In 2011, Google was named the “Happiest Company in America” in an annual survey by job satisfaction–focused web resource CareerBliss.com. Lately, however, Google’s looking a little blue: In the most recent survey, the Internet search engine company didn’t even make the top 50.
Various industries made it onto the 2012 CareerBliss survey, including financial giants, utility companies, pharmaceutical corporations and even the U.S. military. Retail and hospitality companies are new to the top 10 list this year.
The CareerBliss survey is based on more than 100,000 independent employee-generated reviews. The list is determined by employee’s ratings on their work-life balance, their relationships with their bosses and co-workers, their work environments, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture and reputation, their daily tasks, and finally the job control over the work they do on a daily basis. The data show how an employee values each factor. Each review is given an average score indicating where the company places between one and five. In all, data from employees of more than 10,000 companies were analyzed.
What follows is the top 10 from the list of the “50Happiest Companies for America” for 2012, including each company’s overall “Bliss Score” and the top three ranking categories. Spoiler: Great co-workers make a huge difference in job satisfaction. The one highly rated factor shared by each of the top 10 companies is “the people you work with.”
By Colleen KanePosted 7 December 2011
Overall Bliss Score: 4.198
Best-Rated Categories: The Work You Do (4.33); The People You Work With (4.32); The Company You Work For (4.32)
One of the world’s largest companies overall and one of the top six in the oil business, Chevron works in the oil, gas, and geothermal industry. It offers employees incentives when the company meets established goals and also has a career-planning program.
Overall Bliss Score: 4.201
Best-Rated Categories: The People You Work With (4.43); The Person You Work For (4.35); The Work You Do (4.34)
The telecommunications giant Ericsson is one of Sweden’s largest companies. It is a top provider of mobile telecommunications equipment in the world, with 40 percent of the world’s mobile calls going through Ericsson networks. The company maintains several leadership assessment centers as well as leadership and executive development programs to develop and nurture the company’s next leaders.
Overall Bliss Score: 4.205
Best-Rated Categories: The People You Work With (4.47); The Company You Work For (4.52); The Place You Work (4.36)
Fidelity is an international financial-services corporation with more than 40 business units, one of the largest such firms in the world. As an employer it offers professional and managerial training and development programs, as well as tuition reimbursement, commuter benefits and concierge services. Fidelity Chairman Ned Johnson touts the Japanese concept of kaizen in which numerous small changes lead to big improvements over time.
Overall Bliss Score: 4.206
Best-Rated Categories: The People You Work With (4.44); The Work You Do (4.39); The Person You Work For (4.35)
The aerial warfare branch of the armed services is headquartered at The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, but as for other U.S. Air Force work locations, not even the sky is the limit. Air Force employees are supplied with housing and meals, and also have access to education programs, insurance and many other benefits.
Overall Bliss Score: 4.208
Best-Rated Categories: The Work You Do (4.43); The People You Work With (4.38); The Way You Work (4.35)
A residential construction company headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Centex has received numerous accolades. Centex is a branch of PulteGroup, which puts emphasis on continuing training for employees in fields such as construction management, information technology, land management and mortgage banking.
Overall Bliss Score: 4.215
Best-Rated Categories: The Company You Work For (4.52); The People You Work With (4.49); The Person You Work For (4.33)
BASF, the German chemicals, manufacturing and energy company, was founded in 1865. It no longer offers consumer products but is known worldwide in fields such as aerospace, packaging and clean energy. "As the world's leading chemical company, we strive to create great chemistry with and for our people,” remarked the company’s human resources leader for North America, Judy Zagorski. “One of our core commitments is to form the best team. Forming the best team through things like employee development, flexibility, diversity and inclusion is a key element of the chemistry we are working to create."
Overall Bliss Score: 4.234
Best-Rated Categories: The People You Work With (4.49); The Company You Work For (4.45); The Place You Work (4.42)
An upscale department store headquartered in Seattle, Nordstrom has been in the business since 1901. As an employer, Nordstrom is no stranger to “best of” lists such as this one. For a time, a single rule comprised the company’s employee handbook, which was really a single card: “Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.” There may be a few more rules now in this era of litigation, but the modern-day Nordstrom touts its old-fashioned belief in promoting from within.
Overall Bliss Score: 4.236
Best-Rated Categories: The Company You Work For (4.42); The People You Work With (4.41); The Way You Work (4.31)
The well-known pharmaceutical, health-care and cosmetics manufacturer is headquartered in New Brunswick, N.J., and has more than 250 operating companies around the world. Some of the company’s best-known products include the Band-Aid brand of bandages, Tylenol and the Neutrogena line of skin care and beauty products. J&J also ranks well on reputation, earning the second-best in America spot on the Harris Interactive list and the third-best ranking on Forbes magazine’s “Reputation Institute Survey” for 2011. It has also earned awards in recent years as a desirable workplace for women executives, MBAs, diversity and working mothers.
Overall Bliss Score: 4.238
Best-Rated Categories: The Work You Do (4.46); The People You Work With (4.45); The Company You Work For (4.36)
Fluor is an engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance services company headquartered in Irving, Texas, which counts among its current projects the eastern span replacement of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. In a video greeting prospective job candidates, CEO David Seaton touts Fluor’s “culture of mentoring and professional development.”
Overall Bliss Score: 4.360
Best-Rated Categories: The People You Work With (4.63); The Place You Work (4.52); The Way You Work (4.51)
Matt Miller, chief technology officer and co-founder of CareerBliss, says of the international hotel chain that took the winning position for 2012: "Hilton is a customer-service-focused hotelier where employees feel their peers, company culture and overall work environment are key drivers in happiness. When employees feel that there is growth and expansion, the sentiment in the workplace is positive."
Hilton’s chief human resources officer, Matt Schuyler, confirms this. “Every day, our more than 140,000 team members in 85 countries around the world work hard to fill the Earth with the light and warmth of hospitality. As an employer, we know that if we treat our team members well they will, in turn, treat our guests well. We are continuously focused on ensuring we are offering a great work environment, a great place to learn and the best career advancement opportunities.”