2018 Workforce 100: Ranking the World’s Top Companies for HR

Salesforce.com, a constant honoree on this best-of-HR list for the past four years, finally nabbed the No. 1 spot in 2018’s Workforce 100 list.

This past year shed light on certain blind spots in some HR departments regarding harassment claims, 2018 has revealed that many companies continue to show true excellence in HR. Just as bad people practices sour employees on their employer, a great HR department can turn even the most difficult circumstance into an opportunity for a better workplace.

Now in its fifth year, the Workforce 100 recognizes companies that excelled in HR over the course of the previous year. To determine which companies make the list, Workforce editors work with researchers from the Human Capital Media Research and Advisory Group, the publication’s research arm.

Learn more about the methodology.

The research team created a model to sift through publicly available data on HR performance to separate the best from the rest. To give employees more of a say in the rankings, we asked recruiting and job-review website Glassdoor to provide data on what workers are saying about the companies that made our list. From there, we combined that information with the public data available to create our 2018 Workforce 100 list.

[Please read: The Workforce 100 2017]

[Please read: The Workforce 100 2016]

Besides being No. 1 this year, Salesforce.com is also one of 22 companies to make the Workforce 100 all five years.

One trend this year was the inclusion of many companies in industries known for high turnover, like the retail, fast-food and hospitality industries. This was the first year for Chick-fil-A (No. 45), Ikea (No. 92), In-N-Out Burger (No. 22), REI (No. 73) and Trader Joe’s (No. 69). Meanwhile, Starbucks (No. 8) has risen into the top 10 this year after consistently improving in rank over the past half-decade.

Congratulations to all the companies that made 2018’s Workforce 100 list!

Click on any of the companies below to find more information on their industry, employee count, headquarter location, Workforce 100 performance index and who leads their HR function.

Ranked companies can download the Workforce 100 press kit here!

Salesforce.com Inc.

Industry: Software

Number of Employees: 30,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Cindy Robbins

Performance Index: 9.575

Headquarters: San Francisco

Delta Air Lines Inc.

Industry: Airline

Number of Employees: 80,000

Top Ranking HR Person: JoAnne Smith

Performance Index: 9.425

Headquarters: Atlanta

Bain & Co.

Industry: Management consulting

Number of Employees: 8,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Russ Hagey

Performance Index: 9.183

Headquarters: Boston

Ultimate Software

Industry: SaaS HCM software

Number of Employees: 4,000

Top Ranking HR Person:  Vivian Maza

Performance Index: 9.182

Headquarters: Weston, Florida

Facebook Inc.

Industry: Social media

Number of Employees: 25,105

Top Ranking HR Person:  Lori Goler

Performance Index: 9.06

Headquarters: Menlo Park, California


Industry: Consulting services

Number of Employees: 435,000

Top Ranking HR Person:  Ellyn Shook

Performance Index: 9.008

Headquarters: Chicago


Industry: Professional services

Number of Employees: 263,924

Top Ranking HR Person:  Michele Parmelee

Performance Index: 8.963

Headquarters: New York

Starbucks Corp.

Industry: Consumer products/ retail

Number of Employees: 330,000

Top Ranking HR Person:  Lucy Lee Helm

Performance Index: 8.936

Headquarters: Seattle


Industry: Technology

Number of Employees: 80,000

Top Ranking HR Person:  Eileen Naughton

Performance Index: 8.877

Headquarters: Mountain View, California


Industry: Software

Number of Employees: 18,000

Top Ranking HR Person:  Donna Morris

Performance Index: 8.783

Headquarters: San Jose, California

Southwest Airlines Co.

Industry: Airline

Number of Employees: 56,110

Top Ranking HR Person:  Julie Weber

Performance Index: 8.649

Headquarters: Dallas

Johnson & Johnson

Industry: Pharma, consumer products

Number of Employees: 124,744

Top Ranking HR Person:  Peter Fasolo

Performance Index: 8.510

Headquarters: New Brunswick, New Jersey


Industry: Telecommunications

Number of Employees: 51,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Elizabeth A. McAuliffe

Performance Index: 8.477

Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington

Kaiser Permanente

Industry: Insurance/ health care

Number of Employees: 208,975

Top Ranking HR Person:  Chuck Columbus

Performance Index: 8.444

Headquarters: Oakland, California

Capital One

Industry: Financial services

Number of Employees: 47,300

Top Ranking HR Person: Jory Berson

Performance Index: 8.416

Headquarters: McLean, Virginia

Amazon.com Inc.

