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The Top Fortune 500 Companies for Career Advancement 


The Top Fortune 500 Companies for Career Advancement 

Most job-seekers search for opportunities by the position, and not the company. While this will undoubtedly yield more results, some companies, especially Fortune 500 companies, score much better on valued metrics such as pay, promotion, and retention than others.  

The 2023 American Opportunity Index examines how Fortune 500 companies hire, pay, and promote their employees. Millions of online profiles and ancillary data sources were compiled while thirteen measures covered everything from wage and pay increases, the number of promotions employees received, as well as the average amount of time it took to move up departmental ranks. In the end, 396 companies qualified with 104 excluded due to insufficient data. 


Coming in number one overall was Coca-Cola. The Atlanta-based conglomerate scored particularly high in pay, hiring, and culture. The Index noted that Coca-Cola is one of the best places to start a career as the company culture is steadfast in its objective of advancing employees to higher-paying jobs mainly through short-term assignments that help prepare staff for future growth. 

The number two spot was held by Bank of America, scoring well in promotion and pay. Like Coca-Cola, upward ascension is prioritized and Bank of America is also known for preparing current employees for even higher-ranking jobs once they leave the bank. Rounding out the top 3 was J.M. Smucker, a jam and spread maker with only 6,700 global employees but notable scores in promotion, pay, and culture. 

Largest Employers 

In terms of the largest employers on the list, Walmart is the biggest with 2.1 million employees worldwide, and scored well on ease of promotion, but underperformed on pay. Amazon, the second largest employer on the list performed notably on ease of promotion as well as parity for minorities, but poorly on culture. This appears to be due to low retention figures and a lack of upward movement. 


The Index’s Fortune 500 banking firms offered some interesting takeaways. Citizens Financial Group employs only 19,000 people but ranked high in its hiring of workers without a college degree or little experience. Other similar-sized banks displayed comparable results leading to a possible conclusion that breaking into the banking sector would be easier with a smaller than larger bank. 

Tech Companies

Tech firms performed well as a group. Meta Platforms and Microsoft led overall aggregate scores, especially in employee promotion. Microsoft bested Meta, however, when it came to turnover. 


Overall retailers performed well on hiring and promotion. Another area where retailers scored above average was parity, displaying an above-average record of advancing Black, Hispanic, and female employees. Costco Wholesale noted high marks for culture and pay, while Home Depot scored highest in retention, promotion, and hiring.  

supply chain

How to Make Supply Chain Employees Feel More Invested in Their Work

Supply chain operations typically involve a lot of long hours and repetitive work. That can make it difficult for employees to feel invested in their jobs, leading to errors, lower productivity and burnout.

If supply chains want to optimize their operations, they can’t overlook employee investment. Here are eight ways that management can encourage their employees to invest more in their work.

1. Help Workers Reach Their Own Goals

One of the best ways to get workers invested in the company is to invest in them first. Management should start by helping employees define and pursue their personal professional goals. This will show that the company cares about their development and is willing to put effort into it, encouraging reciprocation.

This process starts with talking with individual employees to help quantify their specific goals. Studies show that those with defined goals are ten times more likely to succeed than those without them. After that, management can create progress charts to monitor growth, encouraging hard work from employees and pushing them to their full potential.

As workers strive toward their individual goals, they’ll become more invested in their day-to-day work. The company as a whole will benefit as a result.

2. Provide Paths for Upward Mobility

Another crucial factor for employee investment is career advancement opportunities. Just 29% of surveyed employees say they’re satisfied with their workplace’s opportunities for career advancement. If workers don’t have anything more to reach for, there’s not much reason for them to invest heavily in their performance.

By contrast, if there are plenty of paths for upward mobility, employees will have the motivation to work harder. Supply chain organizations can promote from within rather than finding outside hires for upper-level positions. That way, workers will know that they can work their way up, encouraging them to invest in the business.

3. Enable Lateral Movement

In that same vein, supply chain organizations should also enable lateral movement. In addition to being able to move upward, workers should be able to change areas or departments. This will help keep satisfied, productive employees if they decide they want a career change or to apply new skills.

Some workers may start to feel burned out in their current role but have skills and interests that apply to another. Letting them change jobs to work in another department could help them find work within the company that compels them. When employees can find the role that fits them the best, they’ll invest more in their job.

4. Reward Investment

Some strategies to help supply chain employees feel more invested are remarkably straightforward. By rewarding those who invest more heavily in their work, employers can motivate employees to do so. Management should establish a system for rewarding hard work, such as productivity bonuses or an employee of the month scheme.

Monetary incentives are particularly powerful, but they’re not necessary if they’re outside a company’s budget. In one survey, 37% of workers said that more personal recognition would drive them to produce better work more often. Recognizing professional and personal achievements, especially in front of others, can provide the encouragement employees need to feel invested.

5. Be Charitable

Another way to help employees feel more invested is to create a company spirit that they want to invest in. If employees can see how their work contributes to a cause they care about, they’ll be more willing to put more into it. Supply chain businesses can foster this by donating to charities or helping local organizations provide community services.

It’s important to ensure these efforts go beyond one-time actions. They should be ongoing, in-depth initiatives so workers know they’re contributing to meaningful change, not just a publicity stunt. For example, some organizations donate profits to education departments, as well as partner with education organizations. This broader but still unified scope helps make a more substantial impact.

