No one knows more about a workplace than its employees. Employee opinions reflect basic measures, such as pay, perks, benefits, and hours worked. But they are also influenced by factors such as a company’s culture, internal politics, and even general mood -- intangibles that can be lost in internal audits and consultancy surveys.
While companies have websites, public relations teams, and recruiters to tailor their message to prospective hires, employees have far fewer forums to communicate their views. Glassdoor.com, a career community website, provides the opportunity for employees to give their own opinions, and for potential employees to research the company. To identify the 75 Best Companies to Work For, 24/7 Wall St. examined company ratings provided by current and former employees to Glassdoor.com.
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Employees in certain sectors are far more likely to offer a positive opinion of their employer than others. Technology companies are certainly well represented among the highest-rated employers, as are consulting firms. Of the 75 best companies, only 12 received an average rating of 4.0 or higher out of 5. Of these, four are in the technology space -- Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Riverbed Technology -- and three are consulting firms.
Being a market leader also appears to help. Many well-reviewed companies are the leaders in their respective industries, and as a result are financially successful. Apple, Intel, Procter & Gamble, and Walt Disney are all among the top-rated employers on Glassdoor.com and among the largest public companies in the world by market capitalization. Others are leaders in public relations, like Edelman and auditing giant EY, formerly Ernst & Young.
Many of the best companies to work for have cultivated an extremely strong reputation among the broader public as well. American Express, Facebook, Google, and SAP are all among the best companies to work for and among the top companies by brand value, according to brand consultancy BrandZ. Top employers also perform well according to other measures of brand awareness, such as CoreBrand and Interbrand.
Not surprisingly, companies with strong employee reviews also give CEOs good grades. It would seem leadership matters, not just for running a company and producing returns for shareholders, but also for promoting employee satisfaction. Among the 75 best companies to work for, 38 have CEOs with an approval rating of 90% or higher. In all, just 10 CEOs have an approval rating below 80%, and all have the endorsement of at least two-thirds of their employees.
Employees at these companies also frequently cite a good office culture and work-life balance. In many cases, employees also praise a company if it promotes learning or training opportunities and career development. At several of these companies, employees also note a good benefits package, which is uncommon in many industries, such as retail.
These are America’s Best Companies to Work For
> Glassdoor rating: 4.5
> CEO rating: 97% (Jeff Weiner)
> Employees: 5,045
> Revenue: $1.5 billion
According to the company: “Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. With over 300 million members worldwide...LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network on the Internet.”
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LinkedIn is the nation’s best company to work for, based on ratings awarded by current and former employees at Glassdoor.com. Of course, high pay doesn’t hurt employee morale. According to Glassdoor.com, the average software engineer reported an annual salary of $127,817, while the average senior software engineer reported an annual salary of $145,192. Like other technology companies, LinkedIn has excellent perks and good, free food, but employees at the company also rave about good work-life balance and a confident, inspired leadership. In fact, 97% of reviewers have a high opinion of CEO Jeff Weiner, higher than all but a few other CEOs. However, LinkedIn is also proof no employer is perfect -- the company recently agreed to pay $6 million to hundreds of employees for unpaid overtime, plus damages.
> Glassdoor rating: 4.5
> CEO rating: 96% (Mark Zuckerberg)
> Employees: 6,337
> Revenue: $7.9 billion
According to the company: “Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
Facebook is a rapidly growing and highly profitable company. It is also increasingly successful at reaching users on their mobile phones. The company’s success has not only captivated investors -- Facebook’s market capitalization is currently $189 billion -- but also potential employees. In fact, technology giant Google was so worried about employees leaving for Facebook that it began to provide a counter offer to employees recruited by Facebook within one hour, The Wall Street Journal recently reported. Strong benefits and perks are just one of the repeatedly mentioned advantages of working at Facebook, according to Glassdoor.com. A relatively flat hierarchy and a fast-paced workday are other characteristics of the company that employees enjoy.
3. Eastman Chemical
> Glassdoor rating: 4.5
> CEO rating: 91% (Mark J. Costa)
> Employees: 14,000
> Revenue: $9.4 billion
According to the company: “Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day.”
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Specialty chemicals maker Eastman receives rave reviews from employees. Workers at Eastman frequently cite work-life balance, helpful colleagues and strong teamwork, as well as a good corporate culture in their reviews. Workers also praise the company’s dedication to workplace safety. According to the company, safety forms one of Eastman’s core values. The company publicly tracks and discloses its own safety track record, as well as its internal goals for workplace safety. The small town nature of Kingsport, Tennessee, where Eastman is headquartered, is among the few complaints occasionally mentioned in Glassdoor.com reviews.
4. Insight Global
> Glassdoor rating: 4.4
> CEO rating: 94% (Glenn Johnson)
> Employees: N/A
> Revenue: $918 million
According to the company: “Through a nationwide network of 37 regional offices, Insight Global provides clients exceptional IT technicians and consultants to meet the demanding technology challenges of today.”
Insight Global is an IT staffing firm, filling over 20,000 positions a year, according to the company. Workers who were assigned jobs through the company rave about its staffing practices, noting that Insight Global’s recruiters are polite and exceptionally helpful. Many reviewers on Glassdoor.com also note that they were placed very quickly. In one such review a worker notes, “I literally got a job in under 24 hours!” Insight Global says it is on track to exceed $1 billion in annual revenue by the end of 2014.
