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         In June 2020

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        Coastal Credit Union

        In today’s competitive business environment, companies have to go above and beyond in order to recruit and retain top talent. In Business North Carolina’s 2020 list of Best Employers in the state, companies are thinking outside of the box to offer their payroll creative perks such as unlimited paid time off, ugly Christmas sweater competitions, a monthlong Oktoberfest celebration, on-site yoga classes, free tickets to local sporting and arts events, and trips for top performers. In its annual survey, Best Companies Group polled employees and their employers on dozens of topics, from recruiting practices to recognition programs. Topping the list are The Brooks Group, a Greenboro-based sales-training company; Hickory-based accounting firm Martin Starnes & Associates; and Edward Jones, a financial-services organization based out of St. Louis. Employment numbers are as of Jan. 1, 2020.


        Cities indicate company headquarters


        Greensboro, sales training
        U.S. employees: 32 | N.C. employees: 32

        The company encourages work-life balance with unlimited PTO and fun activities such as bowling, yoga and food truck Fridays during work hours. Employees are treated to a special catered breakfast once a month.



        Chapel Hill, accounting
        U.S. employees: 36 | N.C. employees: 36

        Workers stay connected with monthly socials, happy hours, potluck lunches and outings to bowling alleys and Frankie’s Fun Park. The company’s wellness committee promotes initiatives such as walking challenges, spin class, yoga and boxing classes.



        Cary, nonprofit
        U.S. employees: 31 | N.C. employees: 31

        The nonprofit’s matching gift program will match civic, educational or cultural affairs charitable donations by an employee up to $500 annually. Summer outings to venues such as an arcade and baseball games keep workers connected outside the office.



        Raleigh, staffing
        U.S. employees: 18 | N.C. employees: 18

        The staffing company hosts a variety of fun employee events throughout the year including Work Olympics, Get Active Week, workday cookouts and a day of service.



        Raleigh, engineering
        U.S. employees: 37 | N.C. employees: 18

        Lynch Mykins’ Raleigh office includes a “burnout room” that can be used as a lactation room or a private space to decompress. Each employee receives 16 hours of paid volunteer hours to give back to the community.



        Asheville, accounting
        U.S. employees: 49 | N.c. employees: 49

        The accounting firm celebrates its payroll’s diversity with Heritage Day events including a potluck where employees can share a special dish that reflects their family history. Holiday gatherings entail an ugly sweater contest in December and a Halloween costume competition.



        Rocky Mount, financial services
        U.S. employees: 33 | N.C. employees: 33

        Each October, workers celebrate a monthlong Oktoberfest celebration with a themed costume competition, prizes and food. Employees hankering for an afternoon snack have access to a coffee and espresso machine and a popcorn maker in the office kitchen.



        Raleigh, life sciences
        U.S. employees: 21 | N.C. employees: 21

        Workers bond over teambuilding activities such as ax throwing, yard games including cornhole and darts, and shooting pool. Versado offers two unique holidays specific to the company values: Vee Day — named after the company mascot — on Feb. 24 and You Do You Day on Aug. 17.



        Charlotte, construction
        U.S. employees: 41 | N.C. employees: 41

        The company warehouse is a place for employees to kick back, with pingpong and foosball tables, disc golf and a keg of beer for after-work relaxation. Incentives such as dinners, team outings, free breakfast and lunches, gift cards, and bonuses are awarded to workers when weekly, monthly and annual goals are met.



        Raleigh, marketing
        U.S. employees: 47 | N.C. employees: 47

        One Friday per quarter, employees participate in a fun activity during normal working hours, including playing games, going bowling and volunteering for local nonprofits. The company offers monthly lunch-and-learns that focus on professional development, problem solving and presentation skills.



        Raleigh, financial services
        U.S. employees: 42 | N.C. employees: 42

        Capital Investment Cos. keeps things relaxed with a quarterly on-site massage therapist, monthly on-site yoga classes and an annual corporate beach retreat. The company also hosts bingo, ugly Christmas sweater parties and potluck lunches throughout the year.



        Wilmington, marketing
        U.S. employees: 15 | N.C. employees: 15

        Employee wellness starts in the office, where workers have access to stand-up desks, exercise balls and yoga mats. The marketing company takes time to celebrate its team with “Pizza Thursdays,” work anniversary and birthday parties, happy hours, and fun outings.



