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N.J. Top Workplaces: Ranking reveals the 40 employers who took home top honors – nj.com

September 20, 2020

(Editor’s note: Employee surveys were conducted in 2019 prior to the pandemic.)

Working for a company where you believe you’re making a valuable contribution and your work is appreciated can often feel like the difference between a day job and a meaningful career.

Wondering which organizations stand out as New Jersey’s Top Workplaces? To determine which Garden State employers earned this coveted distinction in the eyes of their employees, NJ.com solicited nominations last year. Energage, an employee-research and consulting company, which has spent more than a decade studying top workplaces throughout the country, sought permission from employers before surveying employees.

Bob Helbig, media partnerships director of Energage, said the Exton, Pa.-based company has surveyed more than 2.5 million employees working for over 7,000 companies nationwide with the goal of helping leaders make a valuable impact on organizational culture, the working lives of employees and society overall.

Energage’s employee surveys, coupled with expert insights, are designed to foster stronger workplace environments and engage employees to ultimately reduce turnover and boost productivity.

Energage’s employee surveys, coupled with expert insights, are designed to foster stronger workplace environments and engage employees to ultimately reduce turnover and boost productivity.

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Nominees for New Jersey’s Top Workplace honors were limited to companies with 50 or more employees that spanned from northern New Jersey through the Jersey Shore area. Public and private companies, nonprofit organizations and government workplaces were eligible. Employers were divided into three categories: small, with between 50 and 149 employees, medium, with 150 to 499 employees, and large, with 500 or more employees. The list is based on survey feedback once a minimum response rate was achieved.

“Our standard survey is 24 questions,” Helbig said. “The survey typically takes five to 10 minutes to complete, depending how many additional comments employees choose to make. For the 2020 program, we surveyed 68 employers that employ 45,815 people. Of all the surveys we sent out, 7,164 employees responded to our survey.”

Energage compares the results it receives with those from organizations in other parts of the country.

So, what do workers it the Garden State value most? Direction of the organization is what topped the list of most important qualities in the minds of employees.

” ‘I believe this company is going in the right direction’ — that’s the statement that rated highest in importance,” Helbig said.

Understandably, other issues that ranked high on the list include “appreciation” and “meaningfulness.”

” ‘I feel genuinely appreciated at this company’ and ‘My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful’ — each of those was tied for second in importance,” Helbig said.

In today’s technology-filled world where employees frequently feel that their workday extends into evening and weekend hours, surveyed workers in New Jersey were more likely than the national average to say they have a work-life balance.

“Of the 7,164 responses we received, 77% reacted positively when asked ‘I have the flexibility I need to balance my work and personal life,’ ” Helbig said. “The national average is 75.5%.”

Leaders from these top organizations shared what it means to receive this honor.

Cedar Crest Village (large) is situated on a scenic 130-acre campus in Pompton Plains and made the list for the second year in a row. Photo courtesy of Cedar Crest Living

Cedar Crest Village – Erickson Living (No. 2, large), one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 130-acre campus in Pompton Plains and made the list for the second year in a row.

“Cedar Crest is proud to be recognized again as one of the top places to work in New Jersey,” said Executive Director Todd DeLaney. “This year, during this unprecedented health event, our employees have banded together to take the extraordinary steps to protect the health and safety of our residents. Thank you to our amazing staff for being part of our extraordinary Cedar Crest family. Supporting a committed, diverse and engaged team is essential for creating a community that is an outstanding place to live and work.”

“I’m happy to be a part of a wonderful team that cares for its residents and strives to be the best every day in all we do for them,” said a Cedar Crest employee. “I love the genuine care and concern our team has for everyone walking through our doors and how we can speak truthfully and proudly about what we do, what we offer and how it gets done. And, lastly but never least, everyone treats everyone with love and respect.”

A fellow Cedar Crest Village employee cited the personal fulfillment the job brings.

“I’ve been working in Cedar Crest for almost 15 years. Everybody gets along and I love my job because it is very rewarding, especially when you see your patient improving,” the employee noted.

“I am able to make a difference in the lives of my residents and their families,” another Cedar Crest staffer added. “Additionally, I love the support I receive from management to not only balance home and work but be successful in all that I do.”

Somerset-based CompoSecure (large) is a pioneer and category leader in the design and manufacture of premium financial cards, employing 675 individuals. Photo courtesy of CompoSecure

Being named to the list of Top Workplaces in the Garden State is a huge honor, said Jon Wilk, CEO of Somerset-based CompoSecure (No. 1, large), a pioneer and category leader in the design and manufacture of premium financial cards, which employs 675 individuals.

