The 100 Best Companies to Work For
This year we've divided companies into large, midsized, and small, the better to aid comparisons with peers.

(FORTUNE Magazine) – The complete 2005 list

A = Large company B = Midsized C = Small

10,000+ U.S. employees 2,500 to 10,000 1,000 to 2,500

1 [A] Wegmans Food Markets

2 [B] W.L. Gore

3 [C] Republic Bancorp

4 [B] Genentech

5 [C]Xilinx

6 [B] J.M. Smucker

7 [B] S.C. Johnson & Son

8 [C] Griffin Hospital

9 [C] Alston & Bird

10 [C] Vision Service Plan

11 [A] Starbucks

12 [C] Quicken Loans

13 [C] Adobe Systems

14 [B] CDW

15 [C] Container Store

16 [B] SAS Institute

17 [B] Qualcomm

18 [C] Robert W. Baird

19 [B] QuikTrip

20 [C] HomeBanc Mortgage

21 [C] David Weekley Homes

22 [C] TDIndustries

23 [A] Valero Energy

24 [C] Network Appliance

25 [B] JM Family Enterprises

26 [C] American Century Invest.

27 [A] Cisco Systems

28 [B] American Cast Iron Pipe

29 [C] Stew Leonard's

30 [A] Whole Foods Market

31 [A] Baptist Health So. Florida

32 [C] Arnold & Porter

33 [A] Amgen

34 [C] American Fidelity Assur.

35 [A] Goldman Sachs

36 [B] Bronson Healthcare Grp.

37 [A] American Express

38 [C] Timberland

39 [B] Pella

40 [C] National Instruments

41 [C] Plante & Moran

42 [B] Alcon Laboratories

43 [B] Symantec

44 [B] SRA International

45 [B] Recreational Equip. (REI)

46 [C] Kimley-Horn & Assoc.

47 [C] Perkins Coie

48 [B] Memorial Health

49 [C] Sterling Bank

50 [A] Synovus

51 [A] Four Seasons Hotels

52 [B] Guidant

53 [B] MITRE

54 [A] Station Casinos

55 [B] Hot Topic

56 [A] A.G. Edwards

57 [A] Microsoft

58 [A] General Mills

59 [B] Baptist Health Care

60 [C] Arbitron

61 [A] Principal Finan. Group

62 [B] IKEA North America

63 [A] Marriott International

64 [B] Intuit

65 [B] Aflac

66 [A] Procter & Gamble

67 [B] Discovery Comm.

68 [A] First Horizon National

69 [B] St. Luke's Episcopal Hlth.

70 [C] SEI Investments

71 [A] Medtronic

72 [A] Vanguard Group

73 [A] Eli Lilly

74 [B] Emmis Communications

75 [A] Booz Allen Hamilton

76 [A] Pfizer

77 [B] Wm. Wrigley Jr.

78 [C] Bingham McCutchen

79 [B] Granite Construction

80 [A] Ernst & Young

81 [A] Mayo Clinic

82 [A] PricewaterhouseCoopers

83 [B] Monsanto

84 [A] Popular

85 [B] Men's Wearhouse

86 [A] Texas Instruments

87 [A] CarMax

88 [A] Nordstrom

89 [A] MBNA

90 [A] Deloitte & Touche

91 [C] Morrison & Foerster

92 [B] Harley-Davidson

93 [B] Simmons

94 [A] Publix Super Markets

95 [C] John Wiley & Sons

96 [A] FedEx

97 [B] Roche

98 [A] Bright Horizons

99 [A] Sherwin-Williams

100 [C] Valassis

LARGE COMPANIES (more than 10,000 employees)

*Principal sold its residential mortgage division to Citigroup in July 2004; these figures do not include that division.

MIDSIZED COMPANIES (2,500 to 10,000 employees)

SMALL COMPANIES (1,000 to 2,500 employees)


These companies enroll the most employee kids in regular child care that the employers sponsor, on-site or nearby, when measured as a percentage of the company's U.S. employees.


LARGE COMPANIES (more than 10,000 employees): What makes it so great?