Industry: E-commerce

Number of Employees: 541,900

Top Ranking HR Person: L.  Beth Galetti

Performance Index: 8.277

Headquarters: Seattle

Nike Inc.

Industry: Consumer products

Number of Employees: 74,400

Top Ranking HR Person:  Monique Matheson

Performance Index: 8.266

Headquarters: Beaverton, Oregon


Industry: Software

Number of Employees: 88,543

Top Ranking HR Person: Stefan Ries

Performance Index: 8.246

Headquarters: Walldorf, Germany

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Industry: Consulting Services

Number of Employees: 24,000

Top Ranking HR Person:  Betty Thompson

Performance Index: 8.244

Headquarters: McLean, Virginia

The Goldman Sachs Group

Industry: Financial services

Number of Employees: 36,600

Top Ranking HR Person:  Dane Holmes

Performance Index: 8.243

Headquarters: New York

Walt Disney Co., The

Industry: Mass media/ entertainment

Number of Employees: 199,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Jayne Parker

Performance Index: 8.194

Headquarters: Burbank, California

In-N-Out Burger

Industry: Restaurants

Number of Employees: 16,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Katherine Sauls

Performance Index: 8.157

Headquarters: Irvine, California

VMware Inc.

Industry: Computer software

Number of Employees: 21,557

Top Ranking HR Person: Betsy Sutter

Performance Index: 8.102

Headquarters: Palo Alto, California

Intuit Inc.

Industry: Enterprise software

Number of Employees: 8,200

Top Ranking HR Person: Sherry Whiteley

Performance Index: 8.09

Headquarters: Mountain View, California

McKinsey & Co.

Industry: Management consulting

Number of Employees: 27,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Michael Barriere

Performance Index: 8.029

Headquarters: New York

HEB Grocery Co.

Industry: Grocery Retail

Number of Employees: 96,270

Top Ranking HR Person:  Tina James

Performance Index: 7.974

Headquarters: San Antonio

Ryan LLC

Industry: Consulting, tax services

Number of Employees: 2,200

Top Ranking HR Person: Tony Bridwell

Performance Index: 7.863

Headquarters: Dallas

Microsoft Corp.

Industry: Computer software

Number of Employees: 126,079

Top Ranking HR Person:  Kathleen Hogan

Performance Index: 7.84

Headquarters: Redmond, Washington

Verizon Communications Inc.

Industry: Telecommunications

Number of Employees: 155,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Marc Reed

Performance Index: 7.827

Headquarters: Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Fast Enterprises

Industry: Software

Number of Employees: 1,016

Top Ranking HR Person: Lindsey Sittko

Performance Index: 7.776

Headquarters:Centennial, Colorado

Texas Health Resources

Industry: Health care

Number of Employees: 24,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Michelle Kirby

Performance Index: 7.718

Headquarters: Arlington, Texas

Apple Inc.

Industry: Technology

Number of Employees: 130,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Deirdre O’Brien

Performance Index: 7.696

Headquarters: Cupertino, California


Industry: Medical technologies

Number of Employees: 93,734

Top Ranking HR Person: Cristina A. Wilbur

Performance Index: 7.69

Headquarters: Basel, Switzerland

United Airlines Inc.

Industry: Airline

Number of Employees: 88,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Kate Gebo

Performance Index: 7.679


Cisco Systems Co.

Industry: Technology

Number of Employees: 73,711

Top Ranking HR Person:Francine Katsoudas

Performance Index: 7.678

Headquarters: San Jose, California

Mastercard Inc.

Industry: Financial services

Number of Employees: 11,900

Top Ranking HR Person: Michael Fraccaro

Performance Index: 7.677

Headquarters: San Jose, California


Industry: IT products and services

Number of Employees: 8,516

Top Ranking HR Person: Keith Sanders

Performance Index: 7.668

Headquarters: Vernon Hills, Illinois

Procter & Gamble Co.

Industry: Consumer products

Number of Employees: 95,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Mark Biegger
Performance Index: 7.667

Headquarters: Cincinnati

Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Industry: Lodging/hospitality

Number of Employees: 110,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Malaika Myers
Performance Index: 7.635

Headquarters: Chicago

QuikTrip Corp.

Industry: Retail

Number of Employees: 22,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Walter Smith

Performance Index: 7.629

Headquarters: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Costco Wholesale Corp.

