Best Companies to Work for 2012

In an economy where simply finding a job is an accomplishment in and of itself, being named one of the Best Companies to Work For is doubly impressive. With so many Nevadans seeking work, the following companies have recognized the value of their employees and go above and beyond to ensure they’re taken care of. While many businesses have had to cut employee benefits or programs, these companies have gotten creative and found ways to reward their employees while maintaining healthy, viable companies.

The following 10 Best Companies to Work For were nominated throughout the state for their outstanding treatment of the people that make their business successful. They were recommended by the employees themselves who were asked to give references for their companies. Congratulations to the 10 that were chosen and kudos to the many companies that didn’t make the list but certainly made the selection process difficult.

3G Studios

3G Studios is a technology company that has embraced the “app generation” and creates everything from games to apps for companies to get their media across every platform in today’s on-the-go, online world. The company is headed by CEO James Kosta and has been in business since 2006.

Headquartered in Reno, the company offers a full-array of medical benefits to full-time employees, as well as short-term disability and life insurance. When the downturn hit, 3G didn’t reduce any benefits for its employees. The company promotes charitable giving for its employees and donates thousands each year while encouraging employees to actively participate in those charities. Additionally, 3G organizes several employee events including an annual Six Flags trip as well as multiple employee dinners and video game tournaments.

“3G does everything it can to produce the strongest work/life balance in an industry often claimed to be all-consuming of employees’ lives,” said Cody Mattes, office manager for the company. “They are leading the way, not just in tech, but as an example of how [companies in] all industries can become great places for their employees to look forward to coming to work each day.”

Advanced Management Group

Headed by President Bret Holmes, Advanced Management Group (AMG) is a property management company that serves multi-family properties on both ends of the state. The company provides everything from financial management to asset and property management for its customers. As one of the best companies to work for in Nevada, AMG received dozens of nominations from employees recommending the organization for the honor.

Each nomination touted the company’s health benefits package, dedication to charitable organizations and policies of promoting from within. One thing that was consistent in the nominations was how the employees felt about management’s willingness to listen to their ideas. Many said that they were made to feel valued and company executives viewed them as family rather than employees. They feel that their concerns are addressed quickly and that’s reflective in their loyalty to the organization with some employees having been there for 14 years or more.

“This is a people’s company. We talk, they listen and compromise with great results for all,” said Jose Baez-Flores, a property manager at the organization. “Love this company,” he added.

Alarmco, Inc.

Alarmco is Nevada’s largest and oldest locally owned security provider, having been in Southern Nevada since 1950. The organization provides a complete spectrum of security services including, on-site patrols, fire and burglar alarms, video surveillance and electronic entry. The company was founded by Lew Whitney as Merchant Patrol and Alarm. In 1964, the organization’s name changed to Alarmco, however its mission of protecting Nevada homes and businesses remained.

The company believes heavily in promoting within and is run today by Tom Wilson who worked his way up from the position of security officer. Alarmco is very employee-orientated and management works hard to ensure that everyone feels valued. The company is focused on long-term relationships with the people that work there and, as a result, it’s not uncommon for employees to have a 20-year plus tenure with the company.

“I have been an employee of Alarmco for 16 years and am still considered a new employee,” said Diane Cowgill, records department supervisor.

In addition, Alarmco offers employees the full range of health benefits and encourages charitable donations through food- and toy-drives. When the economy declined, rather than lay-off anyone or remove important health benefits, there was an across-the-board pay cut with company executives leading the way.

Bally Technologies, Inc.

It isn’t easy to keep employees of a global company happy, but Bally Technologies certainly does a credible job. The organization, headed by CEO Richard Haddrill, designs, manufactures, operates and distributes gaming devices worldwide. The company was founded in 1932 by Raymond T. (Ray) Moloney and is the oldest slot manufacturing company in the world.

Bally’s benefits packages covers both the employee’s health and financial security. In addition to the health insurance offered, the company offers flexible spending accounts which allow employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to cover unreimbursed medical costs and daycare expenses. On top of the benefits package, Bally offers employees several other wellness programs including healthy eating seminars, smoking cessation classes and weight loss programs. At the company’s corporate headquarters, a place is provided for new mothers returning to work where they can go to nurse their babies. The company also has plans in place to build a walking trail around the corporate headquarters so employees can take breaks from their workday to stretch their legs.

Bally encourages and incentivizes teamwork through a quarterly recognition program called “Best of Bally”. Winners are recognized throughout the company and given gift packs for their achievements. With nearly 3,000 employees, Bally works hard to keep everyone connected and to make a worldwide network cohesive.

HealthCare Partners of Nevada

HealthCare Partners of Nevada was founded in 1996 and provides primary, specialty and urgent care services to Nevada residents. The company’s network includes over 200 primary care physicians and 1,300 specialists and is headed by Dr. Sherif Abdou.

The organization is focused on good patient care and recognizes that employees working together are an essential part of achieving that. Employees are rewarded as a team for meeting company goals and recognition programs encourage peer to peer recognition. HealthCare Partners also conducts “town hall” type meetings twice a year to share the company vision and objectives with employees, allowing them to be a part of the organization’s direction for the future.