1 Wegmans Food Markets

The unusual motto of this privately held grocery chain is "Employees first, customers second."  The Wegman family's rationale: When employees are happy, customers will be too.  For more detials, see preceding story.

2 Starbucks

The coffee behemoth is justly famous for its generous benefits. One example: Part-timers and their same- or opposite-sex partners receive comprehensive health coverage.  Hypnotherapy? Covered. Naturopathy?  DItto.

3 Valero Energy

This 25-year-old oil refiner and gas retailers has never laid off an employee.  And when it comes to bonuses, the lower levels aren't forgotten: Executives receive tehirs only if everyone else in the organization does.

4 Cisco Systems

Cisco employees surveyed say they love the company's efforts to make the workplace fun, from "nerd lunches," in which experts lead a discussion of tech topics to movie-themed chow in Cisco's cafes on Oscar day.

5 Whole Foods Market

It's all about equality at this natural-foods grocery chain: A wage disclosure report lists everyone's gross pay (execs included) and a salary cap limits compensation to 14 times the average total of all the company's full timers.

6 Baptist Health So. Florida

Salaries are generous here: Fifty-two of the hospital chain's 2,600 nurses earned more than $100,000 in 2003.  That may explain why nursing turnover at BHSF's 23 facilities is only 9% a year, vs. 19% statewide.

7 Amgen

This biotech's 401(k) plan is fabulous: Amgen contributes $1 for each dollar an employee does  (up to 5% of total comp) and kicks in an additional 5% of total comp whether or not the employee contributes a cent.

8 Goldman Sachs

Workaholic parents get support at this Wall Street firm. For example, at the on-site children's center, employees get up to 20 days of free backup care for 3- to 6-month-olds (in addition to 20 free days available for all kids).

9 American Express

AmEx shines in gender equality. Women hold nearly 57% of managerial and supervisory positions and make up 40% of executives and senior managers. Minorities hold more than 18% of positions at that lofty level too.

10 Synovus

For the past five years, employees at this financial firm got an additional 11.9% of their salaries in profit sharing. In 2003, when profits were lower, execs forfeited their bonuses to keep that percentage high.

11 Four Seasons Hotels

This luxury chain excels at making employees feel valued. Workers at each hotel select a peer to receive the Employee of the Year award, which can include an expenses-paid week-long vacation and a $1,000 shopping spree.

12 Station Casinos

A pioneer, this gaming company was the first in Vegas to offer full-service on-site dentistry and 24-hour child care. An annual charity fundraiser raffles off the general manager's job for one day (the GM takes the winner's job).

13 A.G. Edwards

This brokerage firm is known for promoting from within; 91 employees were promoted to officer jobs last year. The company helps workers stay fit too, providing an indoor walking track, yoga classes, running clubs, and more.

14 Microsoft

Generosity toward employees extends to restricted stock grants, medical and dental benefits, and matches for charitable donations. Maybe that's why nearly 300,000 people applied for jobs here last year.

15 General Mills

This food company makes it easy for employees to get smart: It reimburses tuition at 100% up to $6,000 per year, even for new employees. And if the employees leave afterward, they need not repay the dough.

16 Principal Financial Grp.

A lunch-hour Bible study group and on-site Muslim prayer room are just two of the extras available at this financial services firm, which also gave employees a total of 125 days off to do volunteer work last year.

17 Marriott International

Good work gets noticed here. Last May, CEO J.W. Marriott Jr. flew a dozen employees, including a dishwasher, bellman, and head housekeeper, to D.C. to receive the company's highest honor: the award for job excellence.

18 Procter & Gamble

Now here's an innovation: The consumer-products giant pairs junior female employees with a senior manager for reverse mentoring to help the mostly male higher-ups understand the issues women face.

19 First Horizon National

Formerly known as First Tennessee, this bank is terrific at promoting women; 83% of its managers are female. It's also parent-friendly. Each school year, parents get unlimited time off to visit their kids' classrooms.

20 Medtronic

This medical-device maker gives its people what they crave: creative freedom. All employees can apply to a program that lets them devote 25% of their workday to pursuing tech ideas that fall outside their usual jobs.

