What Really Makes The Best Company to Work For

Fortune Magazine has recently released its annual rankings of the best companies to work for. The practice is similar to the US News and World Report rankings of universities. It is good to be at the top but that doesn’t mean the top is the only place to be.

So why do these rankings? There is really only one reason – the rankings sell magazines. But for the sake of argument I’ll explore of the other reasons.
The optimist would say that the best companies get the best employees who in turn continue to provide a competitive advantage to the company. A pessimist might think of all the waste to have these programs. I guess I lean more toward the optimist. I look at it like a celebration. Google (#1 this year) employees know a secret that we don’t know. It plays on the emotion of envy (the grass is greener on the other side), except we are complicit in the envy. Its like a horror film, you like to be scared a little. Another angle to take is the psychologist view. Do the employees need external motivation to do a good job or are they intrinsically motivated? Do these perks offer long term commitment or are they short term delighters? Would a negative change to the company sponsored healthcare program offset all the other benefits associated with the company?

But I think they missed the overwhelming number one of this year and any other year – the best company to work for is your own.


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