Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For
Fortune posted their top 100 companies, I summed them up here for your viewing pleasure:
Genentech: What's better than being a valued member of a cancer-fighting team? Having a great time while you're at work. (It doesn't hurt that 95% of workers are shareholders - and they've benefited handsomely from the soaring stock.) Wegmans Food Markets: Work really is a family affair at this privately held grocery chain. Before it opened two new stores last year, Wegmans chartered jets to fly all new full-timers to Rochester to be welcomed by CEO Danny Wegman. Valero Energy: When disaster strikes, this team pulls together. After hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit, Valero dispatched semis filled with supplies, set up temporary housing for employees, fed volunteers - and donated $1 million to the Red Cross. Griffin Hospital: Money isn't everything. Despite pay scales 5% to 7% lower than hospitals in its area, Griffin received 5,100 applications for a range of 160 open positions in 2005, largely due to its top-notch reputation for patient care. W.L. Gore & Associates: To encourage innovation at the maker of Gore-Tex fabrics, Elixir guitar strings, and Glide dental floss, there are no bosses, job titles, or organization charts, just sponsors, team members, and leaders. Container Store: At this storage retailer, even part-timers can receive bonuses, and drivers are rewarded for long service and safe driving records. In 2004 one driver took home $5,000 for ten years of perfect driving. Vision Service Plan: Ever wonder if your boss could handle your job? At this not-for-profit eye-care-insurance firm, managers get into the trenches and work rank-and-file jobs on annual In Touch Day. Plus monthly cake day celebrates employee birthdays. J.M. Smucker: This 109-year old jam and food company has a family feeling that's still sweet. Two brothers, Tim and Richard Smucker, are at the helm. And employees interview job applicants to make sure future colleagues will fit the culture. Recreational Equipment (REI): A shared passion for roughing it unites employees with consumers at this outdoor-goods maker and retailer, which regularly hosts environmental-service projects. Says one worker: "REI is a way of life." S.C. Johnson: They just won't budge. The family-owned consumer-products manufacturer has a devoted workforce, witnessed by an incredibly low turnover rate of 2%. Part of the reason: profit-sharing that added 19% to pay last year. Boston Consulting Group: Knowledge really is power. Arrive at this management consultant with a B.A. degree, and the firm will send you to a top institution for an MBA, pick up the tuition bill, and double your salary if you agree to stay on. Plante & Moran: Bad bosses beware: The goal is a "jerk-free" workforce at this accounting firm, where the staff is encouraged to live by the Golden Rule and abide by the credo "Speak up! If it's not right, we'll change it." Quicken Loans: A supercharged mantra culture rules at this mortgage bank. Sayings such as EVERY CLIENT, EVERY TIME and NO EXCEPTIONS, NO EXCUSES are plastered on posters, T-shirts, travel mugs, notepads, and portfolios. HomeBanc Mortgage: Prayers frequently open meetings at this faith-based mortgage banker. Dr. Dwight "Ike" Reighard, a former pastor, is "chief people officer" - he reports directly to the CEO and shepherds the company flock. Whole Foods Market: Employees up and down the food chain at this natural foods market have benefited from its rapid growth. The stock has tripled in the past three years, and even part-timers are eligible for stock options. Edward Jones: The education never ends at this brokerage firm, which spends 2.5% of payroll on training. A mentoring program pairs new brokers with veterans for a year, and lots of workers take subsidized business school classes. Republic Bancorp: A rah-rah atmosphere pervades this 20-year-old bank, which has offices in the Midwest. Anyone can submit questions to the CEO's monthly TeleRap conferences or nominate a co-worker as a "local hero." Baptist Health Care: New hires at this Southern hospital group wear an ID badge sticker for the first 90 days so that co-workers can offer a helping hand. To brush up on company culture, after five months they're invited to a day of skits, contests, and speakers. Alston & Bird: Open discussion and communication are vital at this national law firm, based in Atlanta. Everyone is kept in the loop via monthly firm meetings, fireside chats, "town hall" meetings, and a daily online newsletter. Kimley-Horn & Associates: Rewards are plentiful at the employee-owned engineering firm. It still pays the