Happy employees Their company must have some awesome perks.
Credit: Colourbox

Fortune magazine released its list of the 100 best companies to work for this week, and while some probably won't surprise you (Google, Goldman Sachs and Accenture all made the list), there are some commonalities that surface when looking at the full roster.

To compile the list, the magazine's editors partnered with the Great Place to Work Institute to distribute surveys to employees at as many corporate companies as they could, using 257 firms. The questions pertained to employees' job satisfaction, company credibility and managerial approval.

 

One trait shared by the top companies is offering creative perks. Employees love bragging about things their company offers that their friends' companies probably don't, such as encouraging volunteer work through company organized trips (Google), an onsite health center (SAS) or special rewards for employees who put forth extra effort (top sellers at Salesforce.com received a two-week trip to Bhutan.)

If you think your company can't afford to offer cool perks, you're wrong; it just takes a little creativity. Public recognition at annual company meetings praising people who go above or beyond, company parties during big TV events like games or award shows, or surprising an employee once a month with a free car wash are just a few low-cost ways to boost morale.

Something else the top 100 companies to work for have in common is providing ways for employees to do what they're really passionate about. Whether it's through onsite yoga classes, carved out time for volunteering or company sports teams, taking employees' interests into account goes a long way.

Employees also value companies where they see people moving up the ladder. When someone is promoted internally as opposed to bringing an outsider in for a top position, it shows everyone that hard work is noticed, and pays off.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

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