Last year, when Fast Company launched Best Workplaces for Innovators to recognize companies that empower employees at all levels to improve processes, create new products, or invent whole new ways of doing business, we offered four reasons your company should apply. This time around, to kick off our second year, we’re offering six!
1. Brand exposure Every company selected as a finalist will be featured in the September issue of the magazine and on fastcompany.com (more than 12 million monthly unique visitors and more than 40 million page views).
2. Talent retention Public recognition as a Best Workplace for Innovators will provide powerful third-party validation and enhance your ability to recruit and retain top talent.
3. Editorial access Fast Company editors will have the opportunity to review all applications; the application represents an opportunity to highlight individuals and projects that showcase your company’s innovative prowess.
4. Credibility Fast Company’s reputation for writing about innovation is unparalleled in business media. Inclusion on the list is a powerful stamp of approval of your company’s efforts.
5. Employee recognition This year’s Best Workplaces for Innovators includes a new category: Innovation Team of the Year. We will select a single winning team along with up to 10 finalists.
6. Expanded number of winners The number of applicants we received in the first year exceeded our expectations, and this year we are hoping that even more submissions will enable us to increase our number of winners.
For more than a decade, Fast Company has been recognizing outstanding achievement in business innovation with its annual awards programs. In addition to Best Workplaces for Innovators, Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, Innovation by Design, and World Changing Ideas lists have celebrated thousands of organizations transforming industries and shaping society through paradigm-shifting products, insights, or services.
What differentiates Best Workplaces for Innovators from existing best-places-to-work lists is that it goes beyond benefits, competitive compensation, and collegiality—mere table stakes in today’s brutally competitive talent marketplace—to identify which companies are actively creating and sustaining the kinds of innovative cultures that many top employees value even more than money. Places where they can do the best work of their careers and improve the lives of hundreds, thousands, even millions of people around the world.
“Companies recognize that they need to encourage innovation in order to attract and retain talent,” says Fast Company editor-in-chief Stephanie Mehta. “We’re looking to identify the companies that can demonstrate they have the infrastructure and culture needed to stoke innovation across all levels of their organization.”
To compile this ranking, the editors of Fast Company are collaborating with Accenture, a leading professional services firm that works with more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500 to deliver innovation and transformation for a digital world. Every company that applies is assessed twice—once by Fast Company editors and separately by Accenture researchers—before the results are merged and finalists are presented to a panel of outside judges, all of them experts on business innovation.
Best Workplaces for Innovators is the most authoritative list of companies cultivating an organization-wide commitment to innovation. We hope you’ll submit your company today.
But hurry—the early-rate deadline is February 21.