That basic question raises a whole set of additional questions. A dizzying number of factors creates the foundation of a workforce management leader. Of the hundreds of things that HR organizations do for their parent companies, how do you determine which are the right ones to consider when comparing Company A to Company B? Just because a question is difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to find an answer.
To find out which companies are the best for HR management, Workforce editors, along with researchers from the Human Capital Media Advisory Group, the magazine’s research arm, created a statistical formula to sift through publicly available information to separate the best from the rest. The result of that analysis is the inaugural Workforce 100 list.
For 2014, Automatic Data Processing Inc. came out on top. Consulting companies Deloitte and Accenture duked it out for the second and third spots, followed by fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp. and consumer products-maker Procter & Gamble Co.
While we’ve come up with one answer to the question of which companies are best for HR, we look forward to the conversation with you that results in furthering the discussion.
The Workforce 100 chart indicates 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/talent management; HR innovation/management; leadership development; recruiting and talent acquisition. The working assumption is that high performance in these categories would provide a reasonable proxy for overall HR excellence.
To create the Workforce 100, researchers collected available data from a representative list of benchmarking and ranking programs in the identified categories (see component lists) and generated a score based on indexed performance in two areas: breadth of recognition and depth of recognition.
The reason for this method was to create a ranked list that made comprehensive HR performance 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.
To generate the score, researchers averaged and weighted overall representation on lists across the seven core areas. For example, ADP, the top-ranked company, was recognized on five separate component lists and therefore had a higher possible score than McDonald’s, the fifth ranked company, which was recognized on four component lists. That measure of broad participation was then indexed to overall performance of the company on the component lists.
The top ranked company was given the highest indexed score on a scale of 10, and the others were then ranked according to their performance against that benchmark.
Best Companies for Healthy Lifestyles (National Business Group on Health)
Best Companies for Leadership (Hay Group)
Best Company Retirement Plans (Wall Street Journal)
Chief Learning Officer LearningElite (Chief Learning Officer magazine)
Diversity Value Index (Diversity Executive magazine)
DiversityInc Top 50 (DiversityInc magazine)
Fortune Best Companies to Work For (Fortune magazine)
Fortune Most Admired for HR (Fortune magazine)
Talent Board Candidate Experience awards (Talent Board)
Training Top 125 (Training magazine)
Note: Some lists are compiled by active participation from the companies listed and therefore do not recognize companies that decline to participate.
