Shine United Named One of America's Best Places to Work by Outside Magazine for Second Consecutive Year

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Wisconsin-based advertising agency strives to treat employees like partners for a successful creative environment.

Outside Magazine Best Places to Work 2014
When we started the company in 2001, our main goal was to create a place where employees can do great work, have fun, have room to grow and feel like partners.

Shine United, a full-service advertising, design and digital agency based in Madison, Wisconsin, was placed on Outside magazine’s “Best Places to Work” list for a second year in a row — ranking 60th out of the 100 chosen companies.

The goal of the seventh annual “Best Places to Work” project is to recognize the companies that embrace adventurous souls and present the best opportunities in today’s job market. The 100 companies on the 2014 list made it through a yearlong vetting process overseen by Outside magazine’s independent research partner, Best Companies Group. Participating companies were sent confidential employee-satisfaction surveys and employer questionnaires to collect information about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives and community outreach programs. The experts at Best Companies Group then analyzed the results and selected the companies that best enable employees to pursue active lifestyles while also supporting their social and environmental contributions.

This year’s “Best Places to Work” list profiles each company by location, number of employees, company culture and employee perks, as well as provides a list of positions currently open for hire. Additionally, the list highlights what the company is actively doing to give back to its community, industry and relevant causes.

At Shine, establishing and maintaining a creative culture is what fuels the work that comes out of the agency. Located in a newly renovated historic downtown building, the Madison agency’s space features an open floor plan with several communal spaces that accommodate Shine’s collaborative work style. Beyond the workspace itself, Shine’s benefit package stands out as one of the best in the country. In addition to competitive salaries, Shine pays for 100% of its employees’ health, dental and disability insurance premiums — for both single individuals and families. On top of that, Shine offers an employee profit-sharing program, paid parking and home Internet service, as well as an arts initiative in which employees get $400 a year to explore the arts. And for those reaching their 10-year work anniversary — a $10,000 bonus and extra week of vacation.

Community-wise, Shine actively supports the American Family Children’s Hospital, University of Wisconsin Athletics department and the Overture Center for the Arts as well as Outreach for World Hope. Culturally, Shine boasts half-day summer Fridays and weekly happy hours, as well as other extracurricular activities to feed the work-play balance — and ultimately help fuel the creative process.

“When we started the company in 2001, our main goal was to create a place where employees can do great work, have fun, have room to grow and feel like partners. We believe the result is a workforce that’s committed, confident and, ultimately, more creative,” said Mike Kriefski, founder and COO. “To be included in Outside’s list again in 2014 is confirmation that our philosophy — work, play, live, shine — is alive and well.”

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Aleah Schroeder
Shine United
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