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November 9, 2015 WBJ Top Workplaces 2015

WBJ honors Top Workplaces of 2015

PHOTO/COURTESY Employees at Digital Federal Credit Union, our Top Large Workplace for Employee Rewards & Recognition, enjoy regular departmental celebrations for their successes as well as a companywide bonus-sharing incentive program.

Innovation, as a word, is massively overused. At this point, companies and job applicants that don't use the words “innovative” or “innovation” in their descriptions are the ones who are really breaking the mold.

However, when it comes to picking Worcester Business Journal's Top Workplaces, innovation is the underlying criteria. For simple, everyday employee perks like health benefits, rewards and bonuses, and career development, nearly all businesses follow the same model. Some have better versions of these perks – such as higher employer contributions to retirement plans – but they are all essentially the same basic offerings. What we look for in our Top Workplaces are companies taking a different approach and thinking outside the box for their benefits.

When it comes to keeping healthcare costs down and employees healthy and working, how about a daily planking session where employees compete against each other, like The Davis Cos.? Or how about offering wellness bonuses at the end of the year on top of performance bonuses, like Venture Community Services? Or even Atlas Distributing, which brings in representatives from insurance companies to go over health plans that reimburse purchases such as treadmills and karate classes?

That isn't to say that innovation is everything. Part of being a Top Workplace where employees want to stay and grow involves solid execution of all the little things. The employees at Location, Inc. certainly enjoy the week-long company getaway to a relaxing location like Maine, but they stick around because the company creates successful products and emphasizes workers who are self-starters. The staff at the Guild of St. Agnes earn raises for completing educational classes, but the 102-year-old firm continues its run by focusing on compassion for its young clients as well as its employees. Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) offers catered employee services such as pick-up dry-cleaning, but that is a small part of a larger program meant to fulfill workers' needs.

This is the fourth consecutive year WBJ has honored the Top Workplaces in Central Massachusetts, and the second year we have really focused on the three core employer offerings of health benefits, rewards and education. While three of the businesses were also winners last year – Atlas, DCU and Reliant Medical Group – the rest are all new to this year. This goes to show that being innovative is much more than just a buzz word; it is a way of life in which companies must constantly change to stay fresh and ahead of the curve.

In addition to celebrating these nine companies in the following pages, we also invite you to join us Dec. 2 at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester, where WBJ will showcase these companies for all the many big and little things they do well.

- Brad Kane, editor

Employee Health & Well Being

Employee Rewards & Recognition

Education, Training & Career Development

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