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.

Bright Idea: Labor Saver

Bright Idea: Labor Saver

Forget email. Shyft Technologies makes shift swapping easy.
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

New legislation requiring Seattle businesses with 500 or more employees to schedule workers’ hourly shifts two weeks in advance will be a boon to some, but it could complicate the lives of many workers and employers.

Seattle startup Shyft Technologies has created a free smartphone app that simplifies the tangled dance of schedule shuffling by making it easier for employees to swap shifts and for bosses to get shifts covered on short notice. 

The app notifies all staffers automatically when open shifts are posted. Swaps can be approved right on the app. By matching in real time the hours when workers are available with the hours employees need work done, the app creates a more efficient market.

A worker or manager can easily add a bonus as an incentive to fill a shift on short notice, says

Shyft CEO Brett Patrontasch. “It’s a lot easier than email,” he observes. Meanwhile, workers can quickly change their availability status if they want to make more money or free up more time.

The Shyft app uses a combination of geolocation, financial transactions, machine learning and big data analytics to determine availability and pricing. The goal is to create an on-demand workforce that has more control over schedules while providing employers with the fluidity to operate efficiently.

As of late September, more than 12,000 Starbucks baristas, 3,500 Old Navy staffers and 7,500 McDonald’s employees were using Shyft’s app.

Founded in Toronto, the startup moved to Seattle in February to participate in the three-month Techstars mentoring program. This past summer, Shyft obtained $1.5 million in funding from Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group and other investors.