Did your employer make the list of best US companies to work for?

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Companies have a vested interest in keeping their employees happy. Studies show that employee satisfaction is linked to performance, which permeates through every aspect of a business and can mean the difference between success and failure. While employee satisfaction should be the cornerstone of every serious company’s business model, only a handful of businesses excel at maintaining high employee morale.

Based on employee reviews posted on Glassdoor, an online platform for former and current employees to review companies, 24/7 Wall Street identified the best American companies to work for. Out of a universe of hundreds, only 18 large companies received a score of more than 4 out of 5 stars.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall Street, Sarah Stoddard, community expert with Glassdoor, listed the factors that have the greatest impact on employee satisfaction. “Glassdoor research has found the top three indicators of employee satisfaction are career opportunities, trust in senior leadership, as well as culture and values,” Stoddard said.

In keeping with those findings, employee testimony suggests most companies on this list offer growth and development opportunities, have trusted and respected chief executives, and cultures described as fun, motivating, and supportive.

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Half of the companies on this list are technology and software firms based on the West Coast. The remaining companies include staffing agencies, management consulting firms, and grocery stores.

This is not a Glassdoor-commissioned report.

18. Trader Joe’s

• Glassdoor rating: 4.1/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 84 percent
• Employees: N/A
• Industry: Grocery stores
• Headquarters: Monrovia, California

Founded in the 1950s as a convenience store chain known as Pronto Markets, Trader Joe’s adopted the now familiar moniker in 1967 and became the grocery store chain we know today. With a current employee review score on Glassdoor of 4.1 out of 5, the company is one of just two grocery stores to rank among the best American companies to work for.

A company’s culture and values can have a major impact on employee satisfaction, and positive Trader Joe’s employee reviews regularly tout a fun work environment and eclectic crew members. The degree to which the Hawaiian shirt employee uniforms boosts morale is uncertain.

17. Keller Williams

• Glassdoor rating: 4.1/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 80 percent
• Employees: 186,000
• Industry: Real estate
• Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Keller Williams, the largest real estate franchise in the world by agent count, is the only company in the real estate industry to rank among the best companies to work for. According to Glassdoor research, two of the most important factors in employee satisfaction is trust in senior leadership and career opportunities. At Keller Williams, a self-described culture of education and professional development and a CEO with a 90 percent approval rating may help explain why employee satisfaction is among the highest of any major American company. The company has a 4.1 out of 5 employee satisfaction score based on 2,300 reviews, and 80 percent of Keller Williams agents and staff would recommend a job at the company to a friend.

16. H-E-B nbsp; nbsp; bull; Glassdoor rating: 4.1/5 nbsp; nbsp; bull; Employees who would recommend working at company: 86% nbsp; nbsp; bull; Employees: 110,000 nbsp; nbsp; bull; Industry: Grocery stores nbsp; nbsp; bull; Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas nbsp; nbsp; Family owned and operated since its founding in 1905, H-E-B is older than most companies on this list. The San Antonio-based grocer’s more than 110,000 employees work across 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, and they appear to have a generally high opinion of the company. Based on nearly 3,000 reviews, H-E-B has a 4.1 out of 5 rating on Glassdoor. Additionally, 86% of H-E-B employees would recommend a job with the company to a friend, and CEO Charles Butt has a near-perfect 97% approval rating. nbsp; nbsp; High employee morale is likely due in part to programs like the company’s Partner Stock Plan, which granted eligibility to some 55,000 employees to own company stock.

16. H-E-B

• Glassdoor rating: 4.1/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 86 percent
• Employees: 110,000
• Industry: Grocery stores
• Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas

Family owned and operated since its founding in 1905, H-E-B is older than most companies on this list. The San Antonio-based grocer’s more than 110,000 employees work across 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, and they appear to have a generally high opinion of the company. Based on nearly 3,000 reviews, H-E-B has a 4.1 out of 5 rating on Glassdoor. Additionally, 86 percent of H-E-B employees would recommend a job with the company to a friend, and CEO Charles Butt has a near-perfect 97 percent approval rating.

