Friday, March 18, 2011

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TOP BEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR

100 Best Companies to Work For

1. NetApp Rank: 1 (Previous rank: 14)

What makes it so great?

Employee enthusiasm for the legendary egalitarian culture helped catapult NetApp to No. 1 after six years on our list. Typical of its down-to-earth management ethos, NetApp early on ditched a travel policy a dozen ­pages long in favor of this maxim: "We are a frugal company. But don't show up dog-tired to save a few bucks. Use your common sense." Rather than business plans, many units write "future histories," imagining where their business will be a year or two out.

And the benefits are tops: five paid days for volunteer work, $11,390 adoption aid, and autism coverage -- used by 43 employees since 2006 at a cost of $242,452. The company has gained market share during the slump, hasn't had layoffs, and has more than $2 billion in cash on hand to help it ride out the global financial crisis.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 3,303 Website: www.netapp.com

2. Edward Jones Rank: 2 (Previous rank: 4)

What makes it so great?

The stock market collapse reduced partner distributions and bonuses, but Jim Weddle, who heads the brokerage, assured associates the firm had no exposure to high-risk mortgages or financial derivatives and no plans for layoffs. Jones hired 698 new financial advisors in the first ten months of 2008 and is building an addition to its St. Louis headquarters for 500 new employees.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 4,147 Website: www.edwardjones.com

3. Boston Consulting Group Rank: 3 (Previous rank: 11)

What makes it so great?

Management consultant has increased recruitment of minorities (25% of staff, up from 19% in 2004). Offers first-class health insurance: $5 co-pay for doctor visits, 100% fertility treatment coverage.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 2,300 Website: www.bcg.com

4. Google Create Alert at: $370 $410 $429 ...

Rank: 4 (Previous rank: 1)

What makes it so great?

Tech powerhouse marked tenth birthday in 2008. While the company still attracts 777,000 applicants a year, hiring has slowed, and Google recently cut frills like afternoon tea and an annual ski trip.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 16,594 Website: www.google.com

5. Wegmans Food Markets Rank: 5 (Previous rank: 3)

What makes it so great?

Recent offerings at this family-owned supermarket chain: Employees could buy gift cards of up to $250 at a 10% discount to help with food costs; Wegmans is also rolling out free yoga classes at each of its stores.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 4,511 Website: www.wegmans.com

6. Cisco Systems Rank: 6 (Previous rank: 6)

What makes it so great?

CEO John Chambers is focusing on collaborative efforts to give employees more say in decision-making. With over $26 billion in cash and investments, Cisco is poised to ride out the business slowdown and has about 500 job openings, mostly across engineering disciplines and in "customer advocacy."

2007 revenue ($ millions): 34,900 Website: www.cisco.com

7. Genentech Rank: 7 (Previous rank: 5)

What makes it so great?

The biotech leader continued to resist a takeover by shareholder Roche; it also implemented retention bonuses and severance ranging from 18 to 52 weeks' pay for anyone terminated after a merger.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 11,724 Website: www.gene.com

8. Methodist Hospital System Rank: 8 (Previous rank: 10)

What makes it so great?

Methodist broke ground on $2 billion in construction in 2008, filled 300 new jobs, and awarded merit pay raises of 3%. Salaried employees who worked long hours after Hurricane Ike got $250 Kroger gift cards.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,742 Website: www.methodisthealth.com

9. Goldman Sachs Rank: 9 (Previous rank: 9)

What makes it so great?

Wall Street survivor turned itself into a bank holding company in September and laid off some 3,000 people across the globe by year-end. Top seven officers agreed to forgo bonuses, but rest of staff was in line to receive performance bonuses, albeit at a lower rate.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 45,987 Website: www.gs.com

10. Nugget Market Rank: 10 (Previous rank: 12)

What makes it so great?

Sales have yet to slump at this crazy-fun supermarket chain, which in 81 years has never had a layoff.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 273 Website: www.nuggetmarket.com

11. Adobe Systems Rank: 11 (Previous rank: 40)

What makes it so great?

