Top 10 manufacturing companies to work for 2015

Glen White
- Top 10 - Mar 05, 2015

Commitment to workplace culture can build employee loyalty, and happy employees tend to be more productive. To determine which companies in the broadly-defined manufacturing industry have the happiest workforce, we referenced data from Great Place to Work, who surveyed thousands of employees in the sector. So what’s most important to workers at automotive distributors, oil and gas producers, medical device makers and food manufacturers? A commitment to workplace safety, job training and development and profit sharing for starters.

Manufacturing Global unveils to Top 10 manufacturing and production firms to work for in 2015.

Does your company make the list?

1. Hilcorp

Headquarters: Houston

Employees: 1,409

100 Best Companies Rank: 15

Hilcorp employees cannot complain when it comes to monetary perks. If the company meets its “dream 2015” goals before next year - doubling its daily production, reserves and equity value over the past five years - it has promised to reward each of its employees with $100,000 cash.

The company also matches up to 6 percent of employee contributions to 401(k) plans, covers 85 percent of health care costs for employees (and 77 percent for dependents), and allows its workers to invest in the fields it buys.

2. Stryker

Revenue: $9 billion

Headquarters: Kalamazoo, Mich.

Employees: 21,861

100 Best Companies Rank: 42

All employees at Stryker know their top five skills. That’s because the company supplies an online “strengths finder” survey, allowing individuals to determine their talents. Workers average 115 hours of training annually, and Stryker prides itself on supporting their professional development. The company even offers a mini-MBA for mid-level managers seeking to climb the corporate ladder. The company has an innovative vacation donation program which lets some employees reallocate their time off to others in times of need. (On one occasion coworkers donated more than a dozen weeks of vacation to an employee with a medical emergency.) The company is no stranger to donation either: it contributed more than $27 million to charity last year, including gifting humanitarian efforts with devices and equipment.

3. Devon Energy

Revenue: $10.4 billion

Headquarters: Oklahoma City

Employees: 5,437

100 Best Companies Rank: 56

An explosion of productivity from North American oil and gas wells has oil giant Devon Energy, passing handsome rewards to employees. At the driller’s headquarters there is an onsite medical clinic, a subsidized cafeteria, a car wash and even a gelato shop. When the building’s fitness center became too crowded during the lunchtime rush, the company opened a second one. Devon also offers classroom courses, e-learning in partnership with Cornell University, and “guidance resources,” a support hotline for employees and their family members.

4. Arthrex

Revenue: $1.5 billion

Headquarters: Naples, Fla.

Employees: 3,000

Surgical products maker Arthrex strives to keep its workers healthy. The company offers an appealing health package, covering 100 percent of employees’ monthly medical and dental premiums (and half that for dependents). Arthrex also reimburses gym memberships, provides on-site medical facilities, and caters free lunches under the supervision of an executive chef. When workers meet their five-year milestone, they are eligible for a paid vacation and 40 hours of extra paid time off. Some choose to spend it at Arthrex founder and president Reinhold Schmieding’s ranch in Montana, which he makes available for employees and their families as a getaway.

5. W. L. Gore & Associates

Revenue: $3091.66 million

Headquarters: Newark, Del.

Employees: 10,337

100 Best Companies Rank: 22

This diverse materials-based company has a flat organizational structure, with leaders instead of managers or supervisors. Every employee is paired with a sponsor who serves as an advocate and coach. W. L. Gore pays 85 percent of health care costs for both employees and dependents, and offers a day of paid time off for volunteer work. A bountiful stock ownership plan enables its associates to receive a 12 percent-of-pay contribution after a year of service with the company.

6. EOG Resources

Revenue: $144.9 billion

Headquarters: Houston

Employees: 2,806

100 Best Companies Rank: 97

Workers at this oil exploration company enjoy ample benefits. EOG Resources matches up to 6 percent of employees’ 401(k) contributions, fully covers their health plans (80 percent for dependents), and offers them its stock shares at a 15 percent discount. The company also promotes well being with fitness expense reimbursements up to $300 per year, vehicle discounts at participating dealers, and a rotational program for engineers to experience different parts of the business.

7. JM Family Enterprises

Revenue: $12.5 billion

Headquarters: Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Employees: 3,880

100 Best Companies Rank: 37

This automotive distributor and retailer keeps its employees driven with excellent perks. Workers earn an incentive bonus tied to the company’s profits at the end of each year. Other awards include $75 gift cards, spot bonus checks up to $1,500 and paid trips to resort destinations - sometimes involving the company's private jets.

8. Mars

Revenue: $33 billion

Headquarters: McLean, Va.

Employees: 75,000

100 Best Companies Rank: 76

Employees say life at the foods and pet care giant is a sweet deal. Its headquarters has an on-site occupational health and wellness facilities, an open office environment featuring collaborative “pods” rather than cubicles, and walking trails outside. Employees are welcome to bring their dogs to work. Mars matches up to 6 percent of an employee’s 401(k) contribution and covers 87 percent of their health plans (83 percent for dependents). Associates can also enroll for classes at Mars University, an internal program for continued education.

9. Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Headquarters: Pullman, Wash.

Employees: 3,774

This electrical equipment maker powers its workforce with rewards. An employee-owned company, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories provides its workers with a monthly $80 educational allowance and let’s each of them decide where to donate $100 for science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related education annually. When employees are hired, they enroll in a 1-year-long “becoming an SEL-owner” program that orients them to the company’s products, culture and expectations.

10. Chesapeake Energy

Revenue: $17.5 billion

Headquarters: Oklahoma City

Employees: 5,480

100 Best Companies Rank: 51

This natural gas producer provides its workers with a slew of great resources. The company matches up to a whopping 15 percent of employees’ salaries as contribution to their 401(k) plans via company stock that vests after five years. Safe drivers who use company cars are rewarded up to $750 annually for their clean records. Despite a shake-up involving layoffs and a service group spin-off in 2013, 90 percent of employees say they're proud to work at Chesapeake and more than 87 percent of employees say that it's still a great place to work. Part of the reason? Movie nights at the corporate campus, a day care for employees’ kids aged 6 weeks to pre-kindergarten, and new mothers get free health consultations. 

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