(Winners are listed by size category and then alphabetically by company name.)

15--50 employees

51--100 employees

101--250 employees

251--500 employees

501--1,000 employees

More than 1,000 employees

How the winners were chosen


PDF of Best Places to Work special SectionAgilent TechnologiesFour-time winner

SANTA ROSA -- In addition to being a premier test and electronic measurement company, since 1972 Agilent has also been a leading Sonoma County employer with a world-class workforce that numbers nearly 1,200.

"We're always innovating and have a solid business model enabling us to provide leading-edge products with regard for the work-life balance," an employee said.

The company allows telecommuting when possible and the campus offers multiple amenities -- an exercise facility with free fitness classes, a field for softball, soccer and Ultimate Frisbee games, a walking path with a Par Course and an employee garden.

"Agilent is a great place to work primarily because of our resourceful, team-oriented, creative and highly skilled employees, "said Guy Sene, Electronic Measurement Group President. "Their dedication leads to our success. They care deeply about our community."

Employees are involved in environmental projects in parks, annual United Way Day of Caring projects (with nearly 370 volunteers participating) and a host of related activities with non-profits and schools.

Earlier this year Agilent announced a restructuring to balance its costs with incoming revenue that involved some layoffs and emphasis on contract and temporary workers.

An employee noted, "Management does what needs to be done -- with a high level of openness -- to keep our company going. We all pull together and figure out the best course of action and set priorities."Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical CenterEight-time winner

SAN RAFAEL -- "KP is a leader in healthcare reform under the new Affordable Care Act, and has become an example for the nation to follow," an employee said.

Continuous improvements are being made in San Rafael focusing on excellent patient care and employee satisfaction. There is a new parking structure, the Emergency Department is being remodeled and relocated, and technology is leveraged to meet tomorrow's needs.

"Our Healthy Community mission embodies our commitment to improve the health for all of the communities we serve," said Gary Mizono, M.D., Physician in Chief. "The pride and dedication of our 2,050 employees to this mission and the spirit of innovation help make our company great."

There is increased emphasis on preventative care; integrated, evidence-based medicine and aligning patient needs with organizational goals.

"KP is staying positive and communicating about our changing healthcare system and how that affects us. They engage the front-line staff, provide updates, value our input and involve us in decision-making in a Unit Based Team approach to improve efficiency and reduce costs."

Employees say, "With great care and concern for our members and employees, KP is on track and ready to move ahead. What haven't our managers dealt with? Everyone else tries to copy Kaiser's business model -- and that says a lot. We are adapting to not only survive, but to thrive, and to lead the way into the future of healthcare."Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical CenterEight-time winner

SANTA ROSA -- With a highly collaborative culture and a firm commitment to excellent care, Kaiser Santa Rosa's 2,450 employees see it as a customer focused, caring and flexible organization that truly respects diversity, and has a strong partnership with labor and management.

"We have a proactive, innovative decision-making leadership team that incorporates the input of workers involved with daily patient care. This makes Kaiser a fabulous best place to work," an employee said.

There are also opportunities for individuals to be part of committees to help Kaiser improve member satisfaction. Employees participate as Improvement Advisors to assist managers in making better business decisions.

"Kaiser continues to be challenged by the same economics affecting the state and our nation," said Kirk Pappas, M.D., Physician in Chief. "Our employees and physicians have embraced a number of performance and service improvement projects to enable us to become the best place to receive healthcare."

Staff members say, "KP's leadership believes in consistent communication and thanks employees for doing a great job. We have fantastic people and everyone works together to do what is best for our patients. We are committed to making lives better."

 By developing best practices and anticipating changes with healthcare reform, Kaiser is staying above and beyond its competition.

"KP provides good salaries, benefits, a knowledgeable staff, and support for continuing education plus worksite wellness programs. I want to stay here until I retire."