The Top “Best of the Rest” Companies to Work For

is dreamworks a good company to work forSome of the niche companies just didn’t find a home in the other categories but are wonderful places to work with amazing perks and strong benefits. This list covers a wide variety of companies that offer positions at each different level of accessibility, from entry level to highly skilled positions, and it’s part of our feature on the Top 100 Best Companies to Work For in the U.S.

1. Dreamworks Animation

Employees cite a family feel as one of the best aspects of working for Dreamworks Animation. It is often the sentiment that the CEO strives to find ways to make it feel as if there are only 200 employees instead of 2,000. Dreamworks Animation is one of the top studios in the business and employs the best of the best and can only do so by offering amazing benefits, perks and above average salary.

2. Valve

This small video game development company has made many waves in the industry over the past 15 years. They are well known for making some of the best video games in the history of the industry, and equally well known for operating on what is commonly referred to as “Valve Time”. They have a habit of releasing games much later than their customers would like. This is partly due to the unique culture at the studio, where employees can work on whatever they wish. Employees work in “cabals”, every desk is mobile and there are ample empty conference rooms, anybody with an idea can move their desk to a new room and others that show interest are free to join them in brainstorming the new idea. This has resulted in some of the most innovative, high quality games the industry has seen in the last ten years.

3. Rackspace Hosting

Nothing motivates employees like being awarded stock and a share of the company’s profits and that’s just what Rackspace Hosting does for its “rackers”. The company offers top of the line benefits and pay. A couple of employees took issue with its #74 position on the Fortune list saying they believed it should be ranked closer to the #1 spot.

4. Ultimate Software

100% health insurance coverage is just one of the reasons employees love Ultimate Software. This developer of HR software treats its employees like family and it shows in the company’s 4% voluntary turnover, one of the lowest in the entire software industry. Employees cite the devotion of the CEO Scott Scherr and his wife Vivian to their “ultimate people” as one of the main reasons they would never consider working anywhere else.

5. Baker Donelson

Employees often can’t believe the caring, family atmosphere present in this southern law firm. The sacrificial mentality plays a big part in that. Top level employees and partners care for and help out lower level employees going through hard times. It’s the kind of atmosphere that’s so rare, especially at successful law firms, that many employees struggle to even explain it in terms others can understand fully.

6. Bright Horizons

It stands to reason that a company that specializes in providing work-life solutions for employees of major corporations around the world would also be a strong choice of workplace and Bright Horizons is just that. This company offers strong work-life benefits including paid sicktime, holiday and vacation time. They also offer a child care discount and a program that allows employees to pay their child care tuition on a pre-tax basis. The company supports the continuing education of their employees with a generous tuition reimbursement program and is a member of WageWorks which is a program that allows employees in major United States cities to save up to 40% on the ever increasing cost of commuting. All of this plus the satisfaction of offering quality work-life solutions to employees around the country makes Bright Horizons a great company with which to build a career.

7. Zappos.com

Employees at Zappos derive great satisfaction from working in a culture where individuality and personality are not only tolerated, but encouraged. The pay and benefits are top notch as well but those even seem to be a secondary concern to employees as they state that the real attraction is the friends and family feel the company fosters.

8. Navy Federal Credit Union

This Credit Union serves the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Department of Defense, and their families; offering top notch banking services and benefits to their customers. They also offer very strong benefits to their employees. They offer strong paid vacation time, holidays, sick leave, paid leave programs for jury duty and military duty and the employee leave donation program which allows employees to donate their leave to another employee facing serious crises in their life. The health plans, and work-life services are also very strong especially for this level of employment. It’s clear that the Navy Federal Credit Union cares as much for its employees as it does for its clients.

9. Costco

This wholesale retail club treats its employees like gold. Basic entry level jobs such as checking the cards as people come in the door start at $19+ per hour. The benefits package is incredibly strong and the company puts an emphasis on employee wellness and subsidizes memberships at local gyms. There is also an employee counseling service for those going through difficult times, and a great smoking cessation program with 24/7 support.

10. Salesforce.com

This company is devoted to charitable causes. They gave away 3 million dollars last year and employees get trained in community service as well as their areas of work. Each employee gets six days off every year to work for charitable causes. This kind of caring about those outside the company means that the same compassion and ideals are embraced within company culture and that makes them somewhere most people would love working.

11. Autodesk – Computer Aided Design Software Development

Fully paid sabbaticals mean every four years you can take a six week long fully paid leave. The other benefits are strong and average pay for a software engineer is well above the industry average at $150,000/year. The on-site fitness center and other perks such as a relaxed environment in which employees can bring their dogs to work make this company a great place to be employed.

12. General Mills

This company is devoted to its employees. The large majority of management in the company is promoted from within, many work their way up from entry level positions. This kind of commitment to employee growth is rare and it makes even low rung, entry level employees feel appreciated and that they have a real future at the company. The voluntary turnover is miniscule at 3% reflecting that employees understand they are appreciated and have a future with the company.

13. Mercedes-Benz USA

Competitive pay, strong medical, dental and vision plans and a competitive 401k matching program are some of the highlights of the benefits provided for Mercedes-Benz USA employees. Other great benefits are automatic days off for weddings, moving, and birth or adoption. Flex spending accounts and Accidental Death and Disability insurance. Mercedes-Benz USA employees also enjoy 15 holiday and floater days as well. The company is committed to excellence in automotive manufacturing and treats its employees as they are, the best in the field.

14. Darden Restaurants

Darden stands out in the foodservice industry as one of the best major companies to work for. The pay is competitive with other chains, and the emphasis on diversity and equality as well as providing a safe, non-hostile work environment put it a step above many others. It may not seem glamorous or ideal in comparison to many other companies on this list, but good jobs in foodservice are hard to find, and Darden has a remarkably low voluntary turnover rate in comparison to other options.

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