Emboldening staff to think, act creatively

By John Larrabee
Contributing Writer
Employees at Embolden – a Web-development, design and consulting firm based in Pawtucket – have ample opportunities to advance their careers. More