3 L.A.-area companies make national ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list

Originally published at Bizjournals.com

by: Annlee Ellingson

Two Los Angeles companies and one in Orange County landed on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list this year.

The Cheesecake Factory, headquartered in Calabasas, was the area’s highest-ranking workplace at No. 48, followed by Activision Blizzard, based in Santa Monica, at No. 66. First American Financial Corporation, located in Santa Ana, was No. 82.

Fortune determines its annual ranking, which the publication has been assembling for 20 years now, in collaboration with Great Place to Work, surveying more than 230,000 corporate employees about the quality of their leaders, support for their personal and professional lives, and relationships with colleagues. In addition, Great Place scores a Culture Audit questionnaire that rates each company on things such as compensation and benefits, hiring practices, recognition, training and diversity programs.

“These leading companies are at the vanguard of a new business frontier, where organizations know they have to develop the full human potential of all their employees,” said Great Place to Work CEO Michael C. Bush in a statement. “They are working to build Great Places to Work for all, which are better for business, better for people and better for the world.”

The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ: CAKE) was singled out for its leadership’s support for its people, with staff praising “’warmhearted’ management for ‘their amazing flexibility’ and ‘keeping everyone positively motivated.’” The restaurant chain has been on the list for four years and was ranked 98th last year.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) was recognized for its “’epic’ environment that’s ‘100% nerd without any restraint,’” enabling coworkers to enjoy things such as fencing, beer brewing and skateboarding together. The game company has been on the list for three years and was ranked 77th last year. It is the only entertainment company in the ranking.

“At Activision Blizzard, we hire the world’s best talent to build new worlds,” said CEO Bobby Kotick in a statement. “Our mission to inspire play, competition and community connects hundreds of millions of people, and creating a great place to work is the key to serving them well.”

First American (NYSE: FAF) “truly cares about community,” the survey found, with team members participating in breast-cancer races to raise more than $200,000 for research and treatment last year. This is the financial services company’s second year on the list. It was ranked 94th last year.

“Our people consistently impress me with their integrity, commitment and teamwork, so I’m proud to see their efforts to create a premier workplace recognized nationally again,” added First American CEO Dennis Gilmore. “Embracing a culture that emphasizes people first continues to deliver returns for our employees, our customers, our shareholders and for the communities in which we work.”