RANK: First Place
COMPANY: Torklift International, Sumner
Opening Doors and Career Opportunities
Torklift International, which manufactures towing and RV accessories, might want to think about creating a hitch-compatible trophy trailer. The engineering and manufacturing firm was the top-ranked midsize company in 2013, its first year in the 100 Best Companies rankings.
The firm’s product line consists of premium tie-downs, turnbuckles, tow hitches and other towing accessories, and Torklift has become a favorite of recreational vehicle enthusiasts, motorsports aficionados and just about anyone else who needs to move big loads down the road.
Torklift vaulted straight to the top with a list of benefits not typically found in blue-collar industries. The company pays 100 percent of an employee’s health insurance premium (and $2,500 toward each employee’s annual deductible), and it provides mandatory leadership and teamwork training for all new hires.
“We still focus on [health care] and make it a main driver of our benefit package,” says General Manager Jay Taylor. “We feel it’s that important, and that it’s worth the extra money to make sure that it enhances the quality of life for our employees.”
All Torklift employees are encouraged to provide input on any aspect of product development, marketing, even packaging. “Whenever a product is in development, opinions are taken from all,” Taylor says. “We involve everybody because it stimulates creative thinking and opens up new doors and career paths.”
The company’s commitment to collaboration from all levels was repeatedly echoed in anonymous employee surveys and clearly stands out as a hallmark of the firm. One employee captured the atmosphere at Torklift this way: “Love my company. Absolutely next to none.”
RANK: Second Place
COMPANY: MicroGREEN Polymers, Arlington
MicroGREEN Polymers, a manufacturer of plastic food and beverage packaging, has garnered acclaim for its pioneering use of recycled polymers. (Last year, it earned a silver award in Seattle Business magazine’s Washington Green 50 issue.) But MicroGREEN Polymers doesn’t stop at technical innovation. Its employees are treated to benefits that are rare in the manufacturing sector: fully covered health insurance premiums, a kitchen stocked with fruits and healthful snacks, and reimbursement for continuing education and industry conferences. The MicroGREEN team is healthy, happy and at the forefront of a new field. And as one employee wrote, “Overall, I’d say that we are united in our drive to make a damn big impact!”
RANK: Third Place
Led by tech wunderkind/work-life balance pioneer Rand Fishkin, Moz (formerly SEOmoz) creates software and subscription services for companies that want to top your next set of web search results. It’s also home to a ping-pong-playing, rock-climbing and all-around raucous group of employees who live and breathe the firm’s TAGFEE Code: be Transparent and Authentic; be Generous; be Fun, be Empathetic and be Exceptional. Moz’s benefits package is all of the above. “Mozzers” enjoy 39 days of PTO, fully matched 401(k) plans, and at-home flowers and pizza delivery on sick days.