Great Place to Work® began with an unexpected discovery. In 1981 a New York editor asked two business journalists — Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz — to write a book called The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. Though the pair were skeptical they could find 100 companies that would qualify, they agreed, starting a journey that would lead to more than 25 years of researching, recognising, and building great workplaces.
What was the core insight uncovered by the pair’s extensive research? It was that the key to creating a great workplace was not a prescriptive set of employee benefits, programmes and practices, but the building of high-quality relationships in the workplace — relationships characterised by trust, pride, and camaraderie. These relationships weren’t a “soft” activity, but key drivers that help improve an organisation’s business performance. The role of trust in the workplace became core not only for that first, pioneering 1984 book, but its 1988 sequel, A Great Place to Work: What makes some employers so good — and most so bad.
These insights led to the founding of Great Place to Work Institute. Business leaders around the world adopted the Institute’s models and methodology as a valuable way to measure and create great workplaces. In 1997, FORTUNE (in the United States) and Exame (in Brazil) partnered with the Institute’s research arm to produce the world’s first 100 Best Companies to Work For workplace rankings. In 2002, the European Commission engaged Great Place to Work® to initiate a government-sponsored Best Companies list competition in 15 European countries as part of their strategy to create successful businesses, desirable workplaces, and thriving economies and communities throughout Europe. Great Place to Work in Ireland was established at that time and we published our first list of the Best Workplaces in Ireland®, in partnership with the Irish Independent, in 2003. Great Place to Work gradually opened doors in 45 countries around the world with more growth slated in the coming years.
Today, Great Place to Work Institute partners with many of the most successful and innovative businesses around the world to create, study, and recognise great workplaces. During the course of a typical year, Great Place to Work works with more than 5,500 organisations, representing over 10 million employees. These partnerships continually build our unique expertise, including our multi-industry workplace culture benchmarking and best practice databases. Our premiere Best Workplaces lists are published or distributed by market-leading news media around the world, to an audience of more than 25 million readers. The combination of this direct advisory work and media coverage is all core to how we create a better society by helping companies transform their workplaces.