Work & Career
18 Companies with the Best Bosses in America
Whether they approve spectacular benefits packages, put policies that further diversity, equality, and empowerment, regularly meet with employees, or create jobs and opportunities, these CEOs earn their “Best Boss” mugs.
The social media site and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have found themselves on the receiving end of criticism of late regarding privacy concerns and political tampering, but that has not affected how its employees feel about toiling away in the tech trenches. Facebook has landed within the top 15 on Glassdoor’s Best Places To Work list for eight consecutive years, securing the top spot in 2018. Zuckerberg, who holds a weekly Q&A with non-executive personnel, is famous for emphasizing a workplace where staffers feel as much at home in their cubicles as they do in their actual abodes and where diversity and tolerance are engrained in the culture. According to TheStreet.com, a job at the Silicon Valley-based site comes with perks aplenty: on-site bankers, barbers, and bike shops with complimentary repairs, free dry cleaning, trainers at the company gym, regular ice cream socials, and shuttle service around the valley and to San Francisco, work from home Wednesdays, unlimited sick days and 21 days paid vacation, on-property health and dental care, paid insurance, free meals all day long (employees mention on Glassdoor that these include vegan options), and $250 a month stipend to spend on FB ads. And then there’s the family plan. Employees get $4,000 in baby expenses at birth, $3,000 a year for babysitting fees, and four months paid paternity or maternity leave, according to a poster in a Quora discussion.
CEO Craig Jelinek “started from the bottom” as a warehouse manager in 1984 and steadily rose through the ranks. He eventually took the reins from longtime big cheese Jim Sinegal in January 2012 and upheld his employee-friendly policies. Costco pays its hourly employees an average of more than $20 an hour and gives them overtime. Eighty-eight percent of the workers have company-sponsored health insurance and their premiums amount to less than 10 percent of the cost of their plans. They rack up vacation time, paid time off, and sick days as they log more years with the bulk grocer, according to Glassdoor.com. “This isn’t Harvard grad stuff,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg.com. “If you treat consumers and employees with respect, good things are going to happen. People need to make a living wage with health benefits. It puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s that simple.” Here are the things that will get you noticed at work by your manager.
Who says work can’t be fun? Certainly not the shoe empire’s CEO Tony Hsieh. He built the online retailer around ten core values, which include “create fun and a little weirdness,” “be humble,” and “build a positive team and family spirit.” The site’s campus tour video shows a ball pit in the human resources department and explains that employees can decorate desks however they’d like. According to CNBC, the company also runs on a “self-management” system known as “holacracy” so workers don’t report to a direct manager and are empowered to have more input in decision-making. Zappos will give new hires a month’s salary to quit if they don’t love the job, which might be why they’ve been on Fortune‘s 100 Best Companies To Work For list for almost a decade. The positive environment extends to consumers, the less fortunate, and the Las Vegas community in which it is based. They host Thanksgiving dinner for those in need at their headquarters, partnering with charities like Soles4Souls, Kids In Need Foundation, and Spread The Word. They have one of the best return policies and large sections for inclusive sizing and adaptive clothing. When the financial crisis hit Vegas hard, Hsieh also invested $350 million of his own money to stimulate downtown revitalization by buying 100 properties, creating an annual Life Is Beautiful Festival, and investing in small businesses and arts and culture.
José Andrés came to the United States 27 years ago with $50 in his pocket. The celebrity chef is now credited with popularizing tapas for American diners, owns more than 25 restaurants from Los Angeles and Las Vegas to Miami, Washington, D.C., and the Bahamas, has two Michelin stars, and was given a 2015 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama. According to an interview with Business Insider, he partially credits his success to fostering an environment where everyone, no matter how low on the kitchen totem pole, can openly share ideas and opinions. “When you make sure the opinion of everybody counts, [creativity] is a natural process,” he explained. “Any idea may be a great idea [so] everybody is not afraid of opening their mind up.” Morally bothered by President Donald J. Trump’s public condemnation of Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “criminals,” he canceled plans to open a restaurant in the then-presidential candidate’s new Washington, D.C. hotel. Andrés flew to Puerto Rico five days after Hurricane Maria hit in 2017 to cook emergency meals and donate money; he wound up staying for more than a month and through his nonprofit group, World Central Kitchen, with the help 19,000 volunteers, more than 3.6 million meals and sandwiches have been served. Find out the 10 secrets to being a good boss.
