What makes a business a great place to work and what makes it a great entrepreneurial place to work are vastly different qualities. Offering robust benefits and high salaries is great, but creating an environment that encourages teamwork and creativity is usually more important for growing businesses. For talented employees all over the region, the ability to help build something and watch their efforts directly contribute to the success of a company is an enticing offer. Personal growth, freedom of expression, recognition of talent, and having ownership over what they do every day carries a high value for many workers and proves to help smaller, independent companies compete for talent with the big businesses offering big compensation.
These 10 companies take culture seriously and it is paying off, not only by attracting and retaining employees, but by the growth their businesses have achieved. The founders of these companies share some of the ways they have created a great company to work for, and why they are glad they did.
What they do: Online publisher of legal news and data for litigators
Why it’s great: One good thing that the dotcom bust left behind? A selection of extravagantly cool available office space. When Magnus Hoglund, co-founder of Law360, walked into the space on Union Square, he thought, “This is us.” Read more.
What they do: Independent NYC-based communications agency specializing in business-to-business public relations.
Why it’s great: Before founding DiGennaro Communications (DGC), Samantha DiGennaro had a lot of experience working at big PR agencies. While she may have loved what she was doing, she says the companies felt “soulless.” Read more.
What they do: Publishes websites that help busy women shop online—shefinds.com, bridefinds.com, and momfinds.com
Why it’s great: SheFinds founder Michelle Madhok has created a company culture that recognizes the importance of balancing the needs of work with the needs of family. To this end, SheFinds Media has alternative hours of operation. Read more.
What they do: FieldView Solutions developed and delivers a software product that helps data center managers run their facilities more efficiently, saving time, money, and reducing their environmental impact.
Why it’s great: Many companies profess to have a family atmosphere; but in reality, they are more like a dysfunctional family where employees are willing to hop on the first opportunity out. According to employee Rita Lindsay- Sonatore, “We’ve all worked at places where ‘family first’ was preached, but no practiced. FieldView truly lives this mantra. Read more.
Employees: 50 in the US, 20 in the UK
What they do: Independent communications consultancy.
Why it’s great: CJP Communications founder Jennifer Prosek takes her company culture so seriously, she wrote a book about it: Army of Entrepreneurs. This management strategy is focused on helping every member of the staff develop an owner’s mindset, which means employees take full and enthusiastic responsibility for each of their accounts, from client service to generating ideas for expansion. Read more.
Five More Great Companies...
Why It’s Great: At Back Up My Info! every employee has a voice in how the business is run. Beginning with the new hire process, qualified candidates are interviewed by multiple team members. Read more.
Why It’s Great: Forget the stuffy offices full of dark mahogany furniture found in traditionally conservative firms of estate and trust attorneys. McManus & Associates has created a modern law firm, both in interior design and client management philosophies. Read more.
Why It’s Great: While the Gersh family has been in the commercial and residential property damage restoration industry for more than 60 years, Maxons Restorations, Inc., as it is incorporated today has been around for more than 20 years. Read more.
Why It’s Great: Watchitoo, a virtual video conference, webinar and live events technology solution provider, is a very flat organization. According to employees, the company has only one level of management and a very democratic style of decision-making. Read more.
Why It’s Great: With employees living around the world, the culture at Covestor is truly unique. Co-founder Perry Blacher believes this creates a more interesting workforce and builds a stimulating company culture. Read more.