Is Fortune’s ‘Best Places To Work’ List A Sham?

Every year, Fortune publishes a list of the 100 best companies to work. But are they really that great?

24/7 Wall Street thinks…perhaps not.

The consulting firm that produces the list, the the Great Place to Work Institute, has financial relationships with some of the companies on the list, though in some cases those relationships began after the company’s first inclusion on the list.

And the only companies that are even considered for inclusion are ones that apply. In one way, this rule makes sense, because the Institute can’t possibly survey employees of every company in the U.S. (and they do rely on surveys for part of their evaluation). In another way, this is crazy, because it means that the 100 “best” places to work are simply the “best” of the 300-odd companies that applied.

On the other hand, companies that have had financial relationships with the Institute argue the relationship has had nothing to do with their inclusion.
“We had been on the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list for 10 years before we even considered working with Great Place to Work on a project,” Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale told 24/7 Wall Street. “We never felt pressure to use their consulting services prior to that; we didn’t then, nor have we since. And the one thing we know for certain is that the application process, including the survey results, have helped us to become an even better place to work … and ultimately a better place to shop.”

Ultimately, 24/7 Wall Street’s complaints come across as thinly-sourced, at best. But no company in the business of awarding other businesses should also be taking their money.