first prize Multiple organizations publish lists of the best places to work. A comparison of the top 10 from and Forbes shows that, although not ranked the same, many companies appear on both lists (when looking past the top 10). Two companies appear in the top 10 of both lists: Google and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Forbes bases the list on employee ranking from 0-10 on how likely they would recommend their employer to others. Glassdoor relies on employee votes.  I am sure that pay and benefits are important factors in employee satisfaction, but what other attributes make for a top 10 company as rated by the employees?

The featured review for Google and St. Jude on lists the following pros and cons:


“Pros: Extremely intelligent and competent co-workers, exciting products, great management, amazing perks (insurance options, food, discounts on almost everything), opportunity to travel.

Cons: Dated facilities (Googleplex), difficult to find common workspaces and meeting rooms, average paid vacation time, long work hours.”

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:

“Pros: The people here are fantastic and welcoming! It feels more like a family career than just a job. The researchers and facilities are top notch, and everything is collaborative. We have one common goal, a focused purpose left to us by Danny Thomas, and we will succeed!

Cons: At times, it can be sobering to see the kids in here coping with their challenges. All of them are heroes, with a can do, will do spirit that cannot be dampened. I am humbled and work harder because I see these angels fighting every day.”

What makes them so great?

A common thread in positive company reviews by employees is an appreciation for colleagues. Workers often mention the talent, generosity, and friendliness of co-workers as a prime reason for workplace satisfaction. It seems logical that great companies attract great people. Happy employees often speak of their belief in the mission of the organization. This is especially evident in reviews by health care workers as evidenced in the above comment about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A clearly defined mission and an excellent product or service can help any company stand out.

INC magazine also conducts a survey to determine the best companies to work for. INC utilizes the services of Quantum Workplace who describes the methodology of the survey as follows:

“At the start of the year, firms of all sizes and industries are nominated for this recognition. Once nominated, each company has to survey all employees using our methodology. Quantum Workplace gathers, analyzes, and audits the data. The survey covers topics such as trust in senior leadership, career development, change management, and benefits and perks.”

paid time off spelled with scrabble lettersThe list includes 285 companies and identifies benefits and perks that help the company create a positive and successful culture. In addition to excellent health care and retirement benefits, 75% of the companies offered paid paternity leave, 102 of the companies offer some form of employer profit sharing, and 49% of the employers offered unlimited paid time off!

Do I Need a College Degree?

In examining the following lists of best companies to work for, it seems that there are only a few that would provide an opportunity for someone without a college degree to get an entry-level position including:

  • In-N-Out Burgers
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Wegmans Food Markets
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • L. L. Bean

What factors make your job a great or not so great place to work? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Top 10 of 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2018 (Glassdoor)

  1. Facebook (# 31 on Forbes Best Employers 2018 Large Companies)
  2. Bain and Company (A Global Management Consulting Firm) #179 on Forbes Best Midsized Com.
  3. Boston Consulting Group (A Global Management Consulting Firm) # 33 on Forbes Best Midsized Companies
  4. In-N-Out Burger (# 101 on Forbes Best Employers 2018 Large Companies)
  5. Google (# 3 on Forbes Best Employers 2018 Large Companies)
  6. Lululemon (#16 on Forbes Best Employers 2018 Large Companies)
  7. HubSpot (Inbound Marketing and Sales Software) # 204 on Forbes Best Midsized Companies
  8. World Wide Technology (Technology Service Provider) # 115 on Forbes Best Midsized Companies
  9. Jude Children’s Research Hospital # 5 on Forbes Best Midsized Companies
  10. Ultimate Software (HR Software Solutions and HR Payroll) # 36 on Forbes Best Midsized Companies

Top U.S. Large Companies More than 5000 Employees (Forbes)

  1. Michelin (*NOGD)
  2. Trader Joe’s (NOGD) (#70 on Glassdoor)
  3. Google
  4. Principal Financial (NOGD)
  5. Costco (NOGD)
  6. NRG Energies (NOGD)
  7. Wegmans Food Markets (#49 on Glassdoor)
  8. Harvard University (NOGD)
  9. Navy Federal Credit Union (NOGD)

Top Medium Size U.S. Companies 1000-5000 Employees (Forbes)

  1. Penguin Random House (Media and Advertising) (NOGD)
  2. New Balance (Clothing, Shoes, Sports Equipment) (NOGD)
  3. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield (NOGD)
  4. PCL Construction (Construction, Oil and Gas, Mining and Chemicals) (NOGD)
  5. Jude Children’s Research Hospital #9 On glassdoor
  6. Lubrizol (Construction, Oil and Gas, Mining and Chemicals) (NOGD)
  7. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (NOGD)
  8. Celgene (Drugs and Biotechnology) (NOGD)
  9. L. Bean (Clothing, Shoes, Sports Equipment) (NOGD)
  10. Trip Advisor (NOGD)

*NOGD = Not on Glassdoor List

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