“It affirms what we’ve known all along – that by committing to employees, team atmosphere and community engagement we continue to foster a workplace where people want to work,” Wilk said. “This is not a CEO or senior leadership award; this award recognizes each and every employee who plays a part in sustaining our company culture. All of us, from the production floor to the boardroom, feel pride in our accomplishment and our place alongside the other businesses leading New Jersey forward.”

Wilk added that this award will help CompoSecure continue to attract the “best and the brightest that New Jersey has to offer.”

“Potential employees have proof that we are focused on innovation and investing in growth at every level of the company,” he said.

“Every day is a learning experience at work, and I feel work satisfaction at the end of day,” noted a CompoSecure employee. “Love going to work at CompoSecure.”

“I’m able to learn, teach and help my coworkers to become detail-oriented with their tasks to succeed,” another CompoSecure worker stated.

Top Workplaces 2020 -Aequor

Aequor Technologies in Piscataway (midsize) has stayed focused on its vision to see its name among the top 10 staffing companies in the United States.

Founded in 1998, Aequor Technologies (No. 1, midsize) is a Piscataway-based global information technology solutions and consulting company that topped the mid-sized category. Committed to matching the best and brightest IT talent with the most exceptional career opportunities, Aequor Technologies was also named to the Top Workplaces in New Jersey list in 2019.

Manmeet Virdi, co-CEO of Aequor, explained that the company has continued to follow the simple rule: “Build your core and then go for more.” With that philosophy in place, Aequor has stayed focused on its vision to see its name among the top 10 staffing companies in the United States.

“A top priority for our leadership team is to create an environment worthy of the outstanding individuals that define Aequor,” Virdi said. “We believe in creating a truly collaborative and culturally diverse workplace. We like to say that Aequor is like the United Nations of the labor force — our employees in the United States and globally span more than 40 different nationalities.”

Co-CEO Kamal Virdi agreed, noting that they are proud of all Aequor has accomplished over the past two decades, and acknowledged that none of it would have been possible without the support of every staff member.

“I would like to dedicate this award to our team,” Kamal Virdi said. “I want to thank all of our staff for their hard work and commitment in making the last two decades successful for Aequor. I am really proud of our diversity, the culture, work environment, integrity, commitment of people, teamwork and great teams just to name a few of our good differentiators. We are looking forward to a similar continuous growth and success in the coming years.”

“It allows me to grow,” said an Aequor staffer, who noted that the company’s strength comes from “great teamwork.” “I enjoy coming to work every day. (It) feels like a big family always willing to help. Everyone wants all employees to succeed.”

Express Stores (midsize), a wireless technology company in East Brunswick, strives to always put its employees first. Photo courtesy of Express Stores

Andrea Sealey, director of communications and employee development at Express Stores (No. 8, midsize), a wireless technology company, said the East Brunswick-based business strives to always put its employees first.

“At Express Stores, we pride ourselves on being an employee-first company that creates a sense of family for both our customers and our employees,” Sealey said. “We know that our success lies in not just saying we value our people, but in showing we value our people daily. Being selected as a New Jersey Best Place to Work reinforces for us that our people love us as much as we love them.”

“I am trusted, empowered and valued,” said an Express Stores employee. “I feel appreciated and allowed to balance work and life,” another noted.

Flanders-based Advanced Digital Data Systems (small) earned Top Workplaces recognition for its outstanding culture and work atmosphere. Photo courtesy of Advanced Digital Data Systems

Regina A. Balistreri, director of marketing at Flanders-based Advanced Digital Data Systems (No. 22, small), said the small business is pleased to be selected as one of the Top Workplaces in the Garden State.

“Our success for the past 48 years is due to our fantastic employees,” Balistreri said. “ADD Systems is a great place to work, with a fun atmosphere and a caring, family culture.”

“I get to promote a company that is a second-generation technology company that has lasted nearly 50 years,” said an ADD Systems employee. “Almost unheard of in business today.”

“It never gets boring,” said another ADD Systems staffer. “New ideas and out-of-the box thinking are welcome. Other employees are like family, and we all treat each other with respect. It’s nice to be in an environment where you aren’t afraid to try new things, and you aren’t afraid of failure. I see nothing but opportunity ahead.”