entire health insurance premium (for employees and dependents), hands out annual bonuses up to 12% of pay, and funds 401(k) retirement plans generously. QuikTrip: How can a gas-station-cum-convenience store be a good place to work? If employees are respected and valued. Eighty-seven percent of them say, "Management trusts us to do a good job without watching over our shoulders." American Century Investments: This investment manager cares about the next generation. Since 1995 more than 40 employees have been reimbursed $262,000 for adoption expenses, and fertility treatments of up to $10,000 are available. Qualcomm: All new employees last year were given stock. Another bonus: The wireless company covers the cost of onsite Princeton Review GMAT and GRE prep classes for employees angling to get into grad school. David Weekley Homes: Celebratory vacations are a big incentive at this homebuilder. In 2004 all employees were treated to a trip to Maui. Thanks to the real estate boom, next up are getaways to the Bahamas and Mexico. Cisco Systems: CEO John Chambers stays in touch with the staff. He meets with groups of new hires to welcome them soon after they start, and at monthly breakfast meetings workers are encouraged to ask him tough questions. Goldman Sachs: Healthy workers produce healthier profits at this investment bank, which is on our list for the ninth straight year. An unusually extensive onsite medical center provides consults and case management for employees and their families. Network Appliance: Time to tapas. This data-storage firm whisked 327 salespeople and their guests to Barcelona to celebrate meeting their targets. President Tom Mendoza makes 15 to 20 calls a week to thank employees for their contributions Four Seasons: Employees get a chance to walk in customers' shoes at this luxe hotel chain. Any worker (and the immediate family) can stay free at any location in the world (subject to availability and seniority); meals are discounted 50%. Starbucks: New president and CEO Jim Donald keeps in touch with the "partners," as employees are called, by randomly calling a dozen district managers and several stores each day. After a year, part-timers qualify for $500 in tuition reimbursement. SAS Institute: This software developer offers fantastic benefits: 100% of health-insurance premiums, child care that costs just $300 a month, three weeks of vacation after one year, unlimited sick leave, and an onsite medical facility. Robert W. Baird: Less work, more life. This investment advisor has a 37.5-hour workweek for hourly employees. It also has a sliding scale for health insurance premiums: Lower-income workers pay 19% on average, higher-income workers pay 35%. Alcon Laboratories: The optical-products maker has eye-popping amenities: 100% tuition reimbursement (used by 345 employees last year), a low-cost fitness center open 24 hours, and six annual excellence awards ($8,000 each). Nugget Markets: Even the baggers benefit at this Northern California supermarket chain. There's no premium for full health insurance, family coverage is $1 a week, and employees are offered a pension plus a 401(k) plan. CDW: The spirit of charity abounds at this technology company: Employees voted to cancel the holiday party and contribute the money (more than $1 million) to hurricane relief. CDW is also sending interested workers to help rebuild. American Fidelity Assurance: Talk about a power lunch: The CEO at this family-owned insurance company has lunch with every new hire in groups of ten to 12 people. One-third of the workforce has been there more than ten years, 10% more than 20 years. TDIndustries: Your vote counts at this employee-owned contractor. It has a "servant-leader" culture where the board of directors is elected by employees. The company pay scale ensures that no one makes more than ten times anyone else. American Express: Have a problem? An AmEx ombudsperson office was set up to handle confidential complaints. If you have worked 12 to 24 months in one position, you can apply to rotate to a different job - or to a different country. Milliken: Employees have great affection for CEO Roger Milliken, whose family founded this textile company in 1865. "Thankfully, someone in this country cares about the American worker and what he stands for," said one employee. Amgen: The biotech leader keeps employees onboard with generous benefits: a 90% company contribution toward health-insurance premiums, an automatic 5% 401(k) company contribution with a 5% match, plus 16 paid holidays. JM Family Enterprises: Employees at the nation's largest distributor of Toyota vehicles have been socking away 15% of pay via profit sharing every year since 