In addition to recognizing employees for working together, the company offers a full health benefits package, a tuition reimbursement program and encourages continuing education for employees at every level. The company is in the process of developing career paths so promoting from within is both more streamlined and employees clearly understand the opportunities available to them. When an engagement survey revealed that employees didn’t always feel heard, the company’s CEO took it upon himself to visit each clinic and ask employees directly for their feedback. He then agreed to follow-up on that feedback so each employee knew their opinions and ideas were valued.

KRNV News 4

KRNV News 4, the NBC affiliate in Reno, is a part of Intermountain West Communications, formerly known as Sunbelt Communications. News 4 is headed by Ralph Toddre at Intermountain West and Mary Beth Sewald, the station’s general manager. The station participates in community events and encourages employees to get heavily involved as well. On-air talent frequently serve as emcees for fundraising dinners and employees at every level have participated in walks for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Alzheimers and the American Heart Association.

In addition to their benefits package, News 4 employees have access to gym discounts, smoking cessation programs, legal advice and psychological help lines. Due to the sometimes stressful nature of news reporting, the organization’s management recognize the importance of maintaining emotional wellness as well as physical wellness and have programs in place to address both. the Management team makes an effort to reach out to employees that might be struggling after momentous events and offer assistance to them.

“Every employee at News 4 is an advocate for the company and for the news product we provide,” said Patty Olmstead, marketing and promotions supervisor for the station. “Employees are exposed to news stories at all hours and management takes the time to encourage and thank employees for the small details and the great work,” she added.

Las Vegas 51s Baseball Team

With less than 20 employees handling over 300,000 people throughout the summer months, the Las Vegas 51s has to run like a well-oiled machine. The team’s current general manager is Chuck Johnson who also serves as the vice president of marketing for the 29-year franchise. Due to the nature of the business, being a part of a sports team organization can be hard on employees. They are sometimes required to work long hours for long stretches. Even so, the franchise works to alleviate stress for its employees and to make baseball season fun for the fans (both those that work for the team and those that go to watch the games). To that end, the 51s offers employees flexible work hours, gym memberships, free baseball games and goal-orientated bonuses.

Additionally, the 51s is focused on employee-driven feedback. Employees are encouraged to give honest assessments of the organization and an annual review is done with all full-time employees to discuss everything from what went well to what could have been improved.

“Every season we produce 74 live events with a lot of coordination involved from every aspect of the franchise,” said Johnson. “Many of the current staff has been with the organization for eight-plus years. The lack of attrition, I feel, speaks volumes about how good this organization is to work for,” he added. Johnson himself started with the organization as an account executive in 1995.

R & R Partners

A staple in Nevada’s marketing community, R & R Partners is well-known for the work they’ve done with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority. What may not be as well know is the fact that just internships at the organization are hard-fought, to say nothing of actual positions. One of the reasons for this is that the firm’s creativity is used to increase employee satisfaction as well. The marketing firm is run by Billy Vassiliadis and he, along with the organization’s other principals, value employee morale. There are 280 people working for R & R and each of them are given “Group Therapy” each month. That’s the name the firm has given the meetings that allow employees to speak directly to management and voice their ideas on everything from the firm itself to creative collaborations for their clients.

Employees from every department are encouraged to voice ideas and brainstorm. R & R works hard to not box employees into their specific roles but allow them to branch into other areas of the organization. Health benefits are covered for both employees and their families. Additionally, employees that are excelling are given rewards throughout the year and at the annual meetings.

“R & R is unique in our partners’ constant reassessment of and vigilance around how the company gives back to its employees and communities in which we do business,” said Betsy Ward, director of corporate communications.

Southern Nevada Water Authority

Formed in 1991 from seven local water agencies, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) was designed to address the myriad of water issues that stem from being located in a desert. The organization is headed by General Manager Pat Mulroy, a familiar face for many Southern Nevadans. Government organizations are not typically thought of as great places to work, but the Southern Nevada Water Authority is unique in that aspect.

A division of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, SNWA offers a full-range of benefits, but the real draw for many employees is the diversification of the jobs available. With employees specializing in everything from scuba diving to engineering, SNWA is one of the most career diverse organizations in the state. In fact, diversity is a by-word at the organization and the company’s Diversity Council was created to recognize both the similarities and differences among employees and management. The council represents several viewpoints, positions and departments throughout the district.

In addition to the more standard benefits the company offers, SNWA gives corporate discounts for theme parks, tuition assistance, on-site child care and confidential counseling for employees and their families.

United Construction Company

Led by CEO Craig Willcut and founded in 1978, United Construction is a statewide, full-service general construction firm. The company, like many others in commercial real estate, was hard hit by the recent downturn but they worked hard to continue to take care of their employees and keep pay competitive.

The general contractor offers employees a health, vision and dental plan as well as a health spending account. An employee benefit that isn’t as commonly thought of, United Construction worked to get their building LEED-Gold certified so employees have a healthy environment in which to work. Additionally, executives seek input and feedback from employees and implement those suggestions whenever possible.

“They are a stand-up company, run by stand-up guys. If you want to work with great people on a great project, this is the team,” said Michelle Czarka, marketing coordinator. “Oh, and there’s free chocolate,” she added.

  • Vaidhyanathan

    Good to Bally is in the list