The Top Company Cultures ranking is determined by employee responses to the CultureIQ® Survey. All employees (or in rare cases, a representative sample chosen randomly by CultureIQ) will receive a survey of 21 short, multiple-choice questions. The answers are used to assess a company's strength across core qualities of a high-performance culture and an employee Net Promoter Score.

The companies with the highest CultureIQ Scores will become the Top Company Cultures list in ranking order.

For more information, read about our methodology below.

The set of behaviors, ideas, and values that define how things get done in an organization.1

CultureIQ focuses on helping companies build a high-performance culture, which is the culture of an organization that financially outperforms its peers over time.2


The CultureIQ Survey allows you to measure and understand your company culture by collecting feedback on qualities common to high-performance organizations and an employee Net Promoter® question.

Culture Qualities Strength Score

CultureIQ recognizes 10 measurable qualities common to high-performance cultures. Each quality gets a score out of 100, which is the percentage of employees in an organization that rate the quality as strong or very strong.

  1. Collaboration: People cooperate, share, and work well together.
  2. Innovation: The company encourages new ideas and individuals are able to move ideas through the organization.
  3. Agility: The company responds and adapts to opportunities.
  4. Communication: People send, receive, and understand the necessary information.
  5. Support: People provide each other with the resources and guidance they need to be successful, and are confident in company leadership.
  6. Wellness: The company has the policies and resources to help people maintain physical and mental health.
  7. Work Environment: The company has a comfortable workplace where people have the resources to be effective in their work.
  8. Responsibility: People are accountable for their actions and have the independence to make decisions regarding their work.
  9. Performance Focus: People know what determines success in their role, and they are rewarded or recognized for achievements.
  10. Mission and Value Alignment: People know, understand, and believe in the company’s mission and values.

Employee Net Promoter Question

The employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) organizes employees into the promoters, passives, and detractors of your company to measure employee engagement.3 The question CultureIQ uses to determine this score is: “How likely are you to recommend your company as a place to work?” Employees answer on a scale of 0 – 10.

The employee Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of employees that respond 0 – 6 (detractors) from the percentage of employees who select 9 or 10 (promoters).

The CultureIQ Score

The CultureIQ Score is a single score out of 100 that represents the strength of your company culture in relation to high-performance cultures.

80 percent of the CultureIQ Score is determined by the responses to the questions that measure qualities common to high-performance organizations, and 20 percent is determined by the adjusted employee Net Promoter Score.


CultureIQ refined its model using research, interviewing hundreds of companies, their CEO’s experience teaching these topics at New York University, and their leadership roles in Fortune 500 organizations as well as high-growth small and medium-sized companies.

The following is a sample of some of the studies referenced in refining the methodology:

A Cornell Industrial and Labor Relations meta-study of 91 studies done over the last 15 years regarding the characteristics of high-performance cultures revealed the following qualities4:

  • Empowered people with the freedom to decide and act
  • Clear, strong, and meaningful core values
  • A performance-driven culture
  • A culture of transparency, openness, and trust
  • A shared identity and a sense of community
  • An adaptive culture to achieve long-term success

According to Bain & Company research, there are seven performance attributes shared among high-performance organizations5:

  • Honest
  • Performance-focused
  • Accountable and owner-like
  • Innovative
  • Collaborative
  • Oriented toward winning
  • Agile and adaptive

The Boston Consulting Group defines the set of culture behaviors that relate to employee engagement as6:

  • Ambitious
  • Accountable
  • Inspired
  • Supportive
  • Achievement Oriented

MIT Sloan research identifies key building blocks of innovative cultures. They developed a process to assess a company’s innovation culture based off of these six building blocks7:

  • Values
  • Behaviors
  • Resources
  • Processes
  • Climate
  • Success

1 Jim Hemerling and Julie Kilmann, "High-Performance Culture: Getting It, Keeping It," The Boston Consulting Group, June 2013,
2 Jaewoo Kim and Seung Cheon Bang, "What are the Top Cultural Characteristics That Appear in High-Performing Organizations Across Multiple Industries", Cornell University, ILR School, Spring 2013,
3 "Employee Net Promoter System", Bain & Company,
4 Kim and Bang, "What are the Top Cultural Characteristics That Appear in High-Performing Organizations Across Multiple Industries", Cornell University, ILR School
5 Michale C. Mankins, "The Defining Elements of a Winning Culture", HBR Blog, December 19, 2013,
6 Hemerling and Kilmann, "High-Performance Culture: Getting It, Keeping It", The Boston Consulting Group.
7 Jay Rao and Joseph Weintraub, "How Innovative Is Your Company's Culture?" MIT Sloan Management Review Magazine, Massachusetts Insitute of Technology, March 19, 2013,

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