New trends in the New Year: What to expect from this year's 100 Best

New trends in the New Year: What to expect from this year's 100 Best

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for this month’s announcement of the 2012 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For®. I am especially excited to learn which emerging trends have placed this year’s winners ahead of the game.

For example, will we see an increase in wellness programs with the rising cost of healthcare? Perhaps companies are offering more flexible scheduling and telecommuting due to advances in technology. I am particularly interested in innovative policies that may have emerged as a result of the recession, and what steps the Best Companies have taken to cushion their employees from the volatility of 2011.

In anticipation of the upcoming publication of the 100 Best list, I decided to review the aggregate data for the past three year’s list makers (2009-2011). I found no significant changes in pay, healthcare coverage, or retirement plans. It appears that the Best Companies were able to weather the storm without major cutbacks to employees’ core compensation. This was not surprising; research has consistently shown that even when times are tough, great workplaces show the resiliency to pull through. What was surprising was that even in volatile times, Best Companies were actually increasing the amount of paid time off provided to employees- through holiday and vacation pay and employee sabbaticals. It appears that Best Companies continue to reward their associates in tough times, and they do it by giving them the day off.

Another interesting trend that has emerged over the past three years is an increase in the amount of financial aid offered to employees adopting children. Additionally, more and more companies are offering domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples. It is nice to see that Best Companies are becoming more aware of the individual needs of their employees, and are lending support wherever they can.

Check back to see if the trend continues in 2012…

Save the Date: January 19th 2012 The FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list will be announced!