High employee morale is likely due in part to programs like the company’s Partner Stock Plan, which granted eligibility to some 55,000 employees to own company stock.

15. Insight Global

• Glassdoor rating: 4.1/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 79 percent
• Employees: N/A
• Industry:Staffing
• Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Based on the feedback of over 6,000 current and former employees, Insight Global is one of the best companies to work for in the country. Through 48 offices in North America, Insight Global helps its clients — many of which are large Fortune 1000 companies — with staffing, filling about 33,000 positions a year. The company specializes in filling IT, accounting, and engineering positions.

Insight Global CEO Bert Bean, who began working with the company as a recruiter in 2005, enjoys an 89 percent employee approval rating. Bean partially attributes the high morale among workers to the company’s policy of promoting from within. Employee reviews on Glassdoor regularly praise the company’s work hard, play hard culture.

14. Microsoft

• Glassdoor rating: 4.1/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 86 percent
• Employees: 131,000
• Industry: Software
• Headquarters: Redmond, Washington

Half of the best companies to work for are West Coast tech or software companies. None of them are as massive or well-established as Microsoft. Founded by Bill Gates in 1975, the company racked up over $110 billion in sales in fiscal 2018, largely from licensing of its software, which includes the ubiquitous Windows operating system and Office suite.

Microsoft’s 131,000 employees, the majority of whom are in the United States, give their employer high marks. The company has a score of 4.1 out of 5, based on 20,000 reviews on Glassdoor. Reviews regularly tout the company’s benefits, work-life balance, and compensation. CEO Satya Nadella is among the most admired in business, with a 96 percent approval rating.

13. Delta Air Lines

• Glassdoor rating: 4.2/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 85 percent
• Employees: 87,000
• Industry: Airline
• Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Delta is the only airline to rank among the best companies to work for. Positive employee reviews cite the company’s benefits most frequently — and with good reason. Employee family members are eligible for reduced fare, and if willing to wait in standby, travel anywhere in the world is free. Delta also offers a 401k match program and profit sharing program that has distributed over $1 billion to employees in each of the last four years.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian, who took the helm in 2016, has said he intends to make employee satisfaction a top priority. Currently, Bastian enjoys an 88 percent employee approval rating on Glassdoor.

12. Vector Marketing

• Glassdoor rating: 4.2/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 86 percent
• Employees: N/A
• Industry: Sales
• Headquarters: Olean, New York

Vector Marketing is the sales division of Cutco Cutlery, the largest manufacturer of kitchen knives in North America. While Vector Marketing, which hires college students to sell knives, has been sued for unpaid training sessions and exploiting a loophole by classifying managers as contractors rather than employees, people who have worked for the company submitting reviews on Glassdoor appear to have mostly positive things to say.

The company markets itself as a fun place to work, which likely appeals to college students, its target recruits. Positive reviews regularly cite how income from the job helps pay for tuition. There are many negative reviews, however, that call the company’s business model a pyramid scheme, a criticism Vector Marketing rejects on its website.

11. Adobe

• Glassdoor rating: 4.2/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 85 percent
• Employees: 17,973
• Industry: Software
• Headquarters: San Jose, California

Silicon Valley tech company Adobe is the name behind some of the most popular professional software, including Photoshop, Acrobat, InDesign, and Flash. With an employee satisfaction score of 4.2 out of 5 based on 3,400 reviews, it is also one of the best companies to work for. Employee reviews regularly mention the company’s work-life balance and generous benefits, which include 26 weeks paid maternity leave, 16 weeks paid paternity leave, and four weeks paid family leave. Employees of with five years tenure also eligible for a four-week sabbatical, and those who have stayed for 10 years get five weeks.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen also gets high marks from company employees, with a near-perfect 96 percent approval rating on Glassdoor.

