The Best Places To Work In 2015

Based solely on employee feedback, Glassdoor’s annual survey reveals quirky culture and valuable perks among the traits that distinguished the best SMBs to work for in 2015.

Would you recommend your workplace to a friend? Most people are eager to regale buddies with tales of bad bosses, annoying colleagues, and other job-related problems. Tooting an employer’s horn, not so much. But it’s valuable information and it’s at the heart of Glassdoor’s seventh annual Employees’ Choice Awards.

Just released is a full list of Best Places to Work in 2015 across the U.S. and UK based only on the input of employees who anonymously volunteered to provide feedback about their job, work environment, and company.

Topping the list of 50 Best Small & Medium Companies to Work For (those with fewer than 1,000 employees) are:

  1. Motley Fool – multimedia financial services company based in Alexandria, VA
  2. Fast Enterprises – software company for revenue agencies headquartered in Greenwood Village, CO
  3. Evolent Health – early stage health care startup based in San Francisco
  4. Intacct Corporation – cloud business accounting software headquartered in San Jose, CA
  5. Tube Mogul – enterprise software platform for digital branding based in Emeryville, CA

According to Glassdoor, winners are ranked based on their overall company rating achieved during the past year on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied. Employees who participated in the survey were asked about the CEO and senior management as well as how they felt about career opportunities, benefits, culture, values, and work-life balance. In addition, employees are asked whether they would recommend their employer to a friend, and what their opinion is on the company’s business outlook in the next six months.

While companies like NPR landed on the list for the first time, Motley Fool is the first and only company to top the list for two consecutive years. According to some of the employee’s reports, Motley Fool won the distinction because of its emphasis on culture and perks.

“Excellent benefits (no vacation policy, treadmill desks, tons of free books), fantastic culture, great people. Lots of upward mobility, you really get to determine your future here. No two days are alike, work is very interesting.” – Motley Fool Editor/Analyst (Alexandria, VA)

“I could go on and on, but some of the main highlights are: the people, the laid-back culture, the flexibility (in both job and work schedule), the trust and mutual accountability, and most of all…the ability to truly change the world.” – Motley Fool Employee (Alexandria, VA)

In fact, the company has dedicated a YouTube channel to videos that feature all the ways Motley Fool takes care of its own. Chief among them: a massage therapist who has been coming to the office twice a week for the past decade, a hair stylist and manicurist who also work their magic on-site regularly, no dress code, unlimited vacation, 14 weeks paid leave for new mothers and 5 weeks off with pay for new fathers.

We’ve already covered the fact that vacation makes people more productive, but Motley Fool trumps that by offering a special prize to one lucky “fool” as they call their employees. The “Fool’s Errand” is awarded to a randomly drawn winner giving them an immediate two weeks off with pay and an extra $1000 to spend on anything they wish. The caveat: they must leave immediately and have no contact with the office to encourage those who might be a little challenged in the unplugging department.

Lee Burbage, who leads the people team at the Motley Fool, believes that fostering a great culture is key to the company’s success –perks notwithstanding. “If you want to create a great place to work, it isn’t as simple as getting a ping-pong table for the breakroom,” he tells Mid-Market Pulse. “Whether you’re a company of 10 people or 10,000, the secret to success is the same: Start with a worthy purpose, hire the best people, and trust them to do amazing things together,” he explains, “Once you’ve got that, then sure, go ahead and get a ping-pong table if you still want one.”

And don’t forget that masseuse.

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