        Durham, legal
        U.S. employees: 42 | N.C. employees: 42

        The company offers complimentary Durham Bulls and DPAC tickets for employees to share with clients, family and friends in addition to full YMCA memberships for employees and their families. Attorneys have work-from-anywhere and open PTO policies.



        Asheville, health care
        U.S. employees: 29 | N.C. employees: 29

        Massage chairs are provided to help relieve employees’ mental and physical stress. The company often hosts surprise catered lunches and organizes games of Minute to Win It during lunch breaks.



        Raleigh, legal
        U.S. employees: 32 | N.C. employees: 32

        The law firm celebrates its employees with a bimonthly birthday celebration, holiday gatherings, and a formal December holiday party biannually.



        Charlotte, telecommunications
        U.S. employees: 32 | N.C. employees: 15

        Essentia was named a top 10 small cell consulting/services company by Telecom Tech Outlook magazine in 2019. To welcome new employees, the company surprises them by mailing a handwritten “welcome” note from the CEO and $100 gift card.



        West End, software
        U.S. employees: 44 | N.C. employees: 28

        The software company knows how to blend work and fun with an annual bonfire and luau, holiday parties, a chili cook-off and themed potlucks.



        Huntersville, staffing
        U.S. employees: 48 | N.C. employees: 48

        The staffing company throws monthly spirit days that include fun activities such as a Halloween costume contest, holiday decorating and chili cook-offs. Top performers in each department are eligible for rewards trips — a five-day vacation paid for by the company.


        Cities indicate company headquarters


        Hickory, accounting
        U.S. employees: 58 | N.C. employees: 58

        Typically, neck and shoulder massages are available to employees during tax and audit seasons to help relieve stress. Community service is a priority: Employees recently participated in the NCACPA 100 Days of Service and performed more than 240 acts of kindness in three months, wrapping up with a blanket drive for the Hickory Soup Kitchen.



        Emerald Isle, logistics consulting
        U.S. employees: 76 | N.C. employees: 67

        Quarterly events such as laser tag, a fishing competition, scavenger hunts and pool parties allow employees to bond outside of the office. Last year, the company participated in a Polar Plunge and a companywide barbecue fundraiser to raise thousands of dollars for several charitable organizations.



        Charlotte, technology
        U.S. employees: 115 | N.C. employees: 91

        Employees show off their baking chops through a Nailed It-style cookie-decorating contest. Skookum offers free lunches to workers on Fridays, free haircuts and quarterly massages.



        Garner, technology
        U.S. employees: 55 | N.C. employees: 55

        Monthly company events include Office Olympics, a cooking competition, a company picnic, a mud run, renting out a movie theater and a chili cook-off. Organized fitness activities such as early morning gym sessions, outdoor runs, pingpong matches and lunchtime flag-football games keep workers healthy.



        Greensboro, accounting
        U.S. employees: 162 | N.C. employees: 162

        Employees’ minds are kept active with a puzzle station in the company’s kitchen. And their bodies are kept relaxed with 15-minute chair massages and fed with a build-your-own sundae bar during the busy tax season. Its “dress for your day” policy allows employees to wear jeans and be casual unless meeting with clients.



        Lenoir, energy
        U.S. employees: 224 | N.C. employees: 224

        An employee picnic is held every year at Tweetsie Railroad for retirees, disabled and active employees and their families. The company encourages community outreach through sponsored activities including volunteering for local projects and organizations.



        Columbia, S.C., engineering
        U.S. employees: 60| N.C. employees: 22

        Workers take part in themed lunches, various company outings and activities throughout the year including a Halloween costume contest, ugly sweater competition and a holiday-themed Family Feud game.



        Washington, construction
        U.S. employees: 70 | N.C. employees: 70

        Family fun outings, group excursions out of the office, an on-site fitness center, and its flex-time policy are just a few of the ways that WIMCO keeps its employees happy. The company’s superintendents have the opportunity to go on an annual fishing trip at N.C.’s Crystal Coast.



        Huntersville, technology
        U.S. employees: 75 | N.C. employees: 75

        The design company emphasizes work-life balance by implementing new campaigns and executing quick deadlines in addition to enjoying fun events like “Pizza Thursdays” and monthly social outings.



