Welcome to The Washington Post’s inaugural report on 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, work-life balance issues and more.

Whether or not you find your company on the list, I hope this report provokes wider conversation on just what makes a company, agency or organization stand out.

The organizations that made our list offer interesting new ideas for keeping their staffs engaged, whether it is through the kind of parental-leave policies they offer, the good works they do, or even the snacks they put in the office refrigerator.

It is my hope this sampling becomes an annual event, a way to compare your workplace to what is happening elsewhere.

There’s more at stake than bragging rights. We live in an age when the ebb and flow of industries is accelerating. People are changing jobs more often than before, sometimes in search of a better opportunity, and sometimes because they have little choice. The companies that succeed will inevitably be those that can recruit and retain the best talent.

The companies on this year’s list reflect this new dynamic. Their approaches vary as widely as the industries they represent, offering fresh food for thought on what it takes to meet the needs of people in our ever-changing world of work.

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