The Great Place to Work Institute (Fortune's partner on the 100 Best Companies to Work For list) names the year's best small-business workplaces.

September 18, 2014

25 Best Small Companies to Work For

Great Place To Work (Fortune’s partner on the 100 Best Companies to Work For list) names this year’s best small business employers in the U.S. who have between 25 and 249 employees. Read each company’s Great Rated! workplace review for more information.

1. Granite Properties

HQ: Plano, Texas
Employees: 140
Revenue: $170 million

Employees of the privately held commercial real estate investment, development, and management company — called “Graniteers” — have received compensation increases and performance bonuses every year since the company was founded in 1991, even during times of recession and economic turbulence. A summer hours schedule offers half days at full pay twice monthly during the season. And anyone who leaves the company and later returns is awarded with a personalized boomerang gift upon rehire.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

2. Professional Placement Resources

HQ: Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
Employees: 88
Revenue: $35 million

The staffing firm places nurses and temp workers in jobs in all 50 states. Employees often rhyme or rap personal triumphs over the company intercom. On Thank You Thursdays, all employees are asked to send thank you cards to clients. Last year, 85% of new hires were from employee referrals.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

3. Ruby Receptionists

HQ: Portland, Ore.
Employees: 133
Revenue: $11 million

This past year, two employees of the virtual receptionist service devised “Ruby Land” a game board for the staff, who earn moves based on actions related to the company’s core values. For example, if someone “Fosters Happiness” by offering their spot in line at grocery store, they move one square. Points are accrued for prizes and drawings. Last year’s grand prize was a 5-course dinner prepared by the CEO at her home.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

4. Talent Plus

HQ: Lincoln, Neb.
Employees: 115
Revenue: N.A

This HR consulting firm takes its own medicine via its programs for consulting clients—Leadership Lattice, which promotes nontraditional career paths, and Collaborate Coaching sessions to improve work relationships. And the company even has its own CSA (community shared agriculture) program, where local farmers drop off weekly produce shares for participants.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

5. Studer Group

HQ: Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Employees: 194
Revenue: $67 million

All employees of this healthcare consulting firm have an opportunity to earn incentive pay (ranging from 10 to 100% of their base comp) as a year-end bonus, based on individual and company performance. Good work is rewarded by peers with tokens of appreciation, which can be redeemed for cash prizes.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

6. ENGEO

HQ: San Ramon, Calif.
Employees: 127
Revenue: N.A

This employee-owned engineering firm sets aside one day per year to focus on team business planning with an “idea think session” to brainstorm and discuss ways to improve processes and operations. Roughly 90% of the ideas are used within the company’s business plan. And hiring is decided by teams — five to 10 employees from different areas of discipline interview each candidate.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

7. Dixon Schwabl

HQ: Victor, N.Y.
Employees: 77
Revenue: N.A

The advertising and PR firm supports businesses outside Rochester in upstate New York and was founded by husband and wife, CEO Lauren Dixon and president Mike Schwabl. Senior management is accessible and has one-on-one lunches with staff. Similar to a traditional happy hour, an “Explorers Club” team organizes agency outings to support local businesses.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

8. South Mountain

HQ: West Tisbury, Mass.
Employees: 34
Revenue: $11 million.

 

Founded in 1975, this employee-owned builder co-op helps its workers buy homes via housing grants and aids with construction. The company’s foundation gives 10% of annual profits to charitable causes within the local community. Another 10% goes toward pro-bono work and community projects.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

9. Badger Mining

HQ: Berlin, Wisc.
Employees: 220
Revenue: N.A.

Family-owned mining company produces silica sand used in oil and gas industry. Employees nominate one person to be Sandman of the Year, who receives a $5,000 cash award at an end of the year party. Staff with 25 years of service are inducted into the Golden Badger Society, which meets once a year for dinner — for members who don’t live in the area, the company pays for transportation and overnight accommodations.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

10. Insomniac Games

HQ: Burbank, Calif.
Employees: 206
Revenue: N.A.

