The 100 Best Companies to Work For

FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

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.

The Judges

Rankings in the Best Companies to Work For were determined
in part by a panel of distinguished judges.

Al Lopus: President, Best Workplaces Institute

John Hartman: Executive coach, Waldron & Co.

Scott Ofstead: Vice president of human resources, Kibble
& Prentice

Nita Petry: Area president, Washington state, Gallagher
Benefit Services Inc.

Scott Rabinowitz: Managing director, Seattle, DHR
International

Josh Warborg: District president for Northwest operations,
Robert Half International

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
For.

Click below to see the lists:

Click below to read the stories:

(The small and midsize company lists have been updated to correct for an error in one company's size.)

Click here to see the photo gallery from our June 17 awards banquet.

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

Winner: Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
 
Legacy Award
Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
Auburn › belshaw-adamatic.com
When it’s time to make doughnuts — or loaves of bread, or sheets of rolls — it could well be a Belshaw Adamatic piece of equipment that’s turning out the baked goods. From a 120,000-square-foot plant in Auburn, Belshaw Adamatic produces the ovens, fryers, conveyors and specialty equipment like jelly injectors used by wholesale and retail bakeries.
 
The firm’s two legacy companies — Belshaw started in 1923, Adamatic in 1962 — combined forces in 2007. Italy’s Ali Group North America is the parent.
 
It it takes work to maintain a legacy. A months-long strike in 2013 damaged morale and forced a leadership change. Frank Chandler was named president and CEO of Belshaw Adamatic in September 2013. The company has since strived to mend workplace relationships while also introducing a stream of new products, such as a convection oven, the BX Eco-touch, with energy saving features and steam injection that can be programmed for precise times in baking. The company energetically describes it as “an oven that saves time, reduces errors, makes an awesome product, and is fun to use and depend on every day!”
 
So far, more than 3,000 have been installed in quick-service restaurants, bakeries, cafés and supermarkets in the United States. They are the legacy of Thomas and Walter Belshaw, former builders of marine engines, who began producing patented manual and automated doughnut-making machines in Seattle 90 years ago. They sold thousands worldwide and, today, Belshaw Adamatic is the nation’s largest maker and distributor of doughnut-making equipment.