top 10 coolest companies to work for in orlando
By o.c. tanner
Culture | June 18, 2014
Housing the “Happiest Place On Earth,” Orlando brings millions of tourists per year to its city for entertainment. Although often tagged as a vacation destination, Orlando is also known for a thriving business scene and as such, creates fun environments to work in.
Below are the top ten coolest companies to work for in Orlando.
Located in downtown Orlando is BishopBeale, a commercial real estate advisory firm dedicated to working hard and playing harder. In addition to above and beyond company holiday parties complete with karaoke and homemade empanadas, BishopBeale employees participate in a company-wide beach day or bungee jumping. The company’s overall atmosphere is “a group of hardworking professionals whose goal is to be successful while working amongst friends,” says William D. Bishop, President. He has successfully grown the company into a leading commercial real estate advisory firm in central Florida and the southeastern region of the United States.
Crossman and Company is a full service commercial real estate firm that advises in leasing, management, development, and investment sales of retail and office properties. Employee appreciation is shown in many ways, such as an annual Paella party, closing celebrations to revel large deals and sporadic “ice cream afternoons.” John Crossman, President, believes motivated employees should be appreciated in a work environment that is fun, safe, and meaningful.
As an international award-winning social media marketing and SEO agency, Chatter Buzz Media strives for employees to showcase their individuality. Through a company program called, “Lunch n’ Learn” employees talk about their role in the company and their interests over lunch. In addition, the company cross trains the staff to show how valuable the employee’s expertise is to the organization. Dianna Romaguera, Director of Integrated Marketing, hopes to see this program develop a sense of community within the company.
Providing live chat solutions and professional managed chat services to car dealer customers and partners, ActivEngage focuses on unity among its employees. Whether it’s participating in Charity Challenge Events, potlucks, or intramural sports, ActivEngage is fully invested in efforts to make their employees happy. Perks include: free lunch every two weeks via local Florida food trucks, free gym memberships, birthday cupcakes at the end of the month, and ping pong and foosball tables in the break room. The company has even hired a dedicated Human Connections Manager to ensure their employees are happy, and that all feedback from their employees is heard and addressed by management. CEO Todd Smith and Ted Rubin, president of ActivEngage believe that with this company culture, happy employees means more happy customers.
Purple Rock Scissors, a digital creative agency, puts emphasis on the comfort, happiness, and productivity of its employees thanks to Bobby Jones, founder and CEO and Erin Butler, Brand & Content Strategist. Along with unlimited paid vacation times, office snacks/drinks and company merchandise, employees also participate in free month exercise classes, intramural soccer team, and nutritionist consultations. In the summer, activities include superhero movie outings and weekly happy hour on Friday afternoons.
A recruiting agency, Kavaliro prides itself with employees that “contribute to the success of the company, with new ideas for innovation, feedback on policy or procedures, and most importantly, mentorship for peers.” Besides the given holidays, Kavaliro offers summer events, tickets to sporting events in their branch cities, along with volunteer opportunities. The highest employee recognition is the annual “Ring of Fire” for the top performers that includes an all expense paid trip to destinations such as New York City, Jamaica or Mexico, along with a custom ring to wear in honor of their achievements. Diane Mahony, CEO, is the brains behind employee appreciation, teambuilding and growth.
Specific to the Orlando site, the One Hope United organization was established in the early 2000’s, providing community programs to children and families, including adoption services. Their mission is simple: protection of children and strengthening families. Employees are appreciated through monthly Star and Galaxy awards. Star awards are for individual appreciation and Galaxy awards are for outstanding team/department accomplishments. Each year, One Hope United holds a Staff Appreciation Week with gifts and games, honoring its employees with a relaxing week. In addition to birthday celebrations, employees also participate in the Sunshine Coin program where staff can receive gold coins for doing above and beyond work. These coins can be turned in for gifts or privileges like a day off. Executive Director Barbara D. Moss presents the Executive Director Trophy which is given monthly to a team or individual who has done something special that goes outside the realm of their position and was in the best interest of the child or family they are serving.
A fast growing creative communications company, Cybis Communications loves to be a part of projects, and show the world exactly what their small business in downtown Orlando can do with a few bright minds and a lot of caffeine. Employees work can vary from creating graphics one day and then directing a show the next. Flexibility can be found in the office with a ‘casual’ dress code and creating own office hours. Appreciation also comes in the form of a Brag Box, where employees write in brags about the team. Then every few months, the box is opened and read aloud all the brags, along with prizes awarded. Hard work never goes unnoticed by the CEO, Jeff Douglass.
As a global business consulting and internal audit firm, Protiviti has encompassed a multifaceted recognition program that include bonuses, public recognition and on-the-spot gift cards. Besides the great benefits, including: 20 sick, personal and vacation days per year, flexible working arrangements, sabbatical program and up to $5,000 per year tuition assistance; Protiviti is focused on making the workplace both diverse and collaborative. Programs to help this goal include iGrow, (Initiative for Growth and Retention of Women) and a Diversity and Inclusion program which offers networking groups for employees to join others with the same interests.
One of the largest locally-owned public accounting firms in Central Florida, Cross, Fernandez & Riley LLP knows how to keep their employees happy during tax season. Included perks during the busy season include: in-house massages, healthy/unhealthy snacks, weekly lunches and dinners, happy hours and a very competitive game of bingo that spans for months. On the tax off season, employees can be participating in group volunteer days, in-office fitness programs and attending networking events. Year round, employees can benefit from flexible work hours, including half day Fridays in the summer. There’s a reason that for the fifth year in a row, Cross, Fernandez & Riley LLP was listed on Polk Works and WorkForce 2020 Best Places to Work.
As you can see, company culture, community service, employee engagement and recognition can be shown in many different ways. Created in 2013, the Coolest Companies to Work For award establishes public recognition of companies that provide exceptional work environments.
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