1969. And good grooming is easy here: There's a free hair and nail salon onsite. Timberland: Helping to save the world is a big goal at this boot and outdoor gear label. Employees who buy a hybrid car get a $3,000 credit, and the company pays for up to 40 hours per year of volunteer work in the community. Microsoft: The software king offers what may be the most generous health-insurance plan in America. The premium is zero, with no deductible. And it's the first U.S. corporation to pay for therapy for dependents who are autistic. Intuit: These brainiacs know how to party. The inventors of Quicken, TurboTax, and other financial tools are legendary for their Friday afternoon socials, summer cookouts, and beach parties at the end of tax season. Pella: Elders aren't taken for granted at this maker of windows and doors. For employees with 25 years' service, the company places a brick bearing their name and hometown in Pella Plaza at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. SRA International: This IT firm and government contractor is helping employees develop healthier habits. So far it has enrolled more than 500 workers and significant others in GET F.I.T., an 18-week program to exercise more and eat healthier foods. Nordstrom: Act as if "it's your name on the door" is the motto at this chain of upscale specialty stores, where salespeople have the power to make decisions about refunds or exchanges-and top sellers can earn over $100,000 a year in commissions. AFLAC: Employee-appreciation week at this health insurer is a seven-day party featuring food, concerts, movies, plays, a minor-league baseball game, prizes, and amusement park outings. Family members are invited too. Perkins Coie: This law firm offers incentives galore to the staff, including a 5% bonus at year-end in addition to a 7.3% contribution to retirement accounts. Recognition awards include roundtrip airline tickets and gift certificates. Nixon Peabody: Four mergers between 1999 and 2003 catapulted Nixon Peabody into a national law firm with 630 lawyers. Employees give it high marks for diversity; 15% of employees are minorities and 16% of partners are women. Northwest Community Hospital: Work and family happily coexist here. Flextime options range from one-day-a-week shifts to nine or ten days every two weeks. Part-timers can also opt for weekend programs and compressed workweeks. Genzyme: Environmentalism hits home at this biotech firm, whose headquarters recently moved into a new "green" building that uses far less water and electricity and has a top-floor cafeteria with sweeping views of Boston. Eli Lilly: The venerable drugmaker helps its employees stay healthy with free Pap smears, mammograms, and colonoscopies. An onsite clinic with physicians, psychologists, and nurses handles 50,000 visits a year. Hot Topic: Employees express themselves at this music-inspired clothing retailer. Workers love wearing what they want (including tattoos and nose piercings) and saying what they want. Nearly 80% of the workforce is under 25. Arnold & Porter: Lawyers at this firm are socially responsible. Last year they contributed 81,714 attorney pro bono hours (the equivalent of 39 people on a full-time basis), and associates volunteer for six-month stints at the Legal Aid Society. Station Casinos: When the casino operator asked employees about their dreams, more than 1,200 said they dreamed of being a U.S. citizen. So Station offers free English courses, a 24-hour bilingual hotline, and citizenship clinics. Publix Super Markets: The Southeastern supermarket chain is 100% employee-owned. To celebrate the company's 75th birthday in 2005, 850 stores hosted parties with balloons, banners, costumes, and musical performances. Synovus: Feedback matters at this credit card processor and bank holding company. They solicit employee opinions via an intranet that can now be accessed from home, and workers are also surveyed online every month. Stew Leonard's: "Mom's hours" enable mothers to work while their children are in school - and take off the whole summer to be with them. Three giant supermarkets in New York City suburbs are soon to be joined by a fourth. Baptist Health South Florida: These hospitals encourage employees to go the extra mile with lots of incentive bonus programs. Donations to a fund to assist co-workers are matched. To help workers meet weight targets, they'll even pay for Weight Watchers. Vanguard Group: The mutual fund operator recognizes exemplary service with $250 spot-bonus awards. To show appreciation during an especially busy period, CEO Jack Brennan gave everyone a double bonus. Sherwin-Williams: More than 90% of placements in managerial and professional