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Best Companies to Work For 2014

Workplace insight


Why are we so interested in catching a glimpse of the inner workings of other professional environments? Can it really be that much better to spend your 9-5 at office A than office B? Work is work after all, right?

Not quite.

And while Ping-Pong tables, kegerators and competitive compensation hold special places in 21st century professionals’ hearts, those aren’t the forces that get them up and out of bed each morning, working hard and unequivocally commiting to an organization. Instead, businesses that join the ranks of “Best Companies to Work For” deliver intrinsic motivators such as a challenging assignments, community impact and genuine connections and camaraderie.

“I get to learn a whole lot every day,” said Isaac Wagner, a microbiologist at Ciris Energy Inc., one of the 2014 Best Companies to Work For finalists. “I get to interact with very intelligent people every day and use incredible equipment. This is the first time I’ve been with a group with such diverse technical skills and from my point of view it can matter. We can make a big impact on politics, structure, the economy, and we have the chance to make the [energy] debate less controversial.”

The inside scoop and spotlights on outstanding businesses are intended to inspire, impart wisdom and instruct leaders on how to cultivate environments that attract and hold onto the brightest minds, hardest workers and best fits for their teams.

At ColoradoBiz, we’ve tried on more than one occasion to crack the code on what makes a business successful or not. It varies by company, industry, moment in time and marketplace, but it takes a blend of culture, strategy, vision and values. A few themes emerged from researching and reporting on the 2014 Best Companies to Work For finalists and winners:

1.       Positive culture, grounded in meaningful purpose

2.       Opportunities and support for new skills and professional growth

3.       Trust and transparency

4.       Camaraderie

5.       Challenge

“It would take a lot for me to leave,” said Lori Plucker, HR manager at Bona U.S.A., attributing her loyalty to two of the four categories: people and culture.

Similarly, Brent Rimel, marketing director for R.A. Nelson, says: “We’re more of a family than a company. We all came here for a reason — for most of us, it revolves around snow sports. So then we have to figure out how we can work with likeminded people and play; and here we find ourselves.”

While it may seem straightforward to craft a company that provides an environment and team where and with whom you can do great things and have a great time, it’s hardly a walk in the park – the proof is in the pudding as job-hopping habits continue. To build such a business requires focus and consistent commitment from the company’s leadership to establish the necessary structures, processes and systems, hire the right people with the right skill sets and attitudes, and inspire those people to be accountable and achieve consistently.

The upshot for leaders: If you want to progress to the “Best,” elevate the intrinsic benefits.

Rather than tell you this time around, we opted to show you what makes these companies the “best.” We set out to capture the workplace flavor of three businesses – R.A. Nelson, Ciris Energy and Bona U.S.A. – spending a day behind-the-scenes to best understand why these companies are the best.


1. Edward Jones Denver • edwardjones.com

2. HopeWest Grand Junction • hopewestco.org

3. Omni Interlocken Resort Broomfield • omnihotels.com/hotels/denver-interlocken

4. PwC Denver • pwc.com

5. KPMG LLP Denver • kpmg.com



1. ReadyTalk Denver • readytalk.com

2. Return Path Inc. Denver • returnpath.com

3. PCL Construction Denver • pcl.com

4. Anton Collins Mitchell LLP Denver • acmllp.com

5. Bona USA Inc. Denver • bona.com

6. Simpson Housing LLLP Denver • simpsonhousing.com

7. Applied Control Equipment LLP Englewood • appliedcontrolequipment.com

8. Long View Denver • longviewsystems.com

9. CliftonLarsonAllen LLP Colorado Springs • claconnect.com

10. Door to Door Organics Lafayette • doortodoororganics.com



1. Insperity  Denver • insperity.com

2. J.G. Management Systems Inc.  Grand Junction • jgmanagement.com

3. Moneytree Inc.  Multiple Colorado locations • moneytreeinc.com

4. BluSky Restoration Contractors Inc.  Centennial • goblusky.com

5. R.A. Nelson  Avon • ranelson.com

6. Renal Ventures Management LLC Lakewood • renalventures.com

7. Ciris Energy Inc. Centennial • cirisenergy.com

8. Adperio Inc. Denver • adperio.com

9. eBags  Denver • ebags.com

10. Richey May and Company LLP  Englewood • richeymay.com

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Gigi Sukin

Gigi Sukin is the former digital editor of ColoradoBiz.

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