100 Best Companies To Work For 2021: Midsize

Companies work to create communicative, collegial cultures

By Seattle Business Magazine November 22, 2021


MIDSIZE: 50-150 employees in Washington state

1.Rec Room, game developer, Seattle Rec Room recently adopted an office vaccination policy and set up cross-team virtual lunches and coffees. It started daily watercooler calls to bring workers together and created a safety-valve team so employees can discuss non-HR-related issues. For fun, it held a new hairstyle photo shoot.

2.Hayden Homes, construction, Redmond, Ore. Hayden, which has been building homes in Washington for three decades, gathers all employees every November for an award ceremony held in central Oregon. Company honors include the Robert H. Watson Award given to a team member who demonstrates the values and ideals of the founder, and the Virginia Watson Spirit of Generosity Award that honors an employee who goes above and beyond to give back.

3.World Wide Technology, technology services provider, St. Louis This company, whose local office is in Bellevue, says character matters as much as competence. Founder and chairman Dave Steward began monthly prayer sessions to connect with employees once the pandemic hit. The company has provided several health-related events for its workers, including sessions on mindful meditation and the science of laughter.

4.FlowPlay Inc., software, Seattle Every two weeks, employees are encouraged to nominate someone who has gone above and beyond in their work. The nominations are read aloud at a weekly meeting and those nominated are randomly chosen for the chance to win $5,000. Employees have access to foosball, Xboxes, Nintendo Switches and a VR room. Happy hours are held at 4 p.m. every Monday.

5.Omnidian, solar energy, Seattle During last years social justice protests, Omnidian created a civic-action committee to tackle systemic issues within marginalized communities. New employees are paired with a sol mate, typically a senior leader, to encourage cross-department collaboration and open communication. Employees can meditate during work hours and regular wellness competitions promote health.

6.Birch Equipment Rental & Sales, Inc, construction, Bellingham The woman-owned company holds a fully catered holiday party when it doles out $10,000 in prizes. Birch also has a daily sales leaderboard to acknowledge real-time performance; top performers find themselves in the monthly winners circle. The company began giving more than $100,000 annually to local communities in 2001 and has now given more than $2.5 million.

7.Inrix, data analytics, Kirkland I can hear people playing ping-pong as I type this, a company executive wrote on the Best Companies nomination form. Employees vie in competitions at Virtual Reality stations and also have access to a company boat for use during work or with their families.

8.Ekata, software, Seattle Employees enjoy unlimited PTO and often take stress breaks at the ping-pong table or end a long day with one of three beers on tap. Ekata also offers various opportunities to bring employees together, including a “Parents of Ekata” meetup and a DEI committee.

9.Bader Martin, P.S., accounting, Seattle All employees have a coach who assists them with development. The companys internal, digital recognition wall allows employees to recognize one another for superior performance. Prior to the pandemic, the company provided free meals, gourmet latte carts, meal allowances and massages, and during the virtual work environment, sent employees gifts, like a popcorn and movie night.

10.Karat, technology, Seattle The company formally recognizes employees for exceptional work twice every week, at its all-staff meeting and in its weekly people newsletter. Like many organizations, it went fully remote in 2020 and is now planning a flexible hybrid approach.

11.Textio, software, Seattle With among the most generous PTO around shared days off, including a full week this past summer Textio is making its third appearance on the Best Companies list. Perks include a virtual wellness fair and on-demand coaching. The entire office closes for a week at the end of the year.

12.Teleion LLC, technical consulting, Seattle Teleion relies on team-led committees to foster a positive work environment and says the most important is its Culture Committee. Its focus includes wellness, philanthropy, team outings and onboarding. Its Total Rewards Committee captures feedback about benefits, and its Learning and Development Committee works to foster a sense of learning.

13.Canopy Credit Union, financial services, Spokane Canopys Link to Leadership program is designed to create servant leaders. Its 401(k) match is 7%, well above the national average of 4.3%. Fun activities include Bingo Fridays and ping-pong competitions, and each employee receives eight $10 gift cards each year to give to coworkers who exceed expectations.

14.The Partners Group, Ltd., insurance (nonhealth care), Portland, Ore. To support healthy lifestyles, The Partners Group launched a fresh fruit and healthy snack program in its offices. It encourages employees to volunteer one day every December at a charity of their choice and matches employee contributions to favorite charities. Former military members get Veterans Day off. The company, whose local office is in Bellevue, provides coffee carts, lunches, desserts, smoothies and additional PTO time as perks and has a fun committee that plans potlucks and parties.

15.Pivotal Commware, engineering, Kirkland Employees enjoy spirited ping-pong games in the office and bikes are available for anyone who likes to ride. During the height of the pandemic, Pivotal held several socially-distanced outings, including outdoor wiffle ball games, online escape rooms and masked go-cart racing.

16.Amplify Consulting Partners, Bellevue Based on employee feedback, Amplify this past year added flexible spending and health savings accounts and a 401(k) match. It has improved its parental leave policy and will launch a student loan-matching plan next year. It is also reopening its office to anyone who wants to return, but any employee may continue to work virtually.

17.Community-Minded Enterprises, nonprofit, Spokane Twice-weekly coffee hours, weekly yoga and four holiday-themed parties during the year are among the perks employees enjoy at Community-Minded Enterprises. The nonprofit, which helps people in recovery from addiction reenter the job market and matches parents with child-care providers, also offers a 32-hour workweek with no reduction in pay.

