July 2010 – WASHINGTON’S 100 BEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR, SEATTLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE, #7 for small companies
Seattle Business Magazine, Published July 2010
This is the year that separates true best companies from
pretenders. An economic contraction the country hasn’t seen since the Great
Depression has put pressure on all aspects of a business. Layoffs, pay freezes
and cuts, benefits pruning—all have been the norm during these turbulent times.
Many employees are simply thankful to have a job, and are less concerned with
health club memberships and other perks.
But there are standouts, as there always are. Some companies
realize that an investment in human capital can have a positive effect on the
bottom line. It can be something as simple as listening to the employees—that
is, management visiting each location, talking directly with the staff and
paying much more than lip service to what they say—or a comprehensive effort to
improve the health of the entire workforce. One company goes as far as to
publish its financials internally every month, so that all employees are given
the same picture of the firm’s health. Another funds an employee’s education,
whether or not it’s work related. Yet another issues each new employee a Nerf
gun for the occasional skirmishes that break out in the office.
These are the companies that have survived turbulent times
and managed to keep their employees happy. These are the Best Companies to Work