8 Qualities Shared by Top Companies

What are the qualities shared by top companies? Additionally, what is it about them that makes them a top place to work? How are they different from others in the same industry?

Three major organizations that put out annual lists of “top companies to work for” are Forbes, Fortune, and Glassdoor. Seen below are the criteria and methodology used by each to make these lists:


Through surveys Forbes gathers responses against the following criteria:

  • Willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and family
  • How their current employer compares to other employers in the industry
  • Company image
  • Economic footprint of the company
  • Talent growth and development
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Social responsibility


Also through surveys, Fortune gathers responses against the following criteria:

  • 85% of the survey is an evaluation of trust and opportunity to reach their full human potential
  • The remaining 15% covers:
    • Daily experiences of company values
    • Ability to contribute new ideas
    • Leadership effectiveness


Unique to Glassdoor, current and past employees can rate a company against the following criteria at any time:

  • Culture & Values
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Compensation & Benefits
  • Career Opportunities
  • Also gathered is information on
    • CEO approval
    • The outlook of the business
    • If they would recommend the company to a friend.

Top Companies Appearing on Multiple Lists

  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • Adobe
  • Hilton
  • Wegmans Food Markets
  • Cisco
  • Salesforce
  • Stryker
  • Hubspot
  • Delta Airlines  

8 Qualities Shared by Top Companies

Looking over these top companies, we see that they share a common set of qualities. These qualities include:

Competitive Pay & Benefits

Naturally, companies need to provide the pay and benefits needed to meet the team’s needs. It’s important to note that top companies always keep their pay and benefits competitive. In fact, they often lead the market in these areas to attract the best talent.

Work/Life Balance

Top companies understand the importance of balancing life and work. They also make space for people to tend to the other things in life that are important. They make sure to give enough time to recharge during evenings and weekends.


There is peace of mind that comes from knowing your job/company is stable. To create a great culture the team needs to feel this staying power is there.

Culture & Values

Another feature of high-performing cultures is that they are the result of an engaged culture. Also, these companies create environments where team members want to come to work. These team members are committed to the organization’s values and goals.

Diversity & Inclusion

At top companies; all are welcome. Another way to put it is that you can bring your “whole self” to work every day. Also, you know that your unique contribution will be valued and celebrated. Both the workforce and leadership reflect the communities they serve.

Opportunity to Grow & Develop

A top concern for team members is the opportunity to grow and develop. It’s understood that learning is a strong pathway to raising engagement. Great companies want to keep their team learning and engaged.

Altruistic Purpose

Additionally, companies with highly engaged workforces have an altruistic purpose. They exist for something bigger than profits. Also, their team members live and breath that purpose.

Trust in Leadership at all Levels

Team members need to know that senior leadership cares about them. Trust in leadership at the lower levels is also critical. All leaders need the skills to lead the people and manage the business. 

How Top Companies Perform

Top companies have highly engaged workforces. This means that on average these companies are:

  • 21% more profitable
  • 17% more productive
  • And see revenue increases 4x as fast as the competition

Learn more about why employee engagement matters HERE.


There are 8 qualities shared by top companies, these include:

  • Competitive Pay & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Stability
  • Culture & Values
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Opportunity to Grow & Develop
  • Altruistic Purpose
  • Trust in Leadership at all Levels

Many companies considered “top places to work,” are within the technology, travel, and retail industries. These companies have created cultures that motivate their team members to reach their highest potential. I talk more about how this can be done HERE.

Additionally, top places to work are more profitable and productive than the competition. Employees are more likely to want to work there and less likely to leave. They are also more willing to put in extra effort while on the job. It’s worthwhile to cultivate these things as a business. Similarly, for individual job seekers it’s worthwhile to seek out these kinds of workplaces.

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