Published In: Seattle Business on July 30th 2010
Author: 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.
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.
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 Int’l