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Hawaii's Best Places to Work 2013

(page 3 of 4)

Small Companies

Work Can Be Stressful, the Workplace Shouldn’t Be

1 Life Foundation
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu
www.lifefoundation.org

Employees: 35 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 5

A lot of organizations talk about ohana but Life Foundation walks the walk.

Food is a good example. The staff was sharing the leftovers from meals provided a couple of times a week for clients, then that morphed into staff lunches and staff-meeting potlucks, which can get pretty elaborate. Employees also dress up for Halloween and participate in communal wellness and personal-development activities.

“I’m impressed by the sense of community and family within the staff,” says Melanie Moore, communications director for the past eight years. “We cook together, hang out together – it’s why people stay here.”

“It does lend a sense of collegiality,” agrees executive director Paul Groesbeck, who’s been on the job 20 years. “It takes the edge off pretty stressful work.” That work involves case managers, nurses, outreach workers and support staff who assist clients being tested or treated for HIV/AIDS and provide AIDS prevention education.

Staff lunches also provide a venue for recognizing case manager of the month and employment anniversaries. Other perks include 14 days’ vacation, 25 days’ paid time off and a 401K program after 30 days’ employment. Life Foundation pays 100 percent of the premiums for employees’ medical, prescription, dental and vision coverage, and life, long-term care and short-term-disability insurance from the first day of employment.

“A lot of emotional stuff happens at work,” Moore says. So employees are given a lot of leeway and support. The dress code is casual, hours are flexible and telecommuting is an option. Life Foundation provides plenty of training and 360 appraisals for all staff.

“We don’t overdo the rules and regulations. You may get stress from your work, but you shouldn’t get it from your workplace,” Groesbeck says. “AIDS is a very chaotic thing. Our organization shouldn’t add to the chaos. We’re able to attract people to work here who believe in that.”

The recipe works. Although salaries aren’t high, turnover is just 7 percent a year, less than half the healthcare industry average, as reported by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Employees Own the Company and Reap the Rewards

2 ECC
U.S. Headquarters: Burlingame, Calif.
www.ecc.net

Employees: 23 (Hawaii) / 504 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 1 

ECC, a defense construction and remediation contractor with offices around the world, was named one of the top workplaces in the San Francisco Bay Area last year and couldn’t be more thrilled to be selected this year to Hawaii’s Best Places to Work for the first time.

“We know the value of this business in Honolulu, and it’s only as good as its people,” says John Fern, ECC senior program manager. “We value diversity and try to attract employees who have good qualities like loyalty, imagination and ambition. Being on this list helps that.”

ECC employees like that they work for an employee-owned company.

“When the company makes money, they definitely share the profits,” explains Julie Chen, the company’s proposal and marketing manager. “This is the first employee-owned company I’ve ever worked for and, for me personally, I feel every contribution I make is a direct contribution to the company’s success.”

Ian Lange, ECC’s other senior program manager, agrees. “Our employees really do feel like they have a say. They’re committed to the company’s success, and the company is committed to their success.”

One of the commitments the company makes to its employees’ health is a 100-percent employer-paid health plan, which includes medical, dental, vision prescription, life insurance, flu shots and an on-site wellness manager. No wonder it’s a Best Place to Work.

 

Good Pay, Open Communication and Great Events

3 Wakelight Technologies Inc.
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu
www.wakelight.com

Employees: 33 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 4

For the fourth year in a row, Wakelight Technologies, Inc. has been named a Hawaii Best Place to Work. What is it doing right?

Employees’ compensation is a good place to start. “We pay them as much as we possibly can, and keep as little as we can for ourselves,” says executive VP Don Hess. “We want them to feel valued, whether it’s through compensation, benefits, opportunity or all of the above.”

Wakelight provides services in telecommunications and information technology; management and administrative support; and engineering and technical services. Hess says this diversity allows the company to support its employees with a positive work environment that includes open communication, initiative rewards and opportunities for professional growth.

One way the company does that is by regularly getting the team together for special events. “Our Christmas parties are signature events,” Hess boasts. “We try to do something different and memorable every year. Just recently, we bought a block of tickets and catered dinner for our employees at the production of ‘Wicked’ at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.”

“At the end of the day, folks appreciate that they have more than just a company where they drive to work. They appreciate knowing they’re part of something, and that they’re valued.”

 

Small Employers, 15 to 49 Employees (listed alphabetically)

America’s Mattress
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.mattresshawaii.com

Employees: 32 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 5

The bed retailer recognizes its sales employees at monthly meetings, and both sales and warehouse employees are recognized at an annual retreat. To improve employee health and happiness, the company pays the cost of an employees’ fitness program of choice, such as CrossFit or swimming.

