2018 Best Employers in North Carolina offer tricks of the trade
PCL Civil Constructors
While traditional benefits still matter, companies today look to perks such as on-site food trucks, rock-climbing outings, happy hours and bake-offs to foster camaraderie among staff. In Business North Carolina’s 2018 list of Best Employers in the state, several themes prevail: Many of the companies on the list emphasize team building, wellness, flexible work schedules and volunteering in the community. In its annual survey, Best Companies Group polled employees and their employers on dozens of topics, from recruiting practices to recognition programs. Topping the list are Emerald Isle-based logistics firm Transportation Impact and Edward Jones, a financial-services company based in St. Louis that employs more than 1,300 people in North Carolina.
SMALL TO MEDIUM COMPANIES (15-249 U.S. EMPLOYEES)
Cities indicate company headquarters
1. Transportation Impact
Emerald Isle, logistics consulting
U.S. employees: 50 | N.C. employees: 50
If you work for this year’s top-rated employer, you can get your car detailed for free, have a stress-busting massage in the office and enjoy access to the company’s beach condo. And in the summer, the office closes at noon on Fridays.
2. The Brooks Group
Greensboro, sales and sales-management training
U.S. employees: 30 | N.C. employees: 27
“Relaxation breaks” include scheduled chair massages and on-site yoga classes. Brooks Group employees also enjoy a variety of outings, including bowling, pottery-painting and movie nights.
3. Versado Training
Durham, life-sciences and other training services
U.S. employees: 22 | N.C. employees: 22
The emphasis here is on both personal and professional growth: Working remotely is encouraged, and the company offers “sabbatical-style” flexibility for employees to pursue the arts and other callings.
4. Visionpoint Marketing
Raleigh, higher-education marketing
U.S. employees: 21 | N.C. employees: 21
Employees are encouraged to bring their pets to work and build flexible work schedules, including working remotely. VisionPoint’s office is designed for collaboration, with a “dorm room” equipped with a futon and a “library” with comfy leather chairs and ottomans for employees who wish to work away from their desks.
5. Bernard Robinson & Company LLP
Greensboro, accounting services
U.S. employees: 131 | N.C. employees: 131
From mid-May to mid-August, employees can choose to work 36-hour workweeks of 4 or 4½ days. The staff donates $10 each month to wear jeans on “Jolly Jean Fridays,” with the money donated to a community cause.
U.S. employees: 15 | N.c. employees: 15
A wellness program offers employees subscriptions to wellness apps and gym memberships, along with a meditation room to get away from their desks. Employees who meet quarterly goals earn extra paid time off.
7. Samet Corp.
Greensboro, general contractor
U.S. employees: 179 | N.C. employees: 169
Fitness is a focus at this family-owned company — from exercise classes to fitness challenges with daily goals and group activities. To unwind, the employees gather at Topgolf, a bowling alley or a local bar for drinks and appetizers after work.
8. Champion Credit Union
Canton, financial services
U.S. employees: 83 | N.C. employees: 83
This western N.C. credit union stresses work-life balance, offering employees paid time off for volunteering in the community. The firm has family-oriented corporate events and relaxes a bit with casual dress days.
Raleigh, strategic communications and brand marketing
U.S. employees: 17 | N.C. employees: 17
From scavenger hunts at the mall to team rock climbing, employees at this advertising and public-relations firm enjoy some fun perks. During the summer, they work half days every other Friday.
10. Red Moon Marketing
Charlotte, marketing and creative services
U.S. employees: 28 | N.C. employees: 28
Regular team outings and happy hours lift morale at this creative firm. Recognition programs include employee of the year and awards for customer service and displaying positive energy.
11. Forrest Firm PC
Durham, legal services
U.S. employees: 30 | N.C. employees: 30
Employees at this law firm stay connected through a watercooler Slack channel that allows for informal interactions. Attorneys enjoy a “work from anywhere” policy and are allowed to shift their schedules to match their work style and enhance productivity. An annual go-kart outing is another popular perk.
U.S. employees: 32 | N.C. employees: 32
From scavenger hunts to chili cook-offs, this technology company emphasizes team building. Frequent team-appreciation lunches keep spirits up during busy months, and the company matches up to $500 for charitable donations and mission trips.
13. Electric Supply & Equipment Co.
Greensboro, electrical distributor
U.S. employees: 90 | N.C. employees: 90
Holidays are a big deal at ES&E, with an employee gift exchange and the company’s annual bonus program. The company just rolled out a new program allowing employees to purchase additional vacation days for a special trip or occasion, or simply to have a little more flexibility in their schedule.
