Best Companies To Work For: Small
Surprise days off. No overtime. These companies focus on employee engagement.
By Rob Smith January 5, 2023
This is a list of small companies. For large companies, click here. For midsize companies, click here.
SMALL COMPANIES: 15-49 full-time Washington employees
1. CloudMoyo, Inc.
CEO: Manish Kedia
Themed social lunches and monthly events provide “brain breaks” and help build positive relationships among workers. For example, during “Pride Month,” employees learned how to support local LGBTQ+ businesses and learned about the history of the gay rights movement.
2.Strong Tower LLC
Partner: Lorna Croswell
A weekly team meeting is held on a pontoon boat that cruises around Lake Washington. Zoom happy hours feature Door Dash meal certificates and in-person lunches are held regularly, though attendance isn’t required.
3.CW Crates and Pallets
President: Frank Duffy
Employees receive free work boots with a value of approximately $150 that increases to $250 after two years. Charitable activities include food, clothing and toy drives. Employees celebrate birthdays by receiving gift cards to local merchants, including Smacky’s on Broadway sandwich shop.
Executive Director: Shkelqim Kelmendi
Quarterly retreats include dinners, tours and other team-building activities. The company also gives workers time off by closing the office during “unprecedented” events, including mass shootings, to give them space to process trauma.
5.Davidson & Associates Insurance, Inc.
Insurance, Vancouver, Wash.
President: Anthony Johnson
The company surveys employees and uses the responses to put together a weekly “spotlight” that highlights fun information about each team member and praises them for their positive attributes. Workers get their birthdays off and receive a restaurant gift card to their favorite restaurant.
Founder and CEO: Aaron Loehr
“Mental Health Month” is held every February, when the company hosts weekly group activities such as yoga, discussions and prizes. May is “Fitness Month.” StrataCore divides employees into teams that compete in areas including exercise, diet, sleep and self-care. Company executives call the competition “fierce.”
7.Revolution Custom Builders
President: JC Clementz
The company holds both a monthly all-staff barbecue and a weekly catered lunch, as well as providing exercise equipment in the office. The word “fun” is included in the company’s mission statement.
8.Total Merchant Concepts
Financial services, Vancouver, Wash.
CEO: Dean Perry
Lots of offices have ping-pong or foosball tables. Few have trampolines (yes, trampolines) in their workspaces, as Total Merchant Concepts does. All employees are eligible for leadership training.
Data provider, Seattle
CEO: Leigh McMillan
Mindful meditation sessions are held twice a month and offsite activities have included happy hours at Flatstick Pub, a suite at a Seattle Mariners game, ping-pong happy hours and trivia nights at local establishments.
10.Campbell & Co.
Co-president: Kate Roosevelt
A colleague recognition program celebrates employee achievements and a prize wheel with a variety of gift card options marks anniversaries. The company continues to work remotely and also offers a hybrid-remote model for fully vaccinated and boosted employees.
Managing Partner: Dan Staggs
Drop by the office and you’re likely to see employees playing ping pong. Lunch parties are common, and the entire staff dresses up for Halloween.
12.Business Development Resources Inc.
President: Bruce Wiseman
The company buys lunch for employees every week to create cross-department communications and holds monthly in-office happy hours. Employees can work flexible hours and remotely if necessary.
Advertising, PR, marketing, Seattle
Founder and President: Alan Nay
Silly animations highlight a fun characteristic of an employee at weekly staff meetings. Workers play Dungeons & Dragons weekly and also attend a yearly party centered around arm wrestling.
President and CEO: Steve Helmbrecht
Frequent off-site gatherings celebrate major company milestones. Treasure4 also organizes social events among businesses in its office building to create camaraderie.
15.Pacific Capital Resource Group, Inc.
Financial services, Bellevue
CEO: Kurt D. Johnson
This company holds regular staff appreciation events that often involve bowling or golf tournaments. Company executives write: “We like to grow, we like to win, and we like to have fun doing it.”
16.Columbia Pacific Wealth Management
Financial services, Seattle
President: Derek Crump
Open communication is a hallmark of this company so employees “never have a sense that people are hiding important information.” Executives say they work hard to foster a climate of collaboration.
17.Total Benefit Solutions
Health care, Bellevue
Cofounder and Managing Director: John Henry
Virtual monthly meetings and coffee chats, lunches and happy hours are routine at this company, which also features fun events such as trivia, games, wine and ice cream tastings, cooking, show and tell, and a “March Madness” pool.
