SMALL COMPANIES: 15-49 full-time Washington employees
1.StrataCore Inc., computer consulting, Seattle Besides monthly happy hours and team get-togethers (which have been mostly remote during the pandemic), the company twice a year hosts a monthly fitness challenge where employees are assigned to teams. It even holds company boat days when staffers spend the afternoon cruising and having lunch. Its quarterly and annual MVP awards are based around its five core values and its annual Top Gun award is given to its top salesperson.
2.Newfront, formerly ABD Insurance and Financial Services, insurance (nonhealth care), San Mateo, Calif. Within its downtown Seattle office, ABD works to foster a culture of unity and collaboration based on its core tenets of work, love and play. The company provides a monthly stipend for fitness equipment and has a fun committee that coordinates themed events throughout the year, such as happy hours, art classes and a Halloween party.
3.Total Merchant Concepts, financial services, Vancouver, Wash. Workers strive to foster a legacy of fun at this company. To reduce stress and unwind, employees have access to a trampoline, as “jumping reduces stress,” the company says. Each employee shares a daily win with the entire team, and themed team activities are held throughout the year, with a recent example being “Spirit Week.”
4.Strong Tower Consulting, Bellevue This certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprise and Women-Owned Business Enterprise practices inclusion consulting, a method that applies the power of diversity to solve problems. It has adopted a new approach to workplace giving called Minute-by-Minute philanthropy, where the company donates $1 to charity for every billable hour.
5.Intrinium, technology and security consulting, Spokane Valley If you don’t think lip syncing is a skill, you haven’t visited Intrinium’s office. Lip sync competitions and Netflix watch parties are just two activities that boost company culture. The company also hosts an employee appreciation barbecue and an annual winter holiday party.
6.Crates and Pallets, manufacturing, Spokane Valley This family-owned packaging and shipping company’s daily mantra is “smarter, not harder,” and production runs on a four-day work week. The company provides a premium Spotify account for employees and also encourages them to use the shop after work for personal projects. Other benefits include free lunch on Thursdays and free boots, work shirts and hoodies.
7.iMatch LLC, staffing, Seattle Music from the 1990s blares on Mondays. Thursdays are reserved for country music. Employees relax by playing ping-pong and darts in the office, “which can get pretty competitive,” the company says. Relaxed dress codes and beer and seltzer on tap create what the company describes as a “rare relationship culture that permeates everything that we do.”
8.Ripl Inc., social video and content app developer, Seattle Ripl, which works primarily with small businesses, created connection days when employees visit customers at their businesses to better appreciate their challenges and opportunities. The company hosts an annual getaway for employees and their families and provides appreciation gifts “at least quarterly” to the entire company.
9.CloudMoyo Inc., technology, Bellevue Employees participate in daily brain teasers, share recipes and exchange watercooler conversations in a virtual setting to stay connected and engaged. The WellNest program encourages, supports and provides resources to help employees take care of themselves and their families. No meetings are held on Fridays.
10.Schlemlein Fick & Franklin, legal, Seattle An onsite gym and ping-pong table keep employees loose and focused. The company operates a pet-friendly office and all staffers enjoy a minimum of 16 days of paid vacation.
11.CFO Selections, consulting, Bellevue The annual “Grace Under Pressure” awards recognize extraordinary effort, and employees receive two annual fine-dining dinners on the company. To promote a culture of giving, the company created the CFOS Foundation. It returns a portion of profits in the form of grants, with a focus on advancing the lives of foster children.
12.Sublime Media, consulting, Seattle Sublime’s Fun Committee plans activities such as dog-costume contests, potlucks, cook-offs and themed days. Dogs are allowed in the office except on Fridays during summer months, when the office closes to give employees the day off and recharge.
13.Formidable, software, Seattle Weekly massages and daily social calls – both remote and in-person – power the culture at Formidable. The company also holds celebration dinners and happy hours to mark team victories.
14.Campfire Analytics, consulting, Seattle Like most companies, Campfire Analytics holds an annual holiday party. Unlike most, it also organizes an annual employee camping trip. The company says it emphasizes “holocracy” rather than hierarchy “because people are more than just the job they have.”
