The business missions of Nordic Consulting and BlueTree Network are centered on serving the health care management market, but the foundation for both is a workplace culture that focuses on values that aren't necessarily linked to health care.
"We're all expected to act like owners," says Siobhan Reynolds, manager of consulting services at Nordic. "It's not top-down."
"There's a high level of trust in this company and we're allowed to be our own person," says Emily Kosmerl, a recruiter for BlueTree.
Employees of both Madison-based companies say the family atmosphere makes their jobs enjoyable.
"We spend more time on culture than on business," says Vivek Swaminathan, chief consulting officer at Nordic. "It's important that it's fun to be here."
Nordic—with 650 health care consultants nationwide, 151 in Wisconsin and 91 in its home office in Madison—offers its employees exercise classes, occasional free meals and snacks, and advocates using positive reinforcement.
BlueTree, which puts primary emphasis on finding long-term solutions in IT management, employs 200 workers as part of its grounds team (located nationwide) and 70 on its operations team, which includes workers in the local west-side office.
The company features "Free Lunch Wednesday" for its Madison-based team, a "Family Week" experience that takes the staff to places around the country—this year it's Portland, Oregon—in August for days of planning, community-building and fun. BlueTree also provides cooking and yoga classes.
Accounting manager Danny Simons says BlueTree supports its staff. He says he's "never been told no" when requesting resources to do his job better.
BlueTree employees are taking part in a healthy competition by forming teams in which each member uses a Fitbit to track the number of steps they take. They are imagining that their steps are being taken on the Appalachian Trail.