A view of Washington from Arlington, Va. is seen in this 2012 file photo. The annual roundup of Top Workplaces attempts to identify the best places to work in greater Washington. (Bonnie Jo Mount/WASHINGTON POST)

Welcome to The Washington Post’s annual roundup of Top Workplaces, our attempt to identify the best places to work in greater Washington.

The 150 organizations that made the cut this year scored the highest all-around when we surveyed their employees. We asked people to evaluate their employers on a host of factors, including the quality of leadership, pay and benefit practices, and work-life balance issues.

Funny thing, it is often not the pay and perks that push companies to the top of our list. Research by our partner in this project, the employee survey firm WorkplaceDynamics, found that while just more than half of all respondents said pay and benefits were important factors in how they viewed their employers, far more, over 75 percent, said it was important to feel connected to their workplace through meaningful work and the belief that their company is moving in the right direction. A whopping 71 percent of the people surveyed at our Top Workplaces said they genuinely feel appreciated by their employer. Two-thirds feel confident about their future, and almost as many expressed confidence in the leadership.

Take a look at the place you work. Do you buy in to where the organization is heading and how it is getting there?

It’s our hope this report provokes a wider conversation on just what makes an organization stand out.