Corrections or additions?

This article was prepared for the January 30, 2002 edition of U.S.

1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Progress for Employees: Best Places to Work

Every year Fortune magazine compiles a list of the 100

Best Companies to Work For, based on a survey of randomly selected

employees and Fortune’s own evaluation of a "culture audit."

This year only one of central New Jersey’s high profile corporations

made the cut — Johnson & Johnson at number 98. But more than a

dozen of the Best 100 Companies to Work For have offices or outlets

in our backyard. For job hunters, or job hoppers, here’s the Fortune

scorecard:

Edward Jones. Cultivating a reputation as a stockbroker

with small town values, the company avoided lay-offs last year, and

also paid year-end bonuses a week early.

Johnson & Johnson. The health care company, based in

New Brunswick, mandates fair treatment of its employees, provides

gyms, and day care facilities, and starts factory workers at $32,379

a year.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.The Wall Street firm, with a

division on Mount Lucas Road, gave $10 million to relief efforts

and provided counseling to its own employees after September 11.

Charles Schwab Corporation. The discount broker won

praise for handling lay-offs with empathy, and sincerity and generous

severance packages.

A.G. Edwards.In December, the brokerage announced its

first-ever lay-offs, but, again, good communication kept it in its

employees good graces. Robert Bagby, the company’s CEO, fields

employee

questions during monthly internal radio broadcasts.

Deloitte & Touche. Growing at 8 percent a year, this

professional services firm sets aside one day a month to hand out

accolades to employees.

Ernst & Young.This Big Five accounting firm was judged

a "friendly place to work" by 88 percent of those surveyed.

One quarter of the new partner class last year was female.

Third Federal S&L. Born during the Depression, this

S&L, with several branches in our area, has never had a lay-off.

During

crunch times, the company brings in volunteers from slower branches

to avoid hiring (and then laying off) new employees.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The discount retailer is by far

the biggest company chosen, but employees praised its homey feel.

The Men’s Warehouse. Upper management is paid

significantly

less than counterparts at other retailers so that store employees

can be paid more. George Zimmer, the company’s CEO, tries to meet

all employees at least once a year.

Lenscrafters. Starting salaries are relatively low here

— $16,500 for an entry-level lab technician, yet the eye glass

retailer won a spot on the list because employees like its culture

of community service. They are encouraged to drive vans (with names

like Seemore) into poor neighborhoods to deliver free eye exams and

new glasses to children.

Starbucks. The coffee chain provides medical, dental,

and vision coverage to all workers, including part-timers.

Wegmans Food Markets. When 315 jobs at this supermarket

chain were phased out recently, displaced workers were offered the

option of another job without any cut in pay, or leaving with

severance

ranging up to one year’s pay.

Marriott International Inc. After September 11 this

hotel chain enhanced early-retirement packages and cut manager pay

to minimize lay-offs. Employees, 5,500 of them, contributed $3.25

million in paid leave to help out-of-work colleagues in New York.

FedEx Corporation. Most part-timers receive the same

benefits as full-time workers, including nearly 100 percent premium

coverage for health care. Entry-level couriers earn $34,014 a year.

Corrections or additions?


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