The Top 10 Best Small-Medium Companies to Work For (15-5000 employees)

nugget market best smb company to work for
Nugget Markets: BRG’s #1 Best SMB to Work For 2012

One of the most attractive thing about working in a small to medium company (10-5000 employees) is a smaller, more close-knit family feel that can come along with the job. Many of these companies, though smaller, are able to match or exceed the competitive pay and benefits offered by larger corporations. These are ten of the best small companies with a family feel that appreciate their employees and show that appreciation through making sure to match and in many cases exceed pay and benefits offered by larger chains. This article is part of our feature on The Top 100 Best Companies to Work For in the U.S.

1. Nugget Markets

Regional Grocery Chain

Another company with a close knit feel, Nugget Markets is a family owned regional grocery chain. The employees love the family atmosphere and it’s easy to feel appreciated when even checkers make an average of over $40,000 per year. The store doesn’t offer as many of the perks that can be found at other companies, but it makes up for it with 100% health care coverage, which is one of the rarest, most valuable benefits to be found.

2. DPR


If one of the major attractions of small companies is feeling like you’re more than just a cog in the machine, then DPR Construction hits the nail right on the head. Employees are encouraged to attend quarterly meetings and give their input on various topics, the benefits are strong with fully paid sabbaticals, an on-site fitness center and subsidized gym memberships. The average pay for the most common salary and hourly positions is very competitive. DPR does it right.

3. Build a Bear Workshop

Novelty Toy Manufacturer and Retailer

Good health insurance and a 401k plan combined with a small, family atmosphere and the joy of making bears for children combine to make Build-A-Bear workshop a great place to be employed. The pay is very good and the employee satisfaction is high, which is demonstrated by a turnover that is roughly half the industry average.

4. Umpqua Bank


Umpqua Bank is odd for a bank. The family feel contributes to employee satisfaction and the amazing benefits are another factor in this. There is a tuition reimbursement program, a professional dress advance to help employees purchase appropriate attire, 100% health coverage, 401k, employee assistance program that aids employees dealing with various issues, special product pricing and ample opportunity to develop your professional skills and advance your career with the company.

5. Plante Moran


This auditing firm makes sure to provide its employees with the chance to give back. Every office has volunteer teams that do everything from making care packages for troops stationed overseas to working with local shelters. On-site Childcare, fully paid sabbaticals and subsidized gym memberships are just some of the benefits of working for Plante Moran. All of this combined with very competitive pay at all levels of employment make this company great to work for all around.

6. Hasbro

Toy Manufacturer

Good benefits, good pay and a strong emphasis on family make Hasbro a great company to work for. This toy manufacturer regularly hosts events for employee families. The annual voluntary turnover is just 3% which is incredibly low for a primarily manufacturing company.

7. NuStar Energy


A family feel is not the first thing one expects when thinking about an energy company but NuStar pulls it off. The benefits are fantastic, the company pays 100% of employees health insurance premiums, will match 401k contributions up to 6% of the employee’s salary and the company does whatever it can to aid employees going through a crisis including a track record of lending the corporate jet to employees that need to make a fast trip due to death or other crises.

8. Perkins Coie

Law Firm

Another of the top mid-sized companies to work for, Perkins Coie tries to keep the atmosphere both productive and fun. This means the law firm even has happiness committees whose responsibility it is to gauge the overall happiness and satisfaction of the employees and if this is found to be lacking, throw a party or another event to raise company morale. Everybody, from legal secretaries to associates is very well paid and Perkins Coie is another example of a company devoted to caring for its employees, paying 100% of employee health insurance premiums.

9. TDIndustries


This construction company is employee owned and operated and the company holds regular meetings between employees and executives where the opinions of employees are considered and respected in the decision making process. The core of the company’s management philosophy revolves around the idea of servant leadership, meaning everybody works together and serves one another in order to keep company morale high. The benefits are pretty standard, but it is rare to find a company that values the input of employees to the extent that TDIndustries does.

10. FactSet Research Systems

Investment Firm

This investment firm offers employees loads of benefits, not the least of which is 100% health insurance premium coverage but there is a focus beyond this on the general morale of the employees. This company definitely understands at least one basic thing about people. This is that people love free food, and the company delivers. Free lunches, cheese trucks, pie trucks, barbecues and more are all part of the food loving culture at FactSet, don’t worry, they also have an on-site fitness center and subsidized gym memberships so everybody can work off the extra calories.

About this List

This list is based on an original list of top small business employers developed by Dan Chambers of Pipe Up Media, a small business consulting firm specializing in online marketing for small businesses.

May 17, 2012