The 50 Best Big Companies to Work for in 2015

Which companies get the most raves from their employees? Glassdoor released its annual Employee's Choice Awards survey results today, based on worker reviews of U.S. companies with more than 1,000 employees. Those reviewers rank their employers on pay, perks, and promotion opportunities as well as on the overall company culture, their take on management's skills, and whether or not they'd steer job-seeking friends toward the company -- meaning the list is a handy guide for job seekers who want to focus on the best of the big enterprises.

Tech, consulting, and beyondSome of this year's winners are no surprise. First-place winner Google has made the list for each of the survey's seven years, as have Bain & Company, Chevron, Qualcomm, and Apple. A baker's dozen companies are first-timers on the list of the 50 Best Places to Work, most notably technology company F5, which debuted at No. 2. Like Glassdoor's companion list of the Best 50 Small and Medium Companies to Work for in 2015, this list includes plenty of tech and consulting enterprises. But the big-companies list features more variety in its industries, such as:

  • grocery chains HEB and Wegman's
  • consumer goods companies Nestle Purina Pet Care, P&G, Nike, and Bose
  • the In-n-Out Burger chain
  • health care enterprises Mayo Clinic, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • entertainment companies NBCUniversal, ESPN, and Disney Parks

Construction, aircraft engine manufacturing, automaking, and pharmaceutical production are all represented as well.

Company culture is keyNo matter what industry they work in, employees of these top-rated companies rate their employers highly on company culture, which generally translates to smart and motivated people doing meaningful work in a pleasant atmosphere. "The company attracts some of the best talent and best people to work with in the world, which is the most important bit," wrote one Google program manager, while a developer advocate liked reaching "lots and lots of users."

One of Bain & Company's consultants described a workplace "mix of intelligence but also humility that you don't find at the other top consulting firms." A product design engineer at Apple described the company as "a sea of knowledge" with a dedicated group of employees.

These responses, all from workers at companies who've made the Top 50 list every year, show that a strong culture is a force multiplier. "When employers have a solid and unique company culture, it only leads to benefits across the board. It helps them recruit and retain talent, and it helps them keep employees engaged, motivated and on-track," said Robert Hohman, Glassdoor CEO & co-founder.

Some companies use the annual awards and the associated review data to make adjustments and boost their recruiting efforts. "The positive and constructive feedback we receive from the survey allows us to continually deliver the best possible experience for employees and prospective candidates," said Jeff Vijungco, VP of global talent at Adobe.

Twitter's growing painsLinkedIn dropped from No. 3 to No.23 this year, and Facebook's review rating fell from No.5 last year to No.13, but those are small changes compared to Twitter, which ranked 2ndon the 2014 list and doesn't appear among the Top 50 at all for 2015.

Glassdoor said the company's rating during this year's survey period dropped from 4.6 to 3.6. That's still a strong rating. (Disney, at No. 50 this year, earned a 3.8.) But Twitter employee reviews described concerns about the company's senior leadership as the COO and some VPs left while a new CFO came onboard. Other reviewers mentioned engineering and product team reorganizations, and the exodus of some longtime Twitter staffers in the months following the company's IPO.

Twitter still rates highly among reviewers on social impact, smart co-workers, and free food at the office, but as one Twitter worker wrote, "side effects of a growing company are tough."

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Casey Kelly-Barton has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Adobe Systems, Apple, Chevron, Facebook, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), LinkedIn, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Twitter, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, F5 Networks, Facebook, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), LinkedIn, Nike, Qualcomm, Twitter, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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