A range of factors drives employees to band together toward the same goal. Clear direction, effective communication, helpful managers, meaningful work, sincere appreciation and strong values all play a part.
The Salt Lake Tribune’s Top Workplaces report, now in its ninth year, recognizes Utah companies that stand out in a variety of vital categories.
The survey is conducted by Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm.
Here are the honorees for 2022:
Leadership: large company
Dan Burton, Health Catalyst • For this South Jordan company, the future of health care is full of data-informed decisions.
Health Catalyst contributes to that vision by providing health care organizations with information and analytics technology and services. It’s hard work, but the team trusts its leadership to take it in the right direction.
Employees describe CEO Dan Burton as a genuine, thoughtful, personable and strategic leader.
“Dan is transparent,” a staffer said in the survey, “and always tries to let team members know where we are from an organizational perspective.”
Leadership: midsize company
Steve Sonnenberg, Awardco • This Lindon-based company is already in the appreciation business. It provides software for employee recognition efforts in partnership with Amazon.
That doesn’t stop when it comes to its big boss, Steve Sonnenberg.
When asked what inspired their confidence in Awardco’s leadership, employees praised Sonnenberg’s humility and how much he cared about their well-being.
Said one worker: “I love how involved and informed Steve is on things going on around him.”
Leadership: small company
Carrie Romano, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area • Carrie Romano leads a team whose mission is to provide a home away from home for families with seriously ill or injured children.
The Utah crew values her efforts to fulfill the organization’s mission, her strategic decision-making and her sense of humor.
“Her love for the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities is inspiring,” said an employee. “And her love for us as staff provides a positive environment where growth is safe and possible and fear is rare.”
Zonos • Based in St. George, Zonos is a technology company that creates software to help companies navigate international commerce by providing cost transparency for duties and taxes, global compliance management, language and currency localization.
Employees see the need for their operation and the value it brings to consumers and companies — and believe they are on the right path to fulfilling Zonos’ mission.
“There are so many people here who do their best to make it come to fruition,” a worker wrote. “There are a lot of new opportunities constantly and the people who work here are interested in their work and keep up to speed on industry changes.”
O.C. Tanner Co. • Headquartered in Salt Lake City, O.C. Tanner provides software services that recognize employee milestones and performance achievements.
Multiple staffers praised their managers for their engaged approach, offering plenty of one-on-one feedback while leaving room for independence and experimentation.
“My manager will go to bat for our team,” an employee said. “She is very caring and will listen when you need to just talk. She is very supportive of your ideas and feedback.”
Not only do managers support their employees, but they also contribute to their staffers’ growth. “I learn from their knowledge every day,” another worker said, “just by working alongside [them].”
Atomic Fi • Founded in 2019 and based in Cottonwood Heights, this company provides infrastructure to connect payroll accounts to an app, enabling banking freedom for vulnerable populations.
Since its inception, Atomic Fi has encouraged innovation, growth and more development across different departments. There’s even a whole day dedicated to that.
“On Fridays, we have what we call “Hack Impact” day,” an employee explained. “On “Hack Impact” day, you can work on whatever you think will improve the lives of customers or the team. This time is used by various team members to create new features for our customers or new internal tools to help make life easier for our teams.”
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers • With more than 650 restaurants throughout the country, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is highly esteemed for its Southern-style cuisine.
Workers praise the chain’s efficiency, including its standards, training, communication and camaraderie.
“Raising Canes is great at explaining tasks effectively and how to complete them. They do a great job at setting expectations, but also working well with their staff and explaining things in ways that make sense,” an employee said. “They never made me feel as though I was incapable of doing anything, and they welcomed and took care of me.”
In the end, another worker said, this all translates to “delicious” fried chicken.
Utah Foster Care • Employees at Utah Foster Care find meaning in knowing their daily tasks help improve the daily lives of vulnerable children. Their goal is to find, educate and support families to meet the needs of kids in foster care.
“We help our families become a support to the biological families of the children in foster care,” a staffer said. “It is amazing to see families come to us with good intentions, and through training and support, we help them to make extreme impacts in our community.”
Juniper Systems • This Logan-based electronics manufacturing company not only values its employees, suppliers and customers, but also values its values, namely love and respect — and, said a worker, “expect[s] the same in return.”
“This shows in the company because the working environment embodies this value and those that share this value are the ones that stay with the company,” the employee added. “There are few true conflicts, very little politicking, and virtually no backstabbing or ‘throwing someone under the bus.’ It is rare to hear any profanity, vulgar language, or off-color jokes. People police themselves on these issues.”
Clued-in senior management
Young Automotive Group • Since opening its first dealership in 1925, the Layton-based Young Automotive Group expanded to 20-plus retail car franchises and other related endeavors in northern Utah and southern Idaho.
Although it grew to have more than 1,400 employees, senior management remains in tune with its teams, according to staffers. Whether informing them about impactful decisions or just giving advice on challenges, leaders frequently check in with their employees.
“They visit each department and bring up issues when they know they are happening, as well as hear all sides to the story to understand why some may be happening,” an employee said. “[They] also stop by to say hi frequently.”
Said another: “They go as far as knowing all of their employees’ names, which seems simple but not with thousands of employees.”
MarketDial • This Salt Lake City-based software company tests in-store initiatives before they are implemented to check if they will succeed or flop.
Employees laud their company for keeping them in the know — whether about the signing of a new client, the latest on benefits or the status of MarketDial’s overall goals.
“Our CEO is extremely communicative with the team regarding the state of the company,” an employee said. “I never feel like I am out of the loop when it comes to the financial or cultural goings-on at MarketDial.”
Pura • This Pleasant Grove company has the smell of success — not surprising perhaps since it’s in the business of marrying smart home technology with the power of fragrance. It partners with top premium fragrance brands, celebrities and lifestyle brands, according to its website, to bring customers’ favorite scents to their homes with the touch of a button.
Workers say Pura also has a nose for making them feel valued, citing frequent verbal praise, recognition, compensation and kindness.
Cambridge Financial Group • Headquartered in South Jordan, Cambridge Financial Group offers financial and insurance services for individuals and companies, providing clients with life insurance, college planning, retirement strategies and estate planning.
The survey offered no employee comments but the company earned the award for providing the flexibility employees need to balance their work and personal life.
Tanner LLC • The more than 180 employees at Tanner LLC, Utah’s largest locally owned public accounting firm, highly value their continuing training opportunities.
Staffers listed various courses they deemed important, including departmental training on a range of topics and third-party conferences.
Fidelity Investments • While millions of employees at thousands of businesses benefit from 401(k) plans through Fidelity, so, too, do Fidelity staffers themselves.
So much so that the financial firm earned top honors for its benefit packages.
Yes, 401(k) offerings are on the list. But workers also cite profit sharing, paid time off, health and dental insurance, health savings accounts, paternity leave, tuition and fitness reimbursements, and bonuses.
“As a single father, I will say that the time off I get is perhaps the most valuable part of this,” an employee said. “My son is my world and spending time with him in the absence of his mother allows me to provide him with the necessary attention and time to keep building this bond.”
Said another: “What is most valuable for me is the health, dental insurance and the retirement savings plan. I also have been enjoying the benefits where Fidelity covers 50% of our gym membership. I started to go to the gym because of that, and I really love this!”