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These 10 Companies Have the Happiest Employees—Here's Why

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Adobe was named the No. 1 company with the happiest employees in 2021, according to a new report from the company review site Comparably.

The annual ranking considers 70,000 U.S. companies and identifies where workers are most satisfied with aspects related to their work environment, pay, benefits and company goals.

Here are the top 10 large companies, with 500 or more people, who have the happiest employees this year:

1. Adobe

CEO: Shantanu Narayen

Headquarters: San Jose, California

2. RingCentral

CEO: Vladimir Shmunis

Headquarters: Belmont, California

3. Hubspot

CEO: Brian Halligan

Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts

4. Peloton

CEO: John Foley

Headquarters: New York

5. Microsoft

CEO: Satya Nadella

Headquarters: Redmond, Washington

6. Farmers Insurance

CEO: Jeff Dailey

Headquarters: Woodland Hills, California

7. IBM

CEO: Arvind Krishna

Headquarters: Armonk, New York

8. Medallia

CEO: Leslie Stretch

Headquarters: San Francisco

9. Zoom Video Communications

CEO: Eric Yuan

Headquarters: San Jose, California

10. Experian North America

CEO: Craig Boundy

Headquarters: Costa Mesa, California

Rankings are based on anonymous employee ratings on topics that contribute to overall happiness at work, which were submitted to Comparably over a 12-month period from September 2020 to September 2021. Some questions that guide the data analysis include:

  • Is your work environment positive or negative?
  • Do you believe you're paid fairly?
  • Are you satisfied with your benefits?
  • Do you feel burnt out at work?
  • Are your company's goals clear, and are you invested in them?
  • Are you typically excited about going to work each day?
  • Do you look forward to interacting with your coworkers?
  • 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?

Adobe's No. 1 ranking dethrones Zoom's two-year run of having the happiest employees in 2019 and 2020, and the videoconferencing company fell to ninth place this year. But Comparably CEO Jason Nazar tells CNBC Make It the different scores among the top 10 companies are negligible and based on tens of thousands of data points — he likens it to scoring a 99 on a test out of 100.

What stands out about Adobe's reviews, Nazar says, is the positive feedback from multiple departments, including product, marketing, design, sales and engineering employees who rate the company highly across factors that indicate a rewarding culture and supportive environment.

Gloria Chen, Adobe's chief people officer, says the company measured employee sentiment throughout the pandemic through surveys, company all-hands meetings and focus groups to better understand the challenges of working through Covid, and propose solutions to meet changing needs.

In response to feedback, the company introduced monthly companywide days off; 20 new paid days off each year for employees "directly impacted by significant events like pandemics or natural disasters;" flexible work schedules to accommodate caregiving responsibilities; and an increase of its wellness reimbursement to $600 per year.

The company has prioritized building community and staying connected while apart, Chen says, such as through a biweekly "coffee break" series and its annual diversity and inclusion event. "We're fortunate to have genuine employees who are invested in our culture and community, and many of our best initiatives are those that are driven by employees themselves," Chen says.

After the risks of the pandemic subside, "the default work arrangement for all employees will be flexible," Chen says, "meaning Adobe employees will have the option to work from home when it makes sense for them, their team and the business." She says employees "co-created" Adobe's future work model through a series of global surveys, focus groups, workshops and working sessions.

Currently, some Adobe offices are open at limited capacity with employees back in-person on a voluntary basis.

Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect that Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft and that Craig Boundy is the CEO of Experian North America.

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