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How do companies actually get awarded as a Great Place to Work?

A great workplace is one where employees trust the people they work for, have pride in what  they do, and enjoy the people they  work with. To achieve the Great Place to Work certification, you need to complete the Trust Index© and the Culture Brief©. Only those who meet the minimum requirements are certified. But if you want to be recognised as one of the Best Workplaces™ - one of the best employers in Switzerland - you have to meet an additional requirement.

The basis of the Great Place to Work certification 

The recognition as Great Place to Work is more than just a certificate. It is an achievement based on an established model with evidence-based standards. Trust, values, leadership effectiveness, maximizing human potential, value creation and innovation are the six dimensions of the model. The core, and thus also the foundation of an excellent workplace culture, is trust. We therefore also speak of a trust-based workplace culture.

Model For All in Realtion2 


In addition to trust, it is also important to really live the values - i.e. the principles and the way employees work together on a daily basis. This is the only way to make a workplace culture authentic. The third pillar is leadership quality. Walk the talk is just as important here as purpose, respect, care and fairness towards employees. If the cornerstones of trust, values and leadership effectiveness are in place, employees can really maximise their full potential. In other words, that all employees are able to develop and use their talents in the best possible way.


This leads us straight to the output variables of a trust-based workplace culture: value creation and innovation. Value creation occurs in the classic sense through the more efficient use of resources (e.g. money, materials, time), but also through a better customer experience, for example, because employees are intrinsically motivated and see their work as meaningful. On the other hand, innovation is enhanced by the possibility for employees to really contribute their potential. Also, innovation needs to be seen not just as a buzzword but as a real company value, and that employees are trusted, and that leadership qualities are upheld. Ford, for example, started in 2014 to turn its employees into inventors and encourage innovation through internal challenges and incentives. As a result, in 2016 Ford had more patents in the car market than any other brand. Important detail: Ford supports its employees in turning their ideas into reality. The Ford Global Technologies Chief Executive said: "Once a person becomes a true inventor, they're going to invent again and again".

But how is trust measured in a workplace culture? 

 In order to measure trust in a workplace culture, employees are first surveyed with the Trust Index™. The Trust Index questions are based on the five dimensions of an actively lived, trust-based workplace culture: credibility, respect, fairness, team spirit and pride. A total of 60 questions on the dimensions are answered using a 5-level scale. In addition, there are two multiple-choice questions on leadership quality and innovative strength, two open questions on the employer's strengths and possible areas for improvement and six demographic questions.


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The 5 dimensions of the Trust Index with sample questions and the 5-level rating scale. 

Find out which internal measures are already in place to promote workplace culture 

As a second step, the organisation's perspective on workplace culture is assessed by including processes and guidelines through Culture Brief™ and Culture Audit™. The Culture Brief includes all facts, figures and general information about an organisation. This includes the breakdown of employees by years of service, gender and position and makes the structure of a workplace culture visible. The Culture Audit, on the other hand, deals with measures that have already been implemented and that shape the workplace culture. These are divided into nine fields: Inspiring, speaking, listening, thanking, developing, caring, hiring, celebrating and sharing. The respective measures in the individual fields are evaluated according to their variety, originality, involvement of employees, human touch and consistency of their concepts.

9 Practices Circle whiteframe


Analysis of the results according to needs 

After the survey, the data can be analysed and processed in different levels of depth. In the standard evaluation, the employee perspective (from the Trust Index) and the organisational perspective (Culture Brief and Culture Audit) are compared. In this way, initial discrepancies between the perceived and the designed workplace culture can be revealed. This evaluation can be broken down to individual dimensions and questions.

An even deeper insight into the workplace culture is provided by the impact analysis, in which the Trust Index questions are classified in a matrix of strengths and potential.

If desired, the level of detail of the analysis can be increased, for example by breaking down the results to individual teams.


The grand finale: from Great Place to Work certification to Best Workplaces 

There’s a distinction between certification as a Great Place to Work and beeing awarded as one of the best employers in Switzerland - the Best Workplaces™ award. Organisations achieve the certification if they achieve a score of at least 65% within the Trust Index and submit the completed Culture Brief. The certification is given on a monthly basis and is valid for one year from the date of publication. If organisations achieve a score of at least 70% on the Trust Index, they qualify for the award of Best Workplaces, making them one of the best employers in Switzerland. To qualify, however, they must also submit the Culture Audit, i.e. the part containing the measures already implemented for workplace culture. If the organisations also meet the minimum requirements in the Culture Audit, they will also be awarded one of the Best Workplaces™ in Switzerland at the annual Award Ceremony. The terrific thing about it: a greater signal effect and longer validity!




Making success visible: Communication and promotion of the certification 

Both, the certification as Great Place to Work and the award as one of the Best Workplaces give a reason to celebrate! We support organisations with various elements, above all with our communication package, a company profile, logo package and social media posts. We also offer various ready-to-use articles with the Great Place to Work logo that make success tangible: Next to stickers for notebooks or to put on company cars, we offer sitting cubes suitable for every meeting room. Or the small version in the form of squeezies, which fit on every office desk (and are a great help to relieve stress when pressing). Together with partners we also offer the possibility for videos, social media campaigns, poster campaigns or online banner advertising. But these are just a few options - there are no limits to the imagination for communicating the success!


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