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Organizational Change
The Secret Ingredient Behind High-Performing Companies

Great Place to Work® has studied high-trust workplace cultures for the past 30 years. Our data represents 100+ million employees’ perspectives. It unlocks the mystery of what makes a great employer, regardless of size, industry or region of the globe.

Through data analysis, we can pinpoint the qualities that make a great workplace culture.

Trust is at the top of the list. At its core, a great workplace is about the level of trust that employees experience in their leaders. The level of pride they have in their jobs, and the extent to which they enjoy their colleagues.

To know whether you have a high-trust workplaces, think about whether your employees:

  • Trust the people they work for

  • Driving Internal Organizational Alignment and Better Cross-Functional Collaboration

    Join us as leaders from Daggerwing Group, General Mills, J. Lohr Vineyards, Sylvain and Caribou Coffee explore aspects of evolving internal company governance, culture and collaboration that enable stronger connections with consumers across generations and with evolving mindsets — Wed, May 8, at Brand-Led Culture Change.

    Have pride in what they do; and

  • Experience camaraderie with their colleagues.

When workplaces do these things well, all employees feel empowered and the business flourishes.

While the correlation between workplace culture and business feels intuitive, you can also prove it through data. We analyzed companies with high-trust cultures. These are companies on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list. And the data shows they outperform their peers in many ways.

When you focus on building a high-trust culture you can expect: 

Enviable financial results

Are you looking for better financial performance? An independent study of Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® found that high-trust workplaces achieved superior results over a several-year period.

Results across operating income per employee, operating margin, growth rate, return on assets, and Tobin’s Q (the ratio between an asset’s market and replacement value). And publicly traded companies on the 100 Best Companies to Work For® list deliver stock market returns three times greater than the market average.

Clearly, workplaces with a high-trust culture have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Lower employee turnover

According to Employee Benefit News, it costs employers 33 percent of a worker's annual salary to replace them. The Best Workplaces have substantially lower voluntary turnover than their peers — which adds up to big bucks.

The 2019 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® were no exception. Their average voluntary turnover rate was just 12 percent across employees. The national average was 27 percent over the same period.

Enhanced productivity

Happiness leads to a 12 percent spike in productivity according to a recent study at the University of Warwick; unhappy workers were 10 percent less productive. Our research finds similar results.

Employees across all generations are three times more likely to give extra on the job when they enjoy their workplace.

Engaged employees

Are your employees excited to go to work? According to Gallup, employees who are checked-out cost the US economy up to $605 billion through loss of productivity. That's less of an issue for high-trust workplaces where employee engagement is high.

Our research has found that at these organizations, employees are more tuned into their work. Employees are more likely to offer more of their talents than required and act as owners of the business.


Everyone agrees innovation is a crucial competitive advantage in an ever-changing market. But how do you get there? By building a culture of trust and inviting all employees into the process.

This environment cultivates quality ideas, greater implementation speed, and more agility. Companies with this culture see 5.5 times the revenue growth of peers with a less inclusive approach to innovation.


Research into organizational agility has shown that high-trust workplaces can move faster than organizations not built on trust.

Besides creating an environment of transparency, collaboration and innovation, trust means that companies can make quicker decisions — and then act on them.

Better customer service

Engaged, empowered employees deliver better customer service, better products, and happier customers.

This was the finding of an eight-year study of a subset of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®, by Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School.

Customer satisfaction ratings were 2.8 to 3.2 points higher than competitors.

Among the healthcare organizations on the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare satisfaction scores average 4 percent higher than the national average for “Overall Hospital Rating.” Scores were 7 percent higher for whether patients would “Recommend the Hospital.”

Strong employer branding

More consumers are looking to brands that align with their values — and looking for companies that care. Job hunting is no different.

Building an employer brand known for treating employees with respect and generosity is not just the right thing to do. It's a smart recruitment strategy.

93 percent of employees at the 100 Best Companies to Work For say they're proud to tell others where they work. That’s free marketing.

To learn more about the correlation between high-trust cultures and business success, join your peers at the 2020 Great Place to Work For All Summit, March 3-5 — the year's most important event for anyone focused on driving business success through workplace culture. Immerse yourself in cutting-edge data and innovative people strategies that will help you tackle today's most important leadership challenges.