THE 2014 WORKFORCE 100
1. Automatic Data Processing Inc.
Industry: Business process outsourcing Roseland, New Jersey
Employees: 60,000 Performance Index: 9.888
Industry: Consulting services New York
Employees: 50,000 Performance Index: 9.837
Industry: Consulting services Dublin, Ireland
Employees: 289,000 Performance Index: 9.786
4. McDonald’s Corp.
Industry: Fast-food restaurants Oak Brook, Illinois
Employees: 1.9 million Performance Index: 9.735
5. Procter & Gamble Co.
Industry: Consumer products Cincinnati
Employees: 121,000 Performance Index: 9.684
6. IBM Corp.
Industry: Technology and consulting services Armonk, New York
Employees: 431,000 Performance Index: 9.633
7. Wells Fargo & Co.
Industry: Financial services San Francisco
Employees: 265,000 Performance Index: 9.582
8. Capital One Financial Corp.
Industry: Financial services McLean, Virginia
Employees: 42,000 Performance Index: 9.531
9. General Mills Inc.
Industry: Consumer products Minneapolis
Employees: 41,000 Performance Index: 9.480
10. Intel Corp.
Industry: Technology Santa Clara, California
Employees: 107,600 Performance Index: 9.429
11. AT&T Inc.
Industry: Telecommunications Dallas
Employees: 247,000 Performance Index: 9.378
12. Genentech Inc.
Industry: Biotechnology South San Francisco, California
Employees: 13,300 Performance Index: 9.327
13. Qualcomm Inc.
Industry: Technology San Diego
Employees: 31,000 Performance Index: 9.276
14. ConAgra Foods Inc.
Industry: Consumer products Omaha, Nebraska
Employees: 36,000 Performance Index: 9.225
15. Walgreen Co.
Industry: Drug retailer Deerfield, Illinois
Employees: 248,000 Performance Index: 9.174
16. Chesapeake Energy Corp.
Industry: Energy Oklahoma City
Employees: 10,800 Performance Index: 9.123
Industry: Manufacturing Ludwigshafen, Germany
Employees: 112,000 Performance Index: 9.072
18. Aetna Inc.
Industry: Health insurance Hartford, Connecticut
Employees: 47,000 Performance Index: 9.021
19. Target Corp.
Industry: Retail Minneapolis
Employees: 371,000 Performance Index: 8.970
20. Marriott International Inc.
Industry: Lodging and hospitality Bethesda, Maryland
Employees: 330,000 Performance Index: 8.919
21. American Express Co.
Industry: Financial services New York
Employees: 62,800 Performance Index: 8.868
22. EY (Ernst & Young)
Industry: Consulting services London
Employees: 175,000 Performance Index: 8.817
23. CarMax Inc.
Industry: Used-car retailer Richmond, Virginia
Employees: 18,100 Performance Index: 8.766
24. KPMG International Cooperative
Industry: Consulting services Amsterdam
Employees: 155,000 Performance Index: 8.715
25. New York Life Insurance Co.
Industry: Financial services and life insurance New York
Employees: 8,500 Performance Index: 8.664
26. American Airlines Inc.
Industry: Airline Fort Worth, Texas
Employees: 88,000 Performance Index: 8.612
Industry: Manufacturing Dublin, Ireland
Employees: 42,000 Performance Index: 8.561
28. General Dynamics Corp.
Industry: Aerospace and defense Falls Church, Virginia
Employees: 95,000 Performance Index: 8.510
29. Humana Inc.
Industry: Health insurance Louisville, Kentucky
Employees: 52,000 Performance Index: 8.459
30. Google Inc.
Industry: Search engine Mountain View, California
Employees: 49,800 Performance Index: 8.408
31. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Industry: Insurance Detroit
Employees: 7,500 Performance Index: 8.357
32. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Industry: Retail Bentonville, Arkansas
Employees: 2.2 million Performance Index: 8.306
Industry: Consumer products London and Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Employees: 174,000 Performance Index: 8.255
34. InterContinental Hotels Group
Industry: Lodging, hosp. Denham, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Employees: 120,000 Performance Index: 8.204
35. Sidley Austin
Industry: Legal services Chicago
Employees: 3,400 Performance Index: 8.153
36. Kaiser Permanente
Industry: Health care Oakland, California
Employees: 174,000 Performance Index: 8.102
37. Health Care Service Corp.
Industry: Health insurance Chicago
Employees: 21,000 Performance Index: 8.051
38. Paychex Inc.
Industry: Business process outsourcing Rochester, New York
Employees: 12,500 Performance Index: 8.000
39. Burns & McDonnell
Industry: Engineering Kansas City, Missouri
Employees: 4,500 Performance Index: 7.949
40. Cerner Corp.
Industry: Health care technology Kansas City, Missouri
Employees: 14,200 Performance Index: 7.898
41. DPR Construction
Industry: Construction Redwood City, California
Employees: 1,300 Performance Index: 7.847
42. Edward Jones
Industry: Financial services St. Louis
Employees: 38,000 Performance Index: 7.796
43. Johnson & Johnson
Industry: Pharma., consumer goods New Brunswick, New Jersey
Employees: 128,100 Performance Index: 7.745
44. State Farm Insurance
Industry: Insurance and financial services Bloomington, Illinois
Employees: 83,000 Performance Index: 7.694
45. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Industry: Financial services New York
Employees: 260,000 Performance Index: 7.643
46. Lockheed Martin Corp.
Industry: Aerospace and defense Bethesda, Maryland
Employees: 113,000 Performance Index: 7.592
47. W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.
Industry: Manufacturing Newark, Delaware
Employees: 10,000 Performance Index: 7.541
48. CHG Healthcare Services
Industry: Staffing Salt Lake City
Employees: 1,700 Performance Index: 7.490
49. Avanade Inc.
Industry: Consulting services Seattle
Employees: 21,000 Performance Index: 7.439
Industry: Consumer products Vevey, Switzerland
Employees: 333,000 Performance Index: 7.388
51. Baptist Health South Florida
Industry: Health care Coral Gables, Florida
Employees: 15,000 Performance Index: 7.337
52. Caterpillar Inc.
Industry: Construction Peoria, Illinois
Employees: 118,500 Performance Index: 7.286
53. Facebook Inc.
Industry: Social media Menlo Park, California
Employees: 6,300 Performance Index: 7.235
54. Salesforce.com Inc.
Industry: Cloud computing San Francisco
Employees: 13,300 Performance Index: 7.184
55. Quicken Loans Inc.
Industry: Financial services Detroit
Employees: 10,000 Performance Index: 7.133
56. Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.
