More important than The List itself, are the reasons WHY these companies made it -- and with cost-cutting, pensions being dropped, health care being reduced -- the expectations of even a great employer have to be recalibrated.
They're still finding ways to differentiate themselves. How'd they get there?
- Treat employees well. Ttrust them. Employees treasure the freedom to do their job as they think best, and great employers trust them.
- Recognition. It's probably the fattest pitch managers miss. Telling employees they're doing a great job costs nothing but counts big. The cost is insignificant. More generous rewards cost little in the scheme of things yet pay off immeasurably.
- Allow more telecommuting (where appropriate)
- Personal-concierge services, take-home meals, and free or subsidized lunches
But those are tactics anyone can match.BOTTOMLINE: Winning requires something more: a sense of purpose. Employees get deep satisfaction, and become devoted to their employer, from feeling that what they do is good and right -- that they're serving a noble cause. Make it purpose-driven. One last observation: These firms are highly successful. The average American business lasts less than 20 years before it fails or gets bought. The 100 Best companies, on average, are an incredible 85 years old. Bottom line: Being a great place to work pays.