14. Jackrabbit Technologies
Huntersville, class-scheduling software
U.S. employees: 47 | N.C. employees: 47
Healthy lifestyles are encouraged at this company north of Charlotte, including departmental and company retreats that include hiking, water activities or spa days. The company emphasizes giving back to the community in ways that would be difficult for individuals.
15. EPES Logistics Services Inc.
U.S. employees: 188 | N.C. employees: 156
Wellness is emphasized, with an on-site medical clinic, a once-a-week massage therapist and an on-site gym with free workout classes. The first EPES Olympics day, where workers teamed up to compete in various events, was an employee favorite.
16. Heat Transfer Sales of the Carolinas Inc.
Greensboro, commercial HVAC installer
U.S. employees: 43 | N.C. employees: 38
Leaders at this HVAC company give employees autonomy to do their work while providing support when needed. Other popular perks include table tennis, occasional cookouts, and lunches where employees learn about wellness and personal finance.
17. Bulk TV & Internet
U.S. employees: 152 | N.C. employees: 152
Weekly catered lunches and “flip-flop Fridays” to raise money for local charities create a fun atmosphere at this TV, internet and phone service provider. The company touts a “family comes first” culture, and employees can earn awards of paid time off.
18. Wilmington Design Co.
Wilmington, web design and digital marketing
U.S. employees: 15 | N.C. employees: 15
Transparency, trust and communication are central to this company’s culture, where employees are allowed the freedom to create, improvise and experiment. Popular perks include Pizza Thursdays, monthly happy hours and holiday gatherings.
19. Johnson Price Sprinkle PA
U.S. employees: 49 | N.C. employees: 49
Wellness is the theme for this accounting firm. Along with an on-site gym, employees are encouraged to take “stressbuster” breaks for wall sits, planks and stretches. A wellness program offers screenings, individualized coaching and financial rewards.
Greenville, dental-supplies distributor
U.S. employees: 61 | N.C. employees: 61
Free dental care for employees’ children is a top-rated perk at this company. Morning exercise allows employees to loosen up and relieve stress, while a daily office news feed highlights family events, weekend activities and other topics to keep staff members connected.
21. Falcone Crawl Space & Structural Repair
Charlotte, construction repairs
U.S. employees: 32 | N.C. employees: 32
At the end of a long week, management will break out the grills on Friday afternoon for food, drinks and camaraderie among staff. A relaxation room with a salt lamp, essential-oil diffuser and floor mats offers a quiet getaway to de-stress.
22. Capital Investment Cos.
Raleigh, Financial services
U.S. employees: 30 | N.C. employees: 30
Perks at this financial firm include full or partially paid parental leave for births or adoptions and flexible hours for school events and family appointments.
23. ASIC North Inc.
Williston, Vt., engineering
U.S. employees: 131 | N.C. employees: 28
Wellness challenges aim to keep workers fit at this engineering firm, which regularly schedules fun office events such as “Pi Day pizza” and a curling outing. Employees receive 100% employer paid health, dental, disability, basic life, employee vision and a generous employer 401k contribution equivalent to 10% of the eligible earnings.
24. Martin Starnes & Associates CPAs PA
U.S. employees: 64 | N.C. employees: 64
Flexible work schedules are an important benefit at this company, which stresses the importance of work-life balance. Wellness is also a theme, with fitness challenges, in-office massages and the option of stand-up desks, which allow for increased circulation and blood flow.
U.S. employees: 43 | N.C. employees: 35
In the spring, the accounting staff at Verigent have the option of working four 10-hour days to be able to take Monday or Friday off. Monthly spirit days include bake-offs and other themes.
26. National Coatings Inc.
Raleigh, commercial painting
U.S. employees: 60 | N.C. employees: 25
Pets and kids are welcome at this company, which also emphasizes flexible work schedules. Another fun benefit is “serious but fun” self-defense classes.
27. The McIntosh Law Firm PC
Davidson, legal services
U.S. employees: 52 | N.C. employees: 52
Along with a flexible work schedule, the firm offers tickets to employees for local performances and events. Quarterly lunches and a yearly ice cream social each August are popular perks.
LARGE (250 OR MORE U.S. EMPLOYEES)
Cities indicate company headquarters
1. Edward Jones
St. Louis, financial services
U.S. employees: 41,350 | N.C. employees: 1,312
After three years, any associate in good standing at this financial-services firm can be offered partnership — nearly 40% of employees are owners. The company also pays all expenses for executive MBAs for promising associates
Houston, human-resources services
U.S. employees: 2,700 | N.C. employees: 35
Team-building activities and birthday celebrations generate fun at this staffing firm. The company offers 12 hours of paid time off per quarter for volunteer service.
