A couple weeks ago, I was at a funeral, and there were a lot of people there who I hadn’t seen in a long time. So, there was a lot of chit chat and asking what I do and what my job is. A very good family friend asked me that question and after I gave her the high-level overview, she scrunched up her face and said, “Well, that’s nothing to get excited about, is it?” My first reaction was that I was surprised she had that to my face but my second reaction bordered on pity.
Because this industry is something to get excited about. This industry is full of smart, savvy and downright inspiring entrepreneurs who are not only pushing the industry—but business ownership, in general—forward. That’s the exact premise behind our newest feature, “The Best Workplaces.” Earlier this year, FenderBender launched a hunt for the industry’s best places to work—the shops that see the importance in building workplace cultures where employees feel respected and valued. The Best Workplaces aims to look for businesses where “culture” isn’t just a buzzword, but is part of the value system and day-to-day of the shop. In an industry where the talent shortage is at an all-time high, we wanted to find the shops that go above and beyond in helping to develop employees, both professionally and personally, to build an all-star team and retain them.
Anyone in the industry could nominate a shop for The Best Workplaces—and to our delight, the nominations poured in. From there, the edit team sifted through the nominations, whittled down finalists, and called employees from those shops to get their takes on their workplaces. The winners were selected based on a number of criteria, as outlined below in the nomination form, but organization size, workforce makeup and what’s typical in the industry and region will also be kept in mind.
The Best Workplaces isn’t about the shops that offer the best benefits or the most impressive perks; instead, it’s about finding the shops—regardless of size, which is why we recognized four shops with different staff sizes—that have built a unique, strong shop culture that every employee buys into.
I hope you take a look through the feature because not only is it inspiring and chock full of practical advice, it’s also a look at the best this industry can be. Congratulations to this year’s Best Workplaces!