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Google and Salesforce Are Great Places to Work Because They Have to Be


This morning Fortune published its annual list of the 100 best companies to work for, highly coveted recognition for employers in a daily war for talent. The full list is available for viewing here.

Technology companies fare well on the list but do not dominate it. True, Google (GOOG) is at the top, for the sixth consecutive year. I wrote the cover story the first time Google topped our list, in 2007. It had a memorable title, “Search and Enjoy.” Then, as now, Google lavished benefits on its employees, making them feel special, pampered, stimulated, well-fed—and eager to work hard. Google has perfected the art of creating a felicitous workplace that is difficult for companies without its cash flow to emulate. (It also is sweet to be a Google spouse, which I am. I was not one a decade ago when I wrote that article.)

Two other tech companies made our top 10: (GOOG), a marketing machine that views employee satisfaction as a point of differentiation, and Ultimate Software (ULTI), a Florida maker of human resources programs. An Ultimate employee referenced the “love” they feel for one another in a survey response supporting the company’s application to Fortune.

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Given the prominence of tech companies in the economy, non-tech commands more attention in the best workplaces competition. Grocer Wegmans Food Markets (WEGMANS-FOOD-MARKETS) is a perennial on our list. Boston Consulting Group ranks No. 3, an impressive feat for a consulting firm, an industry known for its grind-it-out workload.

An interesting word comes up a lot in our introduction to the package, which was edited, by the way, by Anne VanderMey, a behind-the-scenes powerhouse at Fortune. That word is trust. Companies that trust their employees not only make for a better workplace but also do better financially than companies that don’t.