Computerworld, a weekly news publication, has announced its sixth annual "Best Places to Work in Information Systems" list. Selectron, 3Com and Xerox topped the charts in the information technology category, while non-IT leaders included CSX, Sears and Corning. Insurance and
related firms took fourth, fifth and seventh place in the non-IT list. They are, respectively, The Principal Financial Group, Iowa; Cincinnati Financial Corp., Ohio; and The Progressive Corp., Ohio.
Nearly all of the "100 Best Places" have had great success retaining employees. On average, the top 25 computer-related companies and consulting firms had an attrition rate of 11% last year,
while the top 75 in non-technology-related industries lost a mere 7.5%. Even more impressive, 23 companies reported a turnover rate of 4% or less.
This year's "Best Places" leaders build positive work environments that provide stimulating career challenges and encourage grassroots innovation. Organizations that are considering work and home life balance issues and employee cultural backgrounds are paving the way. Competitive salaries and humanistic benefits such as day/elder care still need to be compelling, but advanced training programs and flexible work schedules are vital to building and retaining top-notch information systems staffs. This year's "100 Best Places" spent an average of $4,500 on training for each high-tech employee.
"Finding, attracting and retaining the best technical talent is currently number one on corporate agendas, particularly for the growing number of organizations whose livelihoods are based on
information technology," says Alan Alper, editor, Computerworld Magazines Group. "The 'Best Places to Work' list is an excellent source for business managers to learn more about how employees rate their job satisfaction."
Computerworld's Best Places to Work staff asked more than 1,000 CIOs, vice presidents and hiring executives at Fortune 1000 and major high-tech consulting firms to complete an extensive questionnaire related to employee benefits, staff changes, diversity and training. Computerworld also asked each respondent for employee rank and file information to discuss employment conditions with IS staff. Responses were rated on a 10-point scale to determine an overall score.