San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) January 13, 2005
America's best employers are creating jobs, absorbing high health care costs, and improving internal communications. These are the most important trends gleaned from the data for FORTUNE's "100 Best Companies to Work for" list by Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute, the global research and consulting firm that compiles the list for the magazine each year. The list appears in FORTUNEÂs January 24th issue on newsstands January 17th.
The Â100 BestÂ companies showed a net increase of 22,590 jobs this year, as opposed to a net loss of 14,679 jobs last year. Marriott added the most new jobs, with a net increase of 3,679 positions; while Genentech had the largest percentage increase, with 24 percent growth by adding 1,286 jobs.
On the healthcare front, 20 of the Â100 BestÂ companies do not charge some or all of their employees any premiums for their health insurance. Of the 38 firms that changed their coverage policies over the last year, 13 of the Â100 BestÂ actually decreased the portion that is paid by employees. Of the firms that did increase their premiums, most did so by less than 2 percent. Stew LeonardÂs, a Connecticut supermarket chain, only charges premiums to its most highly compensated managers.
One trend thatÂs increasing among the Â100 Best" is the active sharing of information throughout company ranks and increased accessibility of leaders. For example, GenentechÂs website allows employees to pop questions to the seven top executives. Cisco CEO John Chambers meets with all new employees within four months of their hiring. Goldman Sachs has introduced a new online photo directory showing the faces of colleagues around the world Â on opening day, nearly half the firm accessed the site. At Starbucks, Executive VP Dave Pace runs a monthly ÂDaveÂs Diner,Â hosting a lunch for up to a dozen employees.
Â'100 BestÂ companiesÂ focus on improving communications is crucial,Â says Robert Levering, co-founder of Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute and co-author, with Milton Moskowitz, of the FORTUNE list. ÂThe single most important factor in creating a great workplace is establishing trust between management and employees, and the best companies know that formal and informal communication mechanisms are the cornerstones for building this trust.Â
Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute established its model for great workplaces through more than 25 years of research and testing. In the last year alone, the Institute has used its survey assessment tool with over 3,000 companies in more than 25 countries around the world.
ÂThere is not a single defined set of benefits and programs that makes a great workplace,Â says Brooke Huston, Vice President of Consulting Services at Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute. ÂIn fact, the challenge of becoming a great workplace is less about making sure you have a specific set of benefits and programs, and more about building an environment of trust between employees and management. Organizations who seek to build great workplaces need to have a clear understanding of how to build trust in their workplaces in an authentic way, and need to integrate those behaviors with the rest of their business model. Employee benefits and programs are just one piece of the puzzle.Â
ÂWhat you find when you look at the nationÂs best employers,Â says Levering, Âis that being a great place to work is not a separate workplace initiative exclusively relegated to the HR department. Instead, it is an essential part of the companiesÂ business activities. This integration allows companies both to be more successful in creating their unique cultures, as well as explains some of the many business benefits companies report from building great workplaces.Â
In selecting the companies for the FORTUNE list, the Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute distributes its proprietary employee survey instrument (Great Place to WorkÂ® Trust IndexÂ©) to a random selection of at least 350 employees at each of the candidate companies. The companies also must fill out an extensive management questionnaire (Great Place to WorkÂ® Culture AuditÂ©) that details the firmÂs workplace policies and practices. A report containing data from employee surveys is provided to each participating company upon conclusion of the assessment process.
US-based companies that are at least seven years old and have more than 1,000 employees are eligible to apply to FORTUNEÂs list. This year, a record 356 companies out of the original pool of 1,000 candidates participated in the full assessment process and competed for inclusion. 304 participated the previous year. The Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute evaluators give the most weight to employeesÂ own views about their workplaces, with two-thirds of a candidate companyÂs score based on responses to the Trust IndexÂ© survey. A team of eight evaluators dedicates four months to the analysis of companiesÂ submissions.
Nominations for next yearÂs FORTUNE list will be accepted through March 31, 2005. Further information about the process and an online nomination form can be found at http://www.greatplacetowork.com.
Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute is hosting an educational conference April 20-22, 2005 in San Francisco where companies can learn more about creating great workplaces. An online registration form for the 2005 Great Place to WorkÂ® Conference can be found at http://www.greatplacetowork-conference.com.
About Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute
Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute, Inc. is a global research and consulting firm dedicated to Âbuilding a better society by helping companies transform their workplaces.Â Through its education, consulting, and best companies list activities, Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute recognizes the worldÂs best workplaces and shares information and resources with those who seek to create great workplaces of their own. In addition to its headquarters in San Francisco, Great Place to WorkÂ® Institute has 25 affiliates in countries throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. http://www.greatplacetowork.com
This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.
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