Ted Price, founder and CEO of this independent developer of multi-platform (Xbox One, PS3, etc.) and mobile video games has group lunches with random Insomniacs on a weekly basis and meets with staffers for 30-minute one-on-one conversations. Anytime important news is announced, Price walks around to meet with departments and answer questions. Community day events invite fans to the studio for lunch and to meet the team.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

11. Sage Rutty & Co.

HQ: Rochester, N.Y.
Employees: 52
Revenue: $11 million

Family-owned financial services firm invites staff to contribute ideas to help shape the company. Staff breaks into four teams to discuss their shared goals: health, education, community involvement, and professional development. The meetings have produced Sage Rutty University classes, a bike team to ride in the Tour de Cure (to benefit diabetes research), and a community supported agriculture program.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

12. Advantage Answering Plus

HQ: San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Employees: 32
Revenue: N.A.

Employees at this receptionist service are encouraged to receive certification in all 10 of its tailored training programs. Once all requirements have been met, they are invited to begin Team Leader training to develop managerial and leadership skills. The company also sends a daily update that highlights how staff achieved its core values, which include: Spread Goodwill, Bring Your Best, and Embrace Teamwork.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

13. Kahler Slater

HQ: Milwaukee
Employees: 93
Revenue: $16 million

The 105-year old design firm (architecture, interiors, graphics, and branding) launched a new practice last year called Guided Performance Scorecard (GPS) to prioritize its 20 best ideas and see them to completion. A weekly Monday morning meeting is held with team leaders to review the status and progress of each initiative. The company also hosts monthly informal @4 gatherings in the late afternoon to share ideas and socialize over drinks. Occasional Creativity Fire Drills showcase each team’s current design projects.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

14. Solstice Mobile

HQ: Chicago
Employees: 134
Revenue: $21 million

The mentorship program at this app maker for Fortune 500 companies pairs seasoned colleagues with junior staff, who meet at least once every three weeks. Mentors are responsible for 360-degree feedback and lobbying for their mentee at times of promotion. The partnership is reassigned every year to ensure a variety of experience and learning. On their first day, new hires are asked to build a Lego diorama, which is displayed at the entrance for everyone to see.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

15. Square Root

HQ: Austin
Employees: 28
Revenue: $6.6 million

This tech startup develops cloud-based operations software for retail clients. Employees receive a $3,000 to build their own dream workspace and enjoy a highly flexible work schedule. They are encouraged to take off as much time as they need as long as they continue to meet goals — meaning they can work from home or the beach — and are told “we know that personal matters don’t just happen outside of work hours.”

Read the Great Rated! review here.

16. Axis Communications

HQ: Chelmsford, Mass.
Employees: 204
Revenue: $400 million

Employees at the U.S. division of this maker of digital surveillance cameras receive a 60% discount on company products. Every new hire is flown to global headquarters in Lund, Sweden, within their first year for a three-day orientation, where they meet staff from the company’s nine regions. And innovators “own” their original concepts; anyone with a greenlit idea is assigned to oversee the project to completion without being handed over to anyone else.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

17. Stellar Solutions

HQ: Palo Alto, Calif.
Employees: 170
Revenue: $38 million

Aerospace engineer founded by CEO Celeste Ford deploys staff to work onsite with customers, which include federal agencies and defense contractors. Managers check-in regularly with their offsite staff and the company president invites employees to brown bag lunches. Everyone attends its annual companywide 3-day planning meeting.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

18. Funeral Directors Life Insurance

HQ: Abilene, Texas
Employees: 194
Revenue: $256 million

The insurer for funeral homes offers a variety of paid time off programs. Sabbaticals are awarded to all employees every seven years, and employees on the job for at least five years can take one or two weeks as part of a “helpers of people” paid leave program — in addition to regular vacation — to devote to personal growth, service projects, or mission trips.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

19. Snagajob

HQ: Glen Allen, Va.
Employees: 191
Revenue: N.A.

