Work Matters at FORTUNE'S Top Employers

January 9, 2006 ( - Domagoj Vucic didn't come to Genentech for the rich stock options or the free cappuccino or the made-to-order sushi or the parties every Friday night.

It’s doing work that really matters, and that helps make Genentech the Best Company to Work For in 2006, according to the latest FORTUNE ranking of the best employers, according to input from their employees.

According to FORTUNE , the biotech firm’s secret is its culture. For example, Genentech employees don’t get assignments, they get “appointments, while workers traverse the grounds by shuttle bus and bicycles provided by the company. Every Friday night there’s at least one “ho-ho” – Genentechese for kegger.

Generally, among all the listed firms, FORTUNE said that common denominators include:

  • Fourteen companies on this year’s list pay 100% of their employees’ health-care premiums.
  • Almost one-third of the Best Companies (33) offer an offsite child-care center.
  • Some of the awards went to top 10 Best Companies where employees feel “encouraged to balance their work and personal life.”
  • Many off the 79 Best Companies allow employees to telecommute or work at home at least 20% of the time.
  • Twenty-five companies on this year’s list offer fully paid sabbaticals.

In addition to Genentech in the top spot, the remainder of the top 10 positions, in order, went to:

  • Wegmans Food Markets
  • Valero Energy
  • Griffin Hospital
  • W.L. Gore & Associates
  • Container Store
  • Vision Service Plan
  • J.M. Smucker
  • Recreational Equipment (REI)

The remainder of the list and other breakdowns of top employers by geography and by pay levels are here .