Utah businesses honored for encouraging innovation, fostering high values and striking a balance between work and life

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Software engineers Kip Armstrong, left, and Justin Permann take a break from duties in one of the company break rooms at Kuali in Lehi on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.

Each year, as part of The Salt Lake Tribune’s Top Workplaces report, Utah companies are recognized for achievement in specific areas such as training employees, encouraging new ideas and promoting a balance between work and life.

The annual survey, conducted by Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm, resulted in the following special awards:


BambooHR LLC • Since its founding in 2008, this Lindon-based company — which provides human resource software for small- to medium-size businesses — has mushroomed to 470 employees and has an impressive client list that includes SoundCloud, Foursquare, Freshbooks, Stance and Reddit. Employees say they like where the company is headed and see positive things in the future. “I like that we are growing intentionally and with purpose,” wrote one commenter. “I like that we are not losing sight of our company values during our growth and are prioritizing and maintaining that culture.” Another likes that BambooHR is “still focused on the people, not the profit.”


LendingClub • Employees at this online credit marketplace in Lehi, which connects borrowers and investors, had positive things to say about their managers. “My manager has helped me to be more confident,” said one employee. Added another: “She is so knowledgeable, experienced, fair and open. She’s normally available to answer questions when needed and gives great insight on how to perform better.”

[Read: How Utah’s Top Workplaces are determined]

New ideas

CallForce • There are no bad ideas at this dental solutions company in Provo. “If an employee finds something that works well,” explained a staffer, “management will not shut it down but will encourage creativity.” Other commenters said monthly meetings give workers time “to share our ideas and how we feel about certain aspects of the company.”


Veritas Funding • Skillful and proficient, this mortgage-lending company in Midvale “gets loans to the closing table efficiently,” said an employee. “The technology we have is great and makes my job easier.”


Twistlab Marketing • “Being on a team committed to finding the best solution for small businesses is really rewarding,” said one employee at Twistlab, a 20-year-old marketing agency in Cottonwood Heights that helps small businesses compete against larger corporations with more resources. “The work we do,” said another employee, “is sometimes the difference between families making money and doing good in Salt Lake City, or failing and going back to the corporate world. We make a big difference in people’s lives.”


Disruptive Advertising • Marketing with a conscience is the mantra at this Lindon digital marketing company. “In previous jobs, I felt pressured to tell the client what they wanted to hear instead of the truth,” said one employee. “Disruptive encourages us to always be truthful and forthright with each other and our clients.” The company also recently hired a housekeeping service for a family with a deployed father, donated to a gym owner who assisted at-risk kids and helped a family with a newborn baby waiting for an organ transplant.

Clued-in senior management

HealthEquity Inc. • Senior managers are always thinking about the 1,100 employees at this Draper company, which administers health and retirement solutions nationwide. “Their doors are always open. They walk around and talk to you like an equal. There are no feelings of hierarchy here. We are all on the same level,” said one employee. That’s unusual, added another. “I have never worked for a company where the senior managers are so hands on. They interact with the team members and make us feel like they know us and genuinely care about us. I love that they are not afraid to show their fun sides and take part in all our activities.”


CBC Mortgage Agency • Founded in May 2013, South Jordan-based CBC is owned by the Cedar Band of Paiutes and provides down payment assistance to borrowers seeking to finance the purchase of a home. Recent changes to federal policies at the Federal Housing Administration and Housing and Urban Development could cripple the company if not for its open line of communication. “It is important in our current environment to know what is happening,” said one employee, “and for all employees to feel comfortable.


FireEye • At this California-based cybersecurity company — with 144 Utah employees — salaries, benefits and training opportunities make employees feel valued. They also are “respected and encouraged to provide feedback” said one worker. “We are trusted to stretch ourselves and career growth is valued.”

[Read more: Utah’s top bosses share their winning formulas for leading winning businesses]

Work/life flexibility

97th Floor • One of the benefits at this Lehi digital marketing agency is a “results-only work environment.” Employees are expected to hit goals for their projects, but when and where they work to meet those marks are up to them. This gives staffers the flexibility to make work and personal life seamless. “By giving me a flexible schedule,” said one employee, “that allows me to give my best to work and my life always.”


Panda Restaurant Group • The benefits package for this network — with more than 500 Utah employees — includes an annual learning fund and scholarships for eligible associates to help them grow personally and professionally. “Going to classes to help me get promoted,” said one employee, “and inspiring my life to become better.


Kuali • This software company in Lehi showers its 91 employees with generous benefits, including employee revenue sharing, full medical/dental coverage for employees and dependents, a 401(k) match and paid time off as needed. The whole company works from home on Wednesdays and lunch is provided a couple of days each week. Employees get a technology budget to buy computers, mobile devices or other gadgets for their jobs. “A 401(k) match at a startup is unheard of,” said one employee, “and really important to me.”