Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for

(CC) warrantedarrest/FlickrGoogle heads Fortune’s annual list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” in recognition of its success in creating a great workplace for employees.  Boston Consulting Group and SAS Institute follow up in second and third place, respectively. A total of 280 companies participated in this year’s survey.

To select the 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune partners with theGreat Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporateAmerica. The annual survey is the national benchmark for employers who consistently raise the bar on wide-ranging talent initiatives and corporate culture improvement.

Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the institute’s Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company – more than 246,000 in total this year. The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about management’s credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie.

The other third is based on responses to the institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended inquiries about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts.

The full list and related stories are available here and appear in the Feb. 6 issue of Fortune.