Software innovator known for its egalitarian culture was not immune to the slowdown but got kudos for humane treatment of 600 departing staffers.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 3,158 Website: www.adobe.com

12. Recreational Equipment (REI) Rank: 12 (Previous rank: 34)

What makes it so great?

All employees are eligible for subsidized health-care coverage. Eligible workers receive an automatic 5 % yearly contribution to a retirement plan.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,342 Website: www.rei.com

13. Devon Energy Rank: 13 (Previous rank: 48)

What makes it so great?

Money gushes to employees at the oil and gas explorer and producer. A new 401(k) retirement plan calls for annual company contributions of 11% to 22% .

2007 revenue ($ millions): 11,362 Website: www.devonenergy.com

14. Robert W. Baird Rank: 14 (Previous rank: 39)

What makes it so great?

This Midwest-based employee-owned investment advisor thrived despite the melt­down, hiring more than 200 people in 2008. 2007 revenue ($ millions): 729 Website: www.rwbaird.com

15. W. L. Gore & Associates Rank: 15 (Previous rank: 15)

What makes it so great?

The maker of Gore-Tex celebrated its 50th birthday in 2008 by assembling an archive featuring more than 2,000 stories and images submitted by "passionate champions," or highly engaged employees.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 2,400 Website: www.gore.com

16. Qualcomm Rank: 16 (Previous rank: 8)

What makes it so great?

Wireless-technologies designer keeps new ideas flowing via an award-winning recruitment program: It hires 750 interns a year from 38 countries.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 8,871 Website: www.qualcomm.com

17. Principal Financial Group Rank: 17 (Previous rank: 21)

What makes it so great?

CEO Larry Zimpleman got a thumbs-up for weekly e-mails he sent during height of the financial upheaval to keep employees up-to-date and reassure them the company was healthy. "Hearing from you was exactly what I personally needed," said one staffer.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 10,907 Website: www.principal.com

18. Shared Technologies Rank: 18 (Previous rank: 25)

What makes it so great?

When this installer of data and telephone systems hit a slow patch this year, senior managers gave up bonuses, CEO Tony Parella cut his salary 50%, travel costs were reduced, and open positions were left unfilled. Result: not a single layoff.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 325 Website: www.sharedtechnologies.com

19. OhioHealth Rank: 19 (Previous rank: 18)

What makes it so great?

Large hospital system (more than 2,000 beds) will beef up health insurance for staff members without increasing premiums in 2009. Employees now have full coverage for smoking cessation, prescription drugs, and colorectal cancer screenings.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,857 Website: www.ohiohealth.com

20. SAS Rank: 20 (Previous rank: 29)

What makes it so great?

No layoffs at this leading software supplier. In fact, sales are up, and SAS is hiring. Traditions are important here: fresh fruit every Monday, M&Ms on Wednesdays, and breakfast goodies on Fridays.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 2,150 Website: www.sas.com

21. Arnold & Porter Rank: 21 (Previous rank: 19)

What makes it so great?

Law firm offers world-class benefits to staff and attorneys: 18 weeks' paid leave for maternity and adoption, $5,000 for adoption fees, $30,000 for fertility services, free onsite fitness center, on- and off-site child care.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 496 Website: www.arnoldporter.com

22. Whole Foods Market Rank: 22 (Previous rank: 16)

What makes it so great?

Slowing growth, cutbacks in new-store openings, and 100 layoffs haven't curbed the enthusiasm of this young workforce (28% are under age 25).

2007 revenue ($ millions): 6,592 Website: www.wholefoodsmarket.com

23. Zappos.com Rank: 23 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

This list newcomer offers free lunches, concierge services, and 100% coverage of health insurance premiums. After he cut 8% of the staff, the CEO received several glowing letters from departing employees.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 839 Website: www.zappos.com

24. Starbucks Rank: 24 (Previous rank: 7)

What makes it so great?