 

The Berry Co.
U.S. headquarters: Englewood, Colo.
www.theberrycompany.com

Employees: 43 (Hawaii) / 783 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW list: 4

The online marketing company creates a fun environment for employees with ice cream days and a casual dress code year-round. Berry also runs sales contests with incentives that encourage performance.

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.bbbshawaii.org

Employees: 25 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 1

Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii understands the demands of personal lives and offers flexible work schedules, working from home and bringing children to work when needed. The organization also encourages employees and their families to participate in special events and community activities sponsored by clients. 

 

Blue Ginger
U.S. headquarters: Kahului
www.blueginger.com

Employees: 44 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 1

Employees at the 30-year-old clothing retailer have flexible schedules and work four-day weeks. Staff receives incentive coupons for free clothing. 

 

Environmental Science International
U.S. headquarters: Kailua
www.esciencei.com

Employees: 35 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 1

The environmental consulting and remediation firm says its employees love the work environment, flexibility and great pay. ESI has family-oriented events, including electric auto races.

 

EnviroServices & Training Center LLC
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.gotoetc.com

Employees: 39 (Hawaii) / 40 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW list: 2

ETC provides a wide range of benefits to its employees, from paid time off and flexible spending accounts to massage chairs, an on-site ping pong table and gift cards to purchase Thanksgiving turkeys.

 

Hale Ola Kino
U.S. headquarters: Des Moines, Iowa
www.haleolakino.com

Employees: 49 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 8

Employees at this nursing home can receive cash in lieu of benefits if they are already covered by another healthcare plan. Once a year, the company will pamper employees with chair massages, manicures and makeovers.

 

Hawaii Families as Allies
U.S. headquarters: Aiea
www.hfaa.net

Employees: 21 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 3

This nonprofit knows the importance of its employees’ family, offering paid time off for employees to attend school meetings for their children. Employees are also given paid time off to volunteer in the community.

 

Hawaii Foodbank
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.hawaiifoodbank.org

Employees: 38 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 5

Hawaii Foodbank, whose mission is to provide food for the Island’s hungry, celebrates with food for employees, including occasional parking-lot barbecues and after-inventory lunch for its operational staff. Employees also love the nonprofit’s Thanksgiving basketball tournament.

 

Hawaii Human Resources (HiHR)
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.hihrhawaii.com

Employees: 49 (Hawaii) / 50 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW list: 3

The human resources provider has a plethora of cool perks, including employee lunch five days a week, in-office massages and additional paid time off to volunteer. The company calls impromptu meetings for important announcements, or birthday celebrations with cupcakes. 

 

Hawaii Information Consortium LLC
U.S. headquarters: Olathe, Kan.
www.ehawaii.gov

Employees: 29 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 3

The technology company not only maintains and manages the state of Hawaii’s official website, it also organizes volunteer opportunities for company employees that better the state, such as beach cleanups and trail clearing.

 

Hawaii Petroleum Inc.
U.S. headquarters: Seattle, Wash.
www.hawaiipetroleum.com

Employees: 33 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 2

Employees at the gasoline and petroleum products company enjoy an end-of-the-year employee appreciation party, for which the company pays for the employee and a guest to stay overnight at a local hotel. In addition, some employees receive a fuel allowance.

 

Honolulu Board of Realtors
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.hicentral.com

Employees: 32 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 7

Employees at the trade organization have flexible working hours and can take time off or sick leave to care for loved ones, bring children into the office after school, etc. An annual staff retreat gives everyone a day outside of work to learn, bond with each other and have fun.

 

Hospice of Kona Inc.
U.S. headquarters: Kaillua-Kona
www.hospiceofkona.org

Employees: 40 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 4

Hospice of Kona has a flexible holiday schedule that allows employees to choose some of their holiday time off.  Employees’ birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated with gifts and flowers, and employees receive plaques for their fifth anniversaries.

 

Imua Family Services
U.S. headquarters: Wailuku
www.imuafamilyservices.org

Employees: 42 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 4

A provider of developmental and therapeutic support services to children up to 6 years old, Imua Family Services gives its employees flexible scheduling and 19 holidays a year. The nonprofit also brings in national speakers for staff development.

 

Integrated Security Technologies Inc.
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.istechs.net

Employees: 17 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 2

The security system provider allows employees to bring their children and dogs to work, and even has a mascot, Pico the dog. When a customer compliments an employee, the employee gets a $20 gift certificate.