CEO: John Case
Top executives say daily recognition of employees revolves around “karma.” Weekly catered luncheons, happy hours and office games help relieve stress and promote fun. The work environment is “casual and high energy” and now includes a hybrid-work schedule.
CEO: Connor Valentine
The Valentine Experience spotlight welcomes new employees with a reusable water bottle and company swag. The company provides daily snacks, beverages and free lunch to employees. Activities outside the office include golf tourneys and tickets to local sports events. The “Peace of Mind” program provides free services to local families in need.
Financial services, Mercer Island
CEO: Nelly O. Mubashi
Virtual escape rooms help workers bond and unwind, as do happy hour get-togethers. Workers are eligible for sabbatical leave, tuition reimbursement and mentorship programs.
Cofounder and CEO: Daniel Giuliani
Four-day work weeks feature a “Chaos Question” every Thursday, when executives say “we have fun dialogue over some obscure question.” Employees also enjoy monthly happy hours.
Real estate, Spokane, Wash.
CEO: Joel Tampien
Monthly team lunches and activities and annual spa days help keep employees relaxed and productive. They’re rewarded with cash bonuses, hand-written thank you cards and at the annual “4 to the Core Awards.” Company executives describe the culture as “team-oriented.”
23.Parcion Private Wealth
Financial services, Bellevue
Managing Principal: Perry Cook
Parcion pays for continuing education and say it strives to create “unique moments of care and thoughtfulness for employees, curating individual experiences and not standardized, cookie-cutter moments of recognition.”
Advertising, PR, marketing, Kirkland
CEO: Brian Haner
Employees make an annual trip to Chelan and also hold various outings including sports events, mini-golf and scavenger hunts. The company says it works hard to create a family-like nature that emphasizes both internal and external customer service.
25.Timber IT Consulting LLC
Founder and CEO: Jason Henson
Exempt employees receive occasional surprise days off and the entire team only works half-days prior to holiday weekends. Employees are also encouraged to take mental health days if necessary.
26.Green Canopy NODE
Co-CEOs: Bec Chapin, Aaron Fairchild
All staffers receive monthly technology and wellness stipends and employees are treated to monthly, company-hosted social hours. Employee feedback helps create company values each year.
Creative Director: David Linder
The office closes on Fridays during the summer, and a fun committee plans activities such as monthly virtual “coffee chats” with a themed show-and-tell, giving employees the opportunity to connect over storytelling. Slack discussions are also held in the Morale Boosters channel.
Construction, Federal Way
President: Colin Higginbottom
This Poway, Calif.-based flooring company often orders lunch and coffee for employees to boost morale and also sports a ping-pong table. Company executives say they “fight” to earn the trust of developers and contractors and value “execution over excuses and performance over promises.”
29.Bath Fitter Inland Northwest
Owner: Andrew Starnino
Workers are discouraged from working overtime and are treated to an annual cruise around a lake. Social distancing continues: Salespeople still wear masks and booties when visiting prospective customers’ homes.
CEO: Rustin Hall
In keeping with the mission, the company holds outdoor “sketching” lunch events, where employees draw local buildings and items of interest near the office. Employees can receive up to 15% profit sharing annually.
31.Cascade Print Media
President: Marco Menconi
Cascade strives for flexibility in granting time off. Company executives say they live by the attitude “work hard, play hard.”
CEO: Steven Gray
The company is based in San Diego. PeopleConnect employees all have access to the Calm app to help with stress and promote mental health. This year, employees were treated to food, drinks and games at a local pub (Uber was paid for both ways), hosted a murder mystery game and families were given tickets to a Seattle Mariners game.
33.Carlisle Classic Homes LLC
President: Robert L. Carlisle
Tickets to sporting events, movie days and company barbecues create camaraderie among employees. The “Outrageous Service Award” is given to employees who go beyond customer expectations.
Advertising, PR, marketing, Seattle
CEO: Aaron Blank
Cooking classes, crafts and games are offered during the company’s monthly team-building Zoom calls (it is 100% virtual) and employees can win prizes every Friday during online Bingo games.
Technology, Newport, Wash.
CEO: Alexander Stanton
The team unwinds during arcade afternoons, days at the park and by playing Frisbee golf. The company recently adopted policies that allow more employees to work remotely.
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