Receive daily articles & headlines each day in your inbox with your free ERE Daily Subscription.

Not logged in. [log in or register]

100 Best Companies List Has Many Familiar Names

by
John Zappe
Jan 20, 2011, 5:17 pm ET

Fortune magazine is out with its annual list of 100 Best Companies To Work For and the names there are recognizable to anyone keeping track.

SAS, the North Carolina software giant, is No. 1 for the second year in a row. The company, with onsite childcare, healthcare, employee gym, and more — lots more — is a regular. It has made the list for the last 14 years.

Wegman’s Food Markets, and Google, Net App, and Boston Consulting are all still in the top 10.  Zappos, the much-admired shoe company now owned by Amazon, and REI, the camping and outdoor recreation provisioner, are the only newcomers. Zappos is 6th and REI 9th on the 2011 list.

Edward Jones, the financial adviser, and Qualcomm, the wireless technology company, which were the two companies displaced from 2010′s top 10. Jones slipped only slightly to 12th. But San Diego-Based Qualcomm slid all the way to 33rd place.

Why? It isn’t explained in the magazine’s articles on the list and the companies who make it.

The Great Place to Work Institute is the non-profit that compiles the Fortune list. It has some of the stringiest criteria, basing its selection of its top 100 companies on multiple factors, but relying heavily on its “Trust Index.” “A great place to work,” says the Institute, “is one in which you ‘trust the people you work for, have pride in what you do, and enjoy the people you work with’.”

It’s not easy to make the top 100 list. More than 1,000 companies submit applications each year hoping to make the Fortune list, says Amy Lyman, Director of Corporate Research and a co-founder of the Institute. More vie for a placement on lists for small and mid-sized companies.

Companies go through a fairly rigorous process that includes extensive employee and management surveys, analyses of employee engagement, and the development of the Trust Index. The Index measures what the Institute believes are the cornerstones of a great place to work: Credibility, Respect, Fairness and Pride and Camaraderie.

For a company making the list, the rewards are more than simply pride and a marketing opportunity.

Sean Broderick, VP, National Business Development for Bernard Hodes Group, says a Fortune ranking “add immediate awareness and validation. It’s 3rd party validation of your branding message.”

“For a regional employer, that’s a benefit they can’t buy. It gives you a competitive advantage in attracting top talent because an outside organization is saying you are a good place to work. So you’ll get the pick of the talent,” says Broderick.

There’s also a financial correlation. Say Lyman, “We have found that companies that have a high trust also tend to be more successful.”

Russell Investments, the financial consulting firm that developed the Russell 3000, began tracking the financial performance of the 100 Great Place companies several years ago. Over a 12-year period (1998-2009) companies on the list outperformed both the S&P 500 and Russell’s own 3000.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  1. Morgan Hoogvelt

    I saw a special on 20/20 when I was in college several years ago that detailed the operations at SAS. I still remember that special today as it was remarkable! From the start of one simply going through the gates to enter the facility – the entire place sings “great place to work”.

    At that time the turnover was virtually zero and the CEO of the company, during the interviews, beamed with passion for his employees! It was truly evident that not only do they brag about being a great place to work – they go above and beyond to ensure it is a great place to work. The phrase that the CEO kept referring to was “People are his most important asset.”

    It was very refreshing to hear.

  2. Keith Halperin

    This is what Glassdoor.com says about SAS:

    SAS Institute
    http://www.sas.com HQ: Cary, NC
    Overall Company Rating
    3.6 (out of 5) Employees are “Satisfied”

    Overall CEO Rating
    Jim Goodnight
    81% Approve

  3. Get Your Employer Branding Back on Track - ERE.net

    [...] on a ranking in “best places to work” surveys as the sole metric for the employer brand [...]

  4. Get Your Employer Branding Back on Track | Regina Caffey, Inc.

    [...] on a ranking in “best places to work” surveys as the sole metric for the employer brand [...]

  5. Get Your Employer Branding Back on Track » CommDigest

    [...] on a ranking in “best places to work” surveys as the sole metric for the employer brand strategy Read article via [...]

  6. BrandSocialism – Get Your Employer Branding Back on Track

    [...] on a ranking in “best places to work” surveys as the sole metric for the employer brand [...]