Despite announcing Jan. 28 it will shut another 300 stores (on top of 600 closings announced in July) and cut nearly 7,000 employees, Starbucks remains an attractive workplace, especially for part-timers seeking health insurance.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 9,400 Website: www.starbucks.com

25. Johnson Financial Group Rank: 25 (Previous rank: 37)

What makes it so great?

Employees at the 63 locations of this financial services company were assured their jobs were safe and kept in the loop about the industry upheaval via town halls and voicemails from the CEO.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 236 Website: www.johnsonbank.com

26. Aflac Rank: 26 (Previous rank: 30)

What makes it so great?

Insurer is provider of the largest onsite corporate day care in the state of Georgia. Aflac's two centers care for 520 children at a modest average cost of $352 a month. Hours were extended to 11:30 p.m. so second-shift workers could use the benefit too.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 15,393 Website: www.aflac.com

27. QuikTrip Rank: 27 (Previous rank: 28)

What makes it so great?

Employees are treated so well at this 24-hour convenience chain -- wages, benefits, and training -- that they stay around for the long haul: More than 200 have been here more than 20 years.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 8,086 Website: www.quiktrip.com

28. PCL Construction Enterprises Rank: 28 (Previous rank: 77)

What makes it so great?

What recession? General contractor (Denver International Airport, Mall of America, and Staples Center) added more than 860 people to payroll in past year and has huge backload of projects for 2009. Employees benefit because it is 100% employee-owned. No one owns more than 5%.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 4,999 Website: www.pcl.com

29. Quicken Loans Rank: 29 (Previous rank: 2)

What makes it so great?

The industry took a huge hit, but mortgage lender Quicken still offers perks (like short days once a week) that many companies in thriving industries don't.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 626 Website: www.quickenloans.com

30. Bingham McCutchen Rank: 30 (Previous rank: 41)

What makes it so great?

Ex-governors Steve Merrill of New Hampshire and Pete Wilson of California are among this law firm's 343 partners, 21% of whom are women, 8% minorities.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 743 Website: www.bingham.com

31. CarMax Rank: 31 (Previous rank: 46)

What makes it so great?

After sales at used-car lots dropped by 17%, CEO Tom Folliard announced layoffs of 625 employees but cushioned the news with a generous severance package of four to 26 weeks' pay.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 8,200 Website: www.carmax.com

32. Container Store Rank: 32 (Previous rank: 20)

What makes it so great?

Sales turned down for the first time in 30 years, but this storage retailer (No. 1 on our list in 2000 and 2001) continued with expansion plans, opening four new stores and refusing to resort to layoffs. Instead it froze salaries for everyone in the company and rallied the troops with introduction of sales contests.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 577 Website: www.containerstore.com

33. JM Family Enterprises

Rank: 33 (Previous rank: 23)

What makes it so great?

Amid falling sales, many intensely loyal employees at this privately held Toyota distributor volunteered to forgo bonuses. CEO Colin Brown rejected their offers and paid out bonuses, but asked for their support in cutting costs elsewhere in the company.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 12,200 Website: www.jmfamily.com

34. Umpqua Bank Rank: 34 (Previous rank: 13)

What makes it so great?

Umpqua's 147 branches in three Western states look like Internet caf├ęs -- with coffee on the house. One prized perk: Employees get 40 paid hours a year to volunteer for the cause of their choice.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 353 Website: www.umpquabank.com

35. Kimley-Horn & Associates Rank: 35 (Previous rank: 38)

What makes it so great?

Engineering consultant shares profits with employees via bonuses (up to 16% of pay) and retirement contributions, but the slowdown has meant layoffs of 11% over past two years. Firm retains employees for as long as several months to help them find new jobs.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 504 Website: www.kimley-horn.com

36. Alston & Bird Rank: 36 (Previous rank: 31)

What makes it so great?

