City Life

Centare Holdings, Hardin and Bendyworks are empowered to share ideas

Top-notch web developers are highly coveted and in short supply. And once hired, they can be hard to keep. Tech companies Bendyworks, Centare Holdings and Hardin Design and Development have attracted talent in part by creating great workplaces.

At Bendyworks, you can feel the positive vibe when you walk into the downtown office. "There's so much power and effectiveness that comes from being happy and being alert and active," says co-owner Steve Anderson. One of Bendyworks' perks: interest-free loans for bikes and computers.

All three businesses stress the importance of strong relationships between employees and bosses. Centare's Amanda Daering says, "We believe that the job of leadership is to set up an environment in which employees can be successful." That includes an emphasis on collaboration and team building and transparency in business operations, all foundational for each company. Employees are empowered to share ideas that shape these businesses. Daering says, "We want to enable our employees to speak up about what they're passionate about and share that with their team."

In addition to enticing benefits packages with health insurance and retirement plans, these businesses integrate play into the workday. Nerf warfare is common at Hardin, as are Ping-Pong, video games and chess. Centare also has chess and video games on hand, plus whatever games employees bring in.

Great workplaces don't happen by accident. When hiring, these employers want people who enhance the work culture. "We're hiring them for the long term," says Bendyworks co-owner Brad Grzesiak.

Hardin CEO Jon Hardin says they work "really hard to create an environment that inspires people to be creative and makes people want to come to work." 

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