EST Group

#9 Best Company to Work For - Small Companies

What they do: IT consulting. Fast-growing company, with a stable of partners including Dell, has made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing U.S. companies two years in a row. It made the 2017 list with $28.7 million in 2016 revenue and three-year growth of 166 percent. Tim Spires, co-founder and president, says the company is headed for $45 million in sales this year, and he believes it will top $100 million by 2020. “We’re growing like crazy,” he says.

Employees: 57 Arlington, 72 U.S.

What employees love: Work-life balance with flexible hours; Friday lunches; company outings; Whole Life healthy eating challenge; company-paid L.A. Fitness membership for employees and spouses; $150 quarterly bonuses for employees who check into L.A. Fitness 40 times per quarter; reimbursements for race fees; 100 percent health premium paid by company. “It is one of those added values that other companies don’t provide,” Spires says. “I want them to not worry about it.”

Cool benefit: Drop into EST’s offices around noon on Friday, and you may get caught in a line of employees waiting to fill their plates from EST’s free Friday lunches. On a recent Friday, the company brought in chicken from Babe’s Chicken Dinner House – fried and smoked, for those eating healthy. The office quickly filled with the aroma, as employees joined the line and loaded their plates. It’s a weekly opportunity for employees from EST’s three divisions to gather, Spires says. The company likes to say it wants its employees, customers and partners to have “the best possible experience.” “The motto doesn’t mean you’re perfect,” Spires says. “It just means we’re trying to be better than our competitors. The trick is how you measure it. And how do you keep it from being a slogan.”

“I love working at EST Group because the leadership cares about their teams and those with whom we do business. Our president, Tim Spires, and CFO Patricia Spires are always looking for ways to reward their employees for their hard work and loyalty. EST Group hosts several ‘Date Nights’ throughout the year at movies, Lone Star Park and Rangers’ games. Employees are allowed to expense babysitting. EST Group also throws a lavish Christmas party at which we received an apparel gift, popcorn tins and Christmas bonuses. The company also provides lunch for all of the employees every Friday. EST Group provides community support by giving money to the Legacy Scholarship Program, among others. I was even allowed to take a week to go down to Houston and help with Hurricane Harvey relief. We send cards, flowers or gift cards to employees, partners and customers who have lost loved ones, had babies or have had illnesses so they know EST Group cares about them. We have a casual, but professional working environment, and with all of the talk about sexual harassment in the media recently, it is refreshing to work in an environment that feels like family more than work.”

- Beverly Kellar, Executive Marketing Assistant