Industry: Retail

Number of Employees: 230,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Pat Callans

Performance Index: 7.624

Headquarters: Issaquah, Washington

Monsanto Co.

Industry: Agribusiness

Number of Employees: 20,273

Top Ranking HR Person: Steven C. Mizell

Performance Index: 7.613

Headquarters: St. Louis

Power Home Remodeling

Industry: Exterior remodeling

Number of Employees: 2,400

Top Ranking HR Person: Deirdre E. Collins

Performance Index: 7.576

Headquarters: Chester, Pennsylvania


Industry: Insurance, banking, financial services

Number of Employees: 33,015

Top Ranking HR Person: Pat Teague

Performance Index: 7.574

Headquarters: San Antonio


Industry: Restaurants

Number of Employees: 16,000 (corporate offices)

Top Ranking HR Person: Bill Dunphy

Performance Index: 7.563

Headquarters: Atlanta

Paylocity Corp.

Industry: Payroll software

Number of Employees: 2,300

Top Ranking HR Person: Jay Schedler

Performance Index: 7.554

Headquarters: Arlington Heights, Illinois

Northrop Grumman Corp.

Industry: Security

Number of Employees: 70,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Denise Peppard

Performance Index: 7.524

Headquarters: Falls Church, Virginia

General Motors Co.

Industry: Automotive

Number of Employees: 180,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Jose Tomas

Performance Index: 7.518

Headquarters: Detroit

3M Co.

Industry: Consumer products

Number of Employees: 91,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Marlene McGrath

Performance Index: 7.507

Headquarters: Saint Paul, Minnesota


Industry: Consulting services

Number of Employees: 250,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Wendy Edgar

Performance Index: 7.479

Headquarters: New York

Raytheon Co.

Industry: Aerospace and defense

Number of Employees: 63,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Randa G. Newsome

Performance Index: 7.463

Headquarters: Waltham, Massachussetts


Industry: Professional services

Number of Employees: 197,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Darren Burton

Performance Index: 7.452

Headquarters: Amstelveen, Netherlands


Industry: Food company

Number of Employees: 328,00

Top Ranking HR Person: Peter R. Vogt

Performance Index: 7.429

Headquarters: Vevey, Switzerland

AbbVie Inc.

Industry: Biopharmaceutical

Number of Employees: 29,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Tim Richmond

Performance Index: 7.428

Headquarters: North Chicago, Illinois

Lockheed Martin Corp.

Industry: Advanced technologies

Number of Employees: 100,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Patricia L. Lewis

Performance Index: 7.427

Headquarters: Bethesda, Maryland

Intuitive Research and Technology

Industry: Technical solutions program management

Number of Employees: 340

Top Ranking HR Person: Juanita Phillips

Performance Index: 7.426

Headquarters: Huntsville, Alabama

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

Industry: Insurance

Number of Employees: 33,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Gale King

Performance Index: 7.418

Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio

Brown-Forman Corp.

Industry: Distilled beverage/wines

Number of Employees: 4,700

Top Ranking HR Person: Kirsten Hawley

Performance Index: 7.404

Headquarters: Louisville, Kentucky


Industry: Aerospace

Number of Employees: 6,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Brian Bjelde

Performance Index: 7.365

Headquarters: Hawthorne, California

Zillow Group

Industry: Real estate

Number of Employees: 3,150

Top Ranking HR Person: Dan Spaulding

Performance Index: 7.337

Headquarters: Seattle


Industry: Retail

Number of Employees: 72,500

Top Ranking HR Person: Christine Deputy

Performance Index: 7.313

Headquarters: Seattle


Industry: Professional services

Number of Employees: 5,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Katie Townsend

Performance Index: 7.248

Headquarters: Seattle

General Electric Co.

Industry: Conglomerate

Number of Employees: 295,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Raghu Krishnamoorthy

Performance Index: 7.229

Headquarters: Boston


Industry: Lodging/hospitality

Number of Employees: 165,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Matthew W. Schuyler

Performance Index: 7.093

Headquarters: McLean, Virginia


Industry: Medical technologies

Number of Employees: 34,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Katy Fink

Performance Index: 7.092

Headquarters: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Wegmans Food Markets Inc.

Industry: Retail

Number of Employees: 47,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Kevin Stickles

Performance Index: 7.082

Headquarters: Rochester, New York

Boston Scientific Corp.

