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|Articles - March 2010|
|Thursday, February 25, 2010|
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Pittman & Brooks // No. 1 Small Company
Work hard, play hard. That sums up this small Portland CPA firm, where the current record is 103.1 hours worked in one week. Employees have 100% flextime during most of the year. But when tax season comes, it’s 50 hours a week in the office, minimum. For those three grueling months, the company provides massages, catered meals and dry cleaning, and leaves gifts on workers’ desks with a card: “This too shall pass.” There’s the “End of Tax Season Party” to look forward to, when employees and their families get together for rock climbing, basketball, dinner and the Tax Season Oscars.
Employees rave about the on-site daycare being open on Saturdays during tax season, and the new wellness program. Fitness, cooking and yoga classes are offered in the evenings and walking contests challenge employees to get fit. (The trough of junk food that usually fuels employees through April 15 may have to be rethought.)
“We understand how valuable our employees are. If they’re not here and happy and productive, nothing works,” says co-founder Randa Brooks. “Our goal is to make it as fun, friendly, happy, accommodating, flexible to work as possible so they can perform at their best. And that’s what they do.”
Northwest Newborn Specialists // No. 2 Small Company
The employees of Portland’s Northwest Newborn Specialists all admit that providing medical care to ill and premature babies can be stressful and have an emotional toll. Part of what diffuses that stress, say employees, is a culture of learning and respect fostered by administrative staff and co-workers.
Being encouraged to pursue individual growth and professionalism — such as attending conferences or authoring research papers — also buoys employees. “It’s a supportive environment,” says physician Valerie Newman. “In medicine, it really can be the opposite.” Practical rewards are also reaped: health insurance was increased by 10% last year when administration began receiving employee feedback that benefits needed improvement.
Physicians also don’t have to work the usual 9 to 5, five days a week (or more). “We individualize the amount of work,” says chief financial and administrative officer Cheryl Hughes Gaulke. “You can be less than fulltime, or you can even be more than fulltime.”
The flexibility allows employees to balance work with private life. One employee recently took a three-and-a-half-week vacation to visit a family member outside the country. “The whole team pitched in to make that happen,” Hughes Gaulke says.
Stamp-Connection // No. 3 Small Company
Stamp-Connection owner John Clark is proud that his stamp manufacturing business can take orders as late as 3 in the afternoon and still ship the next morning. His top priority, however, is his employees. “They are the key to growth,” Clark says.
None of Gresham-based Stamp-Connection’s 15 employees were laid off during the recession, and no benefits were cut. Employees can count on a guaranteed 3% cost of living increase in April, and a merit-based raise ranging from 3% to 10% in October. That raise is based on an employee evaluation discussed one-on-one between Clark and each employee.
“We…make sure there are no misunderstandings,” Clark says. “We’re all on the same page here.” “No one’s on a totem pole,” says Jon Morse, a typesetter.
Employees make analogies to family when describing the camaraderie and tension-free work environment. Everyone plays on a softball team, belong to the Eagles Lodge and is free to bring their dogs or children to work. A group including Clark is looking forward to quitting smoking together and providing a work-based support group.
“There’s no person here who doesn’t like another person,” says office manager Serene Brown.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK
The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.
Friday, June 05, 2015
As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Market of Choice is on a tear. In 2012 the 35-year-old Eugene-based grocery chain opened a central kitchen/distribution center in its hometown. The market opened its third Portland store in the Cedar Mill neighborhood this year; another outpost in Bend broke ground in March. A fourth Portland location is slated for the inner southeast “LOCA” development, a mixed-use project featuring condos and retail. Revenues in 2014 were $175 million, a double-digit increase over 2013. CEO Rick Wright discusses growth, market trends and how he keeps new “foodie” grocery clerks happy.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
17 airlines make stops at Portland International Airport, but not all are not created equal when it comes to customer service.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.
"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."
"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.
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One of the many reasons why businesses fail is due to the lack of attention to analytics. Sure, you can go on running your business, but mastering the science of analytics will translate into a business advantage. But what exactly are analytics and why are they so important?
Court experience helps legal firm anticipate potential problems for clients and prevent expensive litigation.
When Garmin AT needed to consolidate operations for its 550 employees, it scanned its entire corporate map for possible sites.
Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) and the College of Business at Oregon State University is offering “Business Analytics for Competitive Advantage”, a two-day intensive workshop.
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A look back at the shifting sands of Portland’s growth and development.