When it comes to beauty pageants, we’ve always been partial to the Miss Congeniality award because we think substance should trump beauty any day. That’s why we like Fortune’s annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For 2009. We firmly believe that when you take care of the people, everything else will fall in place, assuming a good business product or service in the first place.
You can view the full list and learn more about each company and why it was chosen by clicking on the company name or sort by geography or by pay for both salaried and hourly employees. We particularly enjoyed the option to sort by best perks and the perkfinder, which offers a bird’s eye view of the prevalence of certain progressive benefits among this roster of high-performing companies. There’s also an honor roll of 9 companies that have never had a layoff.
Any company that is at least seven years old with more than 1,000 U.S. employees is eligible. Of the process, they state: “Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the survey, which is sent to a minimum of 400 randomly selected employees. The remaining third is based on our Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about demographics, pay, and benefits, and open-ended questions on philosophy, communication, etc.” If you think your company can make the grade, submit a nomination at Great Place to Work.
But just to keep things in perspective about life at the opposite end of the spectrum, you might also want to review Fortune’s list of the 21 Dumbest Moments in Business 2008. We wonder how they managed to narrow things down to 21.

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