Posts Tagged ‘Fortune Magazine’

How They Made the List: Tips from Fortune’s “Best 100 Places to Work”

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

With a glance through the companies on Fortune Magazine’s list of The 100 Best Companies to Work For, similar themes arise, even though the 100 firms represent a wide range of industries. Businesses of any size can use these themes to make their workplace one of choice for their employees, too. Reducing turnover reduces costs, increases productivity, and makes everybody happier.

Do the right thing:

  • The #1 company on the list is SAS, a software firm. Employees get unlimited sick days, free medical care, a free fitness center and summer camp for their kids. The CEO believes in the trust between the company and the employees. Perks are probably a big expense, but SAS is very profitable (it’s the world’s largest privately owned software company) and turnover is a low, low 2%—the lowest in the industry.
  • Johnson Financial Group, keeps pay in place if staff must be out of work for a crisis. The CEO says they will always “do what is right.”
  • Arkansas Children’s Hospital sponsors a summer camp for sick kids—and awards extra vacation to employees who volunteer there.

We’re all in this together (even in a tough recession year):

  • Edward Jones, the investment firm, froze salaries but continued profit sharing and did not lay off a single employee or close a single office.
  • Wegmans Food Markets has never had a layoff, and didn’t end that streak. 11% of its employees have been with the grocery chain for over 15 years.
  • Shared Technologies, a phone and data systems company, limited layoffs by cutting pay for employees (5%) and management (10%). The CEO of AFLAC, the insurance firm, gave up a $2.8 million bonus—and maintained all employee benefits.
  • Nugget Market, a small chain in California, helped employees through the recession with 5% discounts on groceries; management showed appreciation by washing all the associates’ cars one day.
  • Men’s Wearhouse demonstrated a team approach with pay cuts at the top: the CEO took a 20% pay cut, the SVPs, 5%, and the board of directors 10%.

Let’s keep having fun:

  • The Scooter Store, in Texas, keeps celebrating with quarterly pep rallies and birthday parties every day.
  • Mattel, the toy maker, keeps employees happy with potluck breakfasts, volunteer days, picnics and milk-and-cookie parties.

Benefits for all:

  • Build-A-Bear Workshop gives part-time employees access to health insurance.
  • CISCO offers on-site child care.
  • Methodist Hospital System gives out bonuses based on patient satisfaction each quarter.
  • PCL Construction focuses on healthy employees with gym memberships, unlimited sick time and paid life insurance.

Maybe these ideas will inspire other employers to think creatively and hang on to your valuable employees longer!