What makes a company a great one to work for? Different people can provide wildly varying answers to this question. Some value high pay, while others stress benefits. Some need job satisfaction, while others want their creativity to be rewarded. Others are searching for a low-key office environment; while some want to have everything they need under one roof. The following companies have been rated as some of the best to work for in the world by their employees. Many of these companies, you might notice, are centered on technology. A few provide financial services. All of them are doing something different than other corporations to attract the best employees and keep them longer.
Qualcomm is a wireless company that has been striving for years to give their employees a great atmosphere in which to do their best work. Upon hire, new employees are offered stock options. The company also stresses physical fitness, hosting baseball games, kayaking tours, surfing lessons, whitewater rafting, bowling, and bonfires. They also offer employees 100% paid health coverage, an on-site fitness center, telecommuting, and volunteer opportunities. Qualcomm employs about 12,000 in the United States and just under 3000 abroad.
9. DreamWorks Animation SKG
Ranked 6th on 2010's Fortune list of �Best Companies to Work For,� DreamWorks is headquartered in Glendale, California. Employees cite the open culture, beautiful workplace, and opportunities to grow as some of the best of any company they've worked for. While less than 2000 people in the U.S. work for DreamWorks, those who do make an average of $100,000 per year, and can enjoy job sharing and telecommuting.
8. Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Volkswagen of America is championed for offering flextime, compressed work schedules, telecommuting, and job-sharing to both full-time and part-time employees. Employee creativity is rewarded, and employee concerns are listened to and addressed on a regular basis. When employees are getting ready to retire, Volkswagen of America offers part-time employment to help them ease into retirement gradually. After retirement, many retirees are offered temporary assignments and consulting projects, as well as part-time work.
7. WL Gore & Associates
Headquartered in Newark, Delaware, W.L. Gore & Associates keeps its employees creatively challenged and stimulated. Employees who work there feel that they are making a valuable contribution to the company's success. With just under 6000 employees in the United States and just over 2600 international employees, the company is not large by any means. But employees say that teamwork and ethics is stressed, celebrating individual potential and making workers feel like family. On-site child care and fitness centers are in most company offices, and telecommuting and job-sharing is also available to employees.
6. Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is a bank holding company headquartered on Wall Street that has consistently placed in Fortune magazine's top 100 Best Companies to Work For. It has employees in the United States, North and South America, Asia, the Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. The company just built a new $2.1 billion eco-friendly headquarters near the World Trade Center site, set to open in 2010. Although some may not like Goldman Sach's liberal pay practices, employees like the company's generous compensation packages, education benefits, tuition reimbursement, training reimbursement, scholarships, fellowships, loan and mortgage discounts.
Biotechnology giant Genentech is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Most of its 10,000-plus employees are U.S. - based, but they do employ a handful of people in Singapore. It is heralded as a great company to work for because it encourages creativity among researchers and scientists, allowing them to work toward projects they are interested in. It is known as being low-key and high-tech at the same time. The company has over 7400 non-expired patents around the world and over 6000 patent applications pending. It participates in community outreach and 95% of employees own stock in the company.
4. Edward Jones
Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, financial services company Edward Jones has 10,000 offices across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It ranks high in employee satisfaction because of its great amount of training provided (150 hours each, on average, per year) and encouragement of employees to develop new skills and advance. Always on Fortune's top companies list, the company also provides telecommuting and job-sharing opportunities and paid sabbaticals for employees.
Formerly known as Network Appliance, NetApp is a technology network data storage and management company based in San Francisco, California, with 130 offices around the world in the U.S. , Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, the Pacific, and Australia. Benefits offered to employees by NetApp include paid days off for volunteer work, adoption aid, and coverage for special needs children. Managers at NetApp stay in communication and contact with employees to share information and keep abreast of employee thoughts and feelings. Although NetApp did reduce its international workforce by 5% recently, severance packages given to those who were let go were generous.
2. Cisco Systems
Also a fixture on Fortune's �Best Companies to Work For� list since 1998, this hardware, software, and computer service company is also headquartered in California with offices worldwide, in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Managers at Cisco strive to make sure employees lead well-balanced lives and offer flex-time. Benefits of working at Cisco include confidential assistance and crisis programs for mental/emotional/psychological issues. Opportunities for advancement are said to be available to most workers as well. Most Cisco employees are also shareholders, so they have a personal investment in the company for which they work.
Google has been on everyone's lists as the best place in the world to work for years now. The company's headquarters is in Mountain View, California, but Google has offices around the world, in countries such as Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, and many more. Google is known for trying its best to keep its employees happy, and to that end, they have a restaurant, gym, barber shop, clinic, swimming pool, laundry, massage, car wash, and more located within its offices for the use of employees. They also offer employees tons of professional development courses, and encourage employees to spend 20% of their work time on projects of interest to them. Google offers 401-K matching programs and stock-option exchange. With over 20,000 workers worldwide, Google plans to hire thousands more in 2010.