No. 6: The Next Trend Designs, Best Places To Work 2018

Counselor honors the top industry workplaces through an exclusive survey and rankings. Find out what makes The Next Trend Designs a great place to work!

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Rank: 6
The Next Trend Designs (asi/283375), Mississauga, ON

TNTD shows support for Prostate Cancer Canada at its “Plaid for Dad” fundraising BBQ.

Benefits & Perks: Massage therapy, paid 100% by the company. Annual summer and holiday office parties. Yearly performance reviews and raises, with starting pay well above Canada’s minimum wage. Did we mention the yacht thing?

Workspace Highlights: The company’s popular showroom includes a coffee bar and pool table.

What makes a company one of the Best Places to Work? Is it great benefits? A fun atmosphere? Leadership that truly cares about the employees? Having a party on a yacht? Wait. That’s it. It’s the yacht thing.

Last summer, The Next Trend Designs closed for a day to take its staff on an all-expenses-paid adventure. Associates climbed onto buses at the office and headed for Lake Ontario, where they were treated to a day-long party on a luxury yacht. Staff enjoyed a catered lunch and open bar as they got paid to cruise the Great Lake in style.

Of course, one party doesn’t make a company a Best Place to Work. That’s why the distributor plans a big blowout event every summer. TNTD also has monthly celebrations for its Employee of the Month and Salesperson of the Month, and employee birthdays are met with, you guessed it, more parties and cash gifts. And when a staffer leaves the company? They get a party too. “I just want them to know we appreciate all they’ve done for us,” says Janine Taylor, CEO.

The good times roll into December when the office shuts down for the firm’s biggest annual event: A holiday party full of food, drinks and awards. “We’ve always done Christmas in a big way,” Taylor says. And what kind of holiday would it be without presents? “I make sure that every employee gets a gift that they’ll enjoy,” she adds.

Even with all that partying, TNTD finds time to run one of Canada’s most successful distributorships. From its founding as a two-person operation in 1992, the company has grown to nearly two dozen staffers who Taylor and company president Rob Charlton know personally. That tight-knit culture is why the company offers compensation well above the national average. “We don’t want our team to worry about health or financial issues,” Taylor says. “Everyone should feel appreciated.”

If you want to see that appreciation in action, look no further than production manager Tracey DaCosta. She recently celebrated her 20-year anniversary with TNTD. “They gave me a Louis Vuitton bag,” she says. “At my 10-year anniversary, they gave me a Rolex watch. When I show people outside the company what I get, they ask if we’re hiring.”

Luxury gifts are nice, but that’s not what keeps staff around for decades. The secret? “It’s just a great bunch of people to work with,” DaCosta says. “We’re all like family.” Of course, the perks don’t hurt, either: After 20 years of service, the company gave DaCosta the day off on Friday – every Friday. “How could anyone not like working at a place like this?” she asks.

Putting such emphasis on employee happiness may seem excessive, but for TNTD, it’s smart business. “Without our team, we wouldn’t be who we are as a company,” Taylor says. “As much as we try to give to them, we get it back ten-fold.”

TNTD staff on a summer cruise.