As a recent college graduate, I was unsure what exactly it meant for a company to be a “best place to work.” I read about all of the rbb’s accolades and formed expectations (yes, they were high) of what my future workplace would be like.
The recent recognition of rbb as one of Florida Trend’s Best Small Companies to Work for in Florida, along with my one-year work anniversary, led me to reflect on my preconceived notions. It’s hard to believe that, in fact, my high expectations were actually exceeded.
To help others grasp exactly what makes “a best place to work,” from the perspective of a millennial, here’s my list of the five best things about working at rbb.
1. Flexible workplace
It’s more common these days for some employees to be able to work remotely and have flexible hours, but it is uncommon for these benefits to apply to every employee, not just senior management. I was surprised to learn that even as a first-year employee at rbb I am given the privilege of working from home if I need to, or leave the office for a dentist appointment, as long as I complete my assignments.
Our CEO, Christine Barney, has created and maintained a successful company culture built around making every team member feel valued. The trust and freedom employees are given at rbb is part of what forms such a positive work environment.
rbb recognizes that there is no “one-size-fits-all” and that employees have different needs and wants. Management listens to our thoughts and concerns. In fact, most firm decisions are made by employees. Every employee participates in an extracurricular group; the groups cover everything from productivity to social events to employee wellness. We meet regularly to vent, share ideas and work together to provide the company all of the tools we need to succeed, and our suggestions become part of the firm.
As a millennial, I was surprised to learn that rbb team members, not just partners or senior management, are able to shape the company’s objectives, development and culture.
3. Awards and compensation
It is important to keep employees motivated at work, and rbb certainly has unique awards and compensation programs that drive success. Instead of the typical employee-of-the-month incentive, rbb employees nominate team members for a “PR Pro” award, which recognizes outstanding individuals, as well as “client service awards,” which recognize account teams for impressive, above-and-beyond accomplishments.
Another program, “Clickstarter,” is designed to activate and incentivize employees’ social media participation. Standout employees complete Clickstarter challenges, which include promoting our clients and rbb thought-leadership content. Rewards for being active on social media…a millennial’s dream come true!
But wait, there’s more! Imagine having a wall with endless candy, Nutrigrain bars, gum, popcorn or whatever your heart desires. The inspiration wall at rbb is just that, and provides rbb employees with the extra boost we may need in the middle of the day.
Employees also enjoy tech perks, such as mobile phones and laptops. Of course these mean we are accessible to clients at all times, but that’s par for the course among my generation, where lines between work and personal lives are more blurred.
As the generation that is the most civic minded since the 1930s and 1940s, our “Community Pay Day,” benefit is right up our alley. rbb employees can take a paid work day to volunteer at a nonprofit of their choice.
5. The employees
Going into my first job out of college, I was most curious about the employees. Would they like me? Would I like them? Would they have time for me?
Now, I know that my colleagues are the best part of working at rbb.
At many companies, millennials may never get to interact directly with the CEO, but at rbb, all employees are constantly communicating with the CEO and even interns are given the opportunity to work with her.
It is proven that millennials believe that friendships in the workplace have significant impact on boosting happiness, motivation and productivity. And at rbb, employees are encouraged to form relationships.
The open door policy (or no door policy) at rbb makes every employee- from baby boomers to millennials-approachable and fosters open communication throughout the office.
Other firms could try to imitate rbb’s perks, awards and work environment, but they can’t imitate great people, which is the most important asset for any business, especially a PR firm. Millennials want their co-workers to be a second family, and rbb has certainly made me feel at home.
Congratulations to everyone at rbb for yet another well-deserved award!