employee Choice Awards, the Top 50 Best Places to Work list. What does it take for a company to make that list? FAQs state:

“To be considered for Glassdoor's annual Employees' Choice Awards, companies must have at least 25 approved company reviews every 12 months. The reviews must be provided by employees and all reviews are posted anonymously on Glassdoor. Only one review per employee per year is accepted, and each review must meet our community guidelines.”

Beyond simple policy, I was curious about the actual comments that happy employees submitted to support the top ratings. Reading through the reviews, I was struck by the similarity of the feedback about these very different organizations. Admittedly, this is a very unscientific analysis; I simply mined through the comments at the companies listed and noted some trends that jumped out at me.


  • Committed to values
  • Visionary, respected leaders
  • Inspire others, act as mentors
  • Aligned with company mission and philosophy
  • Prioritize long-term goals over short-term goals


  • Colleagues become friends
  • Smart, passionate, competent coworkers
  • Respectful and supportive of each other
  • Teammates are excited to be at the office
  • Employees are trusted to work independently
  • Good problem-solving collaborations and discussions


  • Merit-based promotions and reviews
  • Employees have meaningful work and responsibility
  • Great projects and interesting, challenging work
  • Easy to shift between teams, roles, and projects
  • Good learning opportunity and developmental experiences


  • No red tape
  • Busy but fun
  • Good benefits
  • Treated like family
  • Work/life balance is attainable
  • Modern systems and processes

What makes a Best Place to Work in your opinion?

How much do employees vs. the employer have to do with this opinion?

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