BEST PLACES TO WORK FINALIST: DCA
Principal: Doug Carpenter
Number of employees: 10
In five words, how do you describe your company culture? No one does it alone.
In what ways does your company ensure its employees know they are valued?From the moment employees read the (employee-written) employee handbook that emphasizes the respect and trust we place in each other, they know this is a place designed to honor their individual contributions and provide the tools necessary for them to excel.
What steps do senior leaders take to create a great work environment for employees? With a company of our size, there isn’t much space between “senior” leaders and other associates, all of whom provide leadership in their own roles. I’ve prioritized creating a welcoming, dynamic, rewarding physical space … as well as a company culture that fosters supportive friendships, enriching collaboration and opportunities to do interesting and relevant work. I’m sure the open-vacation policy, frequent catering and in-office happy hours don’t hurt morale, either.
How does your company create opportunities for individual professional development and career growth at all levels of the company? I’ve chosen to surround myself with ambitious, passionate people who all have lofty personal and professional goals, and I support those goals by giving them the room, guidance and flexibility they need and then getting out of the way. Our associates follow their own paths in the business, nonprofit and educational spheres, all while continuing to excel in their roles at DCA. Some have literally launched their own enterprises from within our walls. It makes me immensely proud to see what they’re capable of and to know they have the strength and freedom to pursue their dreams.
How does your company engage with its employees? One of my happiest moments as an employer is when I look around my office on a Friday evening and see associates gathered together over drinks and snacks, thoroughly enjoying each other as friends, with no attention paid to the clock. Engagement isn’t something we plan; it’s central to who we are. We don’t engage to advance the company. The company advances because we’re engaged.