In 1988, when the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles had more gang members per capita than anywhere else in the world, Rev. Gregory J. Boyle started a small program through the Dolores Mission to provide jobs and education as “an exit ramp off the freeway of violence, addiction, and incarceration” that comes with gang membership. In 2001, that program blossomed officially into Homeboy and they have helped more than 120,000 gang members become productive members of society through job training in fields like solar panel installation, food and beverage (they run a catering company, a bakery, a diner at LA City Hall, a to-go stall at LAX airport, and a line of chips, salsas, and guacamoles sold at grocery stores and farmers’ markets), silkscreen and embroidery, and electronics recycling. Homeboy also offers trainees and employees mental health services (substance-abuse counseling, parenting classes, support groups for addiction and domestic abuse), tattoo removal, education services like GED tutoring, and legal services. Their model of investing in rather than incarcerating this population has been adopted by 46 different programs across the country and internationally.
Wegmans Food Markets
The 98-store grocery chain has been a family-run company since it started in Rochester, New York, in the 1900s—fourth generation member of the namesake clan (and first female) Colleen Wegman was named president and CEO in 2017. One of Wegman’s core values as a company is to treat their 48,000 employees in six states, whom they refer to as “our people,” as extended family members, which is why they offer things like free flu shots, an employee scholarship program that provides $4.5 million in tuition assistance a year, exclusive digital coupons, discounts at other community businesses like theme parks and movie theaters, and flexible scheduling. Voted no. 2 on Fortune’s Best Companies To Work For 2018 list, they also help their people live their best lives by planning fitness challenges and classes with rewards, subsidizing Weight Watchers and tobacco cessation programs, bringing in expert chefs and nutritionists for informational sessions and meal planning, and organizing free health and blood pressure screenings, according to Great Place To Work. Wegman also literally puts their money where mouths are. They donated 14.5 million pounds of food to local food banks and programs that feed the hungry last year.
In 2015, after reading a report by a Nobel Prize-winning economist that found that emotional well-being rises with income, the credit card payment processing company’s CEO and founder Dan Price introduced a minimum wage of $70,000. To cover the wage increase, he took a 90 percent pay cut from his $1 million salary and ate into company profits, according to a story in the Telegraph. At the time, the Seattle-based tech startup had 120 employees, 70 of which got a raise. Of the 70, 30 had their salaries doubled. Price started the company in his college dorm room at 19 to help small businesses that were being taken advantage of by their credit card processors. Since then, Price has been Entrepreneur Magazine‘s Entrepreneur of 2014, GeekWire‘s 2013 Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and the 2010 SBA National Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by President Obama. Find out the secret company perks that will definitely make you jealous.
All you need is love and to that end, the hotel chain made this list because of a broad new anti-hate group policy CEO Mark Hoplamazian announced in September. The brand decided to implement the change after receiving a firestorm of criticism for hosting an anti-Muslim organization at one of its suburban Washington, D.C., properties over the summer. “If a group is primarily focused on disparaging a group by virtue of their identity, that’s really where we need to draw the line. We’re going to apply our values to making these decisions along the way,” Hoplamazian said during the Skift Global Forum in New York City. In a memo explaining the move to employees, he cited the values of inclusiveness and empathy, which are “deeply personal” to him. Don’t miss these ways to build trust with your boss.
CEO Michael F. Mahoney planned to follow in the footsteps of his pediatric cardiac surgeon grandpa. But after organic chemistry class made him realize medical school was not in the cards, Mahoney found another way to help patients and change lives in the healthcare field. At medical innovator Boston Scientific, he fosters a passionate and committed workforce by hiring people who solve problems, embrace change, and are willing to own a situation versus blame the circumstances according to an interview with Glassdoor, who named him among the Top CEOs of 2018, and by providing a variety of benefits like on-site daycare, resources for back-up and afterschool childcare, flexible schedules, and meal planning services. Boston Scientific had more than 1,000 employees in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria made landfall and caused massive destruction. The company provided basic needs like food, water, medication, generators, and fuel. Conference rooms were converted to daycare and Mahoney went personally to inspect the damage experienced by his staff. The Employee Disaster Relief Fund was established and gave more than $3.5 million of direct financial assistance for housing, transportation, and other needs caused by the disaster.