positions come from within at this paint seller. About 600 college recruits are hired every year and receive training in different divisions and functions. Memorial Health: Above-and-beyond benefits for this hospital's employees include a 3%-of-pay contribution to 401(k) plans, a $4,200 tuition reimbursement, relatively inexpensive onsite child care ($440 a month), and $5,000 in adoption aid. Russell Investment Group: The Tacoma headquarters of this investment services firm was designed to showcase views of Mount Rainier (73 staff members have scaled the peak). To prepare them, Russell installed a state-of-the-art fitness center. FedEx: Promotion from within is gospel at the overnight courier: Ninety-two percent of managers came up from the ranks. FedEx has more than doubled in size since it debuted on our list in 1998, and founder Fred Smith is still at the helm. PCL Construction: Employee ownership breeds camaraderie at this general contractor (Staples Center; Denver Airport). To avoid control by any single entity, no one is allowed to own more than 8% of shares. Seventy percent of employees volunteer regularly. MITRE: The golden years really are golden at this nonprofit, which runs research centers for the government. Its generous retirement plan allows employees to replace up to 75% or more of full pay when they stop working. Ernst & Young: The "people first" culture at this Big Four accounting firm emphasizes diversity. Today minorities make up 24% of its workforce, up from 16% in 1996. The firm's nondiscrimination policy now includes gender identity. Bronson Healthcare Group: Nurses are the heart of this hospital, which recognizes their role by including a chief nursing officer on the senior management team. Employees who buy houses in certain areas are eligible for an up to $10,000 no-interest loan. Valassis: The printer of Sunday newspaper inserts probably has more award programs than anyone - at least 50. The new Global Thinker honor awarded airfare for two to any place in the world, along with $3,000 for expenses. A.G. Edwards: The 118-year-old brokerage firm is a classroom as well: It hired 650 financial consultants last year and spent $75,000 to train each one. Employees can also earn college credits onsite via in-house classes at A.G. Edwards University. PricewaterhouseCoopers: The accounting firm is piloting a program designed to reduce work hours. It also invented a new position for career employees who are not on a partner track, thereby getting rid of the old "up or out" culture. Booz Allen Hamilton: School is never out at this management consultancy, where an in-house university offers hundreds of courses. A partnership with Johns Hopkins has helped 100 employees earn an MBA degree. Yahoo: The dot-com spirit lives at the Internet portal, which makes its debut on our list. Onsite amenities include massage, haircuts, dentistry, car wash, oil change, foosball, bocce, free lattes, and stock options for all. Standard Pacific: Another new entrant, this homebuilder gives discounts on home purchases: 1% after one year of service, 2% after two years, 3% after three or more years. Top employees also get coupons to use at the company store. Quad/Graphics: Half the employees at this catalog and magazine printer are related by blood or marriage. The close-knit workers can take advantage of four onsite medical clinics, three onsite child-care centers, and a 325-acre recreational park. Children's Heathcare of Atlanta: Working at a children's hospital can be stressful, so employees here are offered onsite child care, a "Club MED" wellness program, baby showers for expectant mothers, and concierge service for things like meal and trip reservations. National Instruments: Employees at this tech-products maker have never faced a layoff. When they aren't hard at work, they play foosball, socialize with co-workers at onsite deck parties, and participate in the annual talent show. Methodist Hospital System: One of the nation's largest nonprofit hospitals attributes record-high patient-satisfaction scores to an I CARE mission launched in 1998. Twice a year 20 top employees win $1,000 each or a week's paid vacation. East Penn Manufacturing: It's a company of lifers. This maker of Deka batteries is still run by its founder, DeLight Breidegam. The top ten senior employees have 419 years of combined service; the staff includes 246 married couples. CH2M Hill: Ownership breeds loyalty at this employee-owned engineering firm, which tackles big projects like the demolition of nuclear plants. Nearly two-thirds of employees have been here ten years, 10% more than 20 years. Autodesk: Known for its design software, this firm has counterculture