Why are some companies better to work for?

Recently there was an article about the top 100 places to work from CNN-Money.  I started wondering why is one company better to work at than another?  I do not think it is a matter of salary alone.  I think there are some other reasons maybe for example, being able to have flexible work hours, having a sense that the company relies on my knowledge, maybe provides day care or so other type of service.  I try to think what would I like to see in a company that could tag them as a great place to work?

Not every company is built perfectly as written in academic books and postings, but there should be some basic tenets of what makes a company attractive.  I think if a company is perceived as great to work for, you actually pay your employees less, due to the accompanying benefits than another company who has to overpay for employees.  When you overpay however, you are then attracting employees who are in it for only the financial compensation.  This may or may not be bad, but could lead to more turnover, especially in leadership levels, where stability is part of the attractiveness for employees.

I wonder what is the cost to a company to be in the top 100?  Is there additional costs to make the environment more attractive ?


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