21 Vanguard Group

Staffers get the rooms with a view at this big mutual-fund company; officers sit in interior spaces. The firm offers an on-site MBA at all three of its U.S. locations (it's free if your grade average is A or B, and half off if it's a C).

22 Eli Lilly

Though this pharma giant lost its patent for Prozac a few years ago, it hasn't laid off a single employee. Meanwhile, it keeps packing their bank balances: Profit sharing boosted employees' salaries by 10.2% in 2003.

23 Booz Allen Hamilton

This management consulting firm is big on flexibility. From 2000 to 2003, it spent $10.8 million on remote access and laptops for its professional staff. In 2002, two-thirds of the staff reported a flexible work arrangement.

24 Pfizer

World-class benefits are offered at this huge drug company, including on-site child care at four locations (parents pay on a sliding scale based on income) and an elder-care program that includes counseling.

25 Ernst & Young

This big accounting firm has a huge international presence and a constant flow of new employees, but it still gets rave reviews for its people-friendly culture. Nearly half the workforce telecommutes at least occasionally.

26 Mayo Clinic

The staff physicians at this world-famous hospital earn $246,000, the highest salaried base-pay rate on this list. That helps explain why 20% of the main clinic's employees are second generation and 4% are third.

27 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Smart staff development and smart recruiting help this accounting firm make the Top 100 list for the first time. Its policy is to pay generous referral bonuses that average a whopping $8,000 for new hires.

28 Popular

Employees at Banco Popular North America, a subsidiary of the Puerto Rico--based bank, have the power to recognize co-workers' extraordinary efforts with On the Spot awards of up to $100.

29 Texas Instruments

TI offers a host of in-house services--including a spa and periodic on-site driver's license renewals--and makes parents a priority, with summer camps, a parents' night out, and major bashes for big holidays.

30 CarMax

Employees at this chain of used-car superstores know their opinions count: CEO Austin Ligon opens frequent Q&A sessions with them by asking, "What are we doing that is stupid, unnecessary, or doesn't make sense?"

31 Nordstrom

In 2003, the most profitable year in this department-store chain's 104-year history, each employee who worked at least 1,000 hours got a profit-sharing bonus that was three times the size of the previous year's.


Benefits keep flowing at this credit-card issuer: eight child-care centers, generous reimbursement for tuition, up to $20,000 per child for adoption, and even a paid week off for new grandparents.

33 Deloitte & Touche

This accounting and consulting firm attracts great hires by creative means. It rewards with cash--and sometimes new cars--employees who refer successful job candidates. Deloitte has awarded nearly $20 million since 1996.

34 Publix Super Markets

Steady growth has brought this employee-owned retailer to 820 stores, but it still acts small (even some part-timers can get health benefits). Full-timers can get a bonus of one week's salary plus an extra week off.

35 FedEx

FedEx kept the faith with employees even after acquiring Kinko's last year. Two of FedEx Express workers' favorite perks: free rides on its airplanes anywhere in the U.S., and a chance to get their kid's name painted on a plane.

36 Bright Horizons

In a field (child care) known for low wages and few benefits, Bright Horizons stands out with hefty discounts for workers' kids, on-site training for certification as a child development associate, and above-market pay.

37 Sherwin-Williams

This maker and seller of paint, founded in 1866, makes its debut on our list. Non-execs own almost 17% of the stock, which has doubled in five years, and employees enjoy a great 401(k) match (see sidebar).

MIDSIZED COMPANIES (2,500 to 10,000 employees)

1 W.L. Gore

When it comes to managing employees, the privately held maker of Gore-Tex fabric does things a little differently. For example, workers evaluate fellow team members each year to determine compensation.

2 Genentech

This fast-growing biotech knows how to say thanks. After launching three new drugs from June '03 to Feb. '04, it celebrated by throwing a lavish party for all employees and their guests, with Elton John as the entertainment.

3 J.M. Smucker

Employees at the jam and jelly king--last year's No. 1--had better watch their waistlines: The company serves them complimentary bagels and muffins every day (along with a selection of spreads, of course).

