Methodology for 100 Best Companies to Work For (2021)

How we select the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® and the Fortune Best Big Companies to Work For®

The 2021 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list honors the most heroic companies supporting their people and communities in the U.S. during this historically challenging year.

People analytics firm Great Place to Work® surveyed over half a million employees on issues including how trustworthy, caring, and fair the company is in times of crises; employees’ physical, emotional, and financial health; and the company’s broader community impact. Analysis revealed strong links between positive employee opinions and how employees witnessed their senior leaders and direct managers during the crisis. Seventy-one percent of winning workplaces scored better than in pre-pandemic times, increasing employees’ experiences of workplace trust an average of three percentage points.

Particular attention was paid to how employees’ experiences varied depending on their job role, gender, race/ethnicity, payroll status, and other characteristics to ensure that the company is creating a great workplace for all. 

In a typical year, 75% of each company’s score is based on confidential employee feedback and 25% is based on our analysis of company’s essay questions describing their programs and practices. This year, we changed the essay question to focus on actions taken specifically in response to the challenges of 2020. We collected over 100 data points regarding each company’s employee demographics and HR programs and practices. We weighted 40% of this year’s score on how each company stepped up to support their people and communities, taking into account how significantly they were impacted by the pandemic; and 60% on employees’ confidential survey responses.

Companies need to employ at least 1,000 U.S. employees to be considered for the 100 Best Companies list, and at least 100,000 employees globally to be considered for the Best Big Companies to Work For list. Government agencies are not eligible.

To find out more about how to become Great Place to Work Certified™ or to apply to this or other Best Workplaces lists, visit

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Contributors from Fortune include Danielle Abril, Lydia Belanger, Lee Clifford, Scott DeCarlo, Katherine Dunn, Robert Hackett, Matt Heimer, Emma Hinchliffe, Andrew Marquardt, Rey Mashayekhi, McKenna Moore, David Z. Morris, Sy Mukherjee, Aaron Pressman, Lucinda Shen, Anne Sraders, and Phil Wahba,

Contributors from Great Place to Work include CEO Michael C.
Bush, Sarah Lewis-Kulin, Travis Minetti, Kim Peters, Otto Zell, and
Nancy Cesena.