I opened our mailbox yesterday and spotted an envelope from the Best Companies Group, which reminded me that this was the week we’d hear whether or not MojoTech made the list of 2014’s Best Places to Work in RI.

I took notice of the envelope. Small. Thin. It was college acceptance day all over again. I was bummed. Then, I opened the letter to learn I was wrong -- we made the list!

Best | (adj.) | /best/ | Of the most excellent, effective or desirable type, standing or quality

There are more than 22,000 small businesses in Rhode Island, and only 47 of them made this list (plus three enterprise companies). The award confirms something I’ve known to be true since I started here; MojoTech is an awesome place to work. The honor does more than simply confirm that though, it validates years of smart growth for the company.

One of the things we do for our clients is help grow their apps, which in turn grows their businesses. Being named as a Best Place to Work affirms that we’re scaling our own company and culture effectively.

You don’t win this award because of the financial success of your business. You don’t win it because you make a great pitch to the committee, submit your forms first or garner the most votes. You get it because your employees fill out a survey that paints a picture of what it’s like to work at your company. Those surveys provide a qualitative and quantitative view of the workplace environment.

This recognition was earned because the people who make MojoTech a success, the people I work with everyday, believe it is deserved. MojoTech is one of the best places to work in the state of Rhode Island.

There are many factors taken into account on the 75-question employee survey. They look at work environment, compensation, turnover, benefits, ability to address problems, access to resources, communication, and more. I’m eager to see our full report at the end of the month that will detail how we fared in each category. But, in the meantime...

Why I think MojoTech earned its spot as one of “2014’s Best Places to Work”

(in ascending order of importance)

1.) Compensation is certainly going to be part of the answer, but I don’t imagine it’s the primary factor. If it is, we’re doing something wrong. MojoTech pays competitive salaries, improvements are recognized and success is rewarded. But increased pay is a quick fix for which the benefits diminish and it is not a sustainable way for a business to keep people happy.

2) Benefits might be a significant part of the conversation, and it’s an area I think we probably did pretty well. MojoTech pays 100% of employee medical and dental insurance; we offer unlimited vacation, holidays, and personal days; we match employee contributions to their 401K plan; we offer a commuter stipend, we pay for Mojos to attend conferences, and we have no forms for purchasing, reimbursement, vacations, etc. -- everything is an email away, or closer. Problems are addressed on an individual basis and nobody is pegged into a hole.

3.) My guess is that work environment and the work/life balance was an area in which we shined. We have a casual dress policy, flexible work schedule, in-office bicycle parking, catered lunches twice per week, espresso/coffee/Red Bull is plentiful and of course we have a foosball table in our lobby. Mojos get to pick their hardware, OS and peripherals. We have MojoTime: the remainder of time between client projects and the “full work week” during which we work on side projects, MojoApps, blog, and new technology experiments. We celebrate the big stuff and the small stuff. If somebody needs to leave early or come in late to make an appointment, watch their kid’s softball game or catch a train, it’s not an issue. Families and significant others are invited to company parties, and we move around in our workspaces to enhance collaboration and keep ourselves from becoming stagnant.

“If you can laugh together, you can work together.” - Robert Orben

4.) Above all else, we won this award not because of what MojoTech gives to the team or has created for the team. We won because of what is demanded of the team. At MojoTech everybody is expected to perform, consistently get better, support their teammates and deliver results. We all work together to do excellent work, so we all depend on each other to create excellence. We have the resources we need to get the job done, and we know that if we have a solution to a problem, we’ll have the opportunity to put it in place -- and if we can’t do it alone, we have our team to help. We answer the call of this demand, and we create something amazing... the awesome place where Mojos work.

My role at MojoTech primarily focuses on most of the things that encompass this award (or at least most of the things about which the questions ask), so I’m darn proud of it. Many things were already in place when I got here, so I hold that pride without taking credit. But I’m honored to be continuing -- and building on -- MojoTech’s traditions of excellence.

- Jacob Brier (@jacobsnbrier)

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