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Best Place to Work 2018

September 24, 2018
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Best Place to Work 2018

Article Reference - Madison magazine | Published September 2018 by Maija Inveiss

When it comes to creating engaging, productive work environments, 35 Madison-area companies in this year’s Best Places to Work survey rise to the top.

In fact, Madison Magazine’s annual survey, conducted by Omaha, Nebraska-based Quantum Workplace, found that the top-ranked Madison companies scored highest in the category of trust in leadership.

Cassie Neary, who has managed Quantum’s Best Places to Work program for the past 10 years, says this demonstrates that employees at these Madison companies believe their leaders are not only trustworthy but they also care about their employees and are moving their businesses in the right direction.

Zach Blumenfeld, the founder of CultureCon, a workplace culture conference that took place in Madison in June, agrees. He says trust is “one of the most vital aspects to any relationship in any organization,” adding that it promotes a positive work culture, which, in turn, promotes success.

“Leadership really needs to set the example when it comes to culture,” Blumenfeld says. “If there isn’t that trust and transparency, you’re really not going to have a successful culture.”

Neary says personal engagement has increased in Madison since last year’s survey, but it remains the lowest scoring category for Madison companies. This indicates employees are having trouble finding career development opportunities at their companies, she says.

The growth is likely due to attentive company leaders, Neary says, adding: “Employers were most likely working throughout the last year to make improvements.”

In addition to reporting high levels of trust in leadership, the region made its biggest improvements in team dynamics.

“The only way to achieve sustained success is with an engaged, dedicated team,” says Chuck Hulan, CEO of The Douglas Stewart Co., which ranked fourth among large companies in 2018. “With input from the staff, management sets the goals and priorities for the year, and the company works toward those goals as a unified team.”

Jason Potter, the founder and CEO of Farwell Project Advisors, which ranked 15th among small companies in this year’s survey, has a similar view. He says, “Transparency and humility are keys to our trust building. Any employee can meet with any leader or senior team member and they will get direct, honest conversations with no drama.”

For Blumenfeld, this bodes well for the future of Madison businesses. “There are a lot of good things happening in Madison,” he says. “I’m just excited to see [the city] continue to grow.”

Out of 125 nominated businesses, 35 businesses are spotlighted in the categories of large, medium and small as best places to work in the Madison area. — LA

Winners at a Glance

Small (1-50 Employees)
1. Aerotek
2. Madison No Fear Dentistry
3. The Digital Ring
4. goVirtualOffice LLC
5. Waterstone Mortgage Corp.
6. Talavant Inc.
7. Frazer Consultants LLC
8. Artisan Dental LLC
9. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
10. National CooperativeRx
11. Bendyworks
12. Mennenga Tax & Financial Service
13. CenterX
14. Powderkeg Web Design
15. Farwell Project Advisors

Medium (51-100 Employees)
1. AkitaBox
2. Singlewire Software LLC
3. Oregon Community Bank and Waunakee Community Bank
4. Iconica
5. Hiebing
6. Heartland Hospice
7. Steve Brown Apartments
8. Core BTS Inc.
9. WEA Member Benefits
10. CI Pediatric Therapy Centers

Large (101+ Employees)
1. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.
2. Zendesk
3. Widen Enterprises Inc.
4. The Douglas Stewart Co.
5. Promega Corp.
6. M3 Insurance
7. Nordic Consulting Partners
8. EatStreet
9. Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care
10. Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP

How Winners Were Ranked

Madison Magazine’s Best Places to Work survey starts with an open call for nominations. After the organizations are registered, Quantum Workplace of Omaha, Nebraska, sends them a 60-question web-based survey for their employees to complete that measures six key categories of engagement:

1. Communication and Resources
2. Individual Needs
3. Manager Effectiveness
4. Personal Engagement
5. Team Dynamics
6. Trust in Leadership

When the data collection is complete, Quantum conducts a rigorous security audit to verify all surveys. The results are compiled and analyzed to determine which organizations have the highest levels of engagement.

Do you think your workplace should be on the list? Check our website ( in January for details on how to nominate your company for the 2019 Best Places to Work survey.

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