Employees at Dynamix and Cardinal Solutions are on the giving and receiving end of recognition.

Employees at Dynamix and Cardinal Solutions are on the giving and receiving end of recognition.

Employees are encouraged to give each other certificates recognizing one another for a job well done, says Eugene Griffin, CEO of Dynamix Engineering Limited, the Columbus-based company that specializes in mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection designs for schools, hospitals and commercial facilities. "It's a way for our employees to tell us who they appreciate the most," Griffin says.

The person who receives the most peer recognition throughout the year is recognized at the company's annual awards event. The company also gives awards for the Most Valuable Player Award, MVP Runner Up and Best Idea of the Year during the ceremony. Employees appreciate the effort, Griffin says. "The feedback we get is that it makes them feel like their efforts are appreciated," he says.

Central Ohio employees who participated in Columbus CEO's Top Workplace survey ranked feeling appreciated as one of the most important factors of a quality work environment. Sixty-seven percent of respondents felt it was an important attribute. Additionally, 64 percent value a job that makes them feel like they are a part of something meaningful.

Highlighting individuals who work hard creates a culture where everyone puts in the effort, adds Stacy Cunningham, marketing manager for Dynamix.

Making employees feel appreciated is critical to the success of Cardinal Solutions, because company leaders consider employees its "most valuable asset," says Scott Blickhan, a recruiting manager at the company. "They make it a part of the company strategy and culture to let people know that they are an important asset toward reaching the company's goals."

The company offers employees kudos on its internal social site and at its quarterly meetings, he says. "This is one of the most critical components of helping people feel included as part of 'one firm' and truly see the value they add," he says.

Cardinal, an IT solutions provider, also creates opportunities for employees to have fun and give back to the community, Blickhan says. "We intentionally designed a company that values people as much as great solutions-a 'people first' company," he says. "We strive to keep our people happy by giving them learning opportunities, causes to support, and outlets for fun. Our culture didn't happen by accident. We consistently analyze how we can make the company better, seek feedback from everyone and make improvements."

The Columbus office hosts a quarterly event called Arena Tech Night that brings the IT community together while also supporting Tech Corps, a local nonprofit that works to provide students with technology skills for college and careers.

Dynamix also provides opportunities for employees to socialize and support causes like Habitat for Humanity. The company's social committee plans monthly events such as a chili cook-off, ugly sweater party and Cinco de Mayo party. Dynamix also hosts an annual corn hole tournament and golf outing.

The events "build camaraderie," Griffin says. The company also likes to host events that include employees' spouses and children. "When they meet the people their spouses work with and hear the work stories, it connects them with where their spouse is going during the day."

>>Download the full 2016 Top Workplaces list