The first sign that working at Starbucks under longtime CEO Howard Schultz and his replacement Kevin Johnson is not business as usual, is the policy to call employees “partners.” They have brewed up myriad ways to reward the hard work of those partners including retirement plans that include a generous company match, discounted stock, paid time off, increased wages for working on one of the coffee company’s seven paid holidays, full tuition coverage for a first-time bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program, parental leave (although according to CNN it is shorter for barista moms and or nonexistent for barista dads/adoptive parents than it is for those in corporate positions), adoption-expense reimbursement up to $10,000 per child, and assistance for financial crisis caused by a death, illness, or natural disasters. Baristas take home a free pound of coffee or box of tea weekly, which they can sip while listening to a playlist from their included premium Spotify subscription. The vendor of ventis has been honored with a variety of titles and awards including as one of the world’s most ethical companies, a military friendly employer, and as one of Fortune‘s Most Admired Companies in the world in 2018. See the secret and quirky messages hidden in company logos, including Starbucks’ mermaid.
Whitney Wolfe Herd turned tragedy into triumph. In 2014, she left Tinder, the dating app she co-founded, because her co-founder/ex-boyfriend was allegedly sexually harassing her. (He was suspended; she settled for a reported $1 million according to Forbes.) Later that year, she dared to ask what if women were the only ones who could make the first move and Bumble was born. Now headquartered in a bright yellow open-plan building in Austin, Texas, Bumble has become the fastest-growing dating app in America and a buzzworthy place to work. Unlike most big companies, 80 percent of the executive team is female and growth is listed after kindness, respect, and equality on the list of the company’s guiding principals. Full-timers enjoy 100 percent paid medical/dental/vision, a new Mac laptop, cold brew on tap, catered lunches, a monthly wellness stipend, 16 weeks of paid parental leave, a pet-friendly office, and a weekly hosted happy hour. Women, in particular, thrive in the hive with IUI/IVF/egg freezing discounts, provided twice-monthly blowouts and manicures (there’s a glam room with girl-positive messages on the mirrors), free breast milk shipments for traveling moms, private lactation suite, and pregnancy/postpartum/return-to-work support programs.
Talk about flying the friendly skies. According to CNBC, the budget airline has never laid off a single employee or cut pay. In fact, in 2017, CEO Gary Kelly approved sharing $586 million in profits with its 54,000-strong workforce (roughly a 13.2 percent average bonus per employee) and contributing an extra $351 million to their 401(k) plans. “Our people-first approach means when our company does well, our people do really well,” he said. “[They] work hard and deserve to share in Southwest’s success.” Dozens of employee reviews on Glassdoor cite good pay, schedule flexibility, opportunities for advancement, team unity, and great benefits like unlimited flights to Southwest destinations, competitive 401(k) company match, and stock purchase options as other reasons why Southwest and its bosses are easy to work for. They also give flight attendants the freedom to add a dash of personal pizazz to safety briefings, which makes flights more fun for them and for passengers. Find out the amazing things great bosses do every day.
Zoom Video Communications
Employees of this video conferencing and online office communications platform headed by CEO Eric S. Yuan compliment the competitive salaries, health insurance (even for remote workers), 401(k)s, and paid time off/unlimited vacation on Glassdoor. Zoom also regularly holds teambuilding activities, theme days and contest like crazy sock day, new hire lunches, anniversary cake parties, or holiday decoration competitions. Employees have bowling and basketball teams as well as volunteer groups for places like Food For Thought and Ronald McDonald House. Yuan, who poured coffee for attendees of the first Zoomtopia users conference, topped the employees’ choice category of Glassdoor’s Top CEOs 2018 list.
