If someone asked you to describe your dream job, you’d probably have a detailed answer about the type of work that fuels your passion. But how much of that dream job is dependent on how well that place—including company culture, environment and benefits—can inspire you to do your best work? The 25 Best Places to Work in the Madison area offers some ideas on what constitutes a desirable workplace.

The annual survey conducted by Quantum Workplace of Omaha, Nebraska, found that Madison companies scored high in the category of trust with coworkers.

“It’s an essential part of being a best place to work,” Aaron Brown, workplace insights analyst at Quantum, says about coworker trust. “If you can’t come to work every day and like the people who are around you, it doesn’t matter how well intentioned a CEO is.”

Brown says he was struck by the results among small companies (10 to 50 employees), which showed that their top rated category is trust in senior leadership.

“It’s off the charts,” Brown says, with 97 percent of small companies rating their senior leadership high. “That’s something that’s hard to achieve, even with a small group of 10 to 50 employees.” He added that medium companies (51-100 employees) rated trust in leadership as the third-highest category and large companies (101+ employees) rated it as the fourth-highest category.

In general, Brown says, Madison is slightly below the national average in the six categories it measures. But, he says, “The differences are minimal. We’re talking less than a point, and less than half of a point in most cases off of a 100-point scale.”

Of the companies that score well nationally, Brown says, good communication is in every facet of their operation.

“If they’ve said it once, the best companies are saying it 10 times,” he says.

Having strong leaders among Madison’s top winners bodes well for the workplaces they oversee.

“If leaders don’t have the trust and the buy-in, it doesn’t mean anything. They can have the best communication plan ever, but if they’re not trusted, it will just fall on deaf ears,” Brown says.

In this package, we feature the top six Best Places to Work—two in the categories of large, medium and small companies—and cover the remaining 19 in 10 profiles. These top winners reflect the type of workplaces that can turn jobs into dream jobs.

RANKINGS

Small
(10-50 Employees)

1. Frazer Consultants
2. Monona Dental LLC
3. BlueTree Network
4. Bendyworks
5. Madison No Fear Dentistry
6. Acumium
7. Centare Holdings
8. BCP Transportation
9. Hardin Design & Development
10. C. Blohm & Associates

Medium
(51-100 Employees)

1. Cress Funeral and Cremation Service
2. Realty Executives Cooper Spransy
3. Widen Enterprises
4. Spredfast Madison
5. Tri-North Builders

Large
(100+ Employees)

1. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.
2. Edward Jones
3. Nordic Consulting
4. Telephone and Data Systems
5. EatStreet
6. Rural Mutual Insurance Company
7. M3 Insurance Solutions
8. Agrace Hospice and Palliative Care
9. Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP
10. Dental Health Associates

How we ranked our winners
Madison Magazine’s Best Places to Work survey starts with an open call to area businesses for nominations. After registering the business, all employees within the nominated businesses are sent a 60-question web-based survey from Omaha, Nebraska-based Quantum Workplace that measures six key engagement categories:

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

Once 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 employee engagement. The 25 businesses profiled in this story ranked the highest in these categories.

Think your workplace should be on the list? Check our website (madisonmagazine.com) in January for details on how to nominate your company through the 2017 Best Places to Work survey.