Tips from the World’s Best Workplaces™

3 Employee Experiences That Set the World’s Best Workplaces Apart

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What makes the Best Workplaces™ better than all the rest?

According to the Fortune World’s Best Workplaces 2021 list, three factors stand out.

Compared to other workplaces, employees at the World’s Best Workplaces are:

  • 17% more likely to say they receive special and unique benefits
  • 14% more likely to say they are offered training opportunities to develop professionally
  • 13% more likely to say everyone has the opportunity to receive special recognition

This year’s list surveyed nearly 20 million employees from 10,000 companies worldwide, spanning 106 countries.

To be considered in the top 25, companies must be identified as outstanding global employers by appearing on at least five Best Workplaces lists in Australia, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa or North America during 2020 or early 2021.

Here are lessons from three companies that made the list.1

Training and development at Atlassian: It starts before employees even begin

  • At the World’s Best Workplaces, 84% of employees say they are offered training opportunities to further themselves professionally
  • At companies that did not place on our list, just 70% of employees say the same

Australia-based software developer Atlassian – which placed 23rd on the World’s Best Workplaces list – wants to make sure everyone has the best chance at joining the team, and that that new hires have the best chances of success.

Atlassian’s Candidate Resource Hub supports job seekers as they advance through the interview process. The hub houses resources for prospective candidates, as well as those who are actively interviewing.

Once candidates are hired, they are brought through a robust onboarding experience that includes crash courses in the company’s products and individualised 90-day action plans.

Atlassian also takes its recruitment expertise into the wider community by offering interview skills workshops.

These workshops were created in response to COVID-19 displacing so many workers across industries and give a behind-the-scenes perspective from Atlassian’s own recruitment team so that candidates can feel more confident about their next interview — whether that’s with Atlassian or elsewhere.

The workshops dive into tips and tricks to help candidates with including interview basics, question techniques and time management during an interview

Atlassian was placed 5th in the large category in Australia’s Best Workplaces 2021.

Special recognition at DHL: Workers do more than just work

  • At the World’s Best Workplaces, 82% of employees say everyone has an opportunity to get special recognition
  • At other workplaces, just 69% of employees feel that hard work is recognized by their employer

At logistics company DHL Express, which took the top spot on the World’s Best list this year, employee recognition isn’t just about how hard you work, but about bringing your full self to work – whether that’s through community contributions or developing your own passion projects.

DHL Express Australia was placed second in Australia’s 2021 Best Workplaces list.

Backed by the company’s mission of “connecting people and improving lives,” the DHL’s Got Heart program is a global initiative encouraging employees to share uplifting stories of volunteer or fundraising work that they do in their personal time.

Finalists are recognized at the annual Employee of the Year event, with DHL donating to the finalists’ causes.

The three-day event, which also recognizes top performers, is usually held in a luxury resort with activities and a gala night presentation. Due to the pandemic, this year’s celebrations were virtual, with winners receiving €25,000 donations for their causes.

Other recognition efforts include the Can Do Awards, which honour employees who have gone out of their way to help others, and the Festiv-ALL event, a new celebration in which employees can showcase their personal talents — anything from cooking to art to dance — for the chance to win prizes.

Special and unique benefits at Hilton: Lean in when there’s a crisis

  • At the World’s Best Workplaces, 85% of employees said they have access to unique and special benefits
  • That compares to just 68% at other workplaces*

While many companies — especially in the hospitality industry — scaled back on benefits in 2020 and 2021 because of the financial impacts of COVID-19, hotel chain Hilton (#3 on the list) leaned in and ensured its benefits would suit the times.

Employees that were temporarily stood down due to the pandemic continued to receive healthcare coverage, parental leave at full salary and continued access to the employee assistance program.

An assistance fund provided financial help with medical expenses, groceries and child and elder care for employees with COVID-19.

Hilton also built a Workforce Resource Centre to connect furloughed employees with new short-term and permanent jobs at other companies. The initiative now has more than 1 million jobs with more than 150 company partners across the globe.

Hilton is also introducing a program in which U.S. employees can work a four-day week while retaining full benefits, as well as sabbaticals of 30, 60 or 90 days. There’s also a “SuperFlex” model in which employees can choose their own schedule and hours.

Benchmark your company culture

How does your company culture measure up on recognition, unique benefits and professional development? See how your company culture stacks up through Great Place to Work Certification™ and our Trust Index™ employee survey.

* “Other workplaces” are companies that contented for a place on our national Best Workplaces lists around the world; this includes both winning and non-winning companies. 

Claire Hastwell

Claire is Content Marketing Manager from Great Place to Work® US. Claire works with Great Place to Work data and company culture experts to distil the psychology of high-trust workplaces. Claire co-authored the Women in the Workplace report and her profiles of Best Workplaces™ have featured in Fortune. When Claire’s not sifting through our 28+ years of survey data, she’s rolling out her yoga mat or daydreaming about her next U.S. road trip.

Samantha Huddle

Samantha Huddle is the General Manager of Great Place to Work® in Australia and NZ. Sam has more than two decades of experience from the grassroots to the C-suite and helps businesses build high-trust, inclusive cultures that deliver tangible results. With experience across the government, philanthropic and corporate sectors, Sam brings a collaborative, values-driven approach and a passion for achieving social impact through business. Sam publishes a well-read monthly newsletter which can be read here.

I want to get recognized!


To be eligible for the World’s Best Workplaces list, a company must apply and be named to a minimum of 5 national Best Workplaces lists within our current 58 countries, have 5,000 employees or more worldwide, and at least 40% of the company’s workforce (or 5,000 employees) must be based outside of the home country. Extra points are given based on the number of countries where a company surveys employees with the Great Place to Work Trust Index©, and the percentage of a company’s workforce represented by all Great Place to Work surveys globally. Candidates for the 2017 Worlds Best Workplaces list will have appeared on national workplaces lists published in September 2016 through August 2017.