At 35, president/heiress Lynsi Snyder, granddaughter of the beloved burger chain’s founders, acquired the remaining shares and gained full control of the company valued at 1.1 billion in 2013 and became one of the youngest female billionaires in the country, according to Business Insider. And Snyder shares the wealth. The average hourly wage for entry-level positions is $12.27 with benefits including paid time off and 401(k) plans and managers earn $160,000 a year, a statistic that lead Inc. magazine to declare that a job peddling animal-style fast food is “the surest legal path to a six-figure salary regardless of whether you have a high school education.” In-N-Out holds the fourth spot on Glassdoor’s 2018 Best Places Tor Work, Employee’s Choice, list thanks to flexible scheduling, how easy it is to rise through the ranks quickly, annual trips, sports days at Snyder’s ranch, and free shift meals. “In-N-Out is eons above everybody else. On wages and benefits, they really are the best large chain,” Saru Jayaraman, of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, told the Sun.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP
OH&S, named the most innovative law firm in North America more than once by the Financial Times, specializes in technology, energy, infrastructure, and finance law in 25 markets globally. Chairman Mitch Zuklie hosts a podcast to help co-workers get to know each other better. According to Great Place To Work, full-time members of Zuklie’s team get birthdays off, a paid day off to do community service, unlimited paid sick days from day one, and free snacks and beverages. But their mental wellbeing and parental programs particularly stand out. They hold guided and silent weekly meditations, install zen gardens and quiet rooms with candles and sound machines in their complexes, offer free personal counseling sessions that spouses or family can attend, annual in-office comprehensive health evaluations and early-detection blood tests, 60 days of backup child care and a college fund donation in baby’s first year, lactation rooms, parental leave for non-birth parents in same-sex relationship, and medical care that covers gender confirmation surgery. These are the 18 signs you have a terrible boss.
The Honest Company
Jessica Alba played a superhero on screen and proves to be as fantastic as the founder of this line of natural baby and personal care products, cleaning supplies, and makeup. Together with CEO Nick Vlahos, she has turned the company into a billion-dollar earner while providing an employee-friendly atmosphere where work-life balance and clean living are held in high regard. To help workers achieve those goals, they offer health insurance, 401(k)s with company matching, maternity and paternity leave (as well as flexible return-to-work plans), pet insurance for fur babies, flexible vacation policies, product discounts, and wellness incentives including a monthly gym reimbursement and fitness classes at the office. They also built a state-of-the-art and inviting workplace a short drive from the beach. Grab a Kombucha from the tap, popcorn from the machine, or another free healthy snack and enjoy them while checking your email from a hammock on Honest‘s rooftop deck. Take a needed break at the ping-pong table or clear your head on a rental bike ride. There are several resource groups to support specific groups of employees like W.E.L.L. (Women Excelling in Leadership & Living).
Adweek ordained this peddler of luxury, vintage-inspired timepieces, leather goods, bicycles, journals, headphones, and jewelry “the coolest brand in America” just four years after its founding by Tom Kartsotis in 2011. More important than its street cred with hipsters or the argument that its marketing department is creating a faux authenticity as a heritage brand though was Kartsotis’ decision to headquarter the company in Detroit, a city that had fallen on hard times and eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2013. He set up the 30,000-square-foot watch factory inside the historic Argonaut, once the home of General Motors; research lab. Then, came the leather factory, the bicycle assembly plant, and retail stores (now in more than ten cities), which created hundreds of jobs. They committed to partnering with U.S.-based manufacturers for components when they could like a tannery in Chicago and bike frames and forks from Wisconsin. They are continuing the Motor City revitalization by opening a 129-room boutique hotel this winter in two restored buildings. Employees told Inc. that Kartsotis or other executives like president Shannon Washburn or CEO Tom Lewand often join them for lunch or engage in conversations and that they were able to move upwardly. Watch factory positions make between $11.50 and $14 an hour, above Michigan’s $9.25 minimum wage, plus benefits like comprehensive medical, dental, and vision, a flexible spending account, life insurance, and even tobacco cessation coaching. Find out 17 signs that you have a great boss.
Like many other tech companies, the Seattle-based real estate and home-related web and mobile brand gets high marks with those they employ. In fact, according to Great Place To Work, 94 percent of employees rate their workplace as great and 96 percent are proud to tell people where they work. We’re willing to bet that a good percentage of those thumb’s ups have to do with the multitude of benefits they offer under the leadership of CEO Spencer Rascoff, a Harvard grad and recipient of Ernst and Young’s National Entrepreneur of the Year Award, including stock options, infertility services coverage, adoption assistance, Baby Bucks (a $1,000 Amazon gift cards for new parents), and the group speaker series. Some policies are adjusted depending on where one lives or when the need arises. For example, the monthly public transit stipend covers buses and trains as well as ferries in Seattle and bike sharing in Cincinnati and New York. And after TSA hassled a Zillower traveling on work for carrying breast milk, Zillow started paying for free overnight shipping of the liquid gold from anywhere in the country while moms were on work trips. They also offer their signature Recharge & Reboot program to employees who have clocked six consecutive years at the company. It allows them to take six weeks off with benefits. Next, find out 50 secrets your boss won’t tell you but you need to know.