While the official 2019 Inc. Best Workplaces list represents companies that score highest on the Quantum workplace survey, there are other companies we think should be recognized for their special culture or perspective. This year's Editors' List is:
This digital marketing and web design company Big Sea in St. Petersburg, Florida says its employees are so engaged that a majority have tattoos of its logo. (Reminds us of another startup where that happened: Nike.) Ink is skin deep, of course, but Big Sea is big picture: "There is no work-life balance; it's all just life." So the company says it makes "self care" as well as vacation and volunteer time just as important as its business goals. Monthly surveys provide a feedback loop to help leaders make sure they are delivering the goods.
This Manhattan-based company builds software to help established brands convert digital eyeballs into sales. Last year, founder Rachel Tipograph introduced a "professional development fund" to pay for employees' classes outside of work--anything from piano lessons to learning jiu jitsu.
"Anyone who builds something for the first time realizes about halfway through that there's many things they could do better if they did it again," says Josh Weeks, president of MoveMedical, a medical device supply chain management company in San Diego. So they did. That includes a custom designed building with all the bells and whistles--including an interactive demo area for customers to go a long with the game room and basketball court for employees. But the company also redesigned its benefits to include individualized mentorship and training. Not to develop more management, but to develop "critical thinking" capabilities.
Curating and delivering snack boxes put SnackNation at #24 on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list. CEO Sean Kelly talks about moving away from "employee engagement" toward "employee experience--the idea that your first customers are your employees." One key factor: an Employee Stock Ownership Program.
"Real change started in 2016 when we opened the books," says Eric Rieger, the founder of this Naperville, IL-based IT and cybersecurity firm. The change didn't suit everyone, he acknowledges, but over time it engaged the top players and encouraged more to join. "It's a wonderful thing to be a part of."
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated MikMak's location. It moved to Manhattan from Brooklyn in February.