Each year, Fortune publishes a list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The full 2013 list may be found here. A newcomer to Fortune’s latest ranking is Mars Incorporated (which has a pretty cool career section at the firm’s Web site), which has 72,000 employees — more than one-third in the United States.

Why is Mars on the list? Here’s what David A. Kaplan reports for Fortune:

“Mars’ diversified galaxy of brands for man and beast are iconic — from chocolate favorites like M&M’s and Snickers to Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit and Lifesavers to pet-care products like Pedigree and Whiskas, as well as Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice. The company says it does 200 million consumer transactions a day. But despite that reach across civilization and into customer pockets, Mars is among the most secretive, insular, and little understood multinational companies around. It is still 100% family-owned.”

“Mars boasts employees who love not only the products they make but also the office culture and the company’s long-standing principles. Some families can claim three generations of employees. The 78-year-old woman who runs the in-house candy shop at the plant in Slough, England, has loyally worked at Mars since the reign of George VI — more than six decades. The demographics of the Mars workplace in the U.S. — about 70% of it in manufacturing, almost entirely nonunionized — are diverse; women constitute 38% of the managers. There are even some unusual perks, like every kid’s fantasy come to life: vending machines that dispense free candy all day long. Chewing gum at meetings is encouraged (as long as it’s Wrigley’s). Perhaps most significant, employees have great latitude for advancement, both within their divisions and in the larger Mars ecosystem.”

Click the image for more of Kaplan’s story.

Photo by Gregg Segal


16 Replies to “The Best Companies to Work For”

  1. Choosing a company to work for is a very difficult task. Finding a job with the right pay, to having that same job make it an enjoyable experience, is a very rare outcome. But with the small chance that it does happen, and you end up working for a great company, the possibilities are endless. The Mars company provides a great example of being a company many people would like to work for. They make their employees want to come in everyday and share with the company. The employees actually enjoy coming in to work and receive all of the perks from eating candy, to being a kid at heart again. A great company to work for is one that succeeds in getting all of the work done efficiently, while having fun in the process.

  2. It is important for one to hold a job that pays the bills while at the same time is an enjoyable place to work. Working a job that pays well but is not stimulating will cause one to be miserable and at the same time, having a good time with little pay makes living difficult. Working for a company that provides both leads to a happier, healthier person and as stated, Mars is one of the best to deliver.

  3. I think that it is interesting that the Mars company is one of the best companies to work for. It is a family owned company, and has been around for many years. I found it a little bit harsh that if your late 10 percent of your pay will be docked. Also, once employees are hired at Mars, they usually stay. The employee turnover rate is as low as 5 percent. There are even generations of family members working at the Mars company. The employees actually enjoy working at Mars, and they get to eat the candy, which is definitely a plus!

  4. Well, I have to say I did not know this company until I see this article and do some research online. I think the culture is very important and is one of the key factors to evaluate the ranking for the best company. Things like chewing gum during the meeting makes the employee feels like staying at home. In USA I think this can encourage the working efficiency. However, there has a problem when this culture is tend to be copied into other companies in other countries. In Japan, China, I don’t think this culture will make much sense.

  5. By Mars’ having a great environment for employee’s to be in, it seems as if it makes for a better work experience for all, and it even brings generations of family back to work for the company.

  6. I think it is very important for people to enjoy the work they do. When employees enjoy their work the entire business and the consumer can reap the benefits. Mars has taken great measures to ensure not only customer satisfaction but employee satisfaction.

  7. I think now, more than ever before, when people are looking for jobs they’re not only looking at the nuts and bolts, like health care and salary, but also a good, comfortable environment. For example, the number one company on the list is Google. They have a fun environment that allows for creative thinking, and also happier employees. When you have happier employees, you have a better environment to work in. Mars Inc. has the same idea. Like the article said, they have vending machines that produce free candy, and they’re allowed to chew gum. All of these fun things, some little and some large, add to a more fun place to work. In addition to the fun environment, Mars also has a low turnover rate, which is a huge plus when looking for a job. So when I sit down and am trying to decide where I want to work I’m going to choose a fun, comfortable, relaxed environment, just like Mars has.

  8. I have worked for two of the companies on this list and in both cases I have not had any experiences that would lead me to nominate these organizations to this list. I think the criteria should be restructured to involve more employee feedback rather than some of their current measurable attributes.

  9. Wow, that was interesting. I have never heard of Mars before and was glad to stumble upon this post and read more into the article. The fact that Mars is 5th best company to work for is surprising since, like I said before, I have never heard of it. Family-owned businesses always seem so personable to me and that must have to do with Mars’ great reputation. I liked reading about how Mars paid for one of their “Martians” tuition and books. That is what makes their employees loyal.

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