Top 10 ranking: No. 1 for benefits, No. 7 for training IT employees at this Minneapolis-based food giant have spoken: What's best about working there is the flexibility. In fact, in a recent internal survey, 61% of IT employees said work flexibility was an important factor in their decision to join General Mills, and 88% said it's been an important factor in their decision to stay. The program includes telecommuting, flexible scheduling around core business hours, part-time schedules, job sharing, sabbaticals and summer hours, with the option to work longer days Monday through Thursday with half days on Fridays. Employees also have the option of working part-time for up to eight weeks after returning from a leave of absence, including personal leaves, educational leaves and emergency military leave, and the ability to take additional unpaid vacation days. IT employees are actively using those options: 71% telecommute occasionally; 36% occasionally use flextime; 27% routinely use flextime; 23% telecommute regularly; 18% work part time; and 5% use flex unpaid vacation, sabbaticals and phased return-to-work options. A strong career ladder Promotion recommendations are evaluated three to four times a year by managers and director review boards and are based on accomplishments and positive impact on the business. At quarterly meetings, the IT department recognizes employee achievements such as service anniversaries, certifications, college study completions and project milestones. An employee-created rewards and recognition program, "Excellence in Technology," focuses on celebrating IT successes. The program encourages recognition of day-to-day contributions that deliver results to the business and includes an annual ceremony where trophies and cash are awarded.