For the first time ever, Carlson Companies has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” by Fortune magazine in its annual listing of outstanding companies. The full list will appear in February 4, 2002 issue of Fortune and at www.fortune.com/bestcompanies on Tuesday, January 22.
Carlson was ranked 81st, joining Medtronic - the only other Minnesota-based company on the list - which was ranked 73rd.. Carlson CEO Marilyn Carlson Nelson and Medtronic Vice Chair Dr. Glen Nelson are husband and wife.
Second Award in Four Months:
The Fortune award is the second such award given to Carlson Companies during the past four months. In September 2001, the company was named to Working Mother magazine`s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.”
The Fortune list is compiled annually through exhaustive reviews of company benefit programs, policies and cultures by authors Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz of the Great Place to Work Institute in San Francisco. Fortune`s selection process also included a survey of 250 randomly selected employees from each company who evaluated management and pride in their work, and submitted written comments about their workplace.
In announcing this year`s list, Fortune said in this time of cuts and layoffs, one quality a company must possess to make the list “is a willingness to come up with new ways to keep employees satisfied, and to treat them with respect and dignity.”
Among Carlson Companies` benefits are on-campus child care centers in the Twin Cities and Omaha, an enhanced time-off policy, an adoption support initiative, alternative work arrangements, and a variety of other “quality of life” benefits, which include fitness centers, discounts and subsidized (and award-winning) cafeterias.
Since becoming CEO four years ago, Nelson has focused on building a collegial, supportive atmosphere at Carlson. The company`s nomenclature prefers the phrase “Carlson colleagues” to the more usual term “employee,” noting that it better describes a culture where people come together for a common result as opposed to a place where “people just have a job.” Within a year of her ascendancy to the CEO position and with her personal sponsorship, the company began an internal initiative, which it called “Creating a Great Place for Great People to do Great Work.”
The initiative studied best-in-class workplaces across the country and led to the enhancement of many benefits that were already in place and the creation of new ones.