5. Bain & Company
> Glassdoor rating: 4.4
> CEO rating: 99% (Bob Bechek)
> Employees: 5,500
> Revenue: $2.1 billion
According to the company: “Bain & Company is one of the world's leading management consulting firms. We work with top executives to help them make better decisions, convert those decisions to actions, and deliver the sustainable success they desire.”
Bain & Company is the highest-rated consulting firm on this list, surpassing rivals McKinsey & Company and Boston Consulting Group. Bain notes on its website that, historically, client companies have dramatically outperformed the S&P 500. Also indicative of the company’s success, current worldwide managing director Bob Bechek received a nearly unanimous approval rating of 99%. Employees praise the company on multiple fronts, citing its emphasis on professional development and the quality of the workplace culture at Bain. When employees do complain, it is about long hours and demanding travel schedules.
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6. Riverbed Technology
> Glassdoor rating: 4.3
> CEO rating: 94% (Jerry M. Kennelly)
> Employees: 2,556
> Revenue: $1.0 billion
According to the company: “We enable organizations to embrace location-independent computing to better leverage global resources, radically reduce the cost of running their business, and maximize employee productivity.”
In many reviews on Glassdoor.com, current and former employees at Riverbed say they enjoy the work-life balance the company promotes, while also noting that Riverbed’s products are were top notch. Most employees also approve of CEO Jerry Kennelly, who has a 94% approval rating among employees. However, weak earnings results of late have provided ammunition for activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which has pushed Riverbed to pursue a sale, and has itself offered to take the company private. The company has not accepted any of Elliott’s offers so far.
> Glassdoor rating: 4.2
> CEO rating: 96% (Larry Page)
> Employees: 47,756
> Revenue: $59.8 billion
According to the company: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Google is famous for its employee perks. The company’s Mountain View, California campus contains fleets of bikes and scooters, seven fitness centers and 25 cafeterias, according to the company. Google also operates similarly well-equipped facilities in a number of other cities, including New York, Dublin, and London. Perks, too, are wide-ranging at Google. The company not only offers health and retirement benefits, but also travel insurance, legal aid, and education reimbursement, to name a few. However, employees note some concerns, including how hard it is to get promoted and how large the company feels at times. Google is also one of a number of technology companies criticized for the lack of diversity in its hiring.
8. Southwest Airlines
> Glassdoor rating: 4.2
> CEO rating: 91% (Gary C. Kelly)
> Employees: 44,831
> Revenue: $17.7 billion
According to the company: “The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.”
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Southwest Airlines employees routinely praise the company for its strong company culture and great benefits. Not only does the company offer free flights to employees and their families, but it also matches 401(k) contributions for a large chunk of employees' salaries and maintains a profit-sharing plan that rewards workers for the company’s success. Southwest is often regarded as an innovator among discount airlines, having successfully introduced new strategies to reduce operating costs and increase efficiency.
9. McKinsey & Company
> Glassdoor rating: 4.1
> CEO rating: 96% (Dominic Barton)
> Employees: 17,000
> Revenue: $7.8 billion
According to the company: “We work with leading organizations across the private, public and social sectors. Our scale, scope, and knowledge allow us to address problems that no one else can.”
Consulting firm McKinsey touts its team as being exceptionally skilled, noting that “we are diverse, but we all have one thing in common: we are exceptional problem solvers.” However, the partnership’s reputation was shaken when its former head, Rajat Gupta, was convicted of insider trading. Still, the firm remains a powerful force in global business. According to its website, McKinsey today serves the majority of the world’s largest companies. Employees, too, often rave about life at McKinsey. Although travel and work hours are frequent complaints, employees praise the wide ranging benefits the company offers, as well as the interesting work and their talented coworkers.
10. Boston Consulting Group
> Glassdoor rating: 4.1
> CEO rating: 95% (Rich Lesser)
> Employees: 9,700
> Revenue: $4.0 billion
According to the company: “With 50 years of experience in making change happen, we have developed unique, practical, and proven approaches to mobilizing and enabling organizations.”
Boston Consulting Group is one of the nation’s leading management consulting firms, with offices in 45 countries across the globe. BCG says of its consultants, “We value and utilize the unique talents that each individual offers.” Consultants at the firm feel well-treated and appear to value each others’ talents exceptionally highly. A large share of reviewers' comments on Glassdoor.com highlight their coworkers as among the company’s greatest strengths.
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In order to determine America’s best companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. independently reviewed employee ratings and testimonials on Glassdoor.com. Among the more than 400 companies reviewed, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 75 businesses that received the highest overall scores.
To be considered, a company had to have at least 300 reviews. Employers were also excluded if they were a government agency or bureau, a non-profit, or a subsidiary of a larger company. An exception was made for CareerBuilder, which is majority-owned by publishing and broadcast firm Gannett, since it is a joint venture between several companies.
Employee totals and revenue figures represent the most recent fiscal year data available. Sources include: company documents, Securities and Exchange Commission filings, S&P Capital IQ, and Forbes’ America's Largest Private Companies 2013. For companies that do not provide data, Forbes estimates revenue.
In the case of S&P Capital IQ, employee totals are calculated as the equivalent of full-time employees, treating a part-time worker as “half” of a full-time employee. Employee counts for companies with franchises only count workers employed by the company.
Dollar conversions from S&P Capital IQ were used for companies that publish financial statements in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. In the case of companies where data is not from S&P Capital IQ, we converted revenue into dollars based on the effective exchange rate at the end of the company’s fiscal year.
To see all 75 best companies to work for, visit 24/7 Wall St.