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100 Best Companies To Work For 2021: Midsize

Seattle Business Magazine: Companies work to create communicative, collegial cultures

by Rob Smith

Seattle staffing firm CFO Selections had no voluntary turnover during the past year. Neither did Total Benefit Solutions, Sublime Media, Schlemlein Fick & Franklin, Rec Room, Northwestern Mutual Inland Northwest, FlowPlay, ImageSource or Commerce IQ.  It’s no surprise, then, that each of those organizations appears on Seattle Business magazine’s 32nd annual listing of Washington state’s 100 Best Companies To Work For.

Zero turnover is particularly impressive given that the world is in the midst of what’s been dubbed “The Great Resignation” or “The Big Quit” as workers reevaluate their careers and lives in the face of the global pandemic. A Microsoft survey of more than 30,000 workers found that a staggering 41% were considering quitting or changing careers. The U.S. Department of Labor says 4 million people left their jobs in July.

According to MIT Sloan Management Review, successful companies “rely on a set of core values” when communicating with employees. That’s certainly reflected in the corporate culture at StrataCore Inc., the top-scoring company on the list of 100, regardless of size. On the Best Companies nomination form, a StrataCore executive laid out the company’s philosophy: “1. Be Exceptional. 2. Solve Problems. 3. Team First. 4. Advocate Fiercely, and 5. Deliver Results. These are not mere words, but guide what we do every day. Over the past 18 years, we’ve learned that when our team lives and breathes our values, the rest falls into place."

Seattle Business magazine enlisted Pennsylvania-based Best Companies Group to conduct this year’s survey. Businesses nominate themselves and employees respond to a comprehensive survey. Responses remain anonymous and companies are scored across numerous categories, including communication, training, benefits, career development and recognition.

The scores earned by companies across all categories are combined to reach an average score.

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.

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