Awards

100 Best Companies to Work For 2013: Small Companies

A salute to Minnesota organizations setting the standard in work environment and employee happiness

By Caitlin Hill

Editor's note: This article is part of The 100 Best Companies to Work For, 2013, a feature appearing in the June 2013 issue. Click here to nominate a company for the 2014 awards.

People spend about one-third of their lives at work  so it's no surprise that employee satisfaction is such a valuable commodity for both companies and employees. In our second annual survey, we asked Minnesotans what's important to them when it comes to their work life, and what makes their company a great place to be. The 100 Best were chosen using data gathered from an anonymous employee satisfaction survey administered by an independent research group. Only the top Minnesota companies as judged in areas such as work environment, employee benefits, and employee happiness were selected for inclusion in the list.

NoteA small company is often defined as having fewer than 100 employees, a medium as 100 to 499, and a large as 500-plus. Given our focus on smaller companies, here we've defined small as up to 35, medium as 36 to 99, and large as 100-plus (full-time employees). Below, we list the number of full-time Minnesota employees.

Goff

Best in ClassGoff Public
Headquarters: St. Paul
Inception: 1966
Employees: 11
** View our video interview with Goff Public here.

A public relations and public affairs firm, Goff Public has been providing a variety of public relations services to both Midwestern and national clientele for more than 40 years. When the company was co-founded by Bob Goff in 1966, it was one of the first PR firms in Minnesota and has since grown into one of the premier firms in the Midwest, with clients ranging from local nonprofits to large international corporations.

In addition to valuing the work that they do, Goff Public employees also say they are impressed by how much respect team members have for each other. "We all appreciate how good our coworkers are at their jobs, and that makes everyone else want to do well in their roles," says account executive Chris Duffy.

The company's leaders encourage the same culture of respect and open communication that was established by Goff when the company was founded. Today, during monthly company meetings, agency leaders share updates, progress, and goals so that employees are fully engaged in company matters.

Goff Public works hard to maintain a vibrant, team-oriented culture. One way it does this is by hosting monthly company lunches to keep all employees informed about big-picture information, along with regular company outings that give employees a chance to socialize outside of work. Goff Public also takes the time to acknowledge personal and professional milestones in employees' lives. Most recently, it hosted a baby shower for a new dad in the office, and a surprise party for an employee celebrating her 25th year at the firm.

Other employee perks include a company contribution to employee retirement accounts, and a competitive benefits package in which Goff Public pays 100 percent of health care premiums for employees, spouses, and dependents.

One of the most convenient perks? A fully stocked kitchen so employees can eat lunch together in the office.

Eaton Golden

2nd Best in ClassEatonGolden
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Inception: 2005 (Emily Eaton founded Interactions in 2000)
Employees: 10

EatonGolden  a user experience consulting firm for Fortune 500 companies  believes a strong company culture forms when employees love both what they do and the people they do it with. This idea permeates into all aspects of working at EatonGolden, including company social events, quarterly staff retreats, and regular one-on-one lunches with leadership. Work-life balance is a priority for this small business, which measures employee contribution through the quality of work and efficiency, not through hours. EatonGolden also works with each employee to determine a vacation schedule appropriate to their experience, which includes a day off for the employee's birthday and a companywide "State Fair day."

3rd Best in ClassHarbinger Partners
Headquarters: St. Paul
Inception: 1999
Employees: 17

Harbinger Partners has been providing high-quality technology consulting services to businesses in the Twin Cities via its virtual office for the past 14 years. And since its inception, Harbinger Partners has made employee happiness a priority, leading with the following vision statement: "To provide the most delightful employment experience possible." Employees say the company has made a clear effort to ensure the culture and strategy reflects that vision. Employee perks and benefits include unlimited paid time off, the opportunity to become an owner in the company after six months of employment, anniversary gifts, a self-directed training program, and a virtual office.

Small companies continued...

A Couple of Gurus
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 11

AK Material Handling Systems
Headquarters: Maple Grove
Employees: 15

Beehive PR
Headquarters: St. Paul
Employees: 11

Bercom
Headquarters: Chanhassen
Employees: 7

David Martin Agency
Headquarters: Edina
Employees: 33

Deerwood Technologies
Headquarters: Deerwood
Employees: 8

ESP IT
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 14

Evantage Consulting
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 24

Fast Horse
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 23

Fisdap
Headquarters: St. Paul
Employees: 16

Fishbowl Solutions
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 31

ILM Professional Services
Headquarters: Edina
Employees: 35

IntrinXec Management
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 20

Introworks
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 12

Leadership Transitions
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 3

Lee Branding
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 6

Little & Company
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 29

Maccabee Public Relations
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 10

Mattamy Homes
Headquarters: Edina*
Employees: 30

Medicom Health Interactive
Headquarters: Minneapolis

 Employees: 17

Morsekode
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 25

Nina Hale Inc.
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 31

North Highland
Headquarters: Minneapolis*
Employees: 15

NorthstarMLS
Headquarters: St Paul
Employees: 19

Orange Tree Employment Screening
Headquarters: Edina
Employees: 34

Peace Coffee
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 30

Reach Media Network
Headquarters: Eden Prairie
Employees: 24

Rêve Consulting
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 7

RSP Marketing
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 8

Sevnthsin
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 7

Siteimprove
Headquarters: Minneapolis*
Employees: 22

SJF Material Handling
Headquarters: Winsted
Employees: 34

SPYE.co
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 13

SuperClean Brands
Headquarters: Eagan
Employees: 8

Surgical Science
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 5

thedatabank
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 14

The Fax Guys
Headquarters: Burnsville
Employees: 7

The Sartell Group
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 20

Thompson Hall Santi Cerny & Dooley
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 9

Top Tool
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 31

Video Guidance
Headquarters: Bloomington
Employees: 25

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