Top Workplaces Methodology

The strategy behind the nation’s leading employer recognition program

Top Workplaces prioritize their people and the workplace experience

No two Top Workplaces are exactly alike. In fact, they come in all shapes and sizes. But these standout organizations share one thing in common: They’re dedicated to people-first culture excellence, and they prioritize it day in and day out. 

Great Leadership Qualities

Top Workplaces is driven by employee feedback

Who determines if your organization deserves a Top Workplaces award? Those who know the company’s culture best: your employees. The Top Workplaces program starts with capturing their feedback about what matters most.  Part of the Energage Platform, the Workplace Survey is a research-backed employee engagement survey that measures the workplace experience and the themes that drive it: 

The people science behind Top Workplaces

The awards are based on employee feedback

Top Workplaces are determined by feedback captured by the employee engagement survey. There are no judges, essays, or forms. 

Top Workplaces relies on the Energage Workplace Survey

The Workplace Survey qualifies your company for Top Workplaces employer recognition throughout the year, including regional, national, culture excellence, and industry awards.

Organizations must achieve a minimum response rate

Organizations must achieve a 35% response rate to be considered for a Top Workplaces award. For those with fewer than 85 employees, a minimum of 30 survey responses is required. 

We rule out questionable results 

Energage statistical tests look for questionable results to ensure organizations accurately administer the survey. Sometimes, we must disqualify an organization based on what we find or other factors such as a low response rate. 

Organizations are grouped by employee size band

Participating organizations are categorized into size bands, from small to large or extra large. We do this because of a phenomenon such as “mean reversion,” where the larger the group of people, the less extreme their scores can be. 

We use a proprietary approach to determine the winners

The Workplace Survey results identify the companies that meet the Top Workplaces threshold. We use a proprietary approach that combines our wealth of data and industry-leading benchmarks to ensure winners represent culture greatness. 

Top Workplaces eligibility requirements

National Top Workplaces awards

National Top Workplaces includes annual and quarterly employer recognition, including USA, Industry, and Culture Excellence awards. To be eligible, organizations must employ a minimum of 150 employees. Companies can be public, private, nonprofit, for-profit, or governmental. There is no cost to participate. Go here for more details. 

Regional Top Workplaces awards

We partner with the nation’s most prestigious media outlets to bring Top Workplaces to 60 markets across the United States. Depending on the region, eligible organizations must have a minimum of 35 or 50 employees to participate. Companies can be public, private, nonprofit, educational, or governmental. As always, there is no cost to participate. Go here for more details.

Looking for more details?

Go here to see the frequently asked questions. 

Let’s Celebrate! The 2024 National Industry Awards are now live!