        Raleigh, staffing
        U.S. employees: 74 | N.C. employees: 65

        Each fall, the company puts on a Personify Olympics that includes a field day, scavenger hunt, trivia, and other teambuilding activities. Monthly wellness seminars bring in therapists, dietitians and physical therapists to speak about employee wellness.



        Malvern, Pa., life sciences
        U.S. employees: 222 | N.C. employees: 60

        Special officewide events include holiday celebrations, potlucks, and kid-friendly excursions to Frankie’s Fun Park and Durham Bulls games. In 2018, the company paid 110% of annual bonus potential to employees, plus additional spot awards.



        Greensboro, distribution
        U.S. employees: 95 | N.C. employees: 95

        Employees collected more than 5,000 toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste, socks, soaps and boxes of pasta as part of its annual United Way campaign and food and toy drives. A longstanding tradition is the holiday party, where Santa delivers gifts to employees’ children and grandchildren.



        Williston, Vt., engineering
        U.S. employees: 79 | N.C. employees: 19

        The Huntersville staffing company, which offers rewards trips for top performing employees and uncapped commission, hosts fun office activities such as free lunches, happy hours, spirit days, employee appreciation week and a holiday party.



        Canton, banking
        U.S. employees: 94 | N.C. employees: 94

        Champion Credit Union offers employees a workplace wellness program, on-site health fairs, casual Fridays, monthly birthday celebrations and a holiday season that includes an annual bonus and a Christmas party with dinner and prizes.



        Greensboro, transportation
        U.S. employees: 205 | N.C. employees: 160

        Perks at the Cornhole tournaments and pingpong, creative snack, Halloween costume, ugly sweater, and gingerbread house contests keep employees engaged at the office. Workers get into the holiday spirit in December with a secret Santa gift exchange, photo booth, creating Christmas cards for veterans, collecting donations for Toys for Tots, a hot chocolate bar and a visit from Santa.



        Raleigh, construction
        U.S. employees: 150 | N.C. employees: 33

        Employees enjoy free tickets to local events, casual workday dress, getting together for Friday lunches, a special Christmas dinner and relaxing at the company’s pool parties.



        Raleigh, financial services
        U.S. employees: 67 | N.C. employees: 67

        The company has a “stress free zone,” which is a space for workers to take a breather. Weekly gift card raffles, discounted gym memberships and company cookouts keep employees happy and healthy.



        Fayetteville, technology
        U.S. employees: 51 | N.C. employees: 51

        The third-generation family business offers reimbursement for as much as 50% of training or education if it’s deemed to benefit the company and offers payments for leads provided by workers.


        Cities indicate company headquarters



        St. Louis, financial services
        U.S. employees: 45,085 | N.C. employees: 1,478

        Edward Jones, named No. 7 on Fortune magazine’s Best Companies to Work for in America list in 2019, toasts its employees’ achievements with local sporting tickets giveaways, ice cream socials and casual “Jean Days.” A full-time development trainer hosts two monthly leadership-development classes for employees.



        Richmond, Va., financial services
        U.S. employees: 445 | N.C. employees: 30

        Every day feels like a party at the financial-services company, which sponsors events to celebrate holidays such as National Stress Awareness Day and National Donut Day. Fun office traditions include an “Elf on the Shelf” contest with a grand prize drawing for a $500 donation to the employee’s charity of choice.



        Richmond, Va., law
        U.S. employees: 446 | N.C. employees: 65

        The law firm celebrates its employees with a family cookout at Raleigh’s Milburnie Fishing Club. The party includes fishing, kid-friendly games and Halloween mask making. The staff enjoys weekly on-site yoga classes that are reimbursed through a healthy living allowance.



        Charlotte, construction
        U.S. employees: 253 | N.C. employees: 220

        To help employees stay physically fit, Samet offers workplace yoga, basketball and a walking club.



        Menlo Park, Calif., consulting
        U.S. employees: 3,000 | N.C. employees: 74

        The company’s social committees organize happy hours, dinners, activities and outings to local sporting events. Different offices celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with gift cards, catered breakfasts, mini massages, happy hours, champagne toasts and carnivals.



