As we described previously, arriving at how to rate companies on the Good Company Index™ was, at times, a long slog. Often, we found ourselves confronting disappointing data quality – or even no data at all – in areas that we wanted to be able to including in the rankings.
Fortunately, however, these issues were not problems when constructing the good employer component of the ratings.
If you turn back the clock to ten (or even five) years ago, if we wanted to know who was a good (or not-so-good) employer, we would have turned first to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for – which would have given us insight only on that small subset of companies that had chosen to devote the resources to providing all the information necessary to Fortune. And there were rankings of companies with the best training (a great, but narrow, measure) and no doubt an occasional article or two here and there that talked about a specific company, but that was about it – nothing comprehensive.
(We had some additional information on certain organizations from data requests we sent out related to our investment portfolios at Bassi Investments – but that wasn’t information that was useful publicly.)
Bottom line: until recently, there was no comprehensive data source for information on what it was like to work for most companies. Vault.com and a couple of others tried to create clearinghouses for that sort of information, but those efforts didn’t take off as broadly as we had hoped.
Fortunately, Glassdoor.com, founded in 2007, got it right. The company has data on tens of thousands of organizations – ratings and reviews directly from employees within those firms.
Transparency in this area had finally arrived – great news for job seekers, for the handful of investors who want to take such information into account, and for the growing number of consumers who want to spend their money with companies they respect.
And, of course, great news for us too. We tapped the Glassdoor rankings as the primary source of information on what companies are good employers (we supplemented it with information from the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for).
At the time we compiled the numbers for the book, the companies in our rankings (publicly-traded companies in the 100 largest companies in the US) with the highest Glassdoor ratings were Procter & Gamble, Chevron, Goldman Sachs, and Apple. The lowest? RiteAid, Supervalu, and Hewlett-Packard.
Some of those are certainly not surprising while others are big surprises, especially based on long-standing reputation (Hewlett-Packard!)
The very existence of the Glassdoor employer rankings helps to illustrate the recent rise of what we call “technology-fueled people power,” which is changing the world by improving what we know about the companies in our lives.
I recently blogged over on the Glassdoor.com site about five intangible attributes of good companies: reciprocity, connectivity, transparency, balance, and courage.
Check out the full post, then let us know what you think! Which ones resonate most with you? Anything you think we missed?