Survey: Microsoft Voted 'Best Place To Work' in the World

Microsoft has achieved the No. 1 position on the "Top 25 World's Best Multinational Workplaces List."

The list for 2011 was published this week by Great Place to Work, a research and consulting firm that has collaborated in the past with Fortune magazine to produce a "Best Companies to Work for" series of publications. Microsoft's top ranking was followed in the survey by SAS, NetApp, Google and FedEx Express in the top five.

Other IT firms making this year's top-25 list, included Cisco, Intel and Accenture (see Table).

The Great Place to Work rankings were determined by surveys filled out by "more than 2.5 million employees." Also included in the analysis were "workplace culture analytics" from 5,500-plus companies.

Determining employee trust was the key measure in the survey, instead of counting employee benefits, according to a Great Place to Work description. The consulting firm used a "trust index" survey instrument with "58 specific metrics" to attempt to measure the trust factor.

World's Best Multinational Workplaces: IT Companies, per Great Place to Work 2011 Data



Employees (No.)

Global Revenue ($ Million)





























Accepting the Great Place to Work award for Microsoft was Lisa Brummel, the chief people officer at the company.

"Microsoft is a great place to work not only because of what we do, but because of the quality of the company culture that our employees have collectively created," Brummel said in a released statement.

In a blog post, Brummel cited Microsoft's internship program for developers working on Windows 8, as well as the success of Microsoft's Xbox business, as two examples where a large company like Microsoft has shown that it can be nimble and innovative. She noted that Microsoft participates in giving back to the community, citing "nearly $950 million" given last year. Employees have also set up various nonprofit foundations to deliver charitable donations. Rankings
Another source for best-company rankings is the employee satisfaction survey results published by The Sausalito, Calif.-based career portal claims that its "Best Places to Work -- Employees' Choice Awards" is different from other surveys in that it relies "solely on the input from employees."

In 2011, the following IT companies were the best places to work, according to's top-50 list: Facebook, SAS, Slalom Consulting, Mitre, NetApp, National Instruments and Apple, among others. Google and Adobe also make's top-50 list. However, Microsoft did not make that list.

See's top-50 list here. It's unclear how many participants were involved in contributing to the 2011 survey.

Nice Work If You Can Get It
The Great Place to Work survey profiled multinational companies, but many U.S.-based companies with a global presence are increasingly following a trend of hiring its employees abroad. An April article by The Wall Street Journal cited U.S. Commerce Department figures to make that case.

The WSJ article reported that in the years of 2000, U.S. multinationals cut 2.5 million jobs in the United States while hiring 2.4 million people overseas. That downward U.S. hiring trend contrasted with the 1990s, when 4.4 million jobs were added in the United States, but 2.7 million jobs were added abroad.

The WSJ article cited Cisco and Oracle as two U.S.-based tech companies that hire more people abroad than in the United States. However, Microsoft isn't following that trend.

"Microsoft is an exception. It cut its head count globally last year, but over the past five years, the software giant has added more jobs in the U.S. (15,300) than abroad (13,000). About 60% of Microsoft's employees are in the U.S.," the WSJ article stated.

After the late 2008 market crash, Microsoft executed a plan for its first mass employee layoffs since the company's founding. The plan was to cut about 5,000 jobs, although some people who were laid off were later rehired at other positions at Microsoft.

Microsoft also imports workers from abroad under the U.S. H-1B work visa program. In 2009, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said that "less than 15 percent of Microsoft's U.S. workforce" was part of the H-1B program.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Nov 1, 2011

And who works at Microsoft Canada I'd like to know...imported third world labor from India on their H1-B work visas? Try calling their support and 99% of the time, you'll get someone with a heavy Hindi accent because MS is a huge advocate of outsourcing and importing cheap labor while screaming to Congress that there isn't enough talented domestic labor here. I may be certified by MS, but I'd never want to work for them, assuming they'd even consider an American citizen over a foreigner.

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 Jim Worcester

Microsoft a "Best Place to work"? What did they do make those people put their names on those surveys or what? and it was based on "Determining employee trust" what the hell does that mean? What a crock! I have heard of distorting the facts but this sounds like a case of distorting the questions before they were asked. What the heck is a chief people officer? Is that what most companies call the Human Resources Director? Sorry I don't buy it!

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 Editor

This is Chris Paoli, online associate editor here at The report actually names the entire Microsoft Corp. as one of the 'Best Places to Work.' It discussed the Microsoft Canada office as one example of why it was included on the list.

Sat, Oct 29, 2011

Microsoft Redmond is not a best place to work. The cartoon showing the org chart at Microsoft having guns pointed at each other is accurate. It is a highly political place to work, losing quality smart employees by the minute while hanging on to the employees who play politics and throw people under the bus.

Fri, Oct 28, 2011

Microsoft Canada, not redmond

see this link instead

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 Jessica Tyler

The listing page has since been edited today.

The original report and stats showed "Microsoft Canada" as the place, .

not Redmond USA. In fact the report was about International companies so the report has changed to reflect new data today. MS Canada was the #1 spot as Redmond was nowhere in that listing

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