New hires at this job finding site must fill out a “Confessions of a New Snagger” questionnaire so their colleagues can learn more about them. Staff are quizzed on the answers during the company’s bi-weekly “all minds” meeting and winners are awarded with candy. The company’s onsite culture squad promotes a fun work environment by planning parties, potluck lunches, and mini golf tournaments.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

20. Yext

HQ: New York, N.Y.
Employees: 243
Revenue: $34 million

Camera-equipped robots at this marketing software company allow remote employees to see what’s happening at the home office in New York. The remote-controlled robots can be present at meetings, knock on doors, and allow better communication between staff. And employees who often work late can take advantage of an onsite nap room to recharge whenever necessary.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

21. City of Rancho Cordova

HQ: Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Employees: 69
Revenue: $84 million

The city government that runs like a business opens an “office of new ideas” every other week, where staff present ideas for new programs and processes to a five member advisory team. Good ideas are given a plan, resources, and staff to set it into action. Lunchtime is extended by 30 minutes twice each week for exercising with colleagues.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

22. Integrated Project Management

HQ: Burr Ridge, Ill.
Employees: 113
Revenue: $23 million

Employees of this national consulting firm receive 100% health care coverage for themselves and their dependents. The plan also includes dental, short term disability, and life insurance. And anyone who refers business to the company receives a development incentive that amounts to 3% of the first year’s revenue from the new client.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

23. AnswerLab

HQ: San Francisco
Employees: 47
Revenue: N.A.

Everyone at this consumer research firm receives a FitBit to monitor daily fitness levels. Activity is encouraged through the company’s leaderboard (where peers can compare levels) and walk-n-talk meetings are conducted outdoors rather than sitting in the office. Employees are given an annual $400 “tech benefit” to spend on new devices.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

24. ONTRAPORT

HQ: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Employees: 72
Revenue: $3 million

Change is the name of the game at this software developer for small businesses and entrepreneurs, where employees switch desks every three months. The company says the disruption helps to foster better communication with new people and teams. CEO and founder Landon Ray leads weekly all-team meetings to discuss problems and ask for feedback.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

25. Xactly

HQ: San Jose, Calif.
Employees: 233
Revenue: N.A.

The cloud software company has its own philanthropic organization called XactlyOne, which organizes volunteer opportunities and projects for employees and families, who are encouraged to become more involved in the local community. All employees receive three days of paid time off for volunteering. In the past year, one staffer used that time for a procedure to become a stem cell donor.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

25 Best Medium-Size Companies to Work For

Great Place To Work (Fortune’s partner on the 100 Best Companies to Work For list) names this year’s best medium-size workplaces (between 250 and 999 employees) in the U.S. Read each company’s Great Rated! workplace review for more information.

1. Intuitive Research and Technology

HQ: Huntsville, Ala.
Employees: 279
Revenue: $248 million

The engineering and defense contractor offers unlimited tuition reimbursement to employees — including fees and textbooks. The only requirement is that the school and program have to be pre-approved by management. And last year the company added an unlimited flu leave — if anyone in an employee’s household gets the flu, they are told not to come to work — it doesn’t count against regular PTO.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

2. Return Path

HQ: New York, N.Y.
Employees: 324
Revenue: $49 million

The e-mail data analyst has no set vacation policy. Employees are trusted to take time off as needed and anyone with seven years of service gets a six week paid sabbatical in addition to company holidays. Free onsite meals are delivered to its biggest offices a few times per week.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

3. Squarespace

HQ: New York, N.Y.
Employees: 276
Revenue: N.A.

The website builder has made every staff member (including office managers) a co-owner of the company through an employee share option plan. After five years of service, employees receive a paid vacation for themselves and their family to a destination of their choice. And as part of an exchange program, each month two New York-based staffers switch spots with their counterparts in Dublin.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

4. Assurance Agency

HQ: Schaumburg, Ill.
Employees: 330
Revenue: $67 million

Advancement at this insurance brokerage is celebrated with bottles of private label champagne, delivered to the desk of the newly promoted. The onsite “penthouse” floor at headquarters has ways to de-stress during the workday: Nintendo Wii, AppleTV, locker rooms, and fitness equipment.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

5. Pinnacle Financial Partners

HQ: Nashville
Employees: 775
Revenue: $223 million

Founded in 2000, the bank holding company has grown to 34 sites across Tennessee. All employees receive restricted stock upon hire — making them co-owners of the company — and continue to receive share grants every year.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

6. Hagerty

HQ: Traverse City, Mich.
Employees: 599
Revenue: N.A.