 

Integration Technologies Inc. (Intech)
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.intech-hawaii.com

Employees: 17 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 3

Perks such as console games and streaming-video services such as Netflix are apt benefits for this provider of business computer networks. Employees also have monthly sales incentives and free lunches.

 

Jack’s Diving Locker
U.S. headquarters: Kailua-Kona
www.jacksdivinglocker.com

Employees: 38 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 1

The scuba and snorkeling business gives employees opportunities to lead dive trips not just in pristine waters off Hawaii Island, but in other parts of the world. If employees want more time in the water, they can go diving for free on their days off.

 

John Hancock Financial Network - Hawaii Financial Partners
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.johnhancockhawaii.com

Employees: 31 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 6

Employees at the financial-services firm can earn incentives such as trips to Maui. The firm provides a strong support system, helping financial advisors cut costs for training and training successors.

 

Lyon
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.lyon.us.com

Employees: 27 (Hawaii) / 130 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW list: 1

Employees at the engineering firm can play on the ping-pong or foosball tables during breaks. The company also likes to celebrate with employees, having cake and ice cream for birthdays, and holding a pau-hana party for employees and clients.

 

Navy Federal Credit Union
U.S. headquarters: Vienna, Va.
www.navyfederal.org

Employees: 49 (Hawaii) / 9,122 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW list: 3

At this credit union, the company recognizes employees who meet and exceed performance goals and presents them with gift cards, lunch and other rewards at quarterly recognition meetings. Employees can be reimbursed up to $200 for approved wellness and fitness programs. Employees can donate annual leave to an individual employee in need or to a general leave bank.

 

Pacific Administrators Inc.
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.pacadmin.com

Employees: 46 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 5

At the employee-benefit-administration company, staff can relax in a quiet room with five rocker recliner massage chairs. Awards are given out for employee of the month and employee of the year. Employees are also eligible for perfect attendance awards. There’s also a 35-hour workweek, which results in increased wage rates in less time.

 

Pacific Biodiesel
U.S. headquarters: Kahului
www.biodiesel.com

Employees: 44 (Hawaii) / 58 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW list: 2

Employees at the biofuel company receive discounts for fuel. The company covers 100 percent of employee healthcare benefits, and every employee receives an annual bonus.

 

Pro-File Record Systems
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
profile-hawaii.com

Employees: 16 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 1

Employees at the file management company love the employee-appreciation events, medical insurance and wellness initiatives.

 

Simply Organized LLC
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.simplyorganized.net

Employees: 31 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 1

Whenever an employee at the retailer of storage and organization products receives a positive customer letter or feedback, the company president sends a personal letter and a small gift to the team member’s home. Employees like to sing and have created unique songs for different company events.

 

T&T Tinting Specialists Inc.
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.tnttinting.com

Employees: 27 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 5

The glass tinting designers and installers has an on-site fitness center that employees can use before or after work or during lunch breaks. The company holds an employee family-fun day every quarter; past activities have included beach outings, barbecues and bowling.

 

Wealth Managing Partners Inc.
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.wm-partners.com

Employees: 20 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 3

Employees at the financial-services company have four-day workweeks and celebrate often with monthly administrative appreciation-day luncheons and holiday parties.

 

WSP Hawaii Inc.
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.wspgroup.com.au

Employees: 20 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 1

Employees at this engineering firm can set their own schedules, including a four-day workweek. When a difficult and stressful project wraps up, employees are often given half days off. The company pays 100 percent of employees’ and their dependents’ health insurance.

 

ZR Systems Group LLC
U.S. headquarters: Honolulu
www.zrsystems.com

Employees: 15 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW list: 1

The IT services company pays for the training and certification of its employees, and pays cell-phone and gas allowances. The company sponsors events such as dinners and lunches to recognize employees for completing projects and promotions.

 

Hawaii Business magazine invites you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts and may be deleted. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page.

Old to new | New to old
Oct 30, 2013 10:56 pm
 Posted by  joeshmoe2000

great website. wished I had found it sooner. Aloha!

Dec 5, 2013 04:49 pm
 Posted by  WWJD96744

Hickam Communities Housing is one of the worse places to work for. they put fear in the workplace, large turn around of senior regular employees, who quit because of poor management, maintenance superiors are close minded and will not let you voice opinions, individuals are shyed upon for voice out, employees are harrassed for work related injuries and illnesses, 90% of the maintenance staff are not happy with the system, poor morale, and lack of team spirit. On-call policies are in violation.

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