100 Best Companies to Work For 2013: Large Companies

A salute to Minnesota organizations setting the standard in work environment and employee happiness

Editor's note: This article is part of The 100 Best Companies to Work For, 2013, a feature appearing in the June 2013 issue. Click here to nominate a company for the 2014 awards.

People spend about one-third of their lives at work  so it's no surprise that employee satisfaction is such a valuable commodity for both companies and employees. In our second annual survey, we asked Minnesotans what's important to them when it comes to their work life, and what makes their company a great place to be. The 100 Best were chosen using data gathered from an anonymous employee satisfaction survey administered by an independent research group. Only the top Minnesota companies as judged in areas such as work environment, employee benefits, and employee happiness were selected for inclusion in the list.

NoteA small company is often defined as having fewer than 100 employees, a medium as 100 to 499, and a large as 500-plus. Given our focus on smaller companies, here we've defined small as up to 35, medium as 36 to 99, and large as 100-plus (full-time employees). Below, we list the number of full-time Minnesota employees.

Best in ClassAnytime Fitness
Headquarters: Hastings
Inception: 2002
Employees: 110 locally, 500-plus nationally
** View our video interview with Anytime Fitness here.

Since its inception just over 10 years ago, Anytime Fitness has made a name for itself in the category of employee satisfaction. With headquarters in Hastings, the company operates thousands of fitness and health clubs across the country. Staying true to its passion for wellness, the company believes that it's happy, healthy employees that drive the overall health and productivity of the business.

To that end, the company created the "Ingredients Program" as a fun, interactive opportunity for staff members to learn or try something new like onsite fitness boot camps, weight loss competitions, volunteer opportunities, skydiving, blood drives, or gardening, just to name a few. In 2012, Anytime Fitness employees took part in more than 28 classes, wellness initiatives, activities, and charity programs. Each employee also receives a free Anytime Fitness gym membership.

Company culture is a priority. Employees build relationships through the peer lunch program, which pairs up an employee with a coworker who they don't interact with on a daily basis for an off-site lunch. Employees also look forward to connecting with new people at the annual conference, a gathering that brings franchise employees, corporate staff, vendors, and members together from all over the world. Last year's conference in Chicago was a record year for attendance, with more than 1,100 attendees.

Anytime Fitness also encourages professional development among its employees. With its tuition reimbursement program, employees can take classes directly related to their current position and professional development. The "Hero of the Month" program also encourages staff to recognize their peers for their accomplishments by nominating coworkers for their exemplary work.

2nd Best in ClassRoom & Board
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Inception: 1980
Employees: 260

Not only is Room & Board a place where customers come to find beautiful furniture and designs for their homes, but it's also a place that employees enjoy coming to each day. Focused on creating an environment of collaboration and respect, Room & Board believes one of its greatest strengths is its engaging work environment. A traditional benefits package, a flexible work schedule, and opportunities for professional growth are just some of the perks employees enjoy. Room & Board also encourages its employees to take advantage of all of its unique company benefits, like an on-site fitness center and personal trainer, and an on-staff certified financial planner.

3rd Best in ClassBell State Bank & Trust
Headquarters: Golden Valley*
Inception: 1966
Employees: 285

Bell State Bank & Trust believes that when it takes care of its employees, they will in turn take care of customers. The private, locally owned bank is committed to showing employees that they matter through things like career opportunities, competitive salaries, world-class benefits and bonus plans, a fun work atmosphere, and special employee and family events. The "Pay It Forward" program awards all employees with $500 to $1,000 annually to give as they choose to individuals, families, or organizations in need. Bell State Bank & Trust also encourages regular communication from leadership to keep employees consistently informed, as well as an open-door policy, which makes managers readily accessible to their teams.

Large companies continued...

Headquarters: Minneapolis*
Employees: 1,500

Amerilab Technologies
Headquarters: Plymouth
Employees: 130

Innovative Office Solutions
Headquarters: Burnsville
Employees: 102

Loffler Companies
Headquarters: Bloomington
Employees: 330

Headquarters: St. Cloud
Employees: 379

McNally Smith College of Music
Headquarters: St. Paul
Employees: 200

Merchant & Gould
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 122

Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 105

The Grand Hotel Minneapolis
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Employees: 123

Headquarters: Hopkins
Employees: 170

The Nerdery
Headquarters: Bloomington
Employees: 375

Western National Mutual Insurance Company
Headquarters: Edina
Employees: 311

Zeller Realty Group
Headquarters: Minneapolis*
Employees: 118

Zerorez Carpet Care
Headquarters: Richfield*
Employees: 150