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Who’s the Best Company to Work For? Here’s 100 of Them

by
John Zappe
Jan 19, 2012, 2:58 pm ET

This 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 otherwise the list (click here for the list of all 100) shows that a great place to work tends to stay that way.

That’s because it’s no easy feat to win a spot in the top 100, which Fortune released today. Many companies compete — 1,000 typically start the process. They’re put through the wringer by The Great Place to Work Institute, which requires each to undertake employee and management surveys, examines employee engagement, and develops a 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.

While economic and financial conditions influence the rankings, the Trust Index is the cornerstone of the ranking. Building a high Trust Index takes time and commitment from every part of the company, beginning with the CEO and C-suite. The culture that creates endures.

It doesn’t hurt, though, to offer great pay and great benefits. Fortune notes Google’s “free gourmet food, on-site laundry, dry-cleaning, and alterations, an outdoor sports complex, (and) the star-studded lineup of speakers.”

But even for perk-heavy Silicon Valley, three-time first-place winner Google offers an unrivaled assortment of benefits and perks, including custom workstations. Says Fortune, “One option that became increasingly popular last year was swapping out the standard sit-down desk for a standing desk. Googlers place an order with the company’s Ergolab, choose from a number of desk models, and have their desk measured to their height.”

Google isn’t alone in providing unusual perks. GoDaddy, #93 on the list, holds off-site activities that have included “whitewater rafting, gold panning, competitive cooking courses, and trapeze classes.” Zappos gives every employee $50 to award as a bonus to a co-worker. From those getting a bonus, the company picks a winner who gets a parade, special parking, a $150 gift card, and a cape.

For the complete list of this year’s best 100 companies and their 2011 rankings, click here.

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. Keith Halperin

    Thanks again, John.
    I’d like to see folks compile three additional lists of this type:
    1) List of the Worst Companies to Work For
    2) List of the Best Companies to Recruit For (best recruiting environment for recruiting staff)
    3) List of the Worst Companies to Recruit For (worst recruiting environment for recruiting staff)

    Cheers,

    Keith

  2. Todd Raphael

    John Sullivan has done a few things close to #2, like this one – http://www.ere.net/2005/02/28/the-top-25-benchmark-firms-in-recruiting-and-talent-management/
    (though it has been a few years)

    I also think that #2 and #3 are fluid. BP during the oil spell recently or Exxon during the Valdez would’ve been very tough to recruit for — but at other times much easier. The Army or Navy after the 2001 terrorist attacks or after Bin Laden’s capture would have been easier, but at other times harder.

  3. Larry Hernandez

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  5. Keith Halperin

    @ Todd: Thank you. Looking at Dr. Sullivan’s 2005 list, it appears to have been compiled based on his own personal rankings. I’d prefer a list compiled by anonymous submissions of the people who work for the firm, with the submission and tallying process designed to prevent “gaming” or “ballot-stuffing”. It’s the potential for “gaming” or “ballot-stuffing” that make me suspicious of “best of lists”.

    Happy Friday,

    Keith

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