15.Uplevel, software, Seattle The team participates in quarterly events to connect. Recent examples include virtual cooking challenges, escape rooms, trivia games and photo contests. Virtual games are played every Friday. To battle burnout, offices close three weeks of the year and employees receive monthly mental health days.
16.Northwest Asset Management, financial services, Mercer Island Northwest Asset Management had remote work options before even Covid hit. Each quarter, peers choose a person whom they think deserves to win employee of the quarter. The winner receives a $1,000 bonus. Employees can take their birthdays off and it doesn’t count against their PTO.
17.Apptentive, software, Seattle The company is committed to equity. It provides training on inclusive interviewing, conducts an annual diversity and inclusivity survey to understand employee experiences and demographics, and established a diversity and inclusion task force. No meetings on Wednesdays.
18.Northwestern Mutual Inland Northwest, financial services, Spokane Valley Workers at this 100-year-old office receive free personalized financial plans. The Spokane office is part of a network of 76 across the United States. The company holds an annual chili cook-off, potlucks and monthly get-togethers.
19.Timber IT Consulting LLC, Seattle Pop into Timber Consulting’s offices and you may see employees decked out in company-provided “You Matter” T-shirts, which is one of the company's guiding principles. Exempt employees receive occasional surprise days off, while all take the afternoon off prior to three-day holidays. During the pandemic, the company sent employees care packages sourced from local retailers. It also hosts company parties at Seattle-area restaurants.
20.Columbia Pacific Wealth Management, financial services, Seattle If an employee’s regular caregiver for a child or aging parent is suddenly unavailable, the company pays for backup care. Perks include a fully stocked kitchen, work-sponsored team luncheons and afternoon walks.
21.Finity Group, LLC, financial services, Portland, Ore. Fridays are special at Finity Group. Workers are allowed to leave early the first Friday of every month and those who’ve been with the company five years work only half a day most Fridays. The company rewards employees by buying them lunch. Finity also pays for parking.
22.CommerceIQ, e-commerce management, Seattle CommerceIQ raised $60 million last June and says it is poised to emerge as the next Seattle unicorn (a company valued at more than $1 billion). Its culture mix includes quarterly awards for innovations, a monthly employee profile on a blog and annual off-site events featuring team dinners, team building and entertainment. CommerceIQ’s lunch-and-learn program is a key component of its DEI initiatives.
23.Revolution Custom Builders, construction, Issaquah Impromptu staff lunches, regular Friday afternoon happy hours and an annual weekend getaway for employees and their families are just a few of the perks at Revolution, which provides commercial, civil and project management services.
24.Johnston Architects, Seattle The company’s social responsibility committee organizes regular events for employees to support causes that align with their values. Examples of past events include backpack and supply drives during back-to-school season, gift card collections for teens around the holidays, and purchasing meals for first responders and medical professionals during the pandemic.
25.Sustainable Interiors, construction, Poway, Calif. Sustainable Interiors, whose local office is in Federal Way, boasts a ping-pong table to help employees unwind and often orders lunches in for its staff. The company says that daily wins such as communication and budget alignment reporting are just as important as the final result.
26.Image Source, advertising/PR/marketing, Kirkland The mantra at this company is “culture is more important than talent and tactics." The company hosts employees and their families during an annual trip to Lake Chelan. Every month, the company brings in a wheeled cart loaded with snacks and drinks, and it’s not unusual for employees to take bike rides together. The sales team also hosts semimonthly barbecues during summer months.
27.Total Benefit Solutions, health insurance, Bellevue A room in the office is a dedicated game space complete with a ping-pong table, cornhole games and other fun activities. The company’s Culture Club, which has pivoted to a virtual focus, identifies team-building activities and games. Video shout-outs recognize employees for exceptional performance.
28.Whitepages, Inc., identity verification services, Seattle Transparency is baked into the culture at this company, where turnover, at 7% last year, is far below industry standards. The company holds step challenge competitions, regular happy hours and offers onsite massages. A spot-bonus plan allows managers to recognize exceptional contributions in real time, and the company sends gift baskets to thank workers for a job well done or to commemorate personal milestones.
