Best companies to work for in the 500

Updated: Jun 05, 2014 5:36 PM UTC | Originally published: May 06, 2013
Courtesy: Google


The Internet juggernaut takes the Best Companies crown for the fourth time, and not just for the 100,000 hours of free massages it doled out in 2012. New this year are three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits.

Courtesy: NetApp


Employees at the data storage company often get a chance to receive special recognition. Vice chairman Tom Mendoza asks managers to notify him when they ""catch someone doing something right,"" and then calls 10 to 20 employees every day to thank them.

Courtesy: Qualcomm


Employees at the wireless-technology company are encouraged to share ideas at an annual in-house tech conference. In 2012 engineers submitted nearly 200 papers, the winners of which were asked to present at the forum and participate in speaking events.

Courtesy: Chesapeake Energy

Chesapeake Energy

Depressed natural-gas prices have sped up a downsizing and the sale of assets, but benefits remain generous, including more than $8 million in ""safety bonuses"" paid out in 2011 to more than 6,000 employees across the company for following safe work practices.

Courtesy of Devon Energy

Devon Energy

Employees of the oil and gas producer value access to its senior executives. President and CEO John Richels calls employees or sends personalized notes to thank them for a job well done and regularly hosts employee luncheons.

Photo: Andrew Harrer\/Bloomberg\/Getty

American Express

The financial services giant announced a restructuring for 2013, but it's still prized for diversity and 16 employee networks for religious affiliations and other groups.


The medical-device manufacturer keeps things light by offering Ping-Pong tables on-site and having ""pie-your-manager""competitions.

Courtesy: Marriott International

Marriott International

Last year CEO Arne Sorenson took over from Bill Marriott, who was in the role for 40 years. Ten percent of employees have worked here for 20 years or more.

Courtesy: Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants

The parent of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and six other restaurant chains employs 135,000 part-timers, who are eligible for low-cost health insurance.

Courtesy: Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market

This pioneering natural-foods grocer is all about transparency: Employees can vote on new hires, go on field trips to meet suppliers, and are able to see everyone's salary.

EOG Resources

The oil and gas driller shares its growing wealth with employees, who are all stockholders. In the past 10 years, the stock price has shot up 500%, to $120.

Courtesy: CarMax


The car dealership runs 117 no-haggle used-car lots. CEO Tom Folliard stays accessible to all employees via town hall meetings and steak cookouts.

Courtesy: Publix

Publix Super Markets

The chain of more than 1,000 supermarkets in five Southeastern states boasts low full-time turnover of 3.2%unheard of in the grocery industry.

Photo: Daniel Acker\/Bloomberg\/Getty


The insurance giant hosts an annual six-day appreciation week; last year it included theme park visits, film showings, skating, and daily giveaways.

Courtesy: Nordstrom


In lieu of a rule book, new employees at the luxury department store receive a note card that simply says, ""Our one rule: Use good judgment in all situations.

Photo: Oli Scarff\/Getty Images


Partners at the coffee seller told us, ""I love that we can receive benefits and stock rewards at 20 hours/week"" and ""There is potential for anyone to move up the ladder.

Courtesy: Mattel


The world's largest toymaker received 164,045 job applications last year but filled only 1,292 positions. More than 1,000 employees have been here longer than 15 years.

Courtesy: CH2M Hill


Lee McIntire, CEO of the civil engineering and construction firm, not only tweets but also posts his own personal development plan on the company's intranet.