Employees of this family-owned insurer of classic cars and boats get a learn the art of restoring antique vehicles in the annual Employee Restoration Project, a team-building project which also provides a hands-on education. It also offers courses on car basics, “Engine Guts and Glam” and “Collector and the Car.”

Read the Great Rated! review here.

7. Atlassian

HQ: San Francisco
Employees: 255
Revenue: $75 million

The U.S. division of the Sydney, Australia-based sharing software developer has company mixers on the first Friday of very month that bring together family and friends to hang out in the office. Mechanical bull riding, mini golf, and beer keg races are not out of the ordinary. (And that’s in addition to the weekly beer cart that visits every desk each Friday.)

Read the Great Rated! review here.

8. Centro

HQ: Chicago
Employees: 375
Revenue: $229 million

The advertising software developer calls its employees “peeps” and gives them 10 Ferris Bueller Days every year to be used as impromptu personal days. Its Giving Tree committee coordinates community involvement. Each Centron is offered one “change the world” day per year for paid time off to volunteer at a non-profit of his or her choice.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

9. Cirrus Logic

HQ: Austin
Employees: 660
Revenue: $714 million

The chipmaker welcomes new hires with its annual “School of Cirrus Logic Rocks!,” where teams of employees partner with professional musicians to create stories of how their personal experiences tie into the company’s core values. New employees document the rehearsal period leading up to the main event, where all of the teams perform their stories to music.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

10. 4imprint

HQ: Oshkosh, Wisc.
Employees: 563
Revenue: $295 million

The CEO of this distributor of promotional products gives his cell phone and home number to all employees and tells them to call at any time with questions about the business. Fun events throughout the year include an associate appreciation party, ugly sweater and pie eating contests, office Olympics, and pet photo competition.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

11. ESL Federal Credit Union

HQ: Rochester, N.Y.
Employees: 670
Revenue: $154 million

This credit union with 20 branches in upstate New York built a new headquarters in downtown Rochester to help revive the area. It awards “ESL Honors” of $1,500 to select employees each year for excellence, service, and leadership. The credit union also gives monthly VIP awards ranging from $50 to $150 to employees who exemplify its core values in extraordinary ways.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

12. Clif Bar

HQ: Emeryville, Calif.
Employees: 384
Revenue: N.A.

The nutritional food and drink maker is a dog-friendly and child-friendly workplace. Subsidized onsite day care is available for kids up to 6 years old and childcare scholarships are available for employees who meet certain requirements. All employees are invited to the annual skip trip — the company picks up hotel, lift tickets, and dinner.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

13. Infusionsoft

HQ: Chandler, Ariz.
Employees: 531
Revenue: N.A.

This maker of software for small businesses offers new employees $5,000 to leave if they are not committed to the company’s vision and if they feel it’s not a right fit. A dream manager helps employees (who are called “founders”) realize their professional and personal dreams, including getting out of debt, starting a business, writing a book, getting a promotion, and planning a wedding.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

14. EKS&H

HQ: Denver
Employees: 462
Revenue: $70 million

Every employee at this accounting firm has the chance to hear feedback at the end of a project or on a quarterly basis — and is asked for “upward” feedback for their direct supervisor. Office “neighborhoods” (floors or sections of departments) get together regularly for lunch or happy hour.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

15. ZocDoc

HQ: New York, N.Y.
Employees: 538
Revenue: N.A.

