- Hilton, the hotel and hospitality company, took the top spot on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2019. People analytics firm Great Place to Work determines the ranking through an ongoing annual workforce study.
- Earning the top spot for the first time, Hilton was recognized for excelling in diversity and inclusion, providing a free GED-completion program and updating employee-only areas, among other things.
- Employers were chosen for focusing on "values, trust, innovation, financial growth, leadership effectiveness and maximizing the full human potential of every employee," according to Great Place to Work and Fortune. Salesforce, Wegmans, Workday and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants rounded out the top five.
Hilton toppled Salesforce to take the top spot in a quick rise from the 33rd spot last year. Both companies regularly make the list and are known for working to create exceptional work environments.
According Fortune's profile, Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta tried on a housekeeper's jacket a few years ago and discovered how heavy it was; in response, he launched a partnership with sportswear designer Under Armour to create more comfortable uniforms for the housekeeping staff. And Salesforce, in 2017, took the unusual step of putting up $6 million to close its gender pay gap.
But with Hilton pulling ahead this year, it's worth noting that the company may have successfully determined what its employees want. Diversity and inclusion initiatives have risen in importance for workers, and they appear to have a strong return on investment as employees' perceptions of companies can be powerful recruiting and retention tools. Similarly, employees report that they want purpose and fair treatment, but it's up to employers to figure out what that looks like in each workforce.