How Intel rejoined the elite Best Companies to Work For

By inspiring employees, giving them ways to make connections, and demonstrating their value to the company, Intel roared back onto the Great Place to Work Institute’s list of top workplaces.

The company fell off the list in 2005, a disappointment that coincided with quite a bit of industry turbulence. Employee stock options went underwater, the company restructured, and turnover was high. It stayed that way for about five years.

In 2010, the company re-entered the list at No. 98. Then by 2012, it was up to No. 46. This year, it held on in position 68.

How did Intel claw its way back to being one of the best places to work? Smith said it required adopting a three-pronged philosophy of engaging with employees: inspiring them, connecting with them, and demonstrating their value.


The key to inspiring employees is telling great stories, Smith said. One way Intel has done that is through its ambassador program, which aims to get employees so excited about the company’s products and how they’re helping people worldwide that they just have to tell other people about them.

One such story involves a man in the Brazilian rainforest who communicates with his kids in college in Sao Paulo via videoconferencing.

“There’s a whole place where you can go and download these stories,” Smith said. “It’s like having an extended sales force.”

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