World’s 10 best companies to work

February 9, 2009

Rank: 1 Company: NetApp

Business: Specializes in proprietary network storage and data management.

Reach: Has over 130 offices worldwide, including US, Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, Pacific and Australia.

Why: Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘The essence of what fuels the quality of the workplace at NetApp is the high trust culture. Leaders reach out to employees, sharing information, support and time in a variety of ways. This generosity of spirit is reciprocated many times over, creating within NetApp its own version of a fail-safe networked organization.’

Rank: 2 Company: Edward Jones

Business: Offers financial products at an individual investor level. Currently serves more than 7 million clients.

Reach: Over 10,800 offices in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom

Why: Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘Employees receive a whopping 149 hours of training on average a year, more than three times the 100 best averages of 45. But Edward Jones doesn’t just train people for the job they’re doing. The management’s philosophy is that employees who are passionate about their jobs will make the company a better place, so managers encourage people to develop skills even when they know the new skills will lead to a different job.’

Rank: 3 Company: Boston Consulting Group

Business: Global management consulting firm and a leading advisor on business strategy.

Reach: BCG is a private company with 66 offices in 38 countries, including the US. They also have offices in North America, South America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East

Why: BCG prides itself on its employee focused culture. Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘Training opportunities abound, even for senior partners. All employees are encouraged to continuously learn, accept responsibility and take on challenges. BCG is viewed as an apprenticeship and most training actually takes place within the project team. Associates who commit to returning to the company after receiving an MBA are fully reimbursed for tuition, given a promotion and a raise. Administrative staff may be reimbursed up to two job-related courses per semester.’

Rank: 4 Company: Google

Business: Focused on Internet search services. Also offers advertising, business solutions, online mapping, blogging, e-mail, social networking and video sharing. Last year, they launched their own browser, Google Chrome.

Reach: United States, Canada, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East

Why: The company slogan is ‘Don’t be evil.’ Google is famed for going all out to keep their employees happy. Professional development opportunities include classes on individual and team presentation skills, content development, business writing, executive speaking, delivering feedback and management/leadership. Google engineers are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time (one day per week) on projects that interest them. Some of Google’s newer services, such as Gmail, Google News, Orkut, and AdSense originated from these independent endeavors’.

Rank: 5 Company: Wegmans Food Market

Business: Regional supermarket chain

Reach: Seventy-nine stores in the mid-Atlantic region including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Northern Virginia and Maryland in the United States.

Why: Wegmans believe that good people, working toward a common goal, can accomplish anything they set out to do. They also believe that they can achieve our goal only if they fulfill the needs of our own people. Greatplacetowork.com says, ‘Wegmans employs a web-based system known as the labor resource manager to ensure no employee is overburdened and that every employee has the support of colleagues at the busiest times. Having a resource dedicated to staffing enables employees the flexibility to care for sick family members, pursue degrees, or enjoy a summer off to pursue a passion.’

Rank: 6 Company: Cisco Systems

Business: Cisco hardware, software and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible — providing easy access to information anywhere, at any time.

Reach: US, Africa, North America, South America, Asia Pacific, Europe

Why: Cisco managers are trained to ensure employees have a successful work-life balance, by working flexi-time if needed. Its leadership development system is aimed at developing key capabilities, competencies and expectations for its employees. Cisco employees have access to assistance programmes that provide confidential support for various personal issues. It also provides short-term, emergency resources to help employees facing difficult personal situations. It has local onsite emergency response teams made up of trained employees and a global, cross-functional crisis communication team that helps evaluate crisis situations and communicate important information.

Rank: 7 Company: Genentech

Business: This leading biotechnology corporation is considered the founder of the biotech industry.

Reach: United States, Singapore

Why: Genentech fosters individual creativity and initiative among its researchers, encouraging scientists to pursue projects of interest in addition to working toward the company’s goals. Their scientists have consistently published important papers in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. They have also secured approximately 7,400 current, non-expired patents worldwide and have about 6,250 patent applications pending. Genentech also has a strong postdoctoral programme, with fellowships that last four years. The company believes providing employees with programmes, services and benefits allow them to bring the best to the business and to their personal lives.

Rank: 8 Company: Methodist Hospital System

Business: A leading US hospital, this acute care complex serves over 40,000 domestic and international patients every year. It is also a comprehensive teaching hospital, with leading specialists in every field of medicine.

Reach: United States. It also partners more than 25 hospitals in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

Why: Employees earn paid time off accruals biweekly beginning from the date of hire. They are offered subsidized transport options. Education assistance includes tuition reimbursement for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level courses that are job related. Employees can get additional financial assistance for certain certifications/ degrees and a college scholarship for children of employees enrolled in health care degree programmes. Employees who adopt children are provided financial assistance. All employees and dependents have access to resources to help with everyday challenges of work and life.

Rank: 9 Company: Goldman Sachs

Business: A bank holding company that engages in investment banking, securities services and investment management.

Reach: United States, South America, North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East,

Why: Sharing ideas, support collaboration and contributing to others’ project is encouraged, both through explicitly defined cultural expectations and through the actions of individual leaders, who are also expected to serve as role models. Some of the benefits offered include education, tuition reimbursement, preparatory courses and exams, scholarships and fellowships and loan and mortgage discounts. They can also avail of ongoing training and mentoring programmes.

Rank: 10 Company: Nugget Market, Inc

Business: Family owned, upscale supermarket chain

Reach: Owns and operates nine Nugget Markets and three Food 4 Less stores in the Northern California region, United States

Why: Nugget Market, which was founded in 1926, has never had a layoff. Since its launch, it has had a progressive, employee-friendly attitude, providing its associates with some of the top wage and benefit packages in the industry. Nugget also has excellent healthcare benefits, including long-term disability and sick pay. It encourages associates to balance their work and personal life through flexible schedules and five weeks of paid vacation.