18.Hanson Consulting Group, Kirkland Whether its wine Fridays, a Covid beard competition or virtual events featuring special guests such as Carole Baskin from the show Tiger King, Hanson Consulting strives to keep the workplace fun and engaging. The 100% woman-owned company says it has a true work-hard, play-hard culture resulting in a low turnover rate: Just 5% of employees left in the most recent fiscal year, well below the industry average of 22%.

19.Rehn & Associates, insurance, Spokane Summer is an important time for team building at Rehn & Associates, as it holds a Christmas-in-July celebration and encourages employees to show some personal flair on flip-flop Fridays. It names both an employee of the month and an employee of the year.

20.Cook Solutions Group, cybersecurity/video surveillance, Portland, Ore. The company, which maintains its local office in Kent, holds a tech appreciation week every year to highlight its technicians. Customers present the awards. It also encourages employees to participate in unique opportunities, including the Hood to Coast Relay. Cooks Make it Happen program recognizes employees who take initiative. The company holds lunch-and-learn sessions as part of its DEI initiative.

21.Nortal U.S., consulting, Kirkland Nortal offers a paid, formalized certification program as well as lunch-and-learn events. Workers enjoy virtual coffee, wine and beer tastings and ice cream socials, and participate in a year-long walking challenge to build camaraderie and improve health. The company has a Slack channel and rewards employees for exceptional performance every quarter.

22.Davido Consulting Group, engineering, Seattle Launched at founder Erik Davidos kitchen table in 1999, the companys DEI efforts involve posting all open jobs on various diversity and inclusion websites. It is also expanding DEI training and recognizing more holidays. It hands out anniversary bonuses, holds an employee appreciation picnic every summer and surprises workers with care packages.

23.Nuvodia, computer consulting, Spokane Valley Nuvodias after-hours program encourages a social hour after work and its chill program provides a scheduled time during work hours to join an online meeting to connect with coworkers. It also regularly recognizes staff members for outstanding internal or external service.

24.Gaspars Construction, Inc., Seattle Employees nominate coworkers for the annual Golden Hammer awards. Winners receive a golden hammer on their company jacket, their name on an awards plaque and money. During monthly meetings, managers pass a problem-solver hardhat to an employee who has demonstrated initiative to solve a problem.

25.Carney Badley Spellman, P.S., legal, Seattle This law firm doesnt regard itself as stuffy. It pays for and organizes both staff-only and family events, including attending sporting events, picnics in the park or doughnut days. It offers indoor golf and holds friendly, lighthearted competitions among teams, such as funniest group photo. Regular workshops, seminars and classes focus on managing stress.

26.Coinme, Inc., financial services, Seattle Employees spin a prize wheel on work anniversaries and play Riddle Me Wednesdays, when the head of HR posts a fun riddle. Workers are encouraged to share their outdoor pursuits in a special Slack channel, and Coinme gives everyone 160 hours of paid time off annually.

27.Hiya, technology, Seattle Hiya uses what it calls a kudos Slack channel where employees can recognize one another for exceptional work. Its kudos prize is awarded at bimonthly staff meetings. All employees also receive a gift several times per year. A recent fun activity was a virtual escape room.

28.Amperity, software, Seattle Amperity employees are all in recovery, but thats a good thing. During every month that doesnt have a three-day weekend, the company provides a recovery day and all employees receive a Friday off. Amperity honors heritage months, such as Black History Month and AAPI Month, with celebrations featuring panel discussions, swag and volunteer opportunities.

29.Brighton Jones, LLC, financial services (wealth management), Seattle The firm offers monthly, in-office massages for all staff and three-month paid sabbaticals for employees celebrating 10-year anniversaries. Its well-being stipend is designed to fund personal and professional growth. Brighton Jones also conducts regular internal staff surveys to gauge employee feedback.

30.Impel NeuroPharma, life science/biotechnology, Seattle Employees navigate virtual escape rooms and participate in fitness challenges at Impel, which became Washington states first company to go public this year. The late-stage biopharmaceutical company has a Culture Club comprising one employee from each department that organizes outings and schedules lunch-and-learn sessions about various aspects of company business.

31.AIM Consulting, staffing, Edina, Minn. Diversity, equity and inclusion are major drivers of culture at the company, whose local office is in Bellevue. Company recruiters are required to join diverse job board groups and actively participate in them. It uses a job-gender decoder for all job posts and holds external diversity recruiting events.

32.Shelf Engine, technology, Seattle The startup, which raised $41 million last March and $56 million total, operates a platform grocers use to manage food orders. Its employee engagement tactics include both remote and in-person doughnut chats, and happy hours. It has several employee groups that coordinate meetups associated with hobbies. Recent efforts have revolved around baking, pets and running.

33.Kaspien Inc., retail, Spokane Valley The office goes to the dogs on Fido Fridays. Kaspien holds biweekly no meeting days, which it says increases productivity, and biweekly town halls, a digital forum that allows employees to ask executives questions and recognize coworkers for outstanding effort. Kaspien has reopened its office but lets employees choose whether they want to work remotely or not.

34.Seattle Coffee Gear, retail, Lynnwood Awards are commonplace at Seattle Coffee Gear. The company doles out monthly accolades for customer service, sales and for employees who demonstrate core values. The Happy Fun Time club organizes barbecues and other outings. Employees can borrow new coffee equipment and, as you might expect given the nature of the business, also receive free coffee to take home.

35.Pillar Properties, multifamily, senior housing developer, Seattle In its 10-year history, Pillar Properties has developed roughly six million square feet of senior housing, multifamily housing and retail space in more than 30 development projects. It pays for employees and a family member to attend a Mariners game and also holds an annual bowling event.

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