This 115-year-old law firm is heaven for parents: three months' paid leave for new moms, adoption benefits up to $7,000, special parking for pregnant moms, onsite child care, and a "maternity closet" to recycle clothing.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 518 Website: www.alston.com

37. TDIndustries Rank: 37 (Previous rank: 35)

What makes it so great?

Fairness rules at this employee-owned construction company. No employee's (called partners) base pay is ten times more than the average, health insurance premiums are indexed to pay, and everyone is a shareholder through an employee stock ownership plan. Top management owns only 12% of the shares. Average allocation in 2007 was 43 shares worth $3,691.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 306 Website: www.tdindustries.com

38. Microsoft Rank: 38 (Previous rank: 86)

What makes it so great?

Managers maintain "morale budgets" to stage fun events (team dinners, outings to sports events or plays) for the troops. But after adding 7,500 to payroll since 2007, software king announced January 22 that it will cut up to 5,000 jobs in the next year and a half.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 60,420 Website: www.microsoft.com

39. Paychex Rank: 39 (Previous rank: 51)

What makes it so great?

Payroll and HR servicer has rich benefits: 401(k) match of 100% up to 3% of pay, 50% on next 2%; $6,500 tuition reimbursement; free flu shots. Coming in 2009: domestic-partner benefits.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 2,100 Website: www.paychex.com

40. EOG Resources Rank: 40 (Previous rank: 64)

What makes it so great?

Oil and gas producer has a stellar retirement plan, with 401(k) contributions matched 100% up to 6% of pay. Some 80% of employees work flexible schedules. No wonder turnover is only 4.8% a year.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 4,038 Website: www.eogresources.com

41. Camden Property Trust Rank: 41 (Previous rank: 50)

What makes it so great?

Apartment home developer has a lively culture: "Having fun is so essential, we made it one of our values." This year 27 laid-off employees received two weeks' pay per year of service (minimum 12 weeks).

2007 revenue ($ millions): 648 Website: www.camdenliving.com

42. Plante & Moran Rank: 42 (Previous rank: 44)

What makes it so great?

Who said accountants don't have any fun? ­Employees from all 17 offices gather one day every year to hear updates on the firm and mingle. Latest event was attended by more than 1,200 staff members.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 286 Website: www.plantemoran.com

43. Rackspace Hosting Rank: 43 (Previous rank: 32)

What makes it so great?

Employees are called Rackers at this Internet-hosting firm. Philanthropy committee is called Rack Gives Back. Chairman's BMW convertible is loaned to employees for outstanding service.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 362 Website: www.rackspace.com

44. NuStar Energy Rank: 44 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

The pipeline operator and refinery (a spinoff of Valero) shares the wealth: bonuses topping $10,000 and a 401(k) match of 100% for up to 6% of pay.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,475 Website: www.nustarenergy.com

45. King's Daughters Medical Cntr. Rank: 45 (Previous rank: 63)

What makes it so great?

In August, CEO Fred Jackson sent workers an appreciation letter. Tucked inside was a crisp $50 bill for part-timers and a $100 bill for full-timers. 2007 revenue ($ millions): 428 Website: www.kdmc.com

46. American Fidelity Assurance Rank: 46 (Previous rank: 24)

What makes it so great?

Seller of disability insurance offers wellness programs , an onsite fitness center, and a new All-American Grill featuring healthy foods.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 760 Website: www.afadvantage.com

47. DreamWorks Animation SKG Rank: 47 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

As one employee puts it: "Fountains, lakes, ponds. Amazing free gourmet breakfasts and lunches. Unbelievable movie wrap parties. Lots of free gifts!"

2007 revenue ($ millions): 767 Website: www.dreamworksanimation.com

48. Mattel Rank: 48 (Previous rank: 70)

What makes it so great?

Perks are what you might expect at world's largest toy company: 13 paid holidays, two paid days to volunteer in schools, two onsite child-care centers, five paid days of parental leave (for new mothers and fathers), adoption assistance, half-days on Fridays all year long, and onsite toy stores that offer discounts. In the last quarter of 2008, Mattel eliminated 307 U.S. positions through combination of early retirement, attrition, and layoffs.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 6,000 Website: www.mattel.com

49. Intuit Rank: 49 (Previous rank: 43)

What makes it so great?

