"Treating your people like assets does affect your performance," said Alex Edmans, one of the co-authors of the study.
American firms that are good to their workers beat their peers in the stock market by 2 to 3% per year, according to an earlier study. To see how those results played out in other countries, so the authors of the latest study looked at "Best Companies" around the world.
They found that the earlier study's results hold up especially well in nations where there's a lot of labor market flexibility -- meaning companies have a lot of leeway over hiring and firing.
Their study found that companies in the U.S., Britain and Canada have more flexibility, so there's a stronger link between a list appearance and stock bump.
For example, Google(GOOGL, Tech30), Salesforce.com(CRM, Tech30) and Intuit(INTU) are in the top 10 companies to work for. The stocks of those three companies have all exceeded the overall stock market performance for the past year. Google is up more than 32% in the past year compared to a 15% return for the S&P 500.