The Best Places to Work For Everyone

Best places to work is something that Robin Hardman knows about as she helps companies to complete their applications for the annual Working Mother 100 Best Companies application.  In her recent blog, What Makes a Company One of the “Best,” she compares companies on the most recent  (2016) “100 Best Companies” list and all companies nationwide, based on a 2016 report by the Society for Human Resources Management.  Below are her findings, as summarized in her blog.

Parental Leave

  • Note that in order even to be eligible to apply for the Working Mother list, companies must meet a minimum policy threshold, including offering at least one week fully-paid maternity leave. This compares to just 26% of companies nationwide offering either partially or fully-paid maternity leave. While there is no similar baseline requirement for other forms of family leave, 96% of listed companies offer paid paternity leave, compared to 21% nationwide; and 97% offer paid adoption leave, compared to 20% nationwide.
  • The amount of paid leave time winning companies offer has risen steadily over the years, with the current average for maternity leave being 9 weeks at full pay and 6 weeks at partial pay. (The Working Mother 100 Best list is not ranked, but it does designate a “Top Ten,” and among these companies the average length of fully-paid leave is 11 weeks.) I don’t have comparative numbers at hand for this, but these leave times are certainly well-above average.


  • The second minimal requirement for applying to the list is offering some form of flex work, so, not surprisingly, 100% of Working Mother companies offer flextime and telecommuting, compared to just 54% and 60%, respectively, of all U.S. companies.
  • In addition, 91% offer compressed work weeks, while 82% offer job sharing, vs. 29% and 10% of companies nationwide.


Other than paid maternity leave and flexibility, there are no other minimum policy requirements for applying to the list; nonetheless:

  • 93% of Working Mother 100 Best companies reimburse employees for some of the costs associated with adoption—as opposed to just 9% of companies nationwide.
  • 93% also offer dependent care resource and referral services, to help employees find and make educated choices about care for children and other dependents—compared to a surprisingly meager 16% nationwide. (In truth, I thought resource and referral was almost standard these days—apparently not! And its already-limited prevalence may be decreasing—the nationwide percentage of companies that offer it is down a point from last year.)
  • Whereas 88% of 100 Best companies offer a back-up dependent care program, this incredibly valuable service is available at only 3% of companies nationwide.

Programs that promote career advancement, especially for women

  • 95% of 100 Best companies offer mentoring programs, vs. 21% nationwide.
  • 91% provide employees with career counseling, vs. 16% nationwide.


  • 83% of companies on the list have at least one on-site fitness center, and 55% have an on-site medical clinic, as opposed to 26% and 10%, respectively.
  • 99% offer stress-reduction programs; on-site flu vaccinations are available at 96%. Nationwide, only 6% of U.S. companies offer any kind of stress-reduction, and just more than half—54%—offer flu vaccines.


Companies on the 100 Best list tend to offer all kinds of other services to help alleviate the stress of work-life conflicts. For example:

  • 59% provide dry-cleaning pick-up and delivery, and 42% provide take-out meals for busy employees—only 8 and 3% of all companies nationwide offer these on-site services.
  • A full 93% offer legal assistance services (vs. 25% of all companies). A quarter even offer personal tax services (vs. 2% of all companies) and employees at 22% of recognized companies can avail themselves of an on-site haircut (vs. at 1% of companies nationwide).
Another trait of these “best” companies is the number of women in leadership positions.  At Consultants 2 Go (C2G), we use this list as a guide to grow our company towards offering the amenities that will allow us to make this list.  C2G was founded by women, is managed by women and approximately 80% of the employees are women.  It was built on a flexible work arrangement model that has become the top reason that amazing talent comes to work for us.  We are moving towards increasing paid time off for all employees and now gladly offers, and subsidizes, health insurance for all employees.  “Best Places to Work” list, here we come!
Excerpted and summarized from SHRM.  Robin Hardman has been writing “best employer” award submissions, benefits and HR communications for more than a dozen years.  She can be reached at robin@robinhardman.com718-628-4753.