The online healthcare platform’s employees in Arizona, New York, and India learn about each other via daily trivia questions sent in a lunchtime e-mail. “Zunches” are monthly occasions that assign employees to groups who discuss icebreaker questions. And on late nights, free dinners and taxis home are offered for anyone working past 9 p.m.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

16. Marco

HQ: St. Cloud, Minn.
Employees: 739
Revenue: $152 million

Employees own 100% of this IT solutions provider through a stock ownership plan. C.A.R.E. (customers are really everything) awards are distributed quarterly and annually to employees selected by peers for outstanding performance and receive gifts and certificates.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

17. Holder Construction

HQ: Atlanta
Employees: 728
Revenue: $1.75 billion

This construction company builds data centers, corporate and commercial office buildings, airport terminals, universities, hotels, convention centers and conference spaces.The company closes at 3:30 p.m. on Friday so associates can take advantage of reduced traffic and have some additional time away from the office for personal business or more time with family. Employee bonuses come from one pool and are based on the company’s entire performance rather than project or departmental success — creating an equal opportunity for everyone.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

18. West Monroe Partners

HQ: Chicago
Employees: 451
Revenue: $78 million

This consulting firm’s 10 offices in the North America all participate in a 1+1+1 program: the company donates one percent of its time, one percent of its talent (via pro-bono work), and one percent of profits back into the local communities. It also hosts Lunch Roulette, where the first 30 people to respond to an e-mail receive a spot at a local restaurant.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

19. Etsy

HQ: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Employees: 484
Revenue: N.A.

The online marketplace for handmade goods invites employees to decorate their desks by giving them a $100 gift card. Each workspace is unique and personally tailored. Workers participate in onsite classes taught by their colleagues, including music theory and cooking. Earlier this year, the home office in Brooklyn opened the Etsy Museum of Unusual History, which documents company history.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

20. Datalogix

HQ: Westminster, Col.
Employees: 357
Revenue: N.A.

Nearly 40% of all hires come from referrals at this marketing firm, where employees receive $1,000 bonuses for referring successful candidates — in addition to a matching gift to the employee’s favorite charity. The company also encourages a healthy work/life balance with an unlimited vacation policy “No time off tracking, no cap on PTO.”

Read the Great Rated! review here.

21. AdRoll

HQ: San Francisco
Employees: 319
Revenue: N.A.

This advertising tech firm specializes in digital ads and social media and recently opened offices in New York, Sydney, and Dublin. Employees, who are called “rollers,” are invited to teach colleagues in continued learning programs. Regular quarterly curriculum includes programming for non-programmers, project management, and Zumba.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

22. Lincoln Industries

HQ: Lincoln, Neb.
Employees: 530
Revenue: $121 million

The makers of the chrome used on Harley Davidson motorcycles and John Deere machinery has been in the metal finishing business since 1952. Performance reviews include role reversal questioning, with subordinates taking the lead to provide critical feedback to their manager. And each month, roughly 40 employees are invited to take part in a round table discussion with managers.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

23. American Transmission

HQ: Waukesha, Wisc.
Employees: 621
Revenue: $626 million

The operator of the electric grid for portions of the Midwest powers more than 5 million people. Full-time voluntary turnover is a low 3%—more than half of its employees have worked there more than six years and 166 have been there more than a decade.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

24. Development Dimensions International

HQ: Bridgeville, Penn.
Employees: 577
Revenue: $162 million

This talent management consultant challenges new hires to make at least one suggestion for improvement within their first few months on the job. All associate suggestions are taken seriously. Incentive trips are announced a year in advance — VIP performers are awarded with an annual trip, such as the Caribbean, Hawaii, or Palm Springs, and can bring a significant other free of charge.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

25. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont

HQ: Berlin, V.T.
Employees: 377
Revenue: $878 million

Vermont’s largest health plan covers more than half of the state’s privately insured population. Its “citizen of the year” award recognizes a volunteer who demonstrates the core values of integrity, public responsibility, and citizenship, by donating $500 to their favorite charity. Last year’s winner chose Vermont Food Bank.

Read the Great Rated! review here.

This story is from the October 6, 2014 issue of Fortune.

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