Employees at Bridgeway Senior Healthcare in Hillsborough (midsize) enjoy the family-run nature of the business because it makes them feel more appreciated. Photo courtesy of Bridgeway Senior Healthcare

What additional attributes did employees prize at other Top Workplaces? Earning potential, flexibility and the personal satisfaction that comes from helping a family business thrive were other, often-noted key qualities.

“I make a huge difference in the lives of my customers as I help them with what is typically the largest financial investment of their lives,” said an employee of Parsippany-based Atlantic Home Loans (No. 14, small). “I get to meet all different types of people and learn from each of them. I am allowed the freedom to run my business and my life in the best way possible for my family. In my position, my earning potential is uncapped. I could give myself a pay raise every day.”

“Bridgeway (No. 6, midsize) has been one of the most enjoyable places I have ever worked at,” said a Bridgeway employee. “Being a family-owned and run business puts a personal touch on the employees’ lives. The culture and commitment to staff make my days enjoyable to come to work.”

“No day is the same,” said an employee at Family First Funding LLC (No. 4, small), a mortgage banker licensed in more than 25 states. “I feel valued and appreciated by my peers and executive team. I love the flexibility it gives me to work from home and work in the office as needed. The culture and relationships built within the company are fabulous and recognized by all.

Read on to see the complete list of the 40 Top Workplaces in New Jersey, broken down alphabetically and by size, as nominated by their employees and evaluated by Energage, based on questionnaires answered by their employees.

TOP WORKPLACES

RANKED BY SIZE AND BASED ON EMPLOYEE SURVEYS FROM 2019

The following are 40 companies named to New Jersey’s Top Workplaces list, broken down by size and ranking, as nominated by their employees and evaluated by Energage, based on questionnaires answered by their employees.

Believing in the direction of a company, feeling appreciated and striking a positive work-life balance are some of the qualities employees value most in a workplace environment, according to a survey of workers in the Garden State. Which organizations check those boxes, according to their staff members?

Large Companies (500 employees or more)

1. COMPOSECURE LLC

Headquarters: Somerset

NJ Locations: Three

Industry: Secure payment products

Founded: 2000

Employees: 675

2. CEDAR CREST VILLAGE – ERICKSON LIVING

Headquarters: Catonsville, Md.

NJ Location: Pompton Plains

Industry: Senior living

Founded: 2001

Employees: 575

3. CACI

Headquarters: Arlington, Va.

NJ Location: Florham Park

Industry: National security, expertise and technology for enterprise

Founded: 1962

Employees: 510

4. RWJBARNABAS HEALTH

Headquarters: West Orange

NJ Locations: 14

Industry: Health care

Founded: 2015

Employees: 34,000

5. MUSCULOSKELETAL TRANSPLANT FOUNDATION

Headquarters: Edison

NJ Locations: Two

Industry: Biotechnology

Founded: 1987

Employees: 681

Midsize Companies (150 to 499 employees)

1. AEQUOR TECHNOLOGIES LLC

Headquarters: Piscataway

NJ Location: Piscataway

Industry: Staffing agency

Founded: 1998

Employees: 150

2. MANASQUAN BANK

Headquarters: Wall

NJ Locations: 14

Industry: Banking

Founded: 1874

Employees: 193

3. EXTENSIS GROUP LLC

Headquarters: Woodbridge

NJ Location: Woodbridge

Industry: PEO (Professional employer organization)

Founded: 1997

Employees: 186

4. MANE USA

Headquarters: Parsippany

NJ Locations: Two

Industry: Flavors and fragrances

Founded: 1973

Employees: 188

5. ROBERT HALF

Headquarters: San Ramon, Calif.

NJ Locations: Eight

Industry: Staffing and recruiting

Founded: 1948

Employees: 280

6. BRIDGEWAY SENIOR HEALTHCARE

Headquarters: Bridgewater

NJ Locations: Four

Industry: Care and rehabilitation

Founded: 1981

Employees: 457

7. NJ LENDERS CORP.

Headquarters: Little Falls

NJ Locations: Eight

Industry: Mortgage lending

Founded: 1991

Employees: 167

8. EXPRESS STORES

Headquarters: Ringwood

NJ Locations: 28

Industry: Wireless phone sales

Founded: 2008

Employees: 263

9. WOODMONT PROPERTIES LLC

Headquarters: Fairfield

NJ Locations: 10

Industry: Integrated development, construction and management

Founded: 1963

Employees: 174

10. MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY

Headquarters: Iselin

NJ Locations: Eight

Industry: Utility

Founded: 1897

Employees: 230

Small Companies (50 to 149 employees)

1. TURPIN REALTORS

Headquarters: Far Hills

NJ Locations: Five

Industry: Real estate/agents/brokers

Founded: 1960

Employees: 130

2. STAFFING ALTERNATIVES

Headquarters: North Brunswick

NJ Locations: Nine

Industry: Temporary staffing services

Founded: 1994

Employees: 58

3. PANDA RESTAURANT GROUP

Headquarters: Rosemead, Calif.