10. Intuit

• Glassdoor rating: 4.2/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 85 percent
• Employees: 8,900
• Industry: Software
• Headquarters: Mountain View, California

Intuit is the California-based software company behind the popular finance management programs TurboTax, Mint, and QuickBooks. Intuit employees who review the company on Glassdoor not only applaud the company for its work-life balance and generous compensation and benefits, but also its culture. Intuit encourages its employees to spend 10 percent of their working day pursuing a passion of theirs for professional development.

Confidence in the company’s senior leadership is also strong. Intuit CEO Brad Smith has a near-perfect 97 percent employee approval rating. Older than most tech companies on this list, Intuit was founded in 1983 and went public in 1993.

9. VMware

• Glassdoor rating: 4.2/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 85 percent
• Employees: 18,000
• Industry: Software
• Headquarters: Palo Alto, California

VMware’s business is developing technology that powers applications, services, and experiences worldwide. It is one of several Silicon Valley-based tech companies to rank among the best companies to work for. Based on 4,200 reviews, the company has a score of 4.2 out of 5 and 85 percent of employees would recommend a job at the company to a friend. Interesting work with cutting-edge technology is a common theme among positive reviews. With a 96 percent approval rating, CEO Pat Gelsinger has the confidence of his employees.

8. Uber

• Glassdoor rating: 4.2/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 83 percent
• Employees: 16,000
• Industry: Technology
• Headquarters: San Francisco, California

What started less than 10 years ago as an app that allows users to share a car ride with the push of a button is now one of the most valuable private companies in the world — and one of the best companies to work for. Drivers who work for the company can make their own schedule, which allows for flexibility and better work-life balance and helped the company earn a score of 4.2 out of 5 on Glassdoor.

After a series of scandals and bad press, which culminated in the resignation of co-founder Travis Kalanick from the top spot in June 2017, the new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, appears to be earning his keep. After a full year on the job, Khosrowshahi has a 94 percent approval rating and is focused on improving morale and Uber’s public image.

7. Manpower nbsp; nbsp; bull; Glassdoor rating: 4.3/5 nbsp; nbsp; bull; Employees who would recommend working at company: 90% nbsp; nbsp; bull; Employees: 29,000 nbsp; nbsp; bull; Industry: Staffing services nbsp; nbsp; bull; Headquarters: Milwaukee, Wisconsin nbsp; nbsp; Based on nearly 3,000 reviews, staffing firm Manpower has a score of 4.3 out of 5 on Glassdoor, and nine out of 10 employees would recommend a job at the company to a friend. The staffing company works to match and place people in different jobs, an endeavour many Manpower employees report finding rewarding. Positive reviews also often cite work-life balance and an appreciation of coworkers. nbsp; nbsp; While many other reviews mention good pay, average salaries at Manpower are less than those at the vast majority of other companies on this list. The average salaries for staffing specialists and programmer analyst, the two most common jobs reported on Glassdoor, are $36,700 and $59,900, respectively — a far cry from the six-figure salaries at many other companies on this list. nbsp; nbsp; ALSO READ: Least Fashionable Cities in America

7. Manpower

• Glassdoor rating: 4.3/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 90 percent
• Employees: 29,000
• Industry: Staffing services
• Headquarters: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Based on nearly 3,000 reviews, staffing firm Manpower has a score of 4.3 out of 5 on Glassdoor, and nine out of 10 employees would recommend a job at the company to a friend. The staffing company works to match and place people in different jobs, an endeavour many Manpower employees report finding rewarding. Positive reviews also often cite work-life balance and an appreciation of coworkers.

While many other reviews mention good pay, average salaries at Manpower are less than those at the vast majority of other companies on this list. The average salaries for staffing specialists and programmer analyst, the two most common jobs reported on Glassdoor, are $36,700 and $59,900, respectively — a far cry from the six-figure salaries at many other companies on this list.

