Frequently Asked Questions

What does Great Place to Work Institute do?

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on building, sustaining, and recognizing high-trust, high-performing workplace cultures. Great Place to Work surveys millions of employees, works with great leaders from around the U.S. and over 55 countries, and examines thousands of the best workplaces around the globe. Thousands of companies rely on Great Place to Work data to build great workplace cultures and to engage employees.

What’s different between the FORTUNE Best Workplaces in Aging Services list and the other FORTUNE workplace awards?

All senior care organizations that get certified are eligible for all the FORTUNE Magazine award lists, including Best Workplaces in Aging Services, Best Workplaces for Women, Best Workplaces for Millenials, among others.
That said, because of the nature of our workplaces today, it’s harder for senior care companies to compete against, say, the hospitals of the world for the Best in Healthcare list.
So now, the goal of getting national recognition for being a best workplace is within reach with an industry-specific award. Only providers who serve seniors directly are eligible. This means senior care is NOT competing against hospitals, hotels, tech companies, and others.
In the past, only a few senior care organizations have been recognized by FORTUNE Magazine. Now, we have an industry-specific recognition.
That said, what’s the same is also important to highlight. The survey methodology is the same across all companies: senior care uses the same Trust Index™ survey as other industries and companies that work with Great Place to Work.
This means that the findings can be very useful for recruiting and retention strategies. For instance, you can benchmark your employee scores by job type across industries: housekeepers in senior living can be benchmarked to housekeepers in hospitality; same with CNAs in senior care versus hospitals. Having that level of insight is powerful.

Why should a senior care company care about being a great place to work?

Three reasons.
First, it’s the right thing to do.
Second, the research shows high trust, great workplace cultures lead to better performance.
Third, senior care valuations are based on a multiple of cash flows so it literally increases the valuation of our industry.
Let me talk about the research for a moment. As an industry, we have long said that employee engagement leads to happier residents which leads to better performance. For instance, twenty years of research across industries have demonstrated several statistically significant benefits of scoring well on the Trust Index™ employee engagement score:
Lower employee turnover
Fewer workplace injuries
Higher customer satisfaction
Higher revenue growth
Higher EBITDA margins
Moreover, several business school studies have dispelled the nagging myth. It’s NOT that companies do well and have money to invest in good cultures. Rather, longitudinal research using Great Place to Work data has shown that it’s good cultures that lead to companies doing well.

What kind of qualities does Great Place to Work look for in companies?

Great Place to Work looks for high trust company cultures, as measured by its proprietary Trust Index™ employee survey. This index was created from over 25 years of research, and it boils down to this: employee engagement occurs when employees trust their management and workplace.
The five components that collectively make up high trust include:
1/ Credibility
2/ Respect
3/ Fairness
4/ Camaraderie
5/ Pride
The Trust Index™ survey asks employees for their perceptions along each of these dimensions, and the scores are used to rank companies. While each company’s HR department completes a culture brief or questionnaire about the policies and programs of the company, it’s the employee perceptions and feedback that is weighed most heavily in the list ranking process.

How is an “aging services organization” defined?

An organization is considered an ageing service provider if they provide care or services AND more than 80% of their consumers are over age 65. We are mindful to say consumers as we recognize that Medicare, Medicaid, families, and private plans may be the payor.

How have you been able to use your knowledge from the senior care industry at the Great Place to Work Institute?

Because our team has a background in ageing services, we help organizations walk through the process and know how to get the survey to the different types of workers and settings of our industry.
This is important because, while there have been some senior care organizations recognized by FORTUNE Magazine before, the process is not created with senior care’s nuances in mind. So we tailor the process of certification, such as communication templates, to what works in seniors housing and care.

Why did Great Place to Work Institute decide to focus on the senior care market now?

Great Place to Work’s mission is to improve society by helping to create great workplaces and cultures. The leadership team sees senior care as important to achieving this mission. First, senior care as an industry is very mission driven so there is alignment. Second, at least on the senior living side, we have so many industries rolled into one (hospitality, healthcare, retail, etc.) Third, to reach a broader audience and achieve its mission, Great Place to Work is seeking to work in harder-to-reach industries, and senior care is a perfect example of such an industry.
Activated Insights is a Great Place to Work company and is housed in the Great Place to Work Institute in San Francisco. We access the over 1 billion data element data warehouse and over 20 years of data and research. We use the same proven methodology to measure and then to help companies get even better as workplaces.

What’s the relationship between Great Place to Work Institute and FORTUNE Magazine?

Great Place to Work Institute does the data collection and research to create the rankings of best workplaces. FORTUNE Magazine is the publishing partner of the rankings. They have been so popular that there are nearly 20 best workplace lists, including Best Workplaces for Women, Best Workplaces for Millenials, and so on. The relationship has been long-standing, for over 20 years.
Recently, People Magazine created a new Companies that Care award, and Great Place to Work Institute supplies the data from its rich database for that list.

What is the fee to apply for the Best Workplaces in Aging Services?

The fee for Certification is $995. Because of its mission, Great Place to Work wants to make certifying as a great workplace very affordable. For $995, you get a random sample survey of your employee base for feedback and you get a high-level report of your score as well as your strengths and areas of opportunity. If your scores pass the minimum bar for certification, you get certified and therefore eligible based on your scores for nearly 20 FORTUNE Best Workplace lists.
Some organizations are choosing to certify each location, which I think is great. Having worked at a senior care provider with over 20 sites, I knew there was a lot of variability in how one community is a workplace versus a sister community. Some organizations are choosing to certify just their brand, which is great too.

When can an organization get certified, and how it is related to getting on the Best Workplaces in Aging Services list?

Certification happens within 4 weeks of the process ending. The process consists of completing two steps: (1) HR completing the culture/programs questionnaire and (2) getting employee feedback with the Trust Index™ survey.
After that, the certification team crunches the numbers and within weeks, if a company meets the certifying threshold, Great Place to Work sends a congratulatory packet of certification materials (including a Great Place to Work badge that companies often put on their website and out for employees and job candidates to see).
Then, each FORTUNE list has a deadline date. For instance, the date of publication of the Best Workplaces in Aging Services is September 27, 2018, and the last day to complete the certification process is June 18, 2018. We have gotten a lot of companies that have held spots in February, March, and April to do their Trust Index™ employee survey.

Tactically, how do aging service providers get started?