Best Places to Work in IT 2011 Employer Profile

No. 47

W.W. Grainger Inc.

Lake Forest, Ill. [North Central]

Why you want to work there

Top 10 ranking: No. 8 for career development The IT team's efforts are evident at this Lake Forest, Ill., company, which distributes maintenance, repair and service equipment. W. W. Grainger's website has received a number of industry recognitions, and the company's sales through the online channel have made it one of the top websites in the world. The hallmark of Grainger's benefits package is the Grainger Profit Sharing Trust, a retirement savings plan tied to the company's profitability. Through this 100% company-funded plan, employees receive contributions to their retirement accounts that are based on the company's performance in the previous year and the length of the employee's tenure. In 2010, the contribution amounted to more than 18% of pay for employees with five or more years of service. Talent track Employee development and growth is a big part of W. W. Grainger's culture. Through a talent management process, investments are made to reward, recognize, develop and retain key talent. That effort involves both monetary rewards and nonmonetary incentives, such as appointments to strategic committees or key projects, exposure to senior leaders or external professional assignments. Thirty percent of W. W. Grainger's IT employees participate in both short- and long-term management incentive programs. For the majority of participants, the average value of the long-term incentives in the past few years was $20,000. For employees who don't participate in the short-term incentive program, the company has established a cash awards program to recognize and reward special performances.

Rank by company size:
Large, No. 28

Employee Statistics

Total U.S.-based employees: 13,000

Total U.S.-based IT employees: 586

IT employee turnover in 2010: 2%

IT promotions in 2010: 10%


Training days offered per IT employee in 2010: 6

Training budget per IT employee in 2010: $1,195

Women in IT

Total percentage of women within IT: 31%

Percentage of IT managers who are women: 21%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are women: 32%

Minorities in IT

Total percentage of minorities within IT: 24%

Percentage of IT managers who are minorities: 15%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are minorities: 26%