Top places to work

The Google mind

It’s not just high-concept design that makes Google Cambridge seem exciting and hip, or why it’s the number one medium company in this year’s Top Places to Work survey, it’s the sense among employees that they are among the brightest minds in technology working together to change the way the world communicates. Googlers often credit their smart colleagues with making the workplace vibrant and interesting. And across its locations that span the globe, the talent pool is legendary.

Top places to work

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2011/10/06/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Advance/Images/kreiter_tptw_bright3_biz.jpg Bright Horizons is twice at the top

The 25-year-old Watertown company, which operates 800 child care centers around the world, was the number-one large employer for the second year in a row.

Top Places to Work

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2011/09/27/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/work460.jpg Family banking at Institution for Savings

Employees praised the 191-year-old bank, which ranked as our top small employer, for its strong ethics, ample benefits, and effort to take care of workers.

Methodology

How we chose the Top Places to Work

The Globe’s Top Places to Work survey honors employers who care for their most valuable resource: The people who work there. Those people - nearly 75,000 employees of the organizations ranked here - told us that their employers pay well, offer progressive benefits and creative perks, allow the flexibility needed to have good lives both at work and at home, embrace the diverse backgrounds of their employees, and offer a promising future to all of their workers.

Sandra Fenwick (left) of Children’s Hospital, Michelle Stacy of Keurig, Martha Samuelson of Analysis Group, and Steve Vinter of Google.

Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

Executive Roundtable

Finding the best people for the job

If great employees make companies great, then the best employers must know how to attract and retain top talent. Four local leaders talked to the Globe about their hiring techniques.

Video | Executive Roundtable

What was your first job?

Michelle Stacy of Keurig Inc., Sandra Fenwick of Children’s Hospital Boston, Martha Samuelson of Analysis Group, and Steve Vinter of Google’s Cambridge office talk about their first jobs.

video

Take 2: Movies that work

Globe movie critics Ty Burr and Wesley Morris talk about their favorite movies about the workplace.

The best movies about working

We sometimes see our own lives reflected in the movies, and that includes our lives at work. For Top Places to Work, Boston Globe critics Ty Burr and Wesley Morris sat down to talk about movies about working. Ty Burr: We’re talking about movies about what it’s like to have a job and work with people. Wesley Morris: Either according to the movies, or according to life as captured by the movies. So there are the movies of Frederick Wiseman.

Exclusive Preview | Top Places to Work

Letter from the business editor

At Institution for Savings, it’s the company’s thoughtfulness that stands out. At Google Inc., your colleagues are the ones who make you feel special. At Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc., being a top employer isn’t a fluke. What do these companies have in common? They each represent the very best of what our annual Top Places to Work survey has to offer. Each is a No. 1 employer in its respective category - small, medium, and large.

Tim Foley for The Boston Globe

TOP PLACES TO WORK

The best employers appreciate their workers

Employees are working harder, and feeling more appreciated. At the best companies these two go together.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

SPECIAL SECTION | TOP PLACES TO WORK

Companies growing their way through tough times

Despite the sputtering economy, some Boston-area companies are building for a stronger future, which means hiring and moving to accommodate growing pains.

Maria Moya takes the temperature of Milledge Hubert at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Online-only Exclusive

To celebrate our differences

Three employers scored high for diversity and their methods for creating a truly multicultural organization.