        Kingwood, Texas, services
        U.S. employees: 3,400 | N.C. employees: 30

        Insperity provides employees with 12 hours per quarter of paid time off for service. It recognizes employees’ hard work with birthday celebrations and teambuilding activities.



        Buffalo, N.Y., legal
        U.S. employees: 750 | N.C. employees: 30

        Workday gatherings range from afternoon ice cream socials to holiday activities such as pumpkin carving and ornament decorating. The company’s annual Spirit Week includes themed dress-up days, a trivia and haiku contest, food, prizes and a happy hour.



        Kansas City, Mo., engineering, construction, architecture
        U.S. employees: 6,639 | N.C. employees: 47

        Through the employee stock ownership plan, workers own 100% of Burns & McDonnell. The company celebrates Employee Ownership Month in October with an annual pancake breakfast, treat day, family-friendly trick-or-treating and a trivia competition.



        Cincinnati, Ohio, transportation
        U.S. employees: 5,000 | N.C. employees: 207

        The company’s personal day policy includes eight hours of volunteer work that employees can use for community service. The culture team plans fun bonding activities such as Minute to Win It games and golf outings.



        Rolling Meadows, Ill., insurance services
        U.S. employees: 17,500 | N.C. employees: 140

        Once a month on Wellness Wednesdays, employees are given access to a free yoga session on-site, free specialty coffee and healthy smoothies from a food truck. The company’s Glue Crew “culture” committee organizes fun events throughout the year, including movie afternoons, Thanksgiving potlucks and family day.



        Roanoke, Va., human capital management
        U.S. total employees: 329 | N.C. employees: 91

        Bohler, which has offices in Raleigh and Charlotte, promotes a fun work environment with in-office pingpong, pool and foosball tables and complimentary snacks, beverages and meals. Out of office, employees participate in team-building activities such as trampoline dodgeball, go-karting, escape rooms, happy hours and an Oktoberfest beer tasting.



        Charlotte, construction
        U.S. employees: 631 | N.C. employees: 34

        Company celebrations include a holiday tree trimming, Thanksgiving potluck, Halloween pumpkin carving and costume contests, Team Jersey Days with a tailgate party, and team and milestone lunches at project sites. The company also hosts kickball tournaments, 5K races, pingpong matches and wellness fairs and seminars.



        Columbia, S.C., pest control
        U.S. employees: 1,098 | N.C. employees: 358

        Whether playing cornhole, walking laps around the grounds or playing office Minute to Win It, employees take time to step away from their desks to alleviate stress. For its 70th anniversary, the company teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to give back to the community.



        Columbia, S.C., financial services
        U.S. employees: 2,743 | N.C. employees: 275

        South State celebrates year-round with a bracket contest for March Madness, a Super Bowl party in February, Easter egg hunts, Halloween costume contests and “Festive Fridays” in December. The company’s laid-back dress code encourages employees to wear relaxed business casual and jeans during the workday.



        Raleigh, financial services
        U.S. employees: 552 | N.C. employees: 552

        In 2018, Coastal Credit Union implemented Standout, a web-based platform that helps employees identify their strengths and enables managers to assign work that matches those strengths. The company also has the Coastal Cares program, which helps employees through temporary hardships.



        Paducah, Ky., financial services
        U.S. employees: 1,188| N.C. employees: 78

        CSI ushers in new employees with a welcome gift, including a company backpack, tumbler and tech kit and hosts holiday parties and employee-appreciation events such as cookouts and catered lunches.



        Wilmington, marketing
        U.S. employees: 341 | N.C. employees: 253

        Workers show their competitive spirit through pingpong and dodgeball tournaments, in-office laser tag and company cook-offs. N2 also offers financial assistance through its First-Time Homebuyer Program ($7,000 for a down payment), pediatric-care memberships, and more.



        Fayetteville, utilities
        U.S. employees: 663 | N.C. employees: 663

        Workers stay active with physical activity classes such as CrossFit and yoga and by using the on-site wellness center and walking trails. The company recognizes its workforce with an annual family picnic for its more than 600 employees.



        Morrisville, consulting
        U.S. employees: 540 | N.C. employees: 78

        Flexible work hours and a casual dress code keep staff happy at the consulting company. Annual celebrations include an ugly sweater competition, Thanksgiving feast and a March Madness event for employees


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