Mingis on Tech: What makes a 'Best Place' to work in IT?

The organizations that make Computerworld's annual list go far beyond competitive salaries and healthcare benefits to woo, and then retain, employees. Here's what they're doing right.

There's a reason many of the organizations on Computerworld's latest list of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT show up routinely: They've realized that an engaged IT worker who's encouraged to think (and act) outside the corporate box is often a happy IT worker.

And happy workers are less likely to walk out the door, taking much-needed tech skills with them.

As Val Potter, Computerworld's Managing Editor for Features, explains, companies have found value in encouraging a healthy work/life balance; offering skills training and career growth; providing recognition and rewards programs; allowing for access to top management; emphasizing team work; and giving back to the community.

And yes, offering free food helps, too.

Potter detailed for Executive Editor Ken Mingis what organizations like the JPL,  Quicken Loans or VMWare are doing right these days; the list of perks ranges from unlimited time off (as long as the work still gets done) to Star Wars movie outings, time off for volunteer work and even weekly meditation sessions.

It's important to note, she said, that many of the highlighted firms have figured out how to offer benefits that won't break the bank while getting IT employees involved in something beyond their own jobs.

The full list of organizations that made this year's Best Places cut is available online.

And for more info about what successful companies are doing, here are profiles of five outstanding IT employers:

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