Industry: Medical device

Number of Employees: 29,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Wendy Carruthers

Performance Index: 7.048

Headquarters: Marlborough, Massachussetts


Industry: Health care insurer

Number of Employees: 46,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Thomas W. Weidenkopf

Performance Index: 7.04

Headquarters: Hartford, Connecticut

Trader Joe’s

Industry: Retail

Number of Employees: 38,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Laurie Mead

Performance Index: 7.032

Headquarters: Monrovia, California

AT&T Inc.

Industry: Telecommuniations

Number of Employees: 254,000

Top Ranking HR Person: William A. Blase Jr.

Performance Index: 7.007

Headquarters: Dallas

Genentech Inc.

Industry: Biotechnology

Number of Employees: 15,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Nancy Vitale

Performance Index: 6.965

Headquarters: South San Francisco, California


Industry: Sporting goods and outdoor gear

Number of Employees: 12,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Raquel Karls

Performance Index: 6.937

Headquarters: Kent, Washington


Industry: Products and services

Number of Employees: 100,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Eric Minvielle

Performance Index: 6.904

Headquarters: McLean, Virginia

BASF Corp.

Industry: Chemicals

Number of Employees: 115,319

Top Ranking HR Person: André Becker

Performance Index: 6.898

Headquarters: Ludwigshafen, Germany

Northwell Health

Industry: Health care

Number of Employees: 66,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Joseph Moscola

Performance Index: 6.897

Headquarters: Great Neck, New York


Industry: Entertainment

Number of Employees: 4,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Jessica Neal

Performance Index: 6.865

Headquarters: Los Gatos, California

Travelers Cos.

Industry: Insurance

Number of Employees: 30,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Diane Bengston

Performance Index: 6.832

Headquarters: New York

DaVita Inc.

Industry: Health care

Number of Employees: 76,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Eric Severson

Performance Index: 6.813

Headquarters: Denver

American Express Co.

Industry: Financial Services

Number of Employees: 55,000

Top Ranking HR Person: L. Kevin Cox

Performance Index: 6.81

Headquarters: New York

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Industry: Financial services

Number of Employees: 240,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Robin Leopold

Performance Index: 6.798

Headquarters: New York


Industry: Technology

Number of Employees: 140,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Steve Price

Performance Index: 6.782

Headquarters: Round Rock, Texas

Northwestern Mutual

Industry: Financial services

Number of Employees: 5,500+

Top Ranking HR Person: Joann “Jo” Eisenhart

Performance Index: 6.776

Headquarters: Milwaukee

TD Bank

Industry: Financial services

Number of Employees: 85,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Sue Cummings

Performance Index: 6.765

Headquarters: Toronto

Scripps Health

Industry: Health care

Number of Employees: 13,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Richard Sheridan

Performance Index: 6.76

Headquarters: San Diego


Industry: Electric utilities

Number of Employees: 9,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Deborah H. Caplan

Performance Index: 6.726

Headquarters: Juno Beach, Florida


Industry: Professional services

Number of Employees: 46,583 (U.S.)

Top Ranking HR Person: Mike Fenlon

Performance Index: 6.715

Headquarters: London

Paychex Inc.

Industry: Business process outsourcing

Number of Employees: 13,900

Top Ranking HR Person: Laurie Zaucha

Performance Index: 6.71

Headquarters: Rochester, New York

Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Industry: Personal care

Number of Employees: 42,000

Top Ranking HR Person: J. Scott Boston

Performance Index: 6.698

Headquarters: Irving, Texas

FedEx Corp.

Industry: Courier

Number of Employees: 400,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Judy Edge

Performance Index: 6.693

Headquarters: Memphis, Tennessee


Industry: Consumer electronics

Number of Employees: 11,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Shelly Cerio

Performance Index: 6.69

Headquarters: Santa Clara, California

Cerner Corp.

Industry: Health care

Number of Employees: 26,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Julie Wilson

Performance Index: 6.665

Headquarters: North Kansas City, Missouri


Industry: Retail

Number of Employees: 194,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Ulrika Biesert

Performance Index: 7.241

Headquarters: Delft, Netherlands

Dow Chemical Co.

