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Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award Criteria

For over a decade, the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award (formerly the Gallup Great Workplace Award) has been a prestigious achievement recognizing organizations that meet the rigorous standards set by the most comprehensive workplace study ever conducted.

Organizations that meet the minimum requirements will be invited to apply and to nominate an exceptional manager for the Manager of the Year Award.

View the Criteria Start Your Application

The Gallup Exceptional workplace award

What makes a workplace exceptional?

For the world's best workplaces, engagement is not an add-on to their existing strategy -- it transforms the way they do business.

By centering business strategy on people and creating a workplace culture to match, organizations see returns in retention, engagement, increased productivity, improved wellbeing and organizational citizenship, better customer experiences, true organic growth, and higher revenue.

Gallup Award trophy

Criteria to Apply for the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award

Each year, Gallup determines which organizations meet the award criteria and invites them to apply for the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award.

Please review the criteria below that correspond with the size of your organization. A panel of judges will review all applications and select winners.

Minimum Criteria for Organizations With Less Than 5,000 Employees

The 2021 awards are based on Q12 administrations conducted between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.
Criteria:
  • total of at least 50 respondents representing a census of the organization
  • overall GrandMean (GM) of 4.40+
  • participation rate of 80% or higher
  • ability to link engagement with business outcomes
  • local-level engagement data (if available)

Minimum Criteria for Organizations With More Than 5,000 Employees

The 2021 awards are based on Q12 administrations conducted between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.
Criteria:
  • Q12 census of the organization
  • percentage of workgroups at specified GrandMean (GM)
    • 5K<20K employees: 60% GM at 4.20 or higher
    • 20K<100K employees: 55% GM at 4.20 or higher
    • 100K+ employees: 50% GM at 4.20 or higher
  • participation rate of 80% or higher
  • ability to link engagement with business outcomes
Exceptional Management

Manager of the Year Criteria

To recognize the essential role of the manager in the employee experience, each organization that applies for the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award is invited to nominate one manager for the Manager of the Year Award.

The nomination should include metrics that are used to gauge manager performance. Consider nominating managers whose teams:

  • are consistently in the 90th percentile or above in overall engagement
  • achieve outstanding business results and generate best practices within your organization

Gallup will select 10 finalists for the award, and the judging panel of workplace experts will select one winner.

What do great managers do differently?

The best managers help their employees see a future at your company and get on board with the company mission.

The best managers individualize their leadership approaches, emphasize employee wellbeing, deepen employees' strengths and coach them to greatness.

The best managers act as a driving force for ongoing performance growth and build workplaces that are engines of productivity and profitability.

The best managers align their teams with their leaders' vision for their company culture.

Application Details and Process

The online application will be available Nov. 4, 2020. All applications must be submitted by Jan. 29, 2021.

To apply, please follow these steps:

  1. Fill out the online application.
  2. Upload supporting documents through the application platform:
    • PowerPoint presentation detailing how your organization has linked engagement to business outcomes
    • Q12 engagement data
    • Nomination for the Manager of the Year Award
    • An official company logo
  3. Applicants who have won the award three or more consecutive years are encouraged to schedule a video conference with the judging panel in place of a written application. This option can be selected on the online application form.

Important Dates

Nov. 4, 2020: Application Period Opens

Jan. 4-27, 2021: Video Conference Applications

Jan. 29, 2021: Application Deadline

March 10, 2021: Winners Notified

March 18, 2021: Winners Announced on Gallup.com

June 7-9, 2021: Winners Celebrated at the Gallup at Work Summit

Application Tips

Please be thorough in your responses and provide examples to support your answers.

Last year's winners should focus their application responses on what is new or different since their previous application. Gallup retains the previous year's application and refers to it for your overall strategic goals and initiatives as needed.

If you have questions about your application, please email GallupWorkplaceAwards@gallup.com.

What happens next if your company wins?

Gallup will feature winning organizations and managers on Gallup.com. Gallup will provide a media kit and materials to support winners in publicizing their achievement. Winners will be celebrated at the Gallup at Work Summit.