These Companies Are the Best Workplaces in Texas

Ed Frauenheim
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These Companies Are the Best Workplaces in Texas

If you accept a job at technology services firm Pariveda Solutions, be ready to share information. About what you’re doing. About who deserves a promotion. About how much you make.

At Dallas-based Pariveda, all 650 employees can easily look up how much each of their co-workers makes. It’s part of the company’s commitment to transparency, a value it connects to fairness and equality. Because of that commitment, the organization operates within Holacracy, a management ethos characterized by information sharing, minimal hierarchy, and self-managed teams.

“It’s a paradigm shift” compared to standard corporate operating principles, says Tom Cunningham, Pariveda’s vice president of people. “It’s a major shift.”

It’s also working for Pariveda’s people. A remarkable 97 percent of them call Pariveda a great place to work, 99 percent say you can count on people to cooperate, and 98 percent say they believe their leaders are competent at running the business.

With those sorts of numbers, it’s not surprising that Pariveda Solutions earned a spot on the 2019 Best Workplace to Work in Texas. My organization, people analytics and research firm Great Place to Work, just announced this year’s ranking in partnership with Fortune.

Texas is one of the most diverse states considering factors such as socioeconomic status, culture, and religion. This year’s ranking rewards organizations that embrace diversity and inclusion. We gave top marks that to organizations that create a “Great Place to Work For All”—85 percent of the evaluation is based on what every employee says about their experience of trust and reaching their full human potential, no matter who they are or what they do.

See the 80 Best Companies to Work for in Texas

NuStar Energy, a San Antonio-based operator of petroleum product pipelines and terminals, is among the best large employers recognized on the list. Bob Grimes, NuStar’s vice president of human resources, says the honor is a direct reflection of chairman Bill Greehey’s philosophy that if you take care of employees, they will take care of the business and the community. “He put together a caring and sharing culture that puts employees first,” Grimes says.

The caring piece is reflected in part in NuStar’s commitment to employee safety. At a number of facilities, NuStar has earned entrance into an advanced occupational safety initiative known as the Voluntary Protection Programs. VPP status, offered through the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration, involves management and employees working together to prevent accidents and create a safe working environment. These efforts help explain why 94 percent of NuStar employees say the company’s facilities contribute to a good working environment.

Grimes says NuStar’s family-like culture translates directly to business success. NuStar’s 2018 net income was up 15 percent, and its revenue increased by 9 percent, to nearly $2 billion. Part of that success has to do with NuStar’s expansion of operations into the oil-rich Permian Basin in West Texas. But it also has to do with fired up employees, Grimes says. “There’s a lot of energy in our employees out in the field,” he says.

Another Best Workplace in Texas riding high on a great workplace culture is RigUp, an online marketplace connecting workers in the energy field with employers who need contract talent. It recently was identified by the New York Times and research firm CB Insights as a potential “unicorn”—a privately held company on a path to a $1 billion valuation.

The 210 or so employees at RigUp are fueling that sunny outlook. An astounding 99 percent of RigUp employees say the company is a great place to work, and the same percentage say they are willing to give extra to get the job done.

Sehr Charania, RigUp’s head of talent, says the positive, hard-charging culture reflects co-founder Xuan Yong’s focus on people and data. When she was thinking about joining the company last year, she was surprised that Yong paid so much attention to employee sentiment. “’You’re a busy guy, why are you monitoring this?’” she recalls asking. “He said, ‘the strong team always wins, and I want to have the strong team.’”

Ed Frauenheim is senior director of content at Great Place to Work and co-author of the book A Great Place to Work For All.