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Benefits of creativity

With the competition for quality workers growing fierce, area companies become more creative in structuring their benefits packages.

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From the pages of In Business magazine.

When you think about business innovation, it usually brings to mind the continual refinement of products and processes, but given the workforce challenges faced by Wisconsin businesses, the importance of designing a strong package of fringe benefits has brought out the creative juices in human resources departments.

In this annual presentation of Best Companies to Work For, we saw more evidence of creativity in the policies and benefits that build attractive workplace cultures, and it starts with pushing the envelope on health care and wellness benefits. Gordy Meicher, managing partner of Meicher CPAs in Madison, one of our Best Companies in the small business category, says employers no longer are passively encouraging their employees to exercise, eat healthier, and otherwise change their lifestyles for the better.

According to Meicher, who extends management overtime and various pampering benefits — on-site massage anyone? — during the grind of tax season, employers now are actively pushing employees to stay healthy.

Employers do so not only to achieve cost-savings with their health insurance benefits, but also because they get productivity returns. “Employees that exercise are better employees,” Meicher states. “They are more productive, they are more alert, they care more about themselves, and their self-esteem is better. There is every reason for me to want my employees to be healthy.”

As part of this year’s Best Companies to Work For presentation, we expanded the program in two ways. First, we added more benefits to existing categories such as health care and wellness, and we asked participating companies to identify additional benefits that are not otherwise mentioned on the survey. Second, we expanded the presentation beyond Dane County to businesses headquartered in the eight-county south central Wisconsin region.

We then selected the top five scorers in three size categories: Large companies, 200-plus employees; medium companies, 50-199 employees; and small companies, up to 49 employees. Congratulations go to Roche NimbleGen, which was the top overall scorer. All 15 Best Companies will be recognized on Wednesday, Oct. 21, during the annual IB Expo & Conference at the Alliant Energy Center.

Large Company (200+ employees)
Badgerland Financial

Exact Sciences
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics
Meriter-UnityPoint Health
Madison College

Medium Company (50–199 employees)
Roche NimbleGen

Raven Software
Turville Bay MRI Radiation Oncology Center
WEA Member Benefits

Small Company (1–49 employees)
Leonardo Academy Inc.

Hardin Design & Development
Palmer Johnson Power Systems
Terso Solutions
Meicher CPAs

To be considered for the 2016 Best Companies To Work For, fill out the online nomination form at


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