6. Be Sustainable

Another way that companies can help employees contribute to things they care about is through sustainability. Since transportation is responsible for almost a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, supply chains often have considerable carbon footprints. Embracing sustainability initiatives can help make up for this and encourage more investment from employees.

Investing in electric vehicles or renewable energy infrastructure can help supply chain companies become more sustainable. As these efforts grow, workers will see that their efforts within the company contribute to a greener future. Publishing sustainability goals and achievements will help raise awareness and drive further investment from employees.

If possible, try to tie these directly to workers’ achievements. That way, employees will have more concrete encouragement that their actions lead to more eco-friendliness.

7. Organize Team Building Events

Even if companies follow other steps, employees will struggle to feel invested if they feel distant from their coworkers. Businesses can fix that issue by planning regular social events to help build a more communal spirit. When employees feel closer to their coworkers, they’ll feel more engaged at work, driving more investment.

These activities don’t have to look like traditional corporate team-building exercises. They can be as simple as an after-hours party where management provides food, drinks and activities. The more casual and less work-related these feel, the better, as that will help develop closer, friendlier relationships.

8. Listen to Employees

Finally, supply chain organizations should seek employees’ advice on what would help them feel more invested. If management doesn’t take the time to listen to workers’ feedback, the employees will feel undervalued and won’t put in as much effort. Employees may also have good insider advice for the company, so regular surveys can fuel ongoing improvements.

Workers should have an accessible, always available means of giving feedback. While 64% of HR leaders think such a tool is essential, only 20% have one in place. Creating an HR chatbot or comment box is a simple fix that will help employees feel valued.

It’s important to follow up on these comments, too. Asking for feedback won’t lead to any meaningful change if management doesn’t also act on it.

An Invested Workforce Will Drive Success

When supply chain workers feel more invested, they’ll give more to the company. They’ll be more productive, produce higher-quality work and foster more positive workplace relationships. In an industry that can easily become dull and disenchanting, those benefits are impossible to ignore.

These eight steps can help any supply chain business motivate and encourage its employees. They’ll invest more heavily in their work as a result.


Is Your ‘Inner Critic’ Undermining Your Career? 5 Ways To Boost Your Confidence.

The workplace, like the playing field in sports, is packed with competition — often against oneself. It demands being at your best, reaching and exceeding goals, working hard to master all aspects of a position, and proving you’re capable of taking on more.

Someone might have all the requisite skills to succeed, but they also might become their own biggest obstacle when self-criticism gets in the way, corporate observers say. Confidence becomes a problem when difficult experiences at work, such as making mistakes or being passed over for an opportunity, cause us to question ourselves and create negative thoughts.

To produce positive thoughts and smooth the path toward success, one needs to create a mindset based on processes that are purposeful, says Grant Parr (, a mental sports performance coach and author of The Next One Up Mindset: How To Prepare For The Unknown.

“The mind can get lonely and focus on negative things,” says Parr. “We risk giving our attention to thoughts that can eat away at us, destroy our confidence, and take us out of our rhythm.

“We begin to listen to a cartoon version of the devil who sits on one shoulder and whispers in our ear. So we need to develop ways to listen to that other voice within us, that angel on the opposite shoulder, to quiet the inner critic.”

Parr suggests a five-step process to develop a more positive mindset and boost your confidence in the workplace:

Focus on winning in the present. Dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about what comes next can create self-doubt. Staying present is key and requires resiliency, which leans on past training and the skills that led to achievements. Parr likens a resilient worker with athletes such as a placekicker, who shakes off a missed field goal and comes back to make the game-winner. “The workplace setting doesn’t wait for you to get over things,” Parr says. “And rather than fearing making more mistakes, you must ask yourself, ‘What’s important now?’ To be the best you can be in the current moment, you have to focus all of your energy on the present and embrace it.”

Breathe to relax and refocus. “Refocusing always starts with your breath,” Parr says. “It casts out distractions and allows you to be yourself. Focusing on your breathing reminds you that this is something you can control, and in turn you can control your thoughts. Ultimately, you’re training your subconscious mind how to use breath to settle you.”

Meditate. “Meditation builds off your controlled, sustained breathing,” Parr says, “and it becomes a practice to develop clarity and create a calm space in the mind. Meditation brings control and harnesses much of the untapped power of the mind. It aligns your mind, body, and spirit.”

Visualize. To reach peak performance, Parr says, people must be able to see themselves performing well. “The more precisely you can see yourself in action, the more you are able to adjust and control that image, change its details, and guide its outcome,” Parr says. “Visualization also entails tapping into an emotion, feeling the confidence of the moment that you see yourself making happen.”

Engage in self-talk. “Learn to become your own best motivator,” Parr says. “You can do this through the power of positive language directed at the self. We want to develop a language that creates purposeful optimism. Find specific language that can give voice to your feelings and enhance your internal drive.”

“Training the mind to generate confidence, qualm fear and spark joy empowers someone to be better than their negative side thought they could be,” Parr says.


Grant Parr ( is a mental sports performance coach and the author of The Next One Up Mindset: How To Prepare For The Unknown. Parr owns and runs GAMEFACE PERFORMANCE, a consulting firm that enhances mental skills for athletes and coaches. A recruiter and sales leader in the corporate world for 17 years, he now works with a wide variety of athletes including Olympians, professionals, collegians and high school athletes. His podcast, 90% Mental, provides a window into a broad range of athletes’ and coaches’ mental games and shares their insights around mental performance.