The top 3 companies with the happiest workers have this one thing in common

Delmaine Donson | E+ | Getty Images

Plenty of factors go into how happy you feel at work, whether it's the purpose of your job, how well you're paid or how much autonomy you feel over your day-to-day. Another big boost to your workplace happiness may be how well you get along with your colleagues.

Having great co-workers was a common theme among the top three companies with the happiest employees, according to the latest ranking from Comparably, an employee reviews site.

Taking the No. 1 spot this year is Workday, the California-based HR tech company, where employees score their workplace happiness at 91 on a 100-point scale as of November.

At Workday, one employee review notes that "the most positive part of the company culture is the support, encouragement and genuine happiness for colleagues as we grow and develop and/or achieve wins."

Employees say they're paid competitively and fairly, they're excited about the work they do, they understand their company's goals and they have access to holistic benefits, says Chad Herring, the chief human resources officer at ZoomInfo, Comparably's parent company.

Coming in second is Topgolf, the sports complex chain, where one employee says their workplace happiness stems from "the interactions and fun I have with co-workers." At No. 3 Uber, one employee writes that "what make me happiest at work is the people."

Here are the top 12 companies with the happiest workers:

  1. Workday
  2. Topgolf
  3. Uber
  4. AT&T
  5. Boston Consulting Group
  6. RingCentral
  7. Informatica
  8. Proofpoint
  9. ADP
  10. Chegg
  11. HubSpot
  12. Instacart

Overall, companies on this year's list had an average "happiness" score of 90 out of 100, according to Comparably, while the average happiness score for companies across the site comes in at 65.

Rankings are based on employee reviews submitted between August 2022 and August 2023. Worker sentiments are captured through questions including:

  • Is your work environment positive or negative?
  • Do you believe you're paid fairly?
  • Do you feel burnt out at work?
  • Are you typically excited about going to work each day?
  • Do you look forward to interacting with your co-workers?
  • Are you proud to be part of your company?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend your company to a friend?

Notably missing from the company list are many tech giants including Google, Meta and Microsoft, which continued their descent from previous years and fell off the top 100 happiest companies list in 2023. Amazon has also been absent for several years now.

Herring says the agility that comes with being a smaller company may play a role. For example, Workday has under 18,000 employees compared with Amazon's roughly 1.5 million, as of early 2023.

"Big tech may have big budgets, but when it comes to things like employee satisfaction, having big budgets doesn't necessarily mean you have the best way of processing feedback," he says.

Smaller organizations that top Comparably's happiest companies, meanwhile, are "able to get and act on feedback very quickly and be more adaptable to what their employees are saying," Herring adds. "There's a degree of credibility that comes from employees seeing that the leader is responding to feedback. And at larger companies, that's not always the easiest thing to do."

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