Whether you are looking to break into a new profession, or simply work for the best, these Chicago companies have great benefits, great perks, and most importantly employees who love their jobs. Based on an extensive survey process, Crain Communications found and profiled the twenty best places to work in Chicago. As companies across the nation are freezing salaries, cutting health care benefits, trimming 401(k) contributions and ditching other extras, find out how these companies keep their employees happy and which one could be the right fit for you.
1. McTigue Financial Group
Since 1857, Northwestern Mutual has been helping people protect against financial risk and helping them achieve their financial goals. The Network Office currently headed by John McTigue opened for business in 1872. McTigue emphasizes personal growth and new employees — many recruited through the company's internship programs at five local colleges and universities — receive more than 400 hours of training in their first year on the job.
Microsoft employees in their Chicago technology center enjoy 100% health coverage. In addition to full coverage, the company upped the annual home health care allowance each employee receives to $800 from $200 — enough to buy the busy business traveler a home gym, a bike or a health club membership.
3. Assurance Agency
In 2009, Assurance established an employee committee to plan and implement health and wellness initiatives. "Our wellness program is not just about fitness," CEO Tony Chimino says. "It's about emotional, physical and mental well-being."
The largest digital agency in the world with over 3,000 employees in 32 offices across the world, Digitas is known for its festive atmosphere and became even livelier last year when they added a toy donation drive, a chili cook-off and an ugly holiday sweater contest. The company also provided employees with unlimited sick time, additonal paid holidays, time off for weddings, bereavement and adoptions, offered paid sabbaticals after 10 years' employment and an expanded tuition-reimbursement program.
A leader in commercial, professional, and personal insurance, Chubb's Chicago office recently began an employee satisfaction initiative called "Be the Change." A play on Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world," the goal is to empower employees to make positive changes themselves. One company initiative that grew from the program is "ChubbBook", an intranet that aims to bridge the gaps among the 400-person staff via a Facebook style portal.
6. Hitachi Consulting
With over 87 employees, Hitachi's Chicago workforce is encouraged to join extracurricular teams that are involved in everything from planning office parties and corporate-giving activities to tweaking the recruiting processes and developing business leads outside the firm's flagship clients.
7. Tasty Catering
Tasty Catering was launched in 1987 and has since grown to serve a base of roughly 4,000 corporate clients. A company tradition, the office shuts down every day at lunchtime so staffers can eat a prepared meal together. Management has also helped fund five successful side businesses based solely on the entrepreneurial ideas of employees (many who have worked for the company since they were teens).
8. Perkins Coie
This Chicago based law firm focuses on personal and career development whether it is related directly to their employee's current job or not. The company provides access to certification and computer program courses and encourages employees to dedicate several hours a month to their studies.
A commercial real estate services firm around since 1979, Transwestern weathered the economic downturn with great planning and tough decision making. Employees collectively agreed to trim their salaries (as opposed to layoffs), and did what they could to maintain company perks.
10. Robert W. Baird
A brokerage firm with 215 local employees, and more than 2,000 worldwide, RobertW. Baird & Co.'s employees own more than 40% of the company's shares. CEO Paul Purcell says, "When people are owners, they behave differently. They work harder. They have pride in what they do."
For more information on the best places to work in Chicago in 2010 visit Chicago Business.
For more information on jobs and careers in Chicago, visit Monster.com.
Source: Crain's survey