December 1, 2011

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Best Companies To Work For

What makes a business a Best Company to Work For? Is it by offering a robu...Read More

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Article

Best Companies To Work For

Heather Stewart, Di Lewis, Sarah Ryther Francom

December 1, 2011

What makes a business a Best Company to Work For? Is it by offering a robust healthcare insurance plan? Is it by throwing parties and keeping a fully stocked fridge? What about providing training opportunities that open doors for employees to rise up the ranks?

Our 2011 Best Companies to Work For program honors 25 companies that are committed to their employees’ success on and off the job. From lavish vacations to flexible schedules to inclusive wellness plans, these companies put their employees first.

The Selection Process The Best Companies to Work For process begins with a rigorous two-part survey process. First, the company’s HR or executive department must complete a corporate survey that asks questions about the company’s benefits, culture and management structure. Next, employees are given a survey that asks questions related to benefits, opportunities and company culture. A required percentage of employees must answer the survey for the company to be considered. The final results are tabulated based on a weighted scoring system designed specifically to each question. The corporate survey is worth 25 percent of the final score; the employee surveys are worth 75 percent of the final score.

BrainStorm

  • Size: Micro
  • Employees: 22

The office space at BrainStorm emphasizes collaboration and stress-relieving play. A foosball table complements the gaming room, which boasts multiple Xboxes for group Halo competitions. Out of the office, the company organizes monthly activities like sporting events, theme parks and service opportunities. And during the holiday season, each employee is given money to donate to the charity of his or her choice.

“Even on the most stressful day, I will always laugh and have positive interactions with management and other employees. BrainStorm is fiercely dedicated to keeping their employees happy through spur-of-the-moment activities, company parties and all sorts of other fun things to keep spirits up,” says an employee.

Several BrainStorm employees say the company feels more like a family than a workplace. “Ethical business and personal practices are paramount to our management team—above all else. They also encourage feedback and treat each and every employee as a valued member of the BrainStorm family.”

  • Game room
  • Insurance deductible reimbursement
  • Bi-monthly community service projects
  • Telecommuting opportunities
  • Week off between Christmas and New Year’s

 

GPS CAPITAL MARKETS

  • Size: Micro
  • Employees: 26

At GPS Capital Markets, there are no cubicle walls or offices—it is a completely open environment. “It is easy to develop a good relationship with management because they are out on the floor with us, and part of the team,” says one happy employee. Other content workers praise the flexible schedules, gym membership and fully stocked break room.

The company seeks to accommodate the personal and medical needs of employees, and unless an employee will be away from the office for more than four hours, they are not required to use paid-time off for appointments or school events.

Last year, during the holiday season, GPS Capital Markets encouraged employees to donate gifts to the Angel Tree program; the company then matched the number of children helped by employees. A recognition program gives annual awards to the top salesperson and the employee of the year.

  • Quarterly bonuses
  • Company retreats
  • Paid gym membership
  • Flexible scheduling

 

PRINCE, PERELSON & ASSOCIATES

  • Size: Micro
  • Employees: 18

Recognizing that employee growth and achievement is directly related to the success of the firm, Prince, Perelson & Associates empowers employees with the flexibility to work around their private lives, a merit-based compensation plan and a robust recognition program that provides incentives to top performers each month.

“When I was hired as an employee at PPA, it was clear that I was hired as a person with potential and ability, not just as a person that would be a good fit for the very specific role that was open at the time,” offers an employee.

The company has an incredibly low turnover rate—currently at less than 1 percent—which employees attribute to its “work hard, play hard” culture. The firm sponsors twice-yearly retreats for every member of the team, and often their significant other as well. Employees have gathered for retreats at Lake Tahoe, Sun Valley, Las Vegas and Zion National Park, among other regional getaways.

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