roots. Wear what you want. Bring your dog to work. Take a six-week paid sabbatical every four years. CEO Carol Bartz hosts "coffee with Carol" chats. Bingham McCutchen: You won't go unnoticed at this national law firm. The company fetes the nonlawyer population with staff-appreciation week and gives gift baskets for new babies (70 last year) and weddings (60 last year). Texas Instruments: This high-tech pioneer supports diversity through 30 employee-networking groups. Among them: "lesbian and gay employee network," "Christian Values Initiative," and "Muslim Initiative," as well as other affinity groups. Worthington Industries: The steel processor's culture is based on trust - and great benefits. Factory workers get a piece of monthly profit sharing, which augments monthly salaries 40% to 100%. Join the wellness program, and your health premiums are covered. First Horizon National: "Firstpower" culture puts bank employees ahead of customers and shareholders. The bank has added vision care and enhanced dental coverage, and this year it's boosting the lifetime maximum benefit in health insurance coverage. Principal Financial Group: The employees love the flexibility at this retirement- and insurance-services company. Sixty-nine percent use flexible hours, another 20% work compressed weeks, and 17% spend at least 20% of their time working from home. Washington Mutual: CEO Kerry Killinger uses fun as the unifying theme at the nation's largest thrift, where he is often the enthusiastic emcee. At one event WaMulians made "WaMovies," which were judged by an applause-o-meter. Morrison & Foerster: One of the nation's premier law firms, MoFo pays well - $172,000 is the average base salary for lawyers, $60,334 for legal secretaries. Each year it funds every employee's 401(k) account with 5% of total compensation. Mayo Clinic: Eighty-nine percent of employees say they are proud to tell others they work at this hospital, known for both its cutting-edge research and unique collaborative style, in which doctors and other providers work on teams for each patient. John Wiley & Sons: This book and journal publisher has an old-fashioned feel. Wiley family members (sixth and seventh generations) are still active in the 198-year-old company. Bucking the national trend, last year Wiley enhanced its pension plan. Granite Construction: The major highway builder allocates up to 2% of profits for charitable contributions and allows employee committees to select the recipients. In 2004, $1.1 million was donated to causes like Boys and Girls Clubs and Habitat for Humanity. Men's Wearhouse: Employees dress for success at this clothing chain; 98% of regional and district managers started in store positions. More than 100 kids of employees are receiving college scholarships worth $5,000 a year. CarMax: This empire of "no haggle" superstores lets employees buy any car left on the lot longer than 14 days for $200 over cost. When an employee volunteers for a nonprofit, CarMax pays the organization $10 for each hour worked. Bright Horizons: Over 90 FORTUNE 500 companies have child care provided by Bright Horizons. Workers here get a 50% discount on child care, and 20 times a year they can use backup child care for $10 a day. Wm. Wrigley Jr.: Traditions endure under CEO Bill Wrigley, who is great-grandson of the founder. Every month the Gum Lady distributes free gum at company HQ. One-third of employees have been here more than 15 years. IKEA (U.S.): Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! The Swedish retailer expanded its U.S. payroll by 2,500 last year, and is adding three to five stores a year in the U.S. Eighty percent of employees agree that "people are given a lot of responsibility here." Intel: Intel is known for its tough, confrontational culture in which employees are encouraged to speak up. CEO Paul Otellini has his own blog. "How cool is that?" says one employee. Workers get an eight-week paid sabbatical every seven years. General Mills: You can bring your laundry to work and get your car serviced, packages wrapped, and nails done at the headquarters of this food giant. Also available: a subsidized infant-care center for children ages 6 weeks to 16 months. Marriott International: They're a committed bunch at this hotel chain, where J.W. Marriott Jr., the 73-year-old son of the founder, visits 200 sites a year. Nearly a quarter of employees have more than ten years of service; 5,000 more have 20-plus. Nike: Responding to criticism from activists, this sports giant now has 90 full-time employees monitoring overseas factory conditions. Perks in the U.S. include a 50% discount on Nike gear and a campus with a pool, climbing walls, and trails.