With two weeks remaining before the March 20 final deadline, Fast Company has already received more than 500 applications for our second annual Best Workplaces for Innovators awards. This year’s pool—from 26 countries on four continents—includes companies and organizations of all sizes, from small nonprofits to Fortune 500 multinationals.
The awards are designed to celebrate companies able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to fostering a culture that encourages innovation at all organizational levels. This year’s crop includes a range of initiatives, such as:
- A feedback forum that has generated major revenue-generating new products
- An app that empowers employees to make front-line decisions, cutting through bureaucracy
- An annual company-wide innovation exhibition
- Integrative onboarding for all new hires
- Financial literacy training for all employees
These are just a few of the internal programs nurturing innovation among employees at the applicant companies.
Last year’s Best Workplaces for Innovators honored 50 companies; this year we are expanding that number to include 100 award winners. We are also launching a whole new separate category—Innovation Team of the Year.
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 final deadline (March 20) is rapidly approaching.