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What It Means to Be a Top Workplace in 2021

by Matt Oxley

Being recognized as an awesome place to work is a massive honor at any time—but in 2021, it just hits differently. 

Like many companies, over the last 18 months, we’ve had to figure out how to transition to a remote-first workplace, respond to a global pandemic, and take part in a national reckoning with racism. We’ve also made significant changes to our team, said some good-byes to longtime colleagues, and welcomed some amazing new Opalites into the fold. 

Changes like these may be necessary and even healthy, but they’re not always easy. So when we learned that our employees rated Opal highly enough to earn us a Top Workplaces 2021 honor by The Oregonian, we were downright humbled. And we wanted to take a moment to celebrate what makes Opal a great place to work. 

What our employees have to say about working at Opal

The Top Workplaces list is based solely on employee feedback. We asked our employees to participate in the third-party survey, but their responses were anonymous and honest. And we do know that the top five descriptors of Opal that appeared in responses were: experience, professional, valued, appreciated, and amazing.

Those are all great words, but our leadership team is most excited to see valued and appreciated included there. We work hard to build a culture of recognition, and this tells us that our efforts are paying off.  

We also conduct quarterly employee engagement surveys in-house. In our most recent survey, here’s where our team said we’re doing well:

  • Maintaining a culture of inclusivity
  • Supportive of building team connections and relationships
  • A company with great work-life balance
  • An awesome culture — we’ve worked hard to maintain connections while becoming  a remote-first organization
  • Leadership transparency and regular communications
  • Employees have a voice and are heard
  • We hire great people
  • Clarity around strategic vision and high-level company goals

How we think about creating a great workplace

Awards are lovely, but we’ll never rest on our laurels. Creating a great workplace takes intention and commitment, and the job is never done. 

Lately, we’ve been focused on expanding our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts—including a series of workshops hosted by Cinder—and spent the month of June commemorating Pride with virtual team celebrations. And for years, we’ve been intentionally building a culture of peer-based recognition—a practice we encourage every company to adopt! For example, three times a month, we host an online SWAP (Shoutouts, Wins, Announcements, Progress) that starts with team shoutouts in alignment with our core values.

Ultimately, though, we only have our employees to thank for our culture, our energy, and our recognition as a Top Workplace. As longtime Opalite Emma Paul described in a recent Employee Spotlight, “Everybody at Opal is a genuinely kind human being, and they really make you feel valued and heard constantly. That’s basically what makes me happy every day—working with people who are passionate and care about truly solving problems for our customers.”

So to every member of our team—thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for making Opal an amazing place to work.

Curious to learn more about life at Opal? Check out our Employee Spotlight blog posts for a peek behind the curtain. Want to be part of our team? Great—we’re hiring

About the Author

Matt Oxley

Co-founder and President

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