6. McKinsey Company

• Glassdoor rating: 4.3/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 88 percent
• Employees: 27,000
• Industry: Consulting
• Headquarters: New York, New York

Manhattan-based McKinsey Company is one of two management consulting firms to rank among the best companies to work for. Positive reviews regularly cite the company’s culture, growth opportunities, and smart and talented coworkers. Compensation also likely helps employee morale as the most common jobs at the company come with six-figure salaries on average, according to reviews on Glassdoor.

Like many other companies on this list, McKinsey makes social consciousness a central part of its mission. Through service initiatives and pro bono consulting, the company has supported more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations, including local charities and academic organizations in the last two years.

5. Salesforce

• Glassdoor rating: 4.3/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 88 percent
• Employees: 29,000
• Industry: Software
• Headquarters: San Francisco, California

California-based technology companies like Salesforce are no strangers to this list. As with many other best companies to work for, Salesforce employees reviewing the company commonly report six-figure salaries and would likely recommend a job at the company to a friend. Salesforce is unique in at least one notable way — its 1-1-1 philanthropy model, which dedicates 1 percent of the company’s equity, 1 percent of its product, and 1 percent of its employees’ time to give back to communities in need around the world. Hundreds of positive reviews mention the 1-1-1 model and the company culture.

Salesforce was founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, its current chief executive. Benioff has a near-perfect 97 percent employee approval rating on Glassdoor.

4. LinkedIn

• Glassdoor rating: 4.4/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 88 percent
• Employees: 11,800
• Industry: Social media
• Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California

LinkedIn is an online networking platform designed to connect professionals and job seekers. The company, founded in 2003 and acquired by Microsoft — another company on this list — in 2016, now boasts over 562 million users — and some of the most satisfied employees in the country. Like other Silicon Valley-based tech companies, LinkedIn employees cite the company’s culture and benefits in positive reviews. Benefits include free food, onsite fitness centers, dry cleaning, oil changes, a 401k match, and 17 paid holidays, including a full week off for July 4th.

High salaries also are the norm at LinkedIn, with average compensation for many common positions topping six-figures.

3. Google

• Glassdoor rating: 4.4/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 89 percent
• Employees: 80,110 (parent company)
• Industry: Software
• Headquarters: Mountain View, California

Over the two decades since its founding, Google developed into the preeminent internet search engine, one of the most heavily trafficked websites in the world, and one of several Silicon Valley-based tech firms to rank among the best American companies to work for. Google employees reviewing the company appreciate the company’s benefits and perks, which include free food and coffee made by baristas in every building. Other benefits include onsite gyms, free workout classes, and shuttles for free and easy commuting.

Employees also appear confident in the company’s leadership. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has a near-perfect 95 percent approval rating on Glassdoor.

2. Facebook

• Glassdoor rating: 4.5/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 91 percent
• Employees: 25,105
• Industry: Social media
• Headquarters: Menlo Park, California

One of the most recognizable brands in the world, Facebook is also one of the best places to work. With a Glassdoor score of 4.5 out of 5, the social media platform beats all other major tech companies in Silicon Valley in employee satisfaction. Facebook employees are in the unique position of touching many lives around the world as the social media site has over 2.1 billion monthly users — equivalent to over a quarter of the global population. Like many other tech companies in Silicon Valley, Facebook employees have access to free meals at work, and employees applaud the corporate culture and appreciate their coworkers.

The company is headed by Mark Zuckerberg, who co-founded the company in a Harvard dorm-room in 2004. A trusted leader, Zuckerberg has a near-perfect 96 percent employee approval rating.