4 S.C. Johnson & Son

Workers in the manufacturing division of this consumer-products company get performance reviews determined by peers, not by management. Apparently employees like that kind of power: Turnover is negligible.


Adoptive parents have special benefits at this computer and electronics seller. Agency and placement fees, legal fees, foreign adoption charges, and related travel expenses are reimbursed up to $3,000 per child.

6 SAS Institute

The gym at this software company includes a ten-lane pool, billiards, Ping-Pong tables, volleyball courts, outdoor soccer fields, three tennis courts, and a putting green. Another perk: free restringing for tennis racquets.

7 Qualcomm

Employee solidarity here is remarkable. After six workers lost their homes to forest fires, co-workers collected ten truckloads of donations and gave $60,000--matched by the tech company--to the Red Cross.

8 QuikTrip

Promotion from within is the motto at this chain of gas and convenience stores, where all of the 400-plus managers started at the bottom. Part-time employees also receive tuition reimbursement and health coverage.

9 JM Family Enterprises

The largest independent Toyota distributor showers employees with unusual perks: free prescriptions delivered by a "pharmacy concierge"; professionally made take-home dinners; cruises on the 172-foot company yacht.

10 American Cast Iron Pipe

This maker of iron and steel products boasts one of the best on-site medical centers in corporate America: 20 doctors and nursing staff, 11 dentists and hygienists, and four pharmacists. Bonus: a wellness center.

11 Bronson Healthcare Grp.

High turnover is the bane of the industry, but Bronson's 9.5% annual rate is about half the average. One reason: Its "gain-sharing plan" (unusual for a nonprofit) has netted full-timers an average $4,200 each since 2000.

12 Pella

This maker of windows and doors takes good care of its employees. An amazingly high 25% of its pretax profits are distributed to all employees through profit sharing. Historically, that has averaged 15% of pay.

13 Alcon Laboratories

The world's largest maker of eye-care products also has one of the best 401(k) matches (see sidebar). Maybe that's why hardly anyone leaves. Or maybe it's the bucolic headquarters with koi pond and jogging trails.

14 Symantec

This software maker (which recently agreed to acquire Veritas Software) has been on a roll, with the stock up 150% in two years. That's good news for employees. All are eligible for stock options and generous profit sharing.

15 SRA International

Opportunities abound at this big IT firm and government contractor. Thanks in part to demand for SRA's national security expertise, job growth here averaged 24% over the past three years.

16 Recreational Equip. (REI)

Women employees know that they can go far at this outfitter to the outdoorsy set. They just have to look at the top: COO Sally Jewell is slated to take over from current CEO Dennis Madsen in March.

17 Memorial Health

Its people tell us this hospital and health-care network has genuine team spirit--which it celebrates with bed races, posters of workers, and more. Says one staffer: "Everyone is a team member, from housekeeping to CEO."

18 Guidant

Employees starting as technicians can work their way into upper management at this maker of pacemakers, defibrillators, and other medical devices, which has agreed to be acquired by Johnson & Johnson later this year.


How's this for dedication to employees' education: This technology consultant to the Pentagon flies a Johns Hopkins professor to Bedford, Mass., every week so employees can earn a master's degree in systems engineering.

20 Hot Topic

Where else can you find a CEO with orange streaks in her hair? Workers are free to dress like rock stars at this teen-apparel retailer, and they're reimbursed for concert tix if they write up a fashion report afterward.

21 Baptist Health Care

Employees at this hospital must attend a periodic open-forum meeting in which everyone is urged to address the crowd. Those brave enough to do so are entered in a raffle for free rides on the company helicopter.

22 IKEA North America

This furniture retailer, whose parent is Swedish, gives employees extraordinary opportunities: They are encouraged to take international assignments, with employment opportunities or tuition allowances for spouses.

23 Intuit

Noticing that new call-center hires often gain weight ("the Intuit Ten"), execs at this software maker built an indoor walking path for them last year--and launched an incentive plan that gives $1 to charities for every pound lost.

