Flavor manufacturer FONA ranks 36 in Fortune Magazine’s ‘100 Best Medium Workplaces’

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

"Take Your Child to Work Day" at FONA. Photo: FONA International, Inc.
"Take Your Child to Work Day" at FONA. Photo: FONA International, Inc.

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Employees' high level of trust, pride and camaraderie at FONA International landed the company the 36th spot on Fortune's list of 100 best medium-sized companies in the US based on employee responses in an independent survey.

"There's a generosity of spirit that infuses the Best Small and Medium workplaces—one that has a measurable return,"​ said Kim Peters, executive vice president of Great Place to Work Certification Program. "Whether it's funding employee 'passion projects' or giving surprise gifts to customers, the best workplaces give it away. And they get it back in the form of inspired people who innovate harder and generate higher revenue." 

In a press release, the Illinois-based FONA International​ said the company won based on “employees' anonymous responses to an extensive survey about their levels of trust, pride and camaraderie at work.” ​The independent review​ showed that 99% of FONA employees say the company's communication is excellent and 98% rate the atmosphere, challenges, and pride at FONA as ‘great.’

"FONA leadership takes great pride in fostering personal and professional growth for our amazing people. Seeing employees thrive at work and in their personal lives is truly rewarding,"​ Tonya Hubbartt, director of human resources, said in a press release. "I am so proud to work for a company that highly values and trusts its employees, who openly and honestly express their gratitude, who are dedicated to their own success as well as FONA's. They make FONA the awesome, 'dare to be different' company we are. That strong commitment allows FONA to provide the highest level of quality and service to our customers."    

The Great Place to Work list

Great Place to Work​ reviewed the survey results of more than 52,000 employees from hundreds of companies in the ranking process. Among the findings: Trust fuels business performance. The firm says that, for example, the Best Small and Medium Workplaces enjoy roughly three times the revenue growth of their peers, even as they provide a better experience for their people. 

"We're so honored to be named one of the country's greatest places to work​," said Joe Slawek, FONA's founder and CEO, said in the release. "Our people embody the company's core values in action. I see them reflect it daily, whether it's through generosity, innovation or stewardship. It's tremendous to see their personal and professional growth. They relentlessly pursue excellence every day."​ 

This year, the company was also awarded the 2016 Food Quality and Safety Award by Food Quality and Safety​ magazine. Additionally, the National Association for Business Resources named FONA one of the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For​. NABR also awarded the company an Elite Award for Employee Compensation, Benefits and Solutions. It is the 11th year in a row FONA was recognized as a Best & Brightest Company to Work For in Chicago. In 2015, FONA was named the third best small/medium workplace nationally for Manufacturing & Production by Great Places to Work ​and Great Rated.

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