In Good Company

Fortune recently released its annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. This list is based on data originated by Fortune research partner Great Place to Work. Now, before the skeptics in the back slide through with the "yea, okay, they probably don't even compile or use that data" side eyes, let me preach. I have not only taken Great Place to Work surveys for my own company, but I have also witnessed the impact the results of the survey played in contributing to Inclusion and Diversity initiatives developed after the results were released.

Although we topped in around 61 and I'm now looking for a new job (100% kidding, @myFBIagent @myemployer), I must say that given the number of companies that call the U.S. their home, inclusion in the top 100 is an accomplishment for any firm. Great Place to Work has 30 years of experience in the employee survey data analysis game, and as such, the benchmarks they have access to and the quality of the surveys they develop for these annual lists hold their own on the validity scale.

You get the picture: the inputs are solid. But, what of the outputs? What, if any, trends tie the firms that top this year's list together?

One commonality I noticed among the top 10 members of the list is a trend in company dedication to diversity. In fact, 6 of the 10 companies that ranked top 10 in the 2018 "Best Workplaces for Diversity" list also made the top 10 for the 2019 "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. If you're wondering what the special sauce of I&D is made up of for the first 3 of the top 10 firms, allow me to walk you through the recipes:


The top-down approach. Hilton's inclusion and diversity framework is steeped in executive-level involvement, and has been since the company first developed its diversity and inclusion focus back in 2010. Senior leaders comprise the Hilton Executive Inclusion Council, review the Quarterly Diversity Dashboard, develop Organizational Objectives related to Diversity, participate in their Executive Committee Networking Program, and sponsor their Team Member Resource Groups.

I talked about some of the work I'm proud to support my own African American Employee Resource Group in executing in this post, but I find it interesting that Hilton's approach to TMRGs has a non-traditional component that I've not seen elsewhere. Hilton has a Millenial Team Member Resource Group: who knew there were firms that dedicated safe space for us to discuss our Black Mirror, tech-related woes?!

Seriously, though, I think that offering is pretty cool. According to Dynamic Signal, "Within the next two years, 50 percent of the U.S. workforce is expected to be made up of Millenials," and Hilton's Millenial TMRG serves as proof to a large chunk of their workforce that their concerns and the novelty of their experience are acknowledged and accepted.

Other key tenets of Hilton's Diversity program: up to 10 weeks of parental leave for birth mothers, U.S. adoption assistance, U.S. bereavement leave, "Thrive" employee sabbatical opportunities, Operation Opportunity commitment to veteran hiring, and support for Heart of House, an organization providing wardrobe options for Team Members who need them.

Comcast NBCUniversal

This global media and technology company focuses their I&D efforts across 4 tiers: workforce, suppliers and partners, programming and content, and communities. I'll start by touching on the suppliers and partners facet here, simply because it tends to be less widely recognized by your average employee. Most large corporations operate with the support of a broad network of suppliers; they rely on these suppliers for tangible inputs and labor, and in many cases, loyalty. So, when strategic objectives are set in place to ensure that a percentage of these qualified suppliers come from diverse backgrounds, a larger group of providers gains access to a slice of the corporate revenue pie. Comcast is helping diverse suppliers - vendors and contractors that fall into the women-, minority-, veteran-, LGBT-, and disability-owned business categories - thrive by spending billions of dollars on their high-quality services each year.

Comcast is also dedicated to placing inclusion and diversity at the forefront of the programming and content developed across their brands and platforms. From a talent acquisition perspective, programs like NBCUniversal's Talent Infusion Program (TIPS) creates a pipeline for diverse talent across writing, directing, acting, and comedic roles. As far as news goes, NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC noted that between 20-60% of their "on-air" and behind-the-camera" team members were people of color and/or women in 2017.

Finally, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at Comcast have taken on a new lens: last year, the theme "You Don't Have to Be to Belong" highlighted the importance of allyship for the various ERGs. Creating the resource groups themselves is the first step, but driving engagement across those who don't have an affinity with a particular group is a worthwhile challenge all its own.


You may or may not be familiar with Publix if you happen to hail from a corner of the U.S. that isn't home to one of their stores. This grocery store chain topped in at number 3 on the list of "Best Workplaces for Diversity" for a few reasons.

Publix has a strong penchant for community engagement and outreach. The organizations that they support across the communities the stores occupy in the Southeastern U.S. focus on "youth, education, reducing hunger, and alleviating homelessness." From the 9 active corporate community campaigns they support to the youth soccer initiatives they contribute to, Publix ensures that the community reaps the benefits of the firm's accomplishments.

Though not directly cited as a diversity target for Publix, generational spread seems to be extremely balanced for this firm. According to their current company overview, 18% of their workforce can be categorized as "Gen Z" (born after 1998), 39% are "Millenials" (between 1981 and 1997), 22% are "Gen X" (between 1965 and 1980), 19% are "Baby Boomers" (between 1945 and 1964), and 2% are "Silent Gen" (born before 1945). This spread is wildly different compared to companies across sectors like government, where Gen Xers and Boomers are overwhelmingly occupying workplace positions, and technology, where Millenials take a mean sweep. Diversity of age is important, albeit often overlooked. Wisdom can be bred and built on from both ends of the employee scale: freshly-minted and well-seasoned.

As you can see, none of these initiatives or efforts are the byproduct of any complex calculation: they stem from a dedication to people, both within a firm and in the surrounding community. We all have different workplace priorities, and I encourage you to take an inventory of the things you value in an employer if you haven't done so already. You can't identify ways to enact change at your current firm or to seek change elsewhere if you don't have a baseline understanding of your own values and beliefs. Are there any initiatives your company undertakes that make it a Great Place to Work? Share them with me in the comments or over on Instagram.


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