Employee engagement concerns many employers, primarily because of the uncertainty over the past few years. However, many businesses need to be faster to incorporate the necessary changes in their organizations to drive not just employee engagement but total workplace satisfaction.

That’s due in part to a focus on the wrong issue. Even research from reputable sources promotes the argument that Comp and benefits are the most significant drivers of employee retention. In reality, only 2 out of 10 employees at Most Loved Workplaces® responded that Comp & Benefits was important to loving their workplace.

Table of Contents

To help companies assess the emotional connectedness that employees have for their organizations, Most Loved Workplace® (MLW) has designed and distributed the Love of Workplace Index™ to over 156,000 employees across nearly 250 companies.

Our research has identified three trends that validate that employees who have a genuine love for their workplace are more engaged, loyal, and motivated.

The companies that embrace that concept and utilize these Top 3 Trends are winning the talent war.


Return-to-Office Mandates and “The Great Resignation” Result in the Return of Previous Cultural Plights

Our Love of Workplace Index™ (SPARK) measures organizational performance across five functional areas that are crucial in employees forming lasting emotional connections with their workplace. Organizations that incorporate these concepts into their business operations provide the necessary ingredients for employees to develop a deep love of the workplace.

Systemic Collaboration

Fostering a high level of collaboration and connection among team members drives exceptional outcomes and results in highly engaged employees.

Positive Vision

Fostering employee innovation and passion results in a unified and forward-focused culture.

Alignment of Values

Certified Most Loved Workplaces® places a strong emphasis on aligning values, integrity, and personal beliefs for leaders as well as employees.


Creating an environment of mutual respect catalyzes all other elements and drives peak employee performance.

Killer Achievement

Most Loved Workplaces® provides clear paths for employees to achieve excellence through extensive and ongoing coaching and development.

Survey results

2021 was full of innovative solutions for strengthening culture to attract and retain workers. However, results from 2022/2023 show a decline in ratings and a resulting return to typical or previous cultural plights. The economic uncertainty and fears of recession have led to a decrease in employee satisfaction and engagement as employers became less open to new ideas.

Although the categories of Respect and Killer Achievement have remained relatively high, ratings in Systemic Collaboration, Positive Vision, and Alignment of Values have declined as workers become more skeptical about their employer’s commitment to the values they promote.

Mass layoffs and a skyrocketing cost of living have left employees burned out and increasingly dissatisfied with their workplace. Employees responded by “quiet quitting,” which, in turn, created ripple effects on the productivity of the remaining workers. As a result, 2022 experienced the most significant decline in labor productivity since 1948. 

Harnessing the power of the SPARK Index

The SPARK categories establish the culture of emotional connectedness that will drive lasting engagement and productivity. In particular, the main drivers that prevent employees from loving their workplace include barriers to effective Systemic Collaboration, Positive Vision, and Alignment of Values.

Employees need a guiding vision and clear goals from their employers, or they will become disillusioned and uncertain of the future.

Building a Thriving Workplace Culture!

Discover how to leverage the right technology and implement a proactive strategy that cultivates talent and facilitates team collaboration.


The industries that score the highest on our Love of Workplace Index® use consistent and periodic communication practices.

In general, workplace trends have decreased across the board due to the uncertainty most businesses face and the challenges posed by remote work.

However, some companies are bucking that trend and consistently receive the highest SPARK ratings. The sectors of Internet/E-Commerce, Pharmaceuticals/Biotech, and Computer Software industries continue to excel in the areas of Positive Vision, Respect, and Killer Achievement.

Companies in these industries provide autonomous, remote, and flexible work, nurture interpersonal communication, and offer impactful career development opportunities.

Table top100

Employers in the Computer Software industry are incredibly proficient in Respect and Killer Achievement by focusing on diversity and inclusion, collaborative autonomy, and significant professional development opportunities.


Increased use of Asynchronous Communication and Generative AI is taking a toll on collaboration.

Companies in hi-tech industries are especially mindful of the need to build and maintain strong connections across distances and time zones where employees frequently work remotely. They’ve redefined what collaboration means by harnessing the power of the new “loom and zoom” culture and balancing it against in-person meetings.

Employers who receive top scores in our research have enhanced communication, empowerment, inclusive team building, feedback tools, and corporate authenticity.

The Love of Workplace Index™ provides a framework for teams and organizations to create positive cultures and foster emotional connectedness. Through real examples from certified Most Loved Workplaces®, we have seen the impact of practices such as systemic collaboration, positive future thinking, alignment of values, respect, and killer achievement. By actively implementing these practices, organizations can cultivate an emotionally connected culture and drive satisfaction and high performance among their employees.

Surveys serve as indispensable tools

But the journey toward becoming a Most Loved Workplace® and achieving excellence begins here. Get Certified for Free as a Most Loved Workplace® to gain valuable insights and data for immediate decision-making while reducing rater fatigue. Take the next big step and Apply to Become one of Newsweek’s Top 100 2024 Most Loved Workplaces® in America, the UK, or globally, and seize the opportunity to apply for Newsweek’s Excellence 1000 Companies, setting your organization on the path to recognition and success.