To pick the 100 Best Companies to Work for, Fortune partners with Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. More than 81,000 employees from 353 companies responded to a 57-question survey. Two-thirds of a company's score is based on the survey, which is sent to a minimum of 400 randomly selected employees. The remaining third is based on Fortune’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about demographics, pay, and benefits, and open-ended questions on philosophy, communication, etc. Any company that is at least seven years old with more than 1,000 U.S. employees is eligible.
This year’s winner is NetApp, who ranked no. 14 in the 2008 ranking. Employee enthusiasm and an egalitarian culture is what helped move NetApp to the No. 1 spot. Benefits include: five paid days for volunteer work, $11,390 adoption aid, and autism coverage -- used by 43 employees since 2006 at a cost of $242,452. The company has gained market share during the slump, hasn't had layoffs, and has more than $2 billion in cash on hand to help it ride out the global financial crisis. The financial-services firm Edward Jones made the No 2 spot, despite the fact that the stock market collapse reduced partner distributions and bonuses. Up from No 11 last year, the Boston Consulting Group made the No 3 spot. An emphasis on employee development, a collaborative culture, extensive training, and progressive benefits contributed to the strong performance of this company for the fourth year in a row.
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Picture from Creative Commons: Flickr: Stefan Neagu