Watco Again Earns Spot on ‘Most Loved Workplaces’ List

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Dan Smith, CEO, Watco

Dan Smith, CEO, Watco

Pittsburg, Kans.-based Watco has been named to Newsweek’s Global Most Loved Workplaces® 2023 list. The integrated freight transportation services provider ranked No. 67 out of 100 top companies that “put respect, caring and appreciation for their employees at the center of their business model and, in doing so, have earned the loyalty and respect of the people who work for them,” according to the magazine.

Watco in 2022 was included in Newsweek’s list of America’s 100 Most Loved Workplaces.

The 2023 global list is the latest in Newsweek’s Most Loved Workplaces collaboration with the Best Practice Institute (BPI), a Florida-based leadership development and benchmark research firm, Watco reported May 31. It includes both U.S. firms and companies with a strong U.S. presence that are based overseas.

Newsweek explained that Watco was “loved” because “employees meet daily to review the plan, outline action items and collaborate across departments to accomplish their goals.” Additionally, “[i]ndustry partners repeatedly acknowledge Watco’s leaders for their achievements, influence and expertise”; ”[t]eam members move around the company to gain skills and knowledge and often are promoted within the company”; and ”[m]anagers conduct ‘stay’ interviews to learn what Watco is doing right and where it can improve.”

Earlier this year, BPI certified Watco as a 2023 Most Loved Workplace® after conducting an employee survey rating feelings about workplace satisfaction and sentiment. This certification qualified Watco for consideration in two Newsweek lists: America’s 100 and Global Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces.

How did companies make the global list? The results were determined after surveying more than 2 million employees from businesses with workforces varying in size from 30 to more than 10,000. According to Newsweek, BPI measures five basic areas to gauge employee sentiment: the level of collaboration at the firm; how positive are workers about their future at the company; how much employer values align with employee values; respect at all levels; and career achievement. Working in consultation with Newsweek editors, BPI also gave consideration to return-to-office policies; diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; and other workplace and talent development initiatives.

Newsweek said companies were evaluated and scored as follows: 35% of the initial score was based on responses to BPI’s proprietary Love of Workplace survey; 25% was derived from analysis of external public ratings from sites such as Comparably, Careerbliss, Glassdoor, Indeed and Google; and 40% came from direct interviews with and written responses from company officials. The magazine said it then conducted additional research into every company on the list, as well as the top runners-up, to determine the final list of 100 companies and their rankings.

“We’re humbled and at the same time excited about the selection by Newsweek,” said Watco CEO Dan Smith, who recently wrote an essay on how “People Matter Most” for Railway Age. “Our Watco team members set this tone, and we’ll continue to work to preserve an environment that is deserving of the label ‘most loved.’”

“While workplace dynamics continue to evolve, the power of a positive culture remains constant,” Newsweek Global Editor in Chief Nancy Cooper said. “The companies featured on the 2023 Global Most Loved Workplaces® list embody this transformative spirit, proving that when companies prioritize their people, success naturally follows.”

In a related development, Watco was named a top transportation and logistics company on the Forbes 2021 list of America’s best employers.

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