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 .
â€śFrom the beginning at Firespring, we focused on making sure the employees felt a sense of empowerment and entitlement,â€ť said Jay Wilkinson, CEO of Firespring. â€śIf an employee doesnâ€™t feel like theyâ€™re taken care of, then theyâ€™re not going to take great care of the customer.â€ť
Besides Firespring, other winners include Cal-Tex Protective Coatings, training company TRX and audio firm Skullcandy. Bob LaPointe, president of Inc. magazine believes itâ€™s important to recognize the commitment of the companies to creating work environments where employees are as important as customers.
â€śGiven their commitment to a higher purpose we felt recognizing these companies for their passion and for how theyâ€™re building their companies can be a worthy cause for others to follow as an example.â€ť
Besides empowering employees, exemplary workplaces allow them to make decisions affecting the companiesâ€™ profitability. LaPointe has noticed the CEOs of such companies have â€śbeen 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€ť He added: â€śItâ€™s another piece in competing and building a better company.â€ť
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.
â€śA lot of respect goes towards making sure we love being here,â€ť said Wilkinson.