I’m always a sucker for a good road trip. Growing up in Nebraska, people just didn’t take planes on family vacations. So typically, more than half of whatever trip my family took in the summertime was spent driving to and from our destination. Turns out, that was actually the best part. My dad was always game to veer off our path to see Buffalo Bill’s Grave, the world’s largest ball of twine, a motel where the rooms were constructed into teepees, or whatever else we stumbled upon.
So it’s no surprise that one of my favorite trips of the year is the Counselor Best Places to Work Road Tour. This is the fourth year Counselor has embarked on its cross-country tour. With my Road Tour companions, Counselor Editor Andy Cohen and Wearables Editor C.J. Mittica, we logged in roughly 5,400 miles by car and plane in the span of five days, visiting a dozen companies on this year’s Counselor Best Places to Work List to see what makes these companies tick.
Yes, the journey was tiring. But it’s also a lot of fun. The qualities that make these companies such great places to work – fun, creative, engaging – also makes them excellent hosts. We played soccer with the team from SnugZ/USA (asi/88060), celebrated the 20th anniversary of Pinnacle Promotions (asi/295986) and even competed in a Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament at Specialty Incentives (asi/331870). (Should have gone with Paper, Andy!) You can read all of our adventures by visiting Counselormag.com/Roadtour.
We’ve featured these companies often in the pages of Advantages and Counselor, but you can’t truly grasp their amazing cultures without visiting them in person. I was struck by many of the things they shared. Their attention to office design, particularly open, airy spaces with inviting meeting areas that foster collaboration. The measured approach they take to hiring the best people instead of rushing to fill a position. Their adherence to a core set of guiding principles – which, in the case of eCompanyStore (asi/185782) and PromoShop (asi/300446), was printed right on the back of their branded shirts.
My Road Tour experience reaffirmed my belief that great places to work aren’t built by accident. They are the product of conscious and thoughtful planning. Want to make your workplace more motivating? Check out our Road Tour site for inspiration. Maybe we’ll visit you and your company on next year’s trip!