Written by Emma Hinchliffe
“It can be easy to be a great company when times are perfect,” one employee wrote this year. “But they have shown they are a great company when times are more uncertain.” No business was immune to the ravages of COVID-19, but those noted here were real about the challenges. They adjusted. They took care of their workers. This year more than ever, our 100 Best Companies to Work For list highlights the companies that put people over profits—and are poised to thrive again because of it.
Some companies—like Target, No. 14 on this list—took steps to prevent their workers from joining the 5 million women who lost jobs over the past year. The $94 billion retailer introduced an unlimited backup care benefit, providing company-paid in-home or day-care coverage and even tutoring help for virtual school when employees’ families needed it most. “Our team is super thankful for it,” says Amal Mohamud, an executive team leader overseeing human resources for about 200 employees at a Minnesota Target location.
At No. 1 Cisco, meanwhile, employees began to take advantage of a digital care coordination platform called Wellthy; a dedicated care coordinator helped workers manage the logistics—finances, legal needs, housing, and even mental health—of everything from supporting elderly parents to caring for a child with special needs. During a year when care responsibilities skyrocketed—and those responsibilities largely landed on women’s shoulders—employees appreciated the extra support. “I’ve been through something similar with my parents, and I sure could have used this benefit,” reflects Ted Kezios, Cisco’s global benefits leader.
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