2012 100 Best Companies best practices

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Articles - March 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012

BY JON BELL

0312_100BestFeature_01
At Pacific Continenetal Bank in Eugene, Mike Albin and Kloud Nickels find all work and no play is just not the way to keep the IT department humming.
// Photo by Matthew D'Annunzio

For 19 years, Oregon Business has been surveying employers statewide to find out just what it takes to be a great place to work. While it’s always a mix of factors that make some companies more attractive to employees than others, the tendency is often to highlight the more singular, tangible benefits such as massages and paid sabbaticals, lavish soirées and bring-your-pet-to-work days.

While we found plenty of those this year — worm composting bins and company Snuggies to name a few — what stands out even more this time around are benefits that aren’t as easy to define: the uniting influence of a mission, employee independence, executives playing on the same company volleyball team as day laborers.

Here’s a look at some of this year’s best companies to work for — and the mix of benefits that makes them so.

 



 

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Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

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This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

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