It’s no secret that some companies are better than others. While some companies’ workers have allegedly found themselves having to urinate into bottles so as not to lower their productivity, other companies’ employees have access to wonderful perks that make their work life a pleasure. Some companies wind up contributing to toxic waste dumps and others donate money to plant trees.
Some companies are only in it for the money – to make their stockholders happy and their upper management rich, regardless of who or what gets put at a disadvantage in the process. Other businesses just go above and beyond to honor their employees, uplift their communities and make the world a better place.
For the past five years, People Magazine has partnered with Great Places To Work to come up with the top 100 companies that do good. This year, the criteria for the 6th annual 100 Companies That Care list entries were employee benefits, commitment to social justice, green initiatives, COVID-19 relief efforts, outstanding care for customers and more.
The list includes many well-known companies. Lots of health, insurance, online and financial companies were on the list. Only 4 of those Top 100 companies were travel companies. All 4 were well-known hotel chains.
#12 of 100: Hilton
As a leading hospitality brand, Hilton operates in 122 countries, and having a global perspective means prioritizing the well-being of the planet.
Hilton’s environmental sustainability efforts include the pledge to reduce their carbon intensity by 61% by 2030, as well as the commitment to reduce water use intensity by 50% by 2030. Hilton is setting new standards in properties like the new Hilton Garden Inn Faroe Islands, which features an ultra-efficient grass roof and heating system, motion sensors on water taps and LED lighting to prevent energy waste.
Another, the Hotel Marcel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton in New Haven, Conn., is one of the first net-zero energy hotels in the U.S.
#20 of 100: Hyatt Corporation
For the Hyatt Corporation, building a better business means helping to rebuild other businesses, specifically those run by people of color affected by the recent economic downturn.
In 2021, Hyatt surpassed its pledge to spend $1 million through Black-owned suppliers, and currently the hotel chain is working with more than 350 minority-operated suppliers across North and South America, with the goal of increasing that base 10 percent by 2025. Hyatt has also partnered with the National Minority Business Supplier Development Council to assist minority-owned businesses with their certification process.
Says one employee: “I love Hyatt’s diversity, inclusion and empathy. There’s nothing more rewarding than working with the community to make an impact.”
#56 of 100: Marriott International
Marriott — which operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts across the globe — is dedicated to building a diverse workforce. In honor of its late CEO, who died last year, the company’s J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation is providing a $20 million endowment to create a hospitality leadership training center at Howard University, a historically Black college. Additionally, Marriott has pledged $1 million to support programming and career development at the center.
The company’s long-standing commitment to its employees’ mental health includes round-the-clock access to counselors, and a partnership with an online platform that teaches stress management techniques.
“This company truly is an extended family business,” says an employee. “The Marriott family takes great pride in the way its people are treated. I’m so thankful to work here.”
#76 of 100: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, a chain of over 60 boutique hotels and eateries, knows the importance of taking care of employees. Once the worst of the pandemic passed, the San Francisco-based Kimpton made sure team members who were laid off and then hired back received the full health benefits, vacation time and other perks they had accrued prior to their layoff. To show they appreciate dedication and hard work after particularly trying days, Kimpton awards staffers with Visa gift cards, or, at its Austin location, with a dinner reception and yoga session.
Kimpton also values diversity and introduced a mentoring program for people of color and women to increase their ranks in senior management. To support the environment, Kimpton planted a tree for every bottle of wine poured during its nightly wine hours through April (the month of Earth Day), planted more than 23,000 trees in the last five years, and hosted beach clean-ups.
For what it’s worth, not one commercial passenger airline made the list. But really, is anyone surprised at that?
Here are the Top 10 companies:
1. Target (general merchandise retailer)
2. Veterans United Home Loans (nation’s largest VA lender)
3. PulteGroup, Inc. (one of the country’s largest homebuilders)
4. Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. (family-own supermarket chain)
5. Rocket Companies (financial technology)
6. Camden Property Trust (multi-family real estate investment trust)
7. Genetech (pharmaceutical company)
8. Scripps Health (private, non-profit ingetrated health system)
9. Salesforce (cloud-based software company)
10. Bank of America (financial organization)
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Interesting that Costco didn’t crack the top 10 given their sterling reputation as a place to work.
It’s also interesting that Marriott was anywhere on the list considering how vastly they’ve declined from the company that used to believe in taking care of workers so those workers take care of customers. That was well under a decade ago. Nowadays that philosophy would elicit guffaws at any management meeting.