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2012 Best Small, Medium Workplaces Named

By Kathy Gurchiek  11/12/2012


Ruby Receptionists and Acuity are the top winners of the 2012 Best Small and Medium Workplaces awards.

Great Place to Work, a global research and consulting firm, produces the annual list that appears in Fortune magazine. This year’s list can be found in the November 2012 issue.

For nine years, the list has recognized the top 50 U.S. companies that have exceptional workplace cultures. There are 16 first-time winners on the 2012 list. Additionally, there are five companies, including Acuity, that have made the list since it has been produced. This is the fourth year Acuity has won the top ranking for medium-sized workplaces.

Professional and financial service companies dominated the 2012 list, but winners included technology companies, staffing agencies, a mining company and a government agency.

Small companies are those with 50 to 250 employees; medium-size companies are those with 251 to 999 employees.

There are several trends evident among the 2012 winners, said Susan Lucas-Conwell, global CEO of Great Place to Work, in an e-mail interview with SHRM Online.

“The best companies are recognizing the importance of work/life balance and telecommuting,” she wrote. “These small and medium workplaces are doing more to support employees actually taking time away from the office, even going so far as to hold managers accountable when their direct reports do not take enough time away!”

Employees at the 50 Best Workplaces receive an average of 27 paid days off during their first year of employment. This year’s winners also include 17 employers that offer unlimited sick time and 20 that offer the option of working compressed workweeks.

Lucas-Conwell also noted that all of those on the Best Workplaces list have wellness initiatives.

“Some are creative and multipurpose, such as walking meetings with the CEO,” she said, and all pay between 50 percent and 100 percent of employees’ health care premiums.

Some offer incentives to workers for maintaining certain biometric numbers, exercising a certain number of times per month, successfully maintaining weight loss or completing smoking cessation programs. Forty-five of the 50 companies on the list provide onsite fitness centers or subsidize fitness center memberships.

Lucas-Conwell noted that the perks and benefits offered at the winning workplaces “are incredibly varied and make sense for their particular employee population.”

“For instance, the tax accountants at [Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman PC] can opt to enjoy an 11-month work year, while employees at Badger Mining are paid double-time to work on opening day of hunting season. Employees at Florida-based [Professional Placement Resources LLC] take meetings on the beach, while employees at Austin-based Cirrus Logic enjoy monthly live music concerts by local musicians.”

 2012 Best Small Workplaces

1. Ruby Receptionists

2. Intuitive Research and Technology Corp.

3. Badger Mining Corp.

4. Studer Group

5. Engeo Inc.

6. Talent Plus Inc.

7. Walker & Dunlop

8. Root Inc.

9. McMurry

10. Granite Properties Inc.

11. Radio Flyer Inc.

12. City of Rancho Cordova, Calif.

13. Xactly Corp.

14. Akraya Inc.

15. Kahler Slater

16. ZocDoc

17. Assurance Agency Ltd.

18. Navigator Management Partners

19. Dixon Schwabl

20. Paramount Staffing

21. AnswerLab

22. Integrated Project Management Co. Inc.

23. Professional Placement Resources LLC

24. Conductor Inc.

25. Insomniac Games

2012 Best Medium Workplaces

1. Acuity

2. Integrity Applications Inc.

3. Quantum Health.

4. Pinnacle Financial Partners

5. Eileen Fisher

6. Ryan LLC

7. OtterBox

8. Rally Software Development

9. Cirrus Logic

10. Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman PC

11. Return Path Inc.

12. Snagajob

13. CustomInk LLC

14. Noblis

15. Spectrum

16. Spokane Teachers Credit Union

17. DunnhumbyUSA

18. Embrace Home Loans Inc.

19. Delta Resources Inc.

20. Holder Construction Co.

21. Veterans United Home Loans

22. 4imprint Inc.

23. Calibre

24. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

25. Higher One

Applicants are judged on the Great Place to Work “Trust Index” employee survey and its “Culture Audit.” See for more information.

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