29.Pacific Capital Resource Group, Inc., financial services, Bellevue Staff appreciation events include bowling nights, a golf tournament, a day at T-Mobile Park to watch the Mariners and a virtual wine event. The company’s telecommuting program offers flexibility in working hours. Pacific Capital has more than 40 advisers and wealth strategists guiding the financial portfolios of more than 25,000 families and businesses nationwide. 30.
30.Volt Athletics, fitness technology, Seattle You might expect a company that specializes in fitness and health to have a wellness challenge program. But there’s much more at Volt, which is on the Best Companies list for the third year. Volt switched to a four-day work week last year. “Flex Friday” is a day that employees can use to catch up on emails, relax, go for a hike, or hang out with family and friends. The company throws an old-school white elephant gift exchange party and also has a robust professional development program
31.The Fearey Group, advertising/PR/marketing, SeattleAt Fearey Group, there’s a “no jerks allowed” policy. Team-building exercises include virtual cooking classes with chefs in Italy and parties where employees learn to make sangria. The firm has a reimbursement policy for cell phones and home offices, and conducts both a spot- and annual-bonus program.
32.Progressions Credit Union, financial services, Spokane The credit union presents its Shining Star Award to employees for exceptional performance. Winners receive a trophy, eight “jeans days” and a $25 Amazon gift card. Longtime employees receive 10% annual bonuses and each October, managers organize a week of treats and activities, such as providing breakfast and lunch, contests featuring prizes and a massage day. 33.
33.Etter, McMahon, Lamberson, Van Wert & Oreskovich, P.C., legal, Spokane Founded in 1995, the law firm was rated Tier 1 by U.S. News & World Report six years in the past decade. The firm holds an annual softball game and hosts company barbecues.
34.Banzai, advertising/PR/event marketing, Seattle Leaders often surprise employees with “recharge days,” unexpected paid days off to shorten the work week. It also gives employees $200 per month to use for personal health-related purposes. During the recruiting and hiring process, the company uses a system that disregards age or gender.
35.Apex Facility Resources, workplace services, Kent Apex instituted virtual Friday afternoon watercooler-type meetings for emotional support and connection during the pandemic and created a Covid committee to keep workers apprised of new developments. It also holds twice-weekly optional guided meditation sessions and regular events employees can join virtually or in person, including cooking classes and trivia games.
36.Carlisle Classic Homes LLC, construction, Seattle According to one employee, “The company’s outlook is definitely through the windshield and not the rearview mirror. The owners are honest and open in their intuitive ability to observe people and gauge situations. They give people chances to prove themselves and desire to help everyone to becoming their best self.”
37.Bath Fitter of the Inland Northwest, construction, Spokane Valley Employees can receive unpaid time off for any reason if they request it at least two weeks in advance. The company has a promote-from-within policy and says it encourages open communication regardless of job title.
38.ALSC Architects, Spokane Founded in 1948, ALSC has worked on several notable projects, including Expo ’74, the Spokane Arena and Gonzaga University’s McCarthey Athletic Center. The firm’s profit-sharing retirement plan is 100% employer-funded, with a targeted amount of 15% of an employee’s annual salary. The weekend starts early: The office closes at 3 p.m. every Friday.
39.RiverBank, financial services, Spokane The bank awards prizes at all-staff meetings and holds quarterly lunches and events for the entire company. It honors five employees annually with its employee of the year award and workers nominate their peers for the biweekly WoW awards.
40.Luum, commute management, Seattle The “Ministry of Fun” team keeps things lighthearted at Luum, which was founded in 2012. The team organizes activities to relieve stress, including an end-of-year party and a celebration of National Earth Day, when everyone blocks off time to go outside. During Covid, CEO Sohier Hall sent care kits to each employee with items such as masks, snacks, hot chocolate and meal ingredients.
41.Commerce Architects, Spokane Commerce has several Slack channels for a variety of fun activities. One celebrates company victories. Others focus on baking and cooking, earth-friendly practices, pets, gardening and music. Workers compete for prizes during in-office games such as foosball and shuffleboard, and winners of the company’s March Madness tournament and Super Bowl Squares can direct their winnings to a charity of their choice.