3. Davenport & Co.
Richmond, Va., financial services
U.S. employees: 440 | N.C. employees: 30
Finance pros offer assistance and guidance to other employees with various seminars on topics such as investing, Social Security and Medicare. Offices close at 4:15 p.m. every Friday and before holidays.
4. Scott Insurance
Lynchburg, Va., risk management and employee services
U.S. employees: 307 | N.C. employees: 92
At Scott, each office has a “culture” or “fun” committee that plans activities throughout the year. The company is 100% employee-owned and offers a generous retirement contribution.
5. Williams Mullen
Richmond, Va., legal services
U.S. employees: 427 | N.C. employees: 58
This fitness-focused firm pays up to 50% of gym memberships and offers bike-to-work rewards and discounts on diet and nutrition counseling. Williams Mullen also provides third-party one-on-one investment planners to its employees at no charge.
6. Wharton-Smith Inc.
Sanford, Fla., general contractor
U.S. employees: 534 | N.C. employees: 26
Half-day Fridays and Wellness Wednesday breakfasts are popular perks, as are gift-card prizes for quarterly achievements and celebrations for promotions. The company sometimes provides team lunches at project sites.
7. Coastal Credit Union
Raleigh, financial services
U.S. employees: 497 | N.C. employees: 497
Softball, basketball and bowling leagues promote fun and fitness. On-site flu shots and various health screenings offer convenience for employees.
8. Burns & McDonnell
Kansas City, Mo., architecture, engineering and construction
U.S. employees: 5,528 | N.C. employees: 40
This engineering firm celebrates employee ownership each October with a monthlong celebration, including an annual pancake breakfast, a lunchbox trivia contest and more. The engineering company also promotes STEM outreach and volunteering in the community.
9. Cypress Creek Renewables
Santa Monica, Calif., renewable energy
U.S. employees: 543 | N.C. employees: 208
Wellness is promoted with midday yoga classes as well as reminders to stretch and walk about. This energy company also offers on-site personal-development and stress-management workshops and seminars.
10. PCL Civil Constructors Inc.
U.S. employees: 1,659 | N.C. employees: 77
Team-building events are infused with fun at this employee-owned construction company, including local outings to hockey and baseball games and small-group outings to escape rooms and go-kart venues. Project completions and other victories are celebrated with off-site gatherings.
Menlo Park, Calif., consulting
total employees: 3,600 | N.C. employees: 59
This subsidiary of Robert Half International Inc. offers eligible consultants paid sabbaticals of up to three months to pursue personal passions. Employees who travel extensively earn points that can be redeemed for rewards such as iPads and hot-air balloon rides or donations to charity.
12. Total Quality Logistics
U.S. employees: 4,069 | N.C. employees: 171
All three of Total Quality Logistics’ North Carolina offices offer intramural sports teams, while on-site visits from popular food trucks are also popular. The company’s High Point office has a free bike service to use on nearby trails.
13. Apptio Inc.
Bellevue, Wash., software
U.S. employees: 627 | N.C. employees: 69
Annual events such as outings to Durham Bulls games and summer picnics for families help this staff bond. A Shark Tank-style contest is designed to foster innovation among employees.
14. Alston & Bird LLP
Atlanta, legal services
U.S. employees: 1,647 | N.C. employees: 233
A job well done at this law firm could be rewarded with an on-the-spot bonus of $100 to $1,000. The company also coordinates frequent social gatherings and provides two days of paid time off for volunteering at local charities or chaperoning school outings.
15. Terminix Service Inc.
Columbia, S.C., pest-control services
U.S. employees: 1,116 | N.C. employees: 359
Perks here include flexible hours to accommodate school events or family appointments and free or discounted tickets to local entertainment and sporting events.
16. Certainty Home Loans
Plano, Texas, financial services
U.S. employees: 389 | N.C. employees: 40
Top-performing employees who achieve certain goals get the chance to attend all-expenses paid trips to destination resorts. Employees participate in an annual charity challenge — last year the company donated more than $10,000.
17. CPI Security
Charlotte, security and automation services
U.S. employees: 702 | N.C. employees: 584
Spontaneous rewards at this security firm might include small trinkets for your desk or home-delivered steaks. A popular event is a family fun day at Carowinds amusement park.
18. AlphaBEST Education
Lewisville, after-school programs
U.S. employees: 1,706 | N.C. employees: 103
School-aged children of employees can attend after-school or summer programs free of charge, and the company also offers flexible hours for staffers to attend school events and tend to family matters.