King of personal-finance software (Quicken, TurboTax) has gone ultragreen, with bottled water banned, mass-transit subsidies for employees of up to $100 a month, replacement of pickup trucks with electric vehicles, and the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 15% in next three years.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 3,100 Website: www.intuit.com

50. Burns & McDonnell Rank: 50 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Employees at the 110-year-old engineering consultant cite their employee stock-ownership plan as "amazing" and "fantastic." The ESOP owns 100% of the shares, which are distributed to every single employee, with the average balance exceeding $215,000 -- turnover here is only 4%.

2007 revenue ($ millions): N.A. Website: www.burnsmcd.com

51. Ernst & Young Rank: 51 (Previous rank: 57)

What makes it so great?

One-quarter of all manager hires and above are "boomerangs," ex-employees who get credit for their previous time in computing vacation and retirement. One new benefit: zero costs for hospital stays.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 21,104 Website: www.ey.com

52. Booz Allen Hamilton Rank: 52 (Previous rank: 81)

What makes it so great?

Consultant separated its commercial business into Booz & Co.; now its business is predominantly from the U.S. government. Revenues were up 18% for the year, and there was a net increase of more than 500 employees in the second half of 2008.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 4,000 Website: www.boozallen.com

53. Stew Leonard's Rank: 53 (Previous rank: 26)

What makes it so great?

Amidst the financial crisis, founder Stew Leonard Sr., CEO Stew Leonard Jr., and COO Chris Williams staged a two-hour "road show" at the company's four supermarkets to assure employees that their jobs were secure and benefits would not be cut.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 350 Website: www.stewleonards.com

54. Erickson Retirement Communities Rank: 54 (Previous rank: 93)

What makes it so great?

When Hurricane Ike hit Houston, Erickson let employees whose homes were severely damaged move temporarily into its retirement facility and matched employee contributions to set up a $70,000 relief fund.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,300 Website: www.erickson.com

55. Salesforce.com Rank: 55 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Employees at this on-demand software provider rave about its 1-1-1 approach to philanthropy: 1% of time (staff gets six paid days a year to volunteer); 1% of equity (1% of pre-IPO equity was allocated to the Salesforce.com Foundation); and 1% product donations (giving discounts to nonprofits using the CRM software).

2007 revenue ($ millions): 748 Website: www.salesforce.com

56. KPMG Rank: 56 (Previous rank: 71)

What makes it so great?

Employees received wage hikes averaging 6.7% in October, while the accounting firm passed out bonuses totaling $108 million. Year-end gift was shelved in favor of a donation to a food bank.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 22,690 Website: www.us.kpmg.com

57. Novo Nordisk Rank: 57 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Employees who work for this Danish diabetes-treatment company enjoy automatic 8%-of-pay contribution to 401(k) plan plus 50% match of employee contributions up to 2% of pay, 14 paid holidays, plus a medical and dental insurance plan for retirees.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 7,675 Website: www.novonordisk-us.com

58. PricewaterhouseCoopers Rank: 58 (Previous rank: 90)

What makes it so great?

Dennis Nally, the audit firm's chairman, issued updates to employees, saying, "We have no plans to downsize, rightsize, or reduce our staffing levels."

2007 revenue ($ millions): 25,150 Website: www.pwc.com/us

59. Scripps Health Rank: 59 (Previous rank: 56)

What makes it so great?

Last year managers at the nonprofit hospital hand-­delivered Success Shares of nearly $900 per employee for improvements in patient satisfaction and held rallies with pompons, hot dogs, cheerleaders.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,900 Website: www.scripps.org

60. Scottrade Rank: 60 (Previous rank: 58)

What makes it so great?

