Top 50 small business workplaces
Creating a workplace where employees love to be has been a key factor in the success of Firespring. The Lincoln, Nebraska-based marketing company recently made Inc. magazine and Winning Workplacesâ 2011 Top Small Company Workplaces .
âFrom the beginning at Firespring, we focused on making sure the employees felt a sense of empowerment and entitlement,â said Jay Wilkinson, CEO of Firespring. âIf an employee doesnât feel like theyâre taken care of, then theyâre not going to take great care of the customer.â
Besides Firespring, other winners include Cal-Tex Protective Coatings, training company TRX and audio firm Skullcandy. Bob LaPointe, president of Inc. magazine believes itâs important to recognize the commitment of the companies to creating work environments where employees are as important as customers.
âGiven their commitment to a higher purpose we felt recognizing these companies for their passion and for how theyâre building their companies can be a worthy cause for others to follow as an example.â
Besides empowering employees, exemplary workplaces allow them to make decisions affecting the companiesâ profitability. LaPointe has noticed the CEOs of such companies have âbeen open and articulate in communicating the business strategy in how he/she wants the business to be run to the point where employees are empowered to make great decisions.â He added: âItâs another piece in competing and building a better company.â
The criteria used to choose the top 50 companies included business metrics, employeesâ access to financial information and ways in which the companiesâ leaders are committed to creating engaging workplaces.
Firespring is constantly working to improve its workplace from its Culture Club (with an honorary Boy George) to its daily 11:11 a.m. staff meetings, dubbed the “Firestarter.” Improvements implemented by the Culture Club have ranged from buying a popcorn machine for the office to a bowling tournament.
âA lot of respect goes towards making sure we love being here,â said Wilkinson.