24 Aflac

Many moms and dads love working at this insurer, and for good reason. As long as their college-age children or grandchildren receive a GPA of 2.5 or higher, the company will pay 100% of their tuition, up to $20,000 per year.

25 Discovery Comm.

At this parent of cable network the Discovery Channel, more than half the executives are women, including CEO Judith Hale. The company makes it easy on new mothers and fathers: They receive three weeks' paid time off.

26 St. Luke's Episcopal Hlth.

Employees enjoy a relatively high base-pay rate--and freedom to shine: Women make up 52% of execs and 78% of managers--and minorities constitute 40% of managers. Nursing-staff turnover is low.

27 Emmis Communications

In 2001 this chain of magazines and radio and TV stations cut pay 10% (offset by a 10% stock award). So why do folks like it here? They cite great communication from the CEO, who travels around doing employee Q&As.

28 Wm. Wrigley Jr.

Here's a way to keep ideas flowing: This maker of chewing gum and candy asks employees at one of its locations to suggest improvements--and gives them 10% of the first-year cost savings that result.

29 Granite Construction

When employees do good work, this firm opens its wallet. It sets aside 3.7% of pretax earnings each year for bonuses and incentives for lower-ranking employees; in 2003 it awarded about 900 employees more than $4 million.

30 Monsanto

Team building--with activities like snowshoe softball--is a major focus for this agricultural products manufacturer. At several sites, "people teams" of staffers are charged with designing employee bonding activities.

31 Men's Wearhouse

Company execs gave away 113 trips to Hawaii at holiday parties in 2003. For those who didn't score tickets, a three-week paid sabbatical is available after five years; 619 employees took one in 2003.

32 Harley-Davidson

Working at Harley is more than a job--it's hog heaven. Employee surveys show 90% strongly identify with the company's riding culture. Some employees get to work at biker rallies at Harley's expense.

33 Simmons

This mattress maker got a major makeover when CEO Charlie Eitel took over in 2000. Though some plants closed recently, the company asked remaining workers to help design its new, more modern facilities.

34 Roche

The U.S. divisions of this Swiss giant do their own thing. Diagnostics, based in Indianapolis, puts all its new leaders through a ten-month development program. New Jersey employees can take college classes on-site.

SMALL COMPANIES (1,000 to 2,500 employees

1 Republic Bancorp

Thanks to a boom in homebuying, last year customer service reps at this mortgage banker received $10,000 in bonuses; nearly half of nonmanagement employees were awarded stock, and all employees got stock options.

2 Xilinx

Inventors rule at this supplier of programmable chips, where one of every five employees holds a patent and all employees receive stock options upon hire. Last year's profit-sharing bonus was 9.2% of salary.

3 Griffin Hospital

Employees enjoy the same amenities available to patients at this unusual 160-bed hospital: family-style kitchens with meal service, strolling musicians, chair massages, and--hooray!--absolutely no fluorescent lighting.

4 Alston & Bird

Says a legal secretary who gives the company high marks: "There is no pecking-order mentality here. Folks have a sense of humor without regard to status." (We're guessing the end-of-the-week cocktail hour helps.)

5 Vision Service Plan

This eye-care insurance company lets employees extend one of their benefits to friends: Up to four pals can receive special discounts on eye-care services and eyewear through Vision Service Plan providers.

6 Quicken Loans

At this mortgage firm, perks go to the bold. On Ticket Window Thursday, CEO Bill Emerson gives tickets for concerts and sporting events to employees who warble songs over the company's PA system.

7 Adobe Systems

Employees love the graphics-software outfit's new twin 12-story buildings, which include a fitness center with trainer, seasonal farmers' market, basketball and bocce courts--and a private office for nearly every worker.

8 Container Store

Parents and part-timers thrive at this organizer retailer. Everyone who works at least 18 hours a week gets some health coverage, and special schedules are available for those with children: 9 A.M. to 2 P.M., Monday through Friday.

9 Robert W. Baird

Nearly 75% of managers at this financial services firm are women. They're the bosses in another way too: The company became mostly employee-owned in April 2004, when workers bought out Northwestern Mutual's stake.