1. Bain amp; Company nbsp; nbsp; bull; Glassdoor rating: 4.7/5 nbsp; nbsp; bull; Employees who would recommend working at company: 95% nbsp; nbsp; bull; Employees: 8,000 nbsp; nbsp; bull; Industry: Consulting nbsp; nbsp; bull; Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts nbsp; nbsp; With a 4.7 out of 5 score on Glassdoor, Bain Company, one of the world’s preeminent consulting firms, is the best American company to work for. Positive reviews often mention the company’s impact on global business, management’s prioritization of work-life balance, and the ample opportunities for learning and professional development. High salaries also likely help morale, as Bain consultants typically report six-figure salaries. nbsp; nbsp; Nearly every current or former Bain employee — 95% — who has reviewed the company on Glassdoor said they would recommend a job at the company to a friend, and though Bain CEO Manny Maceda has been at the helm for less than a year, he currently has a 99% approval rating. nbsp; nbsp; ALSO READ: The Most Commonly Spoken Foreign Language in Each State

1. Bain Company

• Glassdoor rating: 4.7/5
• Employees who would recommend working at company: 95 percent
• Employees: 8,000
• Industry: Consulting
• Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts

With a 4.7 out of 5 score on Glassdoor, Bain Company, one of the world’s preeminent consulting firms, is the best American company to work for. Positive reviews often mention the company’s impact on global business, management’s prioritization of work-life balance, and the ample opportunities for learning and professional development. High salaries also likely help morale, as Bain consultants typically report six-figure salaries.

Nearly every current or former Bain employee — 95 percent — who has reviewed the company on Glassdoor said they would recommend a job at the company to a friend, and though Bain CEO Manny Maceda has been at the helm for less than a year, he currently has a 99 percent approval rating.

Detailed findings

While Glassdoor identified career opportunities, trust in senior leadership, and company culture as the factors most closely tied to employee satisfaction, job seekers often put greater emphasis on other factors when looking for work.

“When job seekers are looking for their next opportunity, salary is the number one factor they consider,” Stoddard said.

Indeed, a paycheck is the reason most of us go to work in the first place — and many companies on this list likely attract flocks of applicants by offering generous compensation packages. Average salaries for many common positions at Silicon Valley tech companies like Adobe, Facebook, and Google are in the six-figure range. The same can be said for management consulting firms like McKinsey and Bain.

While Google, Facebook, and the other tech companies on this list offer well-paying jobs, salary alone does not explain high employee satisfaction. “Tech employees and tech employers are excited about the opportunity to work on products that have the potential to make an impact on thousands, if not millions, of people’s lives,” Stoddard said.

Meanwhile, the high employee satisfaction at staffing and consulting firms also often stems from the rewarding nature of the work, though in slightly different ways. “[Consultants] have the opportunity to work with other companies to solve really big complicated problems […] and really help a company grow,” Stoddard explained.

At staffing agencies like Insight Global and Manpower, workers often derive satisfaction by helping others succeed. “Somebody working for a staffing company has the opportunity to help other people find jobs that they’re passionate about and so there’s this inherent interest from employees to really help other people find opportunities that will fit their lives,” Stoddard said.

Trust in senior leadership also appears to be a precondition for high employee satisfaction. In every company on this list, CEOs have approval ratings of at least 87 percent. For several companies on this list, CEOs have near perfect ratings of 95 percent or higher.

Methodology

To determine America’s best companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. independently reviewed employee ratings and testimonials on Glassdoor retrieved on Sept. 8, 2018 – this is not a Glassdoor.com commissioned report. Employee satisfaction is measured by Glassdoor on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is very dissatisfied and 5 is very satisfied. Only companies with scores of 4.1 or higher made our list. In cases where two companies had the same score, the one with more reviews ranked better on our list. Glassdoor ratings are based on current and former employee reviews and calculated using a proprietary algorithm that favors more recent reviews.

To be considered, a company had to have a minimum of 2,000 reviews on Glassdoor and be currently operating and headquartered in the United States. Government agencies, as well as nonprofit companies, were excluded from our analysis. Employee totals and revenue figures are for the most recent fiscal year available, and employee counts are sometimes listed as rounded figures when provided as such by companies or in official documents. Sources include company documents and Securities and Exchange Commission filings. In the case of subsidiaries for which profit or employment was not broken down, we used parent company figures and noted them as such. Employment information for private companies was often unavailable.

24/7 Wall Street is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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