Turbulence on Wall Street helped this 350-branch brokerage house hit the biggest day in its history on Oct. 10. Quarterly bonuses, paid for 20 years, were maintained. The firm has never had a layoff.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,027 Website: www.scottrade.com

61. Deloitte Rank: 61 (Previous rank: 95)

What makes it so great?

Women now hold 22% of top positions at this accounting firm, compared with 6% in 1993. Minorities account for 8% of top positions, vs. 4% in 1998. 2007 revenue ($ millions): 27,000 Website: www.deloitte.com

62. Griffin Hospital Rank: 62 (Previous rank: 49)

What makes it so great?

Famous for its patient-centric philosophy, Griffin soothes staff with music in the parking lots, family kitchens, chair massages, and noise abatement.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 106 Website: www.griffinhealth.org

63. Mayo Clinic Rank: 63 (Previous rank: 59)

What makes it so great?

Famed medical clinic has gold-plated medical benefits for part-timers, spouses, domestic partners, and children, including unlimited lifetime in-network benefits, free preventive care services, and free worldwide Mayo air ambulance service.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 6,898 Website: www.mayoclinic.org

64. Milliken Rank: 64 (Previous rank: 92)

What makes it so great?

One of the last big U.S. textile makers runs the industry's biggest research center, holding 2,200 patents. The company reduced headcount in 2008: About 100 employees were offered early retirement; some 150 workers were offered relocation.

2007 revenue ($ millions): N.A. Website: www.milliken.com

65. Texas Instruments Rank: 65 (Previous rank: 100)

What makes it so great?

High tech icon, one of the leading makers of semiconductors, moved to cut costs at end of 2008 by offering a generous early retirement package to long-term employees. Deal called for one and one-half weeks of pay for every year of service. Some 2,600 employees were eligible.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 13,835 Website: www.ti.com

66. MITRE Rank: 66 (Previous rank: 42)

What makes it so great?

CEO of this nonprofit research arm of federal government makes only 18 times what lowest-paid staff member earns. Super retirement plan aims at replacing from 80% to 100% of final salary.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,113 Website: www.mitre.org

67. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Rank: 67 (Previous rank: 45)

What makes it so great?

Pediatric hospital tackled nurse shortage with 100 Nurses in 100 Days campaign, with prizes for referrals: 100 tanks of gas, 100 hours of babysitting, a 100-mile getaway to a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,397 Website: www.choa.org

68. Southern Ohio Medical Center Rank: 68 (Previous rank: 75)

What makes it so great?

Employees or their immediate family members pursuing a degree in the health field are reimbursed 100% for tuition. In 2008 the hospital added medical and dental insurance for domestic partners.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 228 Website: www.somc.org

69. National Instruments Rank: 69 (Previous rank: 79)

What makes it so great?

The software company has a laid-back feel. Says one employee: "Flip-flops and shorts five days a week? Sure. Happy hour with cold beer on the deck? No problem." Offers profit sharing of up to 15% of earnings.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 740 Website: www.ni.com

70. Stanley Rank: 70 (Previous rank: 84)

What makes it so great?

IT consultant to 40 government agencies added 1,200 employees as revenues soared nearly 50%, a result of several new contracts, including a $570 million passport program with Homeland Security.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 604 Website: www.stanleyassociates.com

71. Men's Wearhouse Rank: 71 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Operator of 1,177 clothing stores curbed spending but decided to maintain 38 year-end holiday parties (with free employee tux rental) for morale. Pay hikes were frozen for those making more than $100,000.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 2,112 Website: www.menswearhouse.com

72. Nordstrom Rank: 72 (Previous rank: 36)

What makes it so great?

As the retailer's sales declined late in the year, three Nordstroms -- Blake, Pete, and Erik -- fanned out to 12 cities to hold town hall meetings with employees. No cuts were made in pay or benefits.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 8,828 Website: www.nordstrom.com

73. Chesapeake Energy Rank: 73 (Previous rank: 61)

What makes it so great?