10 HomeBanc Mortgage

Employee appreciation is ingrained at this home- and retail-mortgage company, which went public last July. Lower-level employees rejoice: They get higher profit-sharing percentages than highly compensated workers.

11 David Weekley Homes

This Houston-based homebuilder spends at least $4,500 a year per employee on training; that's more than $5 million each year. Annual company meetings are such a riot that spouses and relatives attend too.

12 TDIndustries

There's an active support network at this employee-owned heating, air-conditioning, plumbing, and electrical company: If an employee falls ill or a relative dies, an assigned partner helps with household tasks and the like.

13 Network Appliance

This hardware-software storage provider gives employees $5,000 to $15,000 for each patent they file--and individual stock grants for multiple patents. Maybe that's why the company's employees notched 23 patents in 2004.

14 American Century Invest.

Every employee got a $1,000 cash bonus in '03 to celebrate success after three years of down markets. The company puts up to 13% of each employee's salary into a profit-sharing plan, regardless of employee contribution.

15 Stew Leonard's

Pie-eating contests, hayrides, and ski trips are all in a day's work at this family-owned retail grocery chain. Everyone gets time-and-a-half for working on Sundays and holidays--and a free turkey at Thanksgiving.

16 Arnold & Porter

This law firm lets associates spend six months working full-time at public interest organizations. Each office has an ombudsman to handle employee issues, and a peer-elected committee gives lower-ranking lawyers a voice.

17 American Fidelity Assur.

There's a family feel at this insurance and financial services outfit--95% of officers came up through the ranks; execs cut cakes each month to celebrate colleagues' birthdays; and the CEO has lunch with each new hire.

18 Timberland

The apparel maker does more than most to help employees give back. It offers a six-month, fully paid sabbatical for those who want "to pursue a personal dream that benefits the community in a meaningful way."

19 National Instruments

How does a company full of engineers judge its talent show? With a specially built applause-o-meter, of course. This maker of measurement hardware and software says two of its core traits are innovation and a "playful spirit."

20 Plante & Moran

This accounting firm helps its people get through tax season with massages, Saturday child care, and miniature golf in the office. To avoid an intimidating "partner row," partners and staff are clustered by industry served.

21 Kimley-Horn & Assoc.

The employee-owned civil engineering and land-planning firm works hard and plays even harder: Each office has a VP of Fun. An egalitarian spirit prevails--business cards don't have titles, and everyone shares in the profits.

22 Perkins Coie

Collaboration is key at this law firm: "We have no prima donnas and no need for any," one staffer told us. So is recognition. Employees who are singled out for outstanding performance enter a raffle for free airline tickets.

23 Sterling Bank

This commercial and retail bank has an unusual inverted-pyramid hierarchy: Workers essentially manage themselves. Promotions, for example, are determined by a panel of peers rather than by managers.

24 Arbitron

At this radio market research firm, workers recognize one another for a job well done with $100 American Express gift cards (there's no restriction on how many you can bestow). Last year nearly 300 employees received $50,000 worth.

25 SEI Investments

The suburban Philly HQ of this investment firm has an open floor plan, with rolling desks, no walls, and top execs in the mix. Titles here reflect function, not "level." And employees own nearly half of SEI stock through the ESOP.

26 Bingham McCutchen

Employees of this national law firm talk about a "relaxed" atmosphere and a "true sense of friendship." Box seats at Fenway, a strong mentor network, and an exceptionally high base-pay rate help.

27 Morrison & Foerster

One of the country's most diverse law firms, MoFo (their own nickname!) counts 166 minorities among its 871 U.S. attorneys, including 21 partners. Pro bono work is a draw: In 2003, lawyers and staff gave 102,000 hours.

28 John Wiley & Sons

When this publisher moved from Manhattan in 2002, it asked employees what perks they wanted--and followed through by providing a pristine river location, on-site exercise room, café, and free shuttle service.

29 Valassis

Each year managers at this publisher of newspaper inserts and coupons take a job-skills inventory to identify candidates for growth opportunities. The company often creates new positions to accommodate special talents.