SAS sees No. 3 ‘Great Place to Work’ ranking as all positive

After taking the top spot in the Great Place to Work Institute’s list of the 100 best workplaces in the United States, the software company dropped to No. 3 but still trumpets the ranking as a victory.

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For Cary, N.C.-based software maker SAS, the situation’s a little different. After taking the No. 1 spot on the list the past two years running, the company slid two spots this year. Though some companies might view that drop as a letdown, SAS views it as a victory, and it communicated the ranking as such.

“We don’t really see it as a disappointment, really,” says Kim Darnofall, internal communications project manager at SAS.

In an internal blog post about SAS’ placement, Karen Lee, senior director of internal communications, put it this way: “SAS headquarters campus is surrounded by three great universities—N.C. State, U.N.C. Chapel Hill, and Duke. All three of these schools have had their moments of greatness in the world of college sports. … But not one of these powerhouse schools can claim victory in any sport year after year after year. SAS has consistently been among the best. Year after year after year.”

The announcement

The only thing that made this year’s communications strategy different, says Lee, was the number.

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