Washington University in St. Louis was ranked the top employer in Missouri by Forbes on its 2021 list of “America’s Best Employers By State.” The rankings are based on the results of an anonymous nationwide survey conducted by Forbes, in partnership with market research company Statista.
The survey included 80,000 Americans working at offices with at least 500 employees across 25 industry sectors. Employers in the education, retail and health-care industries ranked the highest, showing the ability to rebound during a global pandemic.
Employers were analyzed based on their ability to remain flexible and keep employees safe during a time of uncertainty.
University leaders say the survey recognized WashU’s efforts to focus on the emotional well-being of faculty, staff and students while still remaining committed to its missions of research, teaching and patient care.
“The health, safety and well-being of our people have always been important, but during the pandemic, it was so essential to lift up programs and provide real-time support that spanned a diverse set of needs,” said Legail Chandler, vice chancellor for human resources. “From health-care workers rising up on the front lines, to those carrying out teaching and learning in new ways, to our employees caring for families while balancing work at home, our people faced immense challenges, and we were ready to support them.”
The pandemic highlighted the need for work-life balance, health benefits and professional learning. Employees could access financial education sessions, 24/7 work-life support, mindfulness sessions and health coaching. The university also offered remote work and flexible work arrangements where possible and appropriate. Human Resources collaborated with the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, along with Student Affairs, the Brown School and others to ensure mental and emotional wellness resources and services were available and accessible.
The survey also ranked organizations on topics such as competitive compensation, advancement opportunities and the likelihood of being recommended to potential employees.