Article main image
Feb 23, 2022

It’s that time of the year again when Forbes magazine publishes its rankings of America’s best large and small employers. Often, the results can be predictable. But judging by the results of this year’s list, there’s plenty for HRDs to sit up and take notice of – and most of it can be summed up by one word: purpose.

The league table is based on the survey results of 60,000 staff working in businesses with at least 1,000 employees. Employees are asked to rate their employer based on elements such as how likely they would recommend them to someone else, what their working conditions are like, what their development opportunities are, and what their compensation is.

But what’s clear from this year’s list, is that even though reports of burnout abound, it’s those companies that can offset it by cementing a sense of purpose to their staff that score extremely highly.

For instance, this year it’s companies from the healthcare sector that are particularly conspicuous by their appearance. This year healthcare firms dominate the rankings, comprising more than a quarter of the top 50, and half of the top 10. This is despite the fact reports suggest this sector alone has seen up to 18% of its workforce quit due to burnout and low pay.

Purpose pays

So how come healthcare companies perform so well? Well, what seems evident is for those employees that remain, right now, it’s being given a sense of purpose through their work that is most highly valued.

Of note is the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), which takes the coveted number one spot. In doing so it’s risen 39 places in just the last year alone. Its president and CEO told Forbes that numerous policies have been implemented to help address burnout and create pride in their roles.

Other healthcare companies listed include UT Southwestern Medical Center for instance, which is now ranked 9th on the best large employers in the United States list, and is amongst the top five health care employers.

“UT Southwestern has a dynamic culture of integrity, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration, and accountability that shapes the way we deliver on our mission of providing expert medical care, academic achievement, and transformative research,” said Holly Crawford, its executive vice president for business affairs.

UT Southwestern has previously been ranked third on America’s ‘Best Employers for New Graduates List’, and is also a Top Veteran-Friendly Company. Amongst some of the benefits it offers staff include online and in-person training and mentoring programs that help groom employees in future management and leadership roles. It also provides technical skills for staff to master new software and technologies, and offers resources for employee wellness, managing stress and finances, and sharing common interests.

And for much of the same reason, the education sector is prominent in the 2022 list too.

Despite 52% of workers in this sector claiming to have suffered burnout (according to a survey by MissionSquare Research), overall, education was the most represented industry in the Forbes list, comprising 8% of the mid-sized list and 7% of the large–sized companies list.

Amongst these is The University of Oklahoma (OU), which placed No. 48 out of 500 employers with more than 5,000 employees, and No. 4 in the education sub-category.

“We are incredibly proud that OU has been recognized as a top 50 employer in America – a distinction that reinforces our efforts to foster an environment where everyone feels valued and welcomed and a part of our purpose of changing lives,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. He added: “This achievement is a testament to the remarkable commitment and care of our faculty and staff, who work hard every day to make the University of Oklahoma such a special place.”

OU makes a variety of benefits available to eligible employees, including health, dental and vision insurances; flexible spending account programs for medical and dependent care; life and disability insurances; retirement plans; generous leave policies; employee and dependent educational benefits; career development opportunities; wellness programs; and employee discounts.

The message seems clear – give staff a sense of purpose and vocation, and employer sentiment can withstand even the harshest of conditions.


Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed weekly!