#1: Metrix Engineers
Josh Robischon spent 15 years as an engineer at a Seattle-area HVAC and plumbing-design company. In that time, he and a small group of colleagues realized that the secrets to engineering success were threefold: Stay small and nimble; satisfy and add value for your clients; and create a positive workplace culture for your employees.
Robischon went on to cofound Metrix Engineers with those same colleagues. His Renton firm now employs 11 staffers who specialize in HVAC/plumbing design, building automation systems and sustainability consulting.
Metrix has made a name for itself as an excellent employer. Team members receive benefits that are competitive with much larger firms — such as flexible schedules, mid- and end-of-year bonuses, health care coverage and SIMPLE IRA matches — while still enjoying a startup culture that encourages frequent interaction among employees.
Robischon stresses the importance of clear and frequent communication. “We try to ensure employee and management expectations are always in line,” he says. “We try to overcommunicate expectations on both sides, and we always share with our staff that Metrix is what you want to make of it.”
So far, so good for Metrix. As one employee stated in the Best Companies survey: “The people I work with make this an exceptional place to work. We are not just a company. We are a team.”
#2: Haiku Deck
Most presentation software is clunky, drab and simply outdated. Haiku Deck is anything but. The Fremont-based firm has only 10 staffers, but its intuitive, ultrasimple software will help you create slideshow “decks” that look positively slick.
The HaikuDeck crew members appear on this list because they treat each other like family. They go on lunch runs on the Burke-Gilman Trail. The CEO makes them omelets in the office. They even celebrate Shark Week.
#3: Northwest Cadence
Northwest Cadence provides software consulting and training services to clients throughout the Puget Sound region, but its 15 employees are the main focus of cofounder Lori Borg. In their anonymous survey responses, Northwest Cadence’s employees raved about Borg and her emphasis on employee wellness, giving the company a perfect 10 for executive leadership and a 9.92 for corporate culture.