Life in Balance: Idaho's 'best places to work' share their secrets

We visited three of the Best Places to Work in Idaho to find out what they're doing right.

BOISE - It's difficult to have a Life in Balance if your work life is off balance.  

According to a recent Gallup study, 51% of the American workforce say they are not engaged at work.  They feel no real connection to their jobs and tend to do the bare minimum.  Another 16% are really disengaged.  They hate their jobs, complain a lot, and bring down morale.  

In this Life in Balance report, we're taking a closer look at three companies named "Best Places to Work in Idaho" to learn what they're doing right.

It's 3 p.m. at TSheets in Eagle.  Team members in the marketing department are taking a break for their daily "Minute to Win it" exercise.  The music is on and team members are on the floor in plank positions.  Downstairs, team members are playing ping pong.  There are also arcade games, fully stocked break rooms, even a keg of beer.

"People are like, do you guys even work on a daily basis?  But we do," said Aly Thomson, a controller at TSheets.  "It's stress relief.  It's nice to take 15 minutes and think about something other than work.  And it lets you get back into your daily grind and be really productive."

TSheets develops time tracking and scheduling software for small businesses.  It is one of Idaho's fastest growing tech companies, with a revenue of $20 million last year. Their success is a direct result of their employees.

"I believe that the way you treat your employees is the way they'll treat your customers," Thomson said.

TSheets team members also get an annual vacation bonus of $1,500 to spend on the vacation of their choice.  But ask an employee why they love working at TSheets, and the free beer, ping pong and vacation bonus aren't the first things mentioned.

"I think it's the people generally," Simon Worsfold said. "That's the major thing I enjoy here.  We have a great team, honestly, and the fact that I get to feel like I'm making a difference to my job, to my co-workers' lives as well.  I think when you pull together as a team like we do, it boosts productivity, definitely decreases stress."

Worsfold, like the majority of young adults who now make up one-third of the American workforce, say a better quality of life at work is more important than a bigger salary.

"Honestly, I think I would stay here," Worsfold said.  "I would rather have the quality of work life."

MORE: Millenials will take a happier work life over better pay

For Corey Smith, CEO and Founder of Tribute Media, it's about creating a company culture of mutual respect.

"When we become self-centered as employers, when we think it's all about us then employees don't care. They're not in it for that," Smith said.  "They can go make money elsewhere. So respect is critically important."

A small company of 13 employees, Tribute Media is a web marketing agency with clients around the world.  The biggest perk for employees is flexibility in schedules and work space.  Last year they started "Office Free Friday": Employees can work at the office, at home or where ever they might be.  They also have the freedom to arrange their own work schedule to whatever works best for them.

"That's the great thing about this job is that I can work from home, I can work from Hawaii if i chose," employee Nikki Wardle said.

Smith says, "What we found is the more transparent we are with our employees, the more flexibility we offer them, the more they rise to the occasion."

Idaho Central Credit Union was also named among the "Best Places to Work in Idaho" in 2017 for the macro category.

"It involves trusting people, letting them use their own heads to make decisions, kind of getting out of the way, hiring the right people, train them right, motivate correctly, I mean all those things are important," Kent Oram, CEO of Idaho Central Credit Union, said.

Oram says there is proof it works.  S&P Global ranked Idaho Central Credit Union the number one performing credit union in the nation.

Oram says it's crucial to create a positive, family-friendly work place, citing a recent study that found companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20 percent.

"Honestly, I feel like the way they care about me as a person, and invest in me not just for career progress, but also as individual makes all the world of difference when you feel valued, validated, and that what you do matters," employee Amy Murphy said.

Employees can do things to improve their engagement.  Employment experts say identifying your strengths and finding work that mostly aligns with those is key.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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