Top Workplaces USA Winners Get Things Done … Together

The 2021 Top Workplaces USA winners’ list was announced at the end of January. Based solely on the feedback captured by an employee engagement survey, the results reflect how people feel about their workplace. Individuals were asked to rate 24 different aspects of their employee experience. The survey also asks what three words best describe their organization’s culture.

The responses revealed what separates Top Workplaces USA organizations from each other and what gives them an edge over those that were not.

What stands out about Top Workplaces USA organizations? For starters, their employees are more positive. But why – and what can other organizations learn from them? Let’s take a closer look.

Two drivers that didn’t stand out

Manager-related scores
The 2021 Top Workplaces USA winners don’t especially stand out for having better manager-related scores. This is partly because the highest-rated aspects of the employee experience for Aspiring Top Workplaces (those who participated but didn’t win) also typically are related to their managers. And while the Top Workplace ratings for managers are good – on average – other aspects of the employee experience show a more significant difference than Aspiring Top Workplaces.

Work-life balance
The other aspect that didn’t stand out is work-life balance. Among the many facets of employee experience, Top Workplaces employees rate this one the lowest. It’s not bad at Top Workplaces, but it is not what differentiates them from other companies.

What does stand out about Top Workplaces USA winners

Top Workplaces do things efficiently and well
Employees at Top Workplaces are 3.5 times more likely to strongly agree that “at this organization, we do things efficiently and well,” according to Energage research.

In addition, when Energage looks at how employees describe their organizations’ cultures, the responses reveal something similar. Employees at Top Workplaces are 25 percent more likely to describe their culture using a word related to performing well, such as “focused,” “productive,” “impactful,” “effective,” and “quality.”

At Top Workplaces, this goes beyond merely getting the trains there on time. It’s also about where they are going and why.

Top Workplaces employees have enthusiasm for the company’s direction
At these organizations, employees believe in the company direction, and they’re excited about where it’s headed. In fact, they are two times more likely to strongly agree that they “believe this organization is going in the right direction.”

Here’s the big-picture perspective: Top Workplaces do not stand out for providing easy jobs. But they do stand out for how effectively their employees work together toward achieving something bigger than any individual could achieve alone.

What these Top Workplaces USA insights mean for your company

Whatever the organization, there is no single “best” culture. The right culture is unique to the business model and other aspects of the situation.

Top Workplaces USA winners know where they are going, and they believe in the importance of what they are doing. These attributes inspire employees to persevere and overcome any obstacles that get in the way of achieving their goals.

These are the questions to ask yourself – and your leadership:

  1. Do your employees know and believe in what your organization is trying to achieve?
  2. Is your organization committed to doing whatever it takes to overcome obstacles, including internal politics, external factors, distractions, and inertia?
  3. Is everyone at your organization committed to what you’re trying to achieve, and are they working together to rise above each individual’s self-interest?

For the Top Workplaces USA winners, the answer to these questions is yes.

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