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



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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 senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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