March 17, 2020

9 Great Employers: Why These Companies Made Fortune’s Best Workplaces List

A strong employer brand is vital for success. It attracts the best people to join a company, and they seldom want to leave. And few things can bolster an employer brand quite as much as independent recognition of your company on a best workplaces list.

In this post, we explore nine of the companies that feature on Fortune’s latest 100 Best Companies to Work For list to see what makes them such enticing companies to work for.

1. Hilton 

Fortune ranked the global hotel operator No. 1 on its list this year.

One major reason why: Hilton scores high on diversity. People of color comprise 69 percent of the organization.

The company also offers benefits and perks such as:

  • job sharing and telecommuting work options,
  • subsidized child care,
  • an onsite or subsidized gym and an onsite medical care,
  • college tuition reimbursement,
  • and paid sabbaticals.

Leadership understands employees’ needs because they investigate them firsthand. For example, CEO Chris Nassetta tried on staff uniforms before a new hotel opened in Cleveland. He found them too heavy, so he had sports apparel company Under Armour design more comfortable workwear.

Those details matter. According to Fortune’s survey, 95 percent of employees “feel treated as a full member regardless of their position.”

2. Wegmans Food Markets 

Ranked third on Fortune’s list, Wegmans Food Markets is not only one of the best companies to work for, but also a great place to shop. Indeed, shoppers love that the company looks after its people, Pamela N. Danziger at Forbes writes.

Employees enjoy perks such as telecommuting options, an onsite gym, college tuition reimbursement, and health insurance for part-time workers.

But what makes the company great is its focus on career advancement. Wegmans spends more than $50 million a year on training and development and paid $5 million dollars last year in scholarship funds. “More than half of our store managers have worked with Wegmans since high school or college, starting as part-time cashiers, and many completed their education with help from our Scholarship Program,” Danziger reports the company saying.

Businesswoman speaking to young people; best workplaces list concept

3. Boston Consulting Group 

Fortune ranks the white-shoe consulting firm BCG 10th on the list for the way the company treats its junior associates. The firm offers support such as grad school test prep and essay feedback along with an average tuition reimbursement of $17,386 a year, which is more than any of the other 99 companies on the list.

Employees praise the “opportunity and empowerment to explore individual interests and passions” and that “everyone can be an entrepreneur.” Employee perks also include 100 percent health coverage, unlimited sick days, and fully paid sabbaticals.

But BCG also supports the development of its women employees through mentoring schemes and other career direction guidance. An excellent example is Judith Wallenstein, who started at the company with a background in literature and an eye toward becoming a diplomat, and now manages the firm’s Munich office.

“My background in the humanities prepared me to think differently and to focus on the gray areas where you can learn the most—and make the biggest difference,” she says. “BCG does an amazing job of helping people like me from nontraditional backgrounds learn the skills of business and consulting, while building on our own individual strengths.”

4. American Express 

No. 13 on Fortune’s list, AmEx promotes employee work-life balance. It offers telecommuting, flexible working schemes, and compressed work weeks.

It also provides parents with much needed support. AmEx provides 20 weeks of leave, coverage of surrogacy and adoption, and free transportation of a nursing mom’s breast milk to their homes while they’re traveling on AmEx business, Katie Flaim at Fortune writes.

AmEx also subsidizes child care, which is probably one of the reasons that 92 percent of employees surveyed by Fortune think the company is great to work for.

5. Quicken Loans 

Ranked 14th on the list, the fintech lender is the largest mortgage lender in the U.S. Part of the appeal for employees is seeing how their organization is revitalizing Detroit, where Quicken Loans is based.

The company has spent more than $5.6 billion in the past 10 years buying and restoring buildings downtown. It has also helped more than 15,000 local homeowners avoid tax foreclosure, cleaned up neighborhoods and supported local entrepreneurs.

The company also has a 30,000-strong volunteer engagement team and a Neighbors campaign to highlight the stories of U.S. military veterans who were homeless but now have homes through the Built for Zero initiative, created by Community Solutions and supported by Quicken Loans.

“At any given time, nearly 40,000 veterans across our country are experiencing homelessness,” says Jay Farner, CEO of Quicken Loans. “We hope this campaign builds awareness around an urgent national crisis and shows America that it is possible to solve it.”

6. Baird

Financial services firm Baird is No. 16 on Fortune’s list. It offers flexible working options, compressed work weeks, and college tuition reimbursement.

The company is also working hard to bridge the gap between older and younger workers. CEO Steve Booth directed the talent development team in 2017 to try to connect baby boomer leadership with millennial colleagues. The result was to partner 10 senior leaders with junior counterparts for what Fortune reporter Katie Flaim calls a reverse-mentoring program.

“Millennials drive the conversation on everything from debunking generational stereotypes to developing millennial-conscious business strategy and building relationships with next-gen clients,” Flaim explains.

best workplaces list concept

7. Camden Property Trust 

No. 19 on the list, Camden Property Trust, a multi-family real estate investment trust, has a diverse workforce, with 51 percent of employees representing minority groups. Employee perks include subsidized gym membership, telecommuting, and college tuition reimbursement.

The company prioritizes internal development — it has a 40 percent internal promotion rate —  spending $3.5 million a year to train staff. Camden University, for example, provides opportunities to employees to expand their skills in maintenance, sales, and marketing, and management and professional development.

“At Camden, we’re really interested in helping people progress their careers,” CEO Ric Campo says. “It really is important to us. It’s all about people learning to understand how the company works in their specific jobs, and also how their jobs relate to other people’s jobs.”

8. Cooley

No. 20 on the list, Cooley has a workforce that’s majority women and 31 percent minorities. The law firm offers flexible working as well as support through the Mid-Level Academy to help junior associates progress to the next level in the organization.

The company is also committed to supporting LGBTQ employees. It has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index in 2020, the fourth time it earned such a score.

“We’re proud of this distinction and heartened that so many organizations – in legal and beyond – share our commitment to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion,” says Amie Santos, Cooley’s director of diversity and inclusion. “We recognize progress is ongoing and are striving to make further advances across the firm to foster a truly inclusive workplace.”

9. Nationwide

Nationwide is one of the United States’ biggest and best-known insurance companies. Nine in 10 Nationwide employees report that the company culture makes them feel welcome and that their colleagues care about each other. Perhaps that’s why about nine in 10 Nationwide hires stay on for at least two years (and more than 60 percent stay with the company for five-plus years).

One big reason Nationwide retains people? Because the company invests in them. The company recently announced plans to spend $160 million over five years to reskill and train up many of its 28,000-plus employees.

“We know that our people are the key to our success, and we firmly believe that if we invest in them, they will invest in us,” says Nationwide Chief Administrative Officer Gale King.

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