‘I love my job’: Employees decide list of top 150 workplaces in Atlanta

Realtors enjoy a relaxed atmosphere at the Dorsey Alston offices. The company was chosen the top midsize workplace in the 2016 Atlanta Top Workplaces project by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Phil Skinner, for the AJC)

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Realtors enjoy a relaxed atmosphere at the Dorsey Alston offices. The company was chosen the top midsize workplace in the 2016 Atlanta Top Workplaces project by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Phil Skinner, for the AJC)

Transparency and teamwork are key components of this year’s top workplaces. Their leaders stress open-door policies, are amenable to ideas from employees and build family-like atmospheres.

Statements such as “I believe this company is going in the right direction,” “My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful,” and “I feel genuinely appreciated at this company” rank high in the surveys submitted by metro Atlanta employees for the AJC’s 2019 Top Workplaces awards.

Employees have an opportunity to rate and comment on their workplaces in the annual survey. The 255 companies that participated in this year’s survey represent 82,265 metro Atlanta employees. Of those, 48,837 employees responded.

Among the 2019 Top Workplaces, employees overwhelmingly note that their managers make it easier for them to do their job well and care about their concerns.

“I have been given ideas and options to help me get further in my career choice and actually feel like they care for me to get there,” wrote an employee at Loews Atlanta Hotel, No. 4 on the midsize workplaces list.

Statements such as “This company operates by strong values” (83.9 percent), “My manager makes it easier to do my job well” (82.3 percent), “My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful” (81.6 percent), and “My manager cares about my concerns” (81.4 percent) are indicators of positivity among employees.

“I love the work that I do every day. I love that the company continues to grow because of strong values and smart, hard work,” an employee for Angel Oak Companies, a financial services company on the midsize list, wrote in the survey.

Statements related to pay and benefits are less important (50 percent and 35 percent, respectively) for employee satisfaction, according to this year’s results.

Two of this year’s top-ranked large, midsize and small employers are private schools: Woodward Academy and Cornerstone Preparatory Academy.

“Not many people are able to say they love their job and their workplace,” a Cornerstone employee wrote in the survey. “I just told my husband the other evening on a scale of 1-10, I give my job an 11!!! I’ve worked in many other schools and businesses, and I can honestly say I have never been happier than I have been since I started teaching at Cornerstone.”

Leadership is crucial to the culture and sets successful companies apart from others. Employees consistently rate issues of connection — employees feel appreciated and that their work is meaningful — and alignment — where the company is headed, its values and cooperation — most important to them.

“I love my job at Woodward Academy because I feel like people here really care about their profession, students, parents, teachers, and each other,” an employee wrote in the survey. “We work together to motivate, challenge and love one another. We are treated like professionals with respect and freedom, but also lead with direction, purpose and sound leadership. We all can laugh together, too.”

Companies such as Alston & Bird LLP, Arrow Exterminators, Salesforce, Dorsey Alston Realtors and Supreme Lending Southeast Region continue to rank in the top five.

“Arrow allows me to be who I am. There’s no need to put on a fake face to make it through the work day. It truly is a family here,” wrote an employee for Arrow, No. 2 on the large workplaces list.

The large, midsize and small workplaces all have newcomers to the top 10 this year. SignatureFD is No. 3 on the small workplaces in its first year on the list.

“The leadership team has empowered me and placed me in a position where I can do what my skill set and passions are best suited for. This makes me excited to come to work every day, make a difference for our team members and clients, and help SignatureFD become an even bigger success,” one employee wrote in the survey.

Newcomers this year include Cricket Wireless, No. 41 on the midsize workplace list.

“I have a lot of opportunity to make it my own — to be creative and try different things. I have a fabulous manager and work group — we collaborate, we care about one another, and we have fun,” a Cricket employee wrote in the survey.

Employees at the top workplaces on the list said their leaders inspire them. An employee said of Arrow Exterminators’ President and CEO Emily Thomas Kendrick: “She is a great motivational speaker and gets everyone excited about what they do and what they can do.”

Perks, such as free snacks, drinks and lunch, and bringing pets to work, are offered along with professional development opportunities that employees said allow them to do their best work. The statement, “I have not considered searching for a better job in the past month” received a 59.1 percent response, compared to 58.2 percent last year.

“My team is sharp, supportive, creative and caring. SalesLoft is such a great environment to grow and thrive in. Not only do I feel I’m appreciated, but I also feel trusted and encouraged to voice my opinion and to try new things,” an employee wrote in the survey. “I have a strong sense of ownership of not only my own work, but of other company initiatives as well.”