Boasting great barbecue, legendary sports teams, and a booming job market, Dallas-Fort Worth is experiencing explosive growth—with no sign of slowing down. That’s great news for companies in this booming metropolitan area, especially the “cool” companies. These are the organizations that appreciate their employees and recognize and reward outstanding performance with the benefits and perks that make workers feel valued. As the HR professionals at cool companies know, employees who feel valued are more motivated, more productive, more loyal and flat out happier with their jobs than those just in it for a paycheck. In short, corporate coolness rules. So if you’re ready for your company to claim a seat at the cool table, take a lesson from the top 10 coolest companies to work for in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Quicken, QuickBooks, and TurboTax are some of the high-profile products and services of Intuit, Inc. The division in Plano, just outside Dallas, earned the number five slot on the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Places to Work 2012 list. On Glassdoor.com, Intuit enjoys an impressive overall employee approval rating of 3.7 stars, with many individual 5 star reviews praising the company’s culture, work/life balance, and dedication to showing that core —principles—such as “It’s the people”—are both preached and practiced at all levels. Along with fair compensation and generous bonuses, Intuit offers employees a number of cool and progressive benefits including onsite workout facilities, an employee home loan program, adoption assistance, and domestic partner benefits.
The Dallas division of Transwestern—a commercial real estate, investment, and development company—took the number two spot on the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Places to Work 2012 list for midsized companies. Self-described as a company that prides itself on “teamwork, entrepreneurism, stewardship, customer service, and a commitment to sustainability,” Transwestern’s claims are backed by a serious 4 Star Glassdoor approval rating. Found among the many 5 star employee reviews are such phrases as “Great company for work-life balance”, “Fantastic team!”, “Perks are good and morale is great” and “management really shows how they value employees.” Transwestern is also very engaged in supporting great causes such as Susan G. Komen for the cure, for which the Dallas team recently raised nearly $3,500, a very cool and caring thing to do.
Improving Enterprises, Inc.
Self professed to be proud to be headquartered in Dallas, Improving Enterprises is a rapidly growing IT services firm that specializes in software development and advanced technology training. The company also specializes in corporate coolness, which would explain why 100% of all Improving Enterprises employees who weighed in on Glassdoor would recommend the company to a friend. With a corporate culture described as being committed to respect, transparency, and having fun, Improving Enterprises rewards hard work with generous benefits and perks. Among the most popular plusses are annual retreats to Las Vegas, fully stocked kitchens, free ice-cold beer, table tennis tournaments, and fun monthly social events for employees and families. With cool benefits like these, it’s little wonder their biggest problem is keeping up with growth.
Sheraton Dallas Hotel
When in Dallas, the employees of cool companies probably stay at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, a very cool establishment for which the Dallas Business Journal reserved the number -seven spot on their 2012 Best Places to Work list. A recipient of the AAA four-diamond award for outstanding service, the Sheraton Dallas credits its success to inspired team members. Rewards and recognition are many and varied, including a generous quarterly award for outstanding associates, supervisors, and managers. Some the many benefits and perks, include discounted hotel nights and travel, tuition reimbursement, and discounted “DART” travel passes. To round things off hotel-style, employees also receive complimentary daily meals.
Worldwide Express Operations, LLC
“All my friends are jealous,” one employee proudly proclaimed in a 5 star review of Worldwide Express on Glassdoor. With stellar reviews like that it’s not surprising that the Dallas based package and freight shipping company was recently ranked on Glassdoor.com as the number one company in America for career advancement. With a reputation for setting high standards, demanding hard work, and rewarding performance generously, their advancement program has been described as the “perfect storm for swift upward mobility”. Offering excellent benefits, generous bonuses, rapid advancement, a great corporate culture, and top-notch training, Worldwide Express is a company with coolness to spare.
A leading multinational provider of products and services designed to help other companies with data storage protection and management, NetApp was ranked number six on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for 2013. Locally, NetApp’s Dallas division came in at number three on the 2012 Best Places to Work list. With an open culture dedicated to great communication, NetApp’s philosophy is that employees are the company’s biggest asset. The goal of management is to inspire employees to embrace a shared vision of the company’s true goals and objectives. This creates a sense of pride and unity that ultimately gives the company a competitive advantage. Employees also enjoy great benefits, a healthy balance between work and play, plus the opportunity to work on some very cool projects.
Claiming the coveted number one spot in the small companies category of the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list, Southwest Search is all about coolness. Employees of the Dallas based staffing firm claim the magic ingredient is how the company treats them on a day-to-day basis. The management philosophy is that employees who are not micro-managed, who enjoy where they work and whom they work with, tend to be better performers. Performance is rewarded in a number of ways, including flexible hours and generous time-off for the pursuit of other passions. Southwest Search is also big on getting behind causes, such as The Hope Store and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Although small by business standards, Southwest Search is very big on corporate coolness.
The winner of numerous awards for quality, design, and customer satisfaction, Darling Homes occupies the number six position on the 2012 Best Places to Work list for midsized companies. Along with providing employees ample opportunities for growth and development, Darling is very health aware and has instituted a strong worksite wellness program. In addition, the company also hosts luncheons and numerous fun events throughout the year to bring employees together in a fun environment. Faced with rapid growth, Darling Homes prides itself on hiring and retaining top people who take pride in their work and desire to excel.
Boasting numerous 4 and 5 star employee reviews on Glassdoor—specifically for its Dallas based headquarters—it’s not surprising that Brinker International grabbed the number four spot on the DBJ’s 2012 Best Places to Work list. Operating and franchising some 1,500 Chili’s Bar & Grill locations in 30 countries, Brinker is a world leader in casual dining. On the corporate level, “casual” is also the operative word, as shorts, flip flops, t-shirts, and tank tops is highly encouraged. Along with 100% free food at Chili’s, Brinker employees enjoy all kinds of cool perks including flexible hours, fun company events, an onsite gym, and visits by kids and pets. Work time is spent building relationships in a cool collaborative culture where the CEO is said to know every employees’ name.
Southwest Airlines Co.
With a well-established reputation as the best and largest low-cost carrier on the planet, Southwest Airlines just had to land on the cool list. Profitable since 1973, Southwest was founded upon a winning formula for success—take care of your employees and they’ll take care of you. Reviews on Glassdoor speak highly of Southwest as a company that encourages open communication, seeks input from workers in making corporate decisions, provides great benefits, provides opportunities for advancement, and promotes a fun and challenging work environment with plenty of incentives. As a result, Southwest enjoys high employee moral and a level of legitimate corporate coolness that is the envy of the airline industry.
Like other great cities in America, Dallas-Fort Worth has lots of cool companies that understand the importance of employee appreciation. But this list of standouts should serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for all who desire to take corporate coolness to the next level.