After natural-gas prices plummeted and the stock fell from $74 to $12, CEO Aubrey McClendon rushed to reassure employees that the company would rebound. No one was laid off -- and more than 1,100 employees were hired between July and October.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 7,800 Website: www.chk.com

74. Alcon Laboratories Rank: 74 (Previous rank: 60)

What makes it so great?

Employees hope the sale of a majority stake to Novartis won't uproot eye-care company's "Texas friendly" culture or generous retirement plan (every dollar contributed is matched with $2.40 from the company).

2007 revenue ($ millions): 5,599 Website: www.alcon.com

75. Atlantic Health Rank: 75 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Rewards abound at this large New Jersey hospital: $2,000 for employee referrals, $1,000 for a new idea, $3,000 for leadership.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,007 Website: www.atlantichealth.org

76. Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network Rank: 76 (Previous rank: 85)

What makes it so great?

This hospital and physician network has emerged as the largest employer in metropolitan Allentown, Pa. They have added more than 1,000 employees since 2006; 40% of all new hires are employee referrals.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,200 Website: www.lvh.org

77. Northwest Community Hospital Rank: 77 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Bruce K. Crowther, CEO of this suburban Chicago hospital since 1992, gets high marks from employees. He meets every new employee and holds town hall meetings twice a year at all NCH locations.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 410 Website: www.nch.org

78. Marriott International Rank: 78 (Previous rank: 72)

What makes it so great?

Given the travel slump, the hotel chain put every category of spending under review, reduced headcount, and left noncritical open positions unfilled. Marriott now waives co-pays for most preventive health care.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 12,990 Website: www.marriott.com

79. Baptist Health South Florida Rank: 79 (Previous rank: 94)

What makes it so great?

Baptist helped financially strapped employees by granting subsidies of $2,000 to $10,000 to first-time homebuyers and boosting balances in the hospital's Sunshine Fund for emergency relief.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,700 Website: www.baptisthealth.net

80. Bright Horizons Rank: 80 (Previous rank: 89)

What makes it so great?

After it was taken private, thousands of employees (excluding board and executives) shared a total of $31.5 million as a result of the buyout, via the company's stock options and 401k plans.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 775 Website: www.brighthorizons.com

81. S.C. Johnson & Son Rank: 81 (Previous rank: 27)

What makes it so great?

In the midst of the financial crisis CEO Fisk Johnson sent a cheer-up card to every employee announcing a two-day extension of the annual holiday break.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 8,000 Website: www.scjohnson.com

82. Perkins Coie Rank: 82 (Previous rank: 55)

What makes it so great?

A support staffer gave this impressive list of her benefits: $2,000 in technology flex plan allowance, $80 for wellness program participation, $475 for 20th anniversary with firm, $1,500 performance bonus, $50 Nordstrom gift card, $3,500 year-end bonus.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 394 Website: www.perkinscoie.com

83. eBay Rank: 83 (Previous rank: 68)

What makes it so great?

Online auctioneer and owner of Skype and PayPal reduced its global workforce by 10%. Departing workers got at least five months' pay and three months of outplacement services.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 7,672 Website: www.ebay.com

84. Juniper Networks Rank: 84 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

The Cisco competitor is now a $3 billion-plus company, with the usual Silicon Valley perks -- stock options for new hires, beer bashes -- but employees credit unusual culture as the galvanizing factor. "Humility is one of our core values," said one employee.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 2,836 Website: www.juniper.net

85. Arkansas Children's Hospital Rank: 85 (Previous rank: 76)

What makes it so great?

Devotion to children animates this place. Other perks: $200 deduction from the medical insurance payments for employees who fill out an in-depth health assessment, and free meals when the hospital is particularly busy or during bad weather.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 437 Website: www.archildrens.org

86. CH2M HILL Rank: 86 (Previous rank: 54)

What makes it so great?

