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The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters

ISBN: 978-0-470-59626-5
272 pages
January 2011, Jossey-Bass
The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters (0470596260) cover image


Gold Medal Winner, Human Resources and Employee Training, 2012 Axiom Business Book Awards

Trust, Pride and Camaraderie—transform your company into a "Great Place to Work"

The Great Place to Work Institute develops the annual ranking of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. In this book, the authors explore the model of a Great Place to Work For-one which fosters employee trust, pride in what they do, and enjoyment in the people they work with. They answer the fundamental question, "What is the business value of creating a great workplace?" and brings the definition of a Great Place to work alive with anecdotes, best practices, and quotes from employees working at the best workplaces in the U.S.

  • Reveals the essential ingredients in and the trends of the best places to work
  • Explores Great Place to Work model developed in 1984 and validated through its enduring resonance in both the United States and in over 40 countries around the world
  • Written by Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin two Great Place to Work Institute Insiders

If you organization is struggling with the challenges of leveraging human capital, discover why some companies have what it takes to be great.

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Table of Contents

Foreword (Robert Levering).


1 Introduction: The Value of Creating Great Workplaces.

SAS: Taking Care of Their Greatest Asset.

2 Credibility: "I Believe in My Leaders."

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP: Inspiring Excellence.

Google: Finding the Googlers in a Very Large Haystack.

3 Respect: "I Am a Valued Member of this Organization."

General Mills: Developing Great Managers.

SC Johnson: A Family Company.

4 Fairness: "Everyone Plays by the Same Rules."

Scripps Health: All for One and One for All.

CH2M HILL: Ownership as a Way of Life.

5 Pride: "I Contribute to Something Really Meaningful."

Wegmans Food Markets: Proud of Their Contributions to Communities.

W. L. Gore & Associates: An Innovative Culture and a Culture for Innovation.

6 Camaraderie: "The People Here are Great!"

Camden Property Trust: Building a Fun Community for Employees and Residents

Microsoft: Geniuses Welcome.

7 Global Perspectives: Great Workplaces Around the World.

8 Taking Action: Creating Your Great Workplace.

References and Resources.


About the Authors.


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Author Information

MICHAEL BURCHELL, Ed.D., is a corporate vice president with the Great Place to Work® Institute and a partner in the Institute's UAE affiliate. A sought-after speaker at conferences around the world, he has worked with senior leaders in positioning the workplace as a competitive business advantage.

JENNIFER ROBIN, Ph.D., is a research fellow at the Great Place to Work® Institute. A former consultant with the Institute, she currently teaches in undergraduate, master's, and professional programs at Bradley University.

The Great Place to Work® Institute is a global research and consulting firm with forty affiliates around the world. The Institute produces the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® Annual List and the Best Small & Medium Companies to Work For in America lists, in addition to thirty-eight best companies lists internationally.

To learn more about the book, please visit www.thegreatworkplaceonline.com and www.greatplacetowork.com

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Press Release

January 21, 2011
The Great Workplace

What makes a company a great place to work?

Is there even still such a thing, in today’s competitive and complex world of work?

In a new book, The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters (Jossey-Bass; $27.95; ISBN 978-0-470-59626-5; January 2010), Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin combine research, anecdotes, best practices, and testimonials from employees, CEOs, and HR executives at some of the great companies to work for such as General Mills, Google,  Microsoft, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.  The result is an important, insightful new look at the essential ingredients that make a workplace great.

For the past 20 years, The Great Place to Work® Institute has famously compiled annual rankings of the best companies to work for in countries around the globe. In the United States, the Institute produces the highly-anticipated FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® Annual List which is released every January. Now, for the first time, Burchell and Robin, two veteran Institute insiders, not only demystify the broader concept of a Great Place to Work, they provide answers to many of the questions about the famous annual list, the companies and why creating great work places still matters.

Burchell and Robin make a strong business case for transforming workplaces into environments that stimulate and motivate. Great pay and quirky perks are important, of course, but employees at truly great workplaces, trust the people they work for, take pride in what they do, and genuinely enjoy the people with whom they work.

Their research illustrates how leaders and managers can both create and reinforce the core values of trust, pride, and camaraderie. The book also explores how creating a positive, encouraging workplace, where employees are motivated to produce their best and in return, receive the best from their company helps everyone— individuals, organizations, families, and communities. 

The Great Workplace offers practical advice to help leadership transform a workplace culture and develop and achieve measurable goals that lead to meaningful change in the workplace.  Burchell and Robin do a masterful job here of providing a framework for understanding why certain practices above others help create a great workplace, which create a dynamic environment, and which foster innovation, retention and growth.



How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters

by Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin

Jossey-Bass, $27.95, 978-0-470-59626-5, January 2010


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