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Six reasons to apply to Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators

Our third annual list includes new categories, including Innovation Leader of the Year.

Six reasons to apply to Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators
[Source photo: Blackzheep/iStock]

Fast Company’s third annual Best Workplaces for Innovators list promises to be more comprehensive than ever, offering a number of new categories.  Here are six reasons why you should apply.

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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 In addition to Innovation Team of the Year, which recognizes outstanding team efforts, this year’s Best Workplaces for Innovators will celebrate an Innovation Leader of the Year, as well as a number of finalists.
6. Expanded opportunities for recognition Last year we doubled the number of companies we recognized, from 50 to 100, and this year we are introducing new categories (international, non-profit, company size) to enhance our ability to shine a light on thriving innovation cultures.

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.

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“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 on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day. 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.

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For more information on applying, see the FAQs.  But don’t delay too long—the early-rate deadline is February 26.

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About the author

Jay Woodruff is a senior editor at Fast Company. After helping launch the quarterly DoubleTake, he joined Esquire and later held senior editorial positions at Entertainment Weekly and oversaw digital at Maxim, Blender and Stuff

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