Industry: Medical testing Tarrytown, New York
Employees: 14,000 Performance Index: 7.082
57. Whole Foods Market Inc.
Industry: Supermarket chain Austin, Texas
Employees: 80,000 Performance Index: 7.031
58. Banner Health
Industry: Health care Phoenix
Employees: 36,000 Performance Index: 6.980
59. Walt Disney Co.
Industry: Mass media/entertainment Burbank, California
Employees: 175,000 Performance Index: 6.929
60. UnitedHealth Group Inc.
Industry: Health insurance Minnetonka, Minnesota
Employees: 133,000 Performance Index: 6.878
61. WellPoint Inc.
Industry: Health insurance Indianapolis
Employees: 48,000 Performance Index: 6.827
62. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
Industry: Auto insurance Columbus, Ohio
Employees: 31,000 Performance Index: 6.776
63. Colgate-Palmolive Co.
Industry: Consumer products New York
Employees: 37,400 Performance Index: 6.725
64. United States Automobile Association
Industry: Insurance and financial services San Antonio
Employees: 26,000 Performance Index: 6.674
Industry: Financial services/retirement New York
Employees: 9,000 Performance Index: 6.623
66. Mayo Clinic
Industry: Health care Rochester, Minnesota
Employees: 44,000 Performance Index: 6.572
67. EMC Corp.
Industry: Computer storage Hopkinton, Massachusetts
Employees: 60,000 Performance Index: 6.521
68. Toyota Motor North America Inc.
Industry: Auto manufacturing New York
Employees: 31,400 Performance Index: 6.470
Industry: Energy London
Employees: 83,900 Performance Index: 6.419
70 Merck & Co.
Industry: Pharmaceuticals White House Station, New Jersey
Employees: 74,000 Performance Index: 6.368
71. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Industry: Health care New York
Employees: 25,600 Performance Index: 6.317
72. Medtronic Inc.
Industry: Medical-device technology Minneapolis
Employees: 46,000 Performance Index: 6.266
73. Microsoft Corp.
Industry: Software-maker Redmond, Washington
Employees: 127,100 Performance Index: 6.215
74 Cisco Systems Inc.
Industry: Computer networking San Jose, California
Employees: 73,800 Performance Index: 6.164
75. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Industry: Health insurance Durham, North Carolina
Employees: 4,500 Performance Index: 6.112
Industry: Senior living Chicago
Employees: 2,400 Performance Index: 6.061
Industry: Consulting services New York
Employees: 184,200 Performance Index: 6.010
78. Healthways Inc.
Industry: Health care and wellness Franklin, Tennessee
Employees: 2,500 Performance Index: 5.959
79. DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.
Industry: Health care and wellness Denver
Employees: 50,000 Performance Index: 5.908
80. Hyatt Hotels Corp.
Industry: Lodging and hospitality Chicago
Employees: 45,000 Performance Index: 5.857
81. Aerospace Corp.
Industry: Aerospace and defense El Segundo, California
Employees: 4,000 Performance Index: 5.806
82. Darden Restaurants Inc.
Industry: Restaurant-chain operator Orlando, Florida
Employees: 200,000 Performance Index: 5.755
Industry: Professional services Springfield, Missouri
Employees: 2,400 Performance Index: 5.704
84. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
Industry: Life insurance Minneapolis
Employees: 1,600 Performance Index: 5.653
85. Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp.
Industry: Business process outsourcing Teaneck, New Jersey
Employees: 178,600 Performance Index: 5.602
86. G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc.
Industry: Security services Jupiter, Florida
Employees: 42,000 Performance Index: 5.551
87. Mountain America Credit Union
Industry: Credit union West Jordan, Utah
Employees: 1,000 Performance Index: 5.500
88. TD Bank
Industry: Financial services Toronto
Employees: 85,000 Performance Index: 5.449
89. Novo Nordisk
Industry: Pharmaceutical manufacturing Bagsvaerd, Denmark
Employees: 40,000 Performance Index: 5.398
90. Navy Federal Credit Union
Industry: Credit union Vienna, Virginia
Employees: 11,000 Performance Index: 5.347
91. Four Seasons Hotels Inc.
Industry: Lodging and hospitality Toronto
Employees: 37,200 Performance Index: 5.296
92. Apple Inc.
Industry: Computer and electronics-maker Cupertino, California
Employees: 50,200 Performance Index: 5.245
93 Jiffy Lube International Inc.
Industry: Automotive services Houston
Employees: 20,500 Performance Index: 5.194
94. American Specialty Health Inc.
Industry: Health care and wellness San Diego
Employees: 900 Performance Index: 5.143
95. Assurant Inc.
Industry: Insurance (various) New York
Employees: 16,600 Performance Index: 5.092
Industry: Medical technology Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
Employees: 30,000 Performance Index: 5.041
97. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Industry: Pharmaceuticals Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany
Employees: 47,400 Performance Index: 4.990
98. Campbell Soup Co.
Industry: Consumer products Camden, New Jersey
Employees: 20,000 Performance Index: 4.939
99. Chrysler Group
Industry: Automotive manufacturing Auburn Hills, Michigan
Employees: 73,700 Performance Index: 4.888
100. Compass Group
Industry: Food service Surrey, United Kingdom
Employees: 500,000 Performance Index: 4.837
Sources: Publicly available company information, compiled by Workforce staff.
Notes: Employee numbers are global unless otherwise noted. All numbers are approximate.
Top Five by Region
Workforce 100 companies represented every region in the U.S. as well as eight international locations. New York/New Jersey came out tops followed by Northern California and the Chicago region.
20 New York/New Jersey
10 Northern California
8 Chicago/Northern Illinois
7 Washington, D.C., area
6 Minneapolis area
Largest by number of employees:
Wal-Mart Stores (No. 32)
Top Five by Industry
The Workforce 100 list is a good barometer of broader economic activity. Health care and financial services had the most companies on the list, followed by technology, insurance and consumer goods.
Consumer products/ goods
Smallest by number of employees:
American Specialty Health Inc. (No. 94)