  7. McDonald’s Hiring Day Goals: Hire 50,000; Improve Image - ERE.net

    [...] the Chicago Tribune that Starbucks is the preferred employer. Starbucks regularly appears on the “100 Best Companies To Work For” list. McDonald’s doesn’t. Starbucks runs its own outlets and offers a consistent benefits [...]

  8. Are Your Employees Cut Out for Virtual Work? - ERE.net

    [...] Fortune’s 2011 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” offer telecommuting opportunities to employees. The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey reports an increase of employees who worked from home of 61 percent from 2005. With more and more companies struggling to find and retain qualified workers as well as manage costs, the number of virtual workers is sure to rise. But as with every job, not every worker is qualified to fill the position. Companies must add the ability to work virtually to their list of job competencies and be able to assess accurately the candidate’s ability or potential. Otherwise, the advantages of employing virtual workers will quickly be outweighed by lost productivity and turnover. tags: telecommuting [...]

  9. Are Your Employees Cut Out for Virtual Work?

    [...] Fortune’s 2011 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” offer telecommuting opportunities to employees. The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey reports an increase of employees who worked from home of 61 percent from 2005. With more and more companies struggling to find and retain qualified workers as well as manage costs, the number of virtual workers is sure to rise. But as with every job, not every worker is qualified to fill the position. Companies must add the ability to work virtually to their list of job competencies and be able to assess accurately the candidate’s ability or potential. Otherwise, the advantages of employing virtual workers will quickly be outweighed by lost productivity and turnover. Posted in HR News, Top HR Stories on June 28, 2011 Read the rest of this post at:http://www.ere.net/2011/06/28/are-your-employees-cut-out-for-virtual-work/Source:ERE.net Related HR Stories:It’s Cyber Monday – Will You Let Your Employees Shop at Work? [...]

  10. Telecommuting: the Good and the Bad | sslusarc

    [...] you think you want to work from home? Here are some pros and cons of telecommuting to help you decide if it is right for [...]

  11. Trust…A Dangerous “Five Letter” Word | Empower 2 Go | Martin Casper

    [...] In fact, one of the criteria for Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” is trust. Low trust can result in disengaged employees, excessive rules, double-checking, paperwork and loss [...]

  12. Who’s the Best Company to Work For? Here’s 100 of Them - ERE.net

    [...] year’s list of the Best Companies to Work For reads a lot like last year’s. The rankings have changed a bit; SAS, for instance, got unseated for the #1 spot by Google, but [...]

  13. Who’s the Best Company to Work For? Here’s 100 of Them - HR Practices Research Portal - HR Practices Research Portal

    [...] year’s list of the Best Companies to Work For reads a lot like last year’s. The rankings have changed a bit; SAS, for instance, got unseated for the #1 spot by Google, but [...]

  14. What We Can Learn From the Annual Best Companies to Work For List

    [...] This year’s list of the Best Companies to Work For reads a lot like last year’s. [...]

  15. ARTICLE : Who’s the Best Company to Work For? Here’s 100 of Them | ZiDCard.com

    [...] year’s list of the Best Companies to Work For reads a lot like last year’s. The rankings have changed a bit; SAS, for instance, got unseated for the #1 spot by Google, but [...]

  16. Google Is Again the Best Company to Work For - ERE.net

    [...] Competition to win a place on the list can be keen, especially among those companies at the top. Just appearing on the list means a big boost to an employer’s branding message, bringing it both national publicity and validation. Not only will it help attract top candidates, but the public firms on the list also are more financially successful. [...]

  17. Google (Again!) Tops the Annual Best Companies to Work For List

    [...] Competition to win a place on the list can be keen, especially among those companies at the top. Just appearing on the list means a big boost to an employer’s branding message, bringing it both national publicity and validation. Not only will it help attract top candidates, but the public firms on the list also are more financially successful. [...]

  18. Best Places to Work: More than Perks Even at Google « Corporate Massage

    [...] “Just appearing on the list means a big boost to an employer’s branding message, bringing it both national publicity and validation. Not only will it help attract top candidates, but the public firms on the list also are more financially successful.” [...]

Post a comment

Please log in to post a comment.

Note: You need to sign up for an account on our new commenting system if you haven't already done so — even if you have an existing ERE account. Find out why »

Login Information