NJ Locations: Nine

Industry: Restaurants

Founded: 1971

Employees: 106

4. FAMILY FIRST FUNDING LLC

Headquarters: Toms River

NJ Locations: 10

Industry: Mortgage lending

Founded: 2011

Employees: 146

5. MODEL ELECTRONICS INC.

Headquarters: Ramsey

NJ Locations: Two

Industry: Motor vehicles, components and parts

Founded: 1976

Employees: 60

6. POWER HOME REMODELING GROUP

Headquarters: Chester, Pa.

NJ Location: Union

Industry: Home improvement/Home remodeling

Founded: 1992

Employees: 140

7. RESOURCES REAL ESTATE

Headquarters: Shrewsbury

NJ Locations: Four

Industry: Residential and commercial real estate

Founded: 2000

Employees: 83

8. CMC FOOD LLC

Headquarters: Fanwood

NJ Locations: Three

Industry: Production plant — eggs

Founded: 1984

Employees: 100

9. HORIZON PEST CONTROL

Headquarters: Midland Park

NJ Location: Midland Park

Industry: Consumer services

Founded: 1970

Employees: 55

10. PECK BROTHERS LLC

Headquarters: Elmwood Park

NJ Locations: Two

Industry: Commercial roofing

Founded: 2007

Employees: 54

11. KUWATA PAN DENT CORP.

Headquarters: Cedar Knolls

NJ Location: Cedar Knolls

Industry: Dental laboratory

Founded: 1976

Employees: 50

12. PRIMARY FINANCIAL

Headquarters: Edison

NJ Locations: Six

Industry: Life insurance, annuities and retirement savings

Founded: 2013

Employees: 77

13. PLM TRAILER LEASING INC.

Headquarters: Newark

NJ Locations: Two

Industry: Refridgerated trailer leasing

Founded: 1971

Employees: 61

14. ATLANTIC HOME LOANS

Headquarters: Parsippany NJ

Location: Parsippany

Industry: Mortgage lending

Founded: 1999

Employees: 149

15. A3 TECHNOLOGY INC.

Headquarters: Egg Harbor City

NJ Locations: Two

Industry: Information technology

Founded: 2001

Employees: 145

16. NPG HEALTH

Headquarters: Morristown NJ

Location: Morristown

Industry: Health care communications

Founded: 2012

Employees: 56

17. MEROLA SALES CO.

Headquarters: Manalapan

NJ Location: Manalapan

Industry: Wholesale distribution

Founded: 1976

Employees: 60

18. OTTERSTEDT INSURANCE AGENCY INC.

Headquarters: Englewood Cliffs

NJ Locations: Seven

Industry: General Insurance

Founded: 1919

Employees: 109

19. THE CONTAINER STORE

Headquarters: Coppell, Texas

NJ Location: Livingston

Industry: Storage and organization retailer

Founded: 1978

Employees: 100

20. EASTERN CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

Headquarters: North Haledon

NJ Locations: Four

Industry: Education (K-12)

Founded: 1892

Employees: 148

21. THE MITRE CORP.

Headquarters: Bedford, Mass.

NJ Locations: Two

Industry: Research and development

Founded: 1958

Employees: 60

22. ADVANCED DIGITAL DATA INC.

Headquarters: Flanders

NJ Locations: Flanders

Industry: Computer software

Founded: 1973

Employees: 132

23. LEO PHARMA INC.

Headquarters: Madison

NJ Location: Madison

Industry: Medical dermatology

Founded: 2009

Employees: 143

24. GRAYBAR

Headquarters: Clayton, Mo.

NJ Location: Carteret

Industry: Electrical distribution

Founded: 1869

Employees: 142

25. MAGNA-POWER ELECTRONICS

Headquarters: Flemington

NJ Location: Flemington

Industry: Electric vehicle manufacturing, defense

Founded: 1981

Employees: 105

If you wonder why a particular company is not on the list, it may be because it chose not to participate in the survey, or because it did not score well enough in the survey process. Sometimes, Energage disqualifies employers based on questionable results detected through statistical tests it runs to ensure organizations are accurately administering the survey.

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