W.L. Gore, L.L.Bean and REI Make Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For List

W.L. Gore, L.L.Bean and REI Make Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For List

L.L.Bean edged out rival Recreational Equipment Inc. on Forbes magazine’s 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For list. W.L. Gore & Associates ranked 17th, while two other retailers, an investment bank and law firm with ties to the industry made the list.

Robert W. Baird, an investment firm based in Milwaukee, WI landed 5th on the list, while the Seattle-based law firm of Perkins Coie was ranked 46th.

Las Vegas-based Zappos.com and Seattle-based Nordstrom, which sell significant amounts of athletic and outdoor apparel and footwear, were ranked 86th and 93rd respectively.

REI is one of five companies listed annually since the recognition began in 1998, and one of three companies headquartered in Washington state to make the list. The retailer used the news to tout “Yay Day,” an employee benefit it added last year that entitles every employee to take two extra paid days off annually so they can be outside to enjoy favorite activity or help care for a natural space.

Fortune partners annually with Great Place to Work to compile the list based on responses to what they claim is the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. Two-thirds of a company’s survey score is based on the results of the Trust Index Employee Survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company.

The survey asks questions related to employees’ attitudes about management’s credibility, overall job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third is based on responses to the Culture Audit, which includes detailed questionnaires about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs and diversity efforts.

According to Great Place to Work, organizations named to the 100 Best list benefit from strong  financial performance, less employee turnover, higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, more innovative and creative thinking, higher productivity and enhanced public perception.