We’ve all searched for a company online to see what people say about working there—whether we are job seekers considering an opening or employers looking for information on a competitor.
In fact, in a recent survey, 95% of job seekers told Indeed that if they were considering a new job opportunity, insight into a company’s reputation would be “somewhat” or “extremely” important.
In today’s age of radical transparency, the kind of privileged glimpse into other workplaces that was once only available via word-of-mouth is now an expectation for everyone. But this also means that we have new opportunities to learn from high-performing companies, as we can see how they keep their employees engaged and satisfied.
But which are doing best of all when it comes to delivering great employee experiences? To identify the Top-Rated Workplaces in 2018, our data team tapped into the 72 million ratings and reviews listed on Indeed Company Pages, analyzing the results for the firms featured on this year’s Fortune 500 list. Here’s what we found.
Social media giant Facebook takes the lead in 2018
So who is our number-one Top-Rated Workplace in 2018? Despite a somewhat tumultuous year for Facebook, the social media behemoth climbed three places from number four on last year’s list to claim the top spot. A semantic analysis of employee reviews shows that people at Facebook most often refer to the “great environment”, “amazing benefits” and “great people” (not to mention the "free food").
Right after Facebook (which also recently placed first among the Top-Rated Workplaces in the Bay Area), we see Southwest Airlines, which held onto its second-place ranking from last year. There’s no shortage of airlines in the top 10, with Delta moving up from last year’s eleventh-place ranking to finish at number four, while JetBlue Airways, the NYC-based budget airline, nabbed the number-eight spot.
Tech companies besides Facebook also made a strong showing. Taking third place is Salesforce, the enterprise software giant that ranked first in 2017 and 2016 and is renowned for its culture of philanthropy. Apple, having just announced plans to boost its content portfolio via a multiyear partnership with Oprah Winfrey, lands in tenth place, while old rival Microsoft places just outside the top 10 at number eleven.
Other top-performing firms for employee satisfaction include warehouse club chain Costco, which follows up on its high ranking for job security and advancement by claiming the number-five spot in the Fortune 500.
Eli Lilly, a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indianapolis, saw the biggest change in rankings—it made an impressive jump from number 41 last year to finish at number 12 on this year’s list. A recent repatriation of foreign profits earlier this year freed up $9 billion for Eli Lilly to deploy across its business.
This year we also see some newcomers in the top 50 (scroll to the bottom for the full rankings): entertainment company Live Nation (#13), eBay (#15), television broadcasting company CBS (#26), engineering and construction firm Fluor Corporation (#33) and biopharmaceutical company AbbVie (#35) all made their debut on Indeed’s Top-Rated Workplaces of 2018 list.
What do 2018’s Top-Rated Workplaces have in common?
With such a wide variety of sectors represented, what does it take for a company to make the rankings?
“With so much competition in recruiting today, companies are continuing to evolve their overall employee experience in the hopes of attracting and retaining top talent for their open positions,” says Indeed SVP of HR, Paul Wolfe. “Organizations that stood out among top-rated companies have worked hard to listen to the specific needs of their employees to provide an outstanding experience through strategic and thoughtful workplace programs.”
Another recurring theme in reviews is the importance of “people.” Being surrounded by smart, fun, hardworking and helpful teammates is mentioned repeatedly in reviews of the Top-Rated Workplaces. This, enhanced by good management, helps contribute to overall employee experience.
But if employers need to start focusing on delivering a stellar employee experience, where should they begin? Let’s take a deep dive into the top five.
The top-rated: what they’re doing right
HQ: Menlo Park, CA
Likewise, Facebook has seen great success with its employee experience. While people praise the company’s benefits and perks in reviews, their passion for the company extends beyond just that.
One reviewer, an engineer, loves the “intense but rewarding” nature of the work at Facebook, as well as the highly collaborative environment.
Another sums up the experience like this: “The workplace is full of energy; it keeps you on your toes. The personnel are all well experienced and extremely capable. The management is firm but helpful. It is also imperative to work together; teamwork is paramount.”
A third employee says the best thing about working at Facebook is its productivity. “It's a pleasure working with people who are all concerned with producing a good product and making the best of the time spent while doing it.”
HQ: Dallas, TX
Southwest Airlines is based in Dallas, Texas, and is identifiable by the red, yellow and blue livery on its planes. Now in its 51st year, the company began with one simple notion: if you get your passengers to their destination when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest fares, and make sure they have a good time doing it, then people will fly Southwest. And as the only domestic airline with 45 consecutive years of profitability, they turned out to be right.
Southwest’s employees are also happy in the workplace.
One employee praises the “wonderful management, awesome coworkers, and excellent benefits,” adding that Southwest “encourages individuality” and that there are “many options for advancement.”
Another reviewer highlights the “great team collaboration” and praises the environment as “productive,” “interesting” and “fun.”
Yet another employee enjoys working with the “young but friendly management” and mentions that the workplace culture is “fun and energetic,” with diverse groups of people.
HQ: San Francisco, CA
This cloud-computing giant is most known for its customer relationship management (CRM) product and has also ranked first in Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2018.
According to one reviewer, Salesforce’s rankings are definitely warranted.
“It lives up to the hype of being a top place to work,” the employee says. “A great mix of fast paced, challenging projects and smart people along with a cool, fun culture. You are allowed to have a voice and an opinion regardless of title or rank, and despite the crazy work schedule, the 'fun' vibe balances things out.”
Another employee describes Salesforce as “a fantastic place for top-notch professionals who want to be on a winning team,” going on to say that the company focuses on “trust, security, and providing customers with the best service in the industry.”
A third reviewer adds, “The company is also committed to providing employees six days a year to volunteer in our communities and around the globe, which makes it a very fulfilling job all around.”
HQ: Atlanta, GA
This major American airline is based in Atlanta and is the oldest airline to operate in the United States. It initially began as a commercial agricultural flying company, participating in “crop dusting,” or spraying fertilizer on crops from an aircraft, but is now one of the largest airlines in the U.S.
Employees at Delta praise the “great group of people, supervisors, as well as managers” who make sure the employees are treated with respect.
A flight attendant who worked for eight years at Delta described being surrounded by hardworking and fun people and said the variety of destinations flown made for a wonderful experience.
“Management had an open-door policy, and there was a lot of transparency. Profit-sharing happened when the years were good, and I felt the company went out of its way to be generous to employees.”
Not to mention, multiple employees said they enjoyed the great pass benefits for employees as well as their families and friends.
HQ: Issaquah, WA
Costco Wholesale is a multinational corporation that operates a chain of membership-only warehouse clubs across the world. And not only is it the one-stop shop for all sorts of goods in bulk, it’s also a great place to work.
“They pay their employees well above the national rate by way of comparison,” one reviewer says. “Costco believes that employees are the most important assets in the company. The management staff truly believe in leading from the front and do a great job of instilling ownership and confidence into every employee. Work and life balance is not an issue with this company at all. Health insurance and holiday benefits are second to none.”
Another reviewer echoes the first, praising the management for their productivity and for trying to please as many employees they can, as well as fellow employees for being great people to work with and learn from. As for the most enjoyable thing? “The way that they take care of their employees with salary and yearly bonuses.”
Methodology: Indeed has over 72 million ratings and reviews. Indeed compiled this list by including companies that are members of the Fortune 500 Index with over 5,000 employees and have at least 100 reviews over the past two years. These companies are the most highly rated on overall employee experience.