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Terrific ten: These companies have been a Tampa Bay Top Workplace from the start

Ditek Corp CEO Bob McIntyre rewards his employees with quarterly luncheons, served picnic-style, to reward them for their performance and boost morale. McIntyre (center) addressed employees during the luncheon on Friday, March 16, 2018 at the Largo factory. [LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to The Times]
Ditek Corp CEO Bob McIntyre rewards his employees with quarterly luncheons, served picnic-style, to reward them for their performance and boost morale. McIntyre (center) addressed employees during the luncheon on Friday, March 16, 2018 at the Largo factory. [LANCE ROTHSTEIN | Special to The Times]
Published Apr. 6, 2018

Each year, as more businesses enter the marketplace and compete for a Top Workplace berth, the number of companies with bragging rights to a consecutive winning streak since the rankings debuted in 2010 dwindles.

This year, ten companies are left standing, down from 13 in 2017.

Among them: the fourth-largest auto insurer in the country with two offices in the Tampa Bay area; a personnel leasing company that's one of the fastest growing firms around; and a family-owned surge-protection device manufacturer that has retained nine of its employees for more than 20 years.

What gives these companies their remarkable staying power? Each boasts unique ingredients but share common elements, whether they fit in the large, mid or small size categories.

Ohio-based Progressive Insurance, with a local workforce of 4,000, has perfected online, phone and in-person ways for making it easy to understand, buy and use auto insurance. Employees are encouraged to participate in community service projects, including a program that provides refurbished vehicles to homeless veterans.

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SouthEast Personnel Leasing, with headquarters in Holiday, is one of the largest privately owned companies in Florida with more than $2.3 billion in annual revenue. Its success doesn't get in the way of its customer-friendly methods of providing payroll and workers' compensation services to its clients, only one reason its employees say they love their jobs.

At DITEK Corp in Largo, which has surfed the wave of video surveillance, computer networking and fire and intrusion alarm manufacture for more than 25 years, the founder and CEO still makes daily morning rounds, checking in with employees from one end of the 25,000-square-foot factory to the other.

These qualities – a knack for making people feel valued, communicating that they play an integral role in a group effort and encouraging them to make a difference in the lives of others – are the hallmarks of this year's crop of Top Workplace all stars.