By strict definition, a company exists to make money for its owners and shareholders. But there’s more to life than simply working and earning a paycheck. The company culture – reflecting the organization’s values and interests – helps meet the organization’s human needs for socializing, having fun, and giving back to the community. It makes work that much more meaningful. It helps to brand a company’s uniqueness in the marketplace. And during the COVID-19 pandemic it helps to keep everyone sane.
Of our winners, the majority have meetings either weekly or monthly, with gatherings including everything from calls with the CEO to management get togethers to one-on-one meetings. “We host weekly company Zoom calls every Friday,” says one employee, “where the entire company is invited to learn from leadership about the latest happenings with the company.”
Recognition awards, more likely the larger the company, range from social media announcements to sales prizes and gift card giveaways to exotic trips. “A ‘shout out’ is conducted each month at our monthly download,” says one company. “Work anniversary and birthdays are also recognized.”
Meanwhile, COVID has made flexible work options the rule rather than the exception. Our winners offer everything from remote work opportunities and virtual work arrangements to unlimited PTO. “Employees are allowed to work from home, especially since the pandemic began,” says one employee. “Employees are also given flexible hours to accommodate childcare and other personal needs.
With more benefits available the larger the company, family friendly benefits consist of maternity leave, bereavement leave, childcare, and even programs to help with economic malaise. “We have a ‘Family First’ program,” says one employee. “As a result of COVID-19, some of our associates’ spouses, partners, and family members have lost their jobs, and we want to do everything we can to help.”
Happy hours. Holiday dinners. Trips to Vegas. Bowling. Even Van Gogh painting sessions. Team building activities range the gamut and are more prevalent the larger the organization. “We have weekly virtual happy hour every Friday open to the entire company,” says one employee. “We usually get together, create a drinking word and have a great time. A lot of laughs. The rule is to no talk about anything work related, fun only in happy hour!”
Contributing the charitable organizations is also more likely the larger the companies. Our winners are active with everything from Habitat for Humanity to Homefront to the Ronald McDonald House. “We are committed to our local communities and each office participates in various charitable activities in their own communities,” says one employee. “As a corporation, we support a number of nonprofits, including Pets for Vets.”
Also mostly prevalent with large businesses, the provision of extra time for volunteering includes limited time and partaking through unlimited PTO. “Our volunteer time off benefits include 30 hours per year for full-time employees and 15 hours per year for part-time employees,” says one employee. “They can use this time to volunteer and serve how they choose in their communities.”
And, finally, green and sustainable efforts are most popular with smaller organizations. Actions range from no paper policies to donating computers to composting. “We recycle paper and aluminum products in our own offices and we use biodegradable cups as promotional items,” says one employee. “We encourage green practices to all employees.”