When the engineering and construction company acquired Veco Inc., it welcomed 4,000 new employees by giving each of them $2,500 in stock and cash, making them immediate owners.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 5,800 Website: www.ch2mhill.com

87. Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe Rank: 87 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Law firm whose roots go back to Civil War paid bonuses to hourly workers despite economic crunch that forced layoffs of 20 lawyers and 20 legal secretaries.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 772 Website: www.orrick.com

88. Publix Super Markets Rank: 88 (Previous rank: 91)

What makes it so great?

Operating more than 900 supermarkets in five states, Publix is the nation's largest employee-owned company. Employees get an allocation of stock every year -- in 2008 it averaged 126 shares worth $2,608.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 23,000 Website: www.publix.com

89. Herman Miller Rank: 89 (Previous rank: 96)

What makes it so great?

Layoffs at the furniture maker were minimized by generous voluntary separation packages: 3 weeks pay for every year of service.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 20,120 Website: www.hermanmiller.com

90. FedEx Rank: 90 (Previous rank: 97)

What makes it so great?

CEO Fred Smith announced sweeping cost reductions in December. 401(k) matches were frozen, exec pay was cut 10% and his own pay was docked 20%. But he didn't cut hourly wages or announce layoffs.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 37,953 Website: www.fedex.com

91. Gilbane Rank: 91 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Core values of "integrity" and "tough-mindedness" have kept turnover at this 135-year-old, $4 billion construction company at around 9%, compared with 28% in the building industry as a whole.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 2,973 Website: www.gilbaneco.com

92. Four Seasons Hotels Rank: 92 (Previous rank: 88)

What makes it so great?

Employees at the luxury hotel chain love being able to stay free at any Four Seasons property (between three and 20 nights a year, depending on length of employment), with 50% off food service.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 3,489 Website: www.fourseasons.com

93. Valero Energy Rank: 93 (Previous rank: 67)

What makes it so great?

Hurricanes Gustav and Ike whiplashed refineries, but CEO Bill Klesse assured employees that Valero would not be severely impacted by financial storms. Employees received financial assistance from the company to rebuild their homes.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 95,327 Website: www.valero.com

94. Build-A-Bear Workshop Rank: 94 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Employees gush about working in the 375 mostly mall-based stores and interacting with parents and their kids who create their own stuffed teddy bears. "I love my job. It keeps me young and happy," said one.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 474 Website: www.buildabear.com

95. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Rank: 95 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Operator of luxury boutique hotels (Sir Francis Drake, Palomar, Monaco) navigated financial storms by introducing new training and reward programs and minimizing layoffs by reducing hourly worker schedules.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 616 Website: www.kimptonhotels.com

96. T-Mobile Rank: 96 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

At year's end, the wireless phone arm of Deutsche Telekom had avoided layoffs that hit many competitors. Company continued child-care subsidies of between $125 and $200 a month, depending on salary.

2007 revenue ($ millions): N.A. Website: www.t-mobile.com

97. Accenture Rank: 97 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

Every employee of this consulting company is assigned a career counselor -- and he or she then has thousands of courses to choose from. Average training is 78 hours a year per person.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 23,387 Website: www.accenture.com

98. Vanderbilt University Rank: 98 (Previous rank: N.A.)

What makes it so great?

First educational institution to appear on our list. Employees and their dependents get a 70% tuition subsidy at any college in the country. Hospital offers a WOW (Work on Weekends) shift for nurses and other workers who want to be at home during weekdays.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 2,733 Website: www.vanderbilt.edu

99. General Mills Rank: 99 (Previous rank: 69)

What makes it so great?

Employees stay fit with an award-winning wellness program, including fitness centers, onsite medical clinics, and health risk assessments. In California, 114 workers lost 704 pounds in a ten-week program.

2007 revenue ($ millions): 13,700 Website: www.generalmills.com

100. SRA International Rank: 100 (Previous rank: 99)

What makes it so great?

Strong growth fueled by new government contracts meant that by the end of 2008, SRA had 341 positions to fill. "When a contract is lost," one employee said, "SRA finds each person a new job in the company and avoids layoffs."

2007 revenue ($ millions): 1,507 Website: www.sra.com





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