Industry: Chemicals

Number of Employees: 54,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Johanna Soderstrom

Performance Index: 6.654

Headquarters: Midland, Michigan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Industry: Health care

Number of Employees: 8,100

Top Ranking HR Person: Tricia A. Keith

Performance Index: 6.621

Headquarters: Detroit


Industry: HR management software

Number of Employees: 59,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Sreeni Kutam

Performance Index: 6.615

Headquarters: Roseland, New Jersey

Abbott Laboratories

Industry: Health care

Number of Employees: 99,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Steve Fussell

Performance Index: 6.565

Headquarters: Chicago

Qualcomm Inc.

Industry: Telecommunications

Number of Employees: 33,500

Top Ranking HR Person: Michelle Sterling

Performance Index: 6.554

Headquarters: San Diego

Nielsen Holdings

Industry: Research

Number of Employees: 46,300

Top Ranking HR Person: Nancy Phillips

Performance Index: 6.51

Headquarters: New York

Comcast Corp.

Industry: Telecommunications

Number of Employees: 164,000

Top Ranking HR Person: Bill Strahan

Performance Index: 6.46

Headquarters: Philadelphia



The Workforce 100 is the rank order and scores of the 100 companies that performed best in seven core areas: workplace culture, employee benefits, diversity and inclusion, employee development and talent management, human resources innovation, leadership development, and talent acquisition. The working assumption behind the list is that high performance in these core categories provides a reasonable proxy for overall HR excellence.

This year’s change in methodology created a ranked list that made comprehensive HR participation and employee feedback on their respective employers the primary focus rather than excellence in one core area. Using this method, organizations that are recognized on multiple lists but do not perform perfectly will be ranked higher than organizations that are ranked in one area but perform better in a single discipline. In addition, organizations that are not as heavily represented in external recognition programs are still acknowledged for their HR efforts through the posted opinions of their employees.

To generate the score, researchers first looked at how many lists with HR relevance a particular company appeared on, which makes up half of the total score (maximum of 5 points). The other half of the score (also with a maximum of 5 points) was derived from an average of the company’s Glassdoor performance in areas pertaining to HR. These scores are then added together to create the final score.

Component Lists:

Top Companies Lists, Overall:

World’s Best International Workplaces, 2016 (Great Place to Work)

Best Small Workplaces, 2017 (Great Place to Work)

Best Medium Workplaces, 2017 (Great Place to Work)

Best Places to Work, Small and Medium Companies, 2018 (Glassdoor)

Best Places to Work, Large Companies, 2018 (Glassdoor)

50 Top Startups, 2017 (LinkedIn)

Top Companies Lists, Benefits:

Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles (National Business Group on Health)

30 Best Workplaces to Retire From, 2016 (Fortune)

Top 10 401(k) Plans (BrightScope)

20 Best Retirement Plans (GOBankingRates)

20 Companies with Best Work-Life Balance, 2017 (Indeed)

20 Companies with the Best Benefits, 2017 (Glassdoor)

America’s Top Companies for Compensation and Benefits, 2014 (Glassdoor)

Top Companies Lists, Diversity:

Best Employers for Vets, 2017 (Military Times)

Disability Equality Index, 2017 (AAPD)

100 Best Companies, 2017 (Working Mother)

Top 50 Companies for Diversity, 2017 (DiversityInc)

100 Best Workplaces for Diversity, 2017 (Fortune)

Top Companies Lists, Innovation:

The Most Admired for HR, 2016 (HR Executive)

4 Innovative HR Departments, 2016 (Spark)

World’s Most Admired Companies, 2017 (Fortune)

Top Companies Lists, Leadership:

Best Companies for Leaders, 2016 (Chief Executive)

Wealth Creator Index, 2016 (Chief Executive)

Highest Rated CEO, 2017 (Glassdoor)

Top Companies Lists, Recruiting:

Best Places to Interview, 2017 (Glassdoor)

Candidate Experience Awards, 2017 (Talent Board)

25 Most Attractive Companies for Job Seekers, 2017 (Indeed)

Top Companies Lists, Talent Management:

Learning Elite, 2017 (Chief Learning Officer)

Learning in Practice Awards, 2017 (Chief Learning Officer)

Excellence in Practice Awards, 2016 (Association for Talent Development)

Training Top 125, 2017 (Training)

50 Most Engaged Workplaces, 2017 (Achievers)

Glassdoor Data Used:

Career Opportunities Rating

Compensation & Benefits Rating

Culture & Values Rating

Work/Life Balance Rating

Recommend to a Friend Rating


Note: Some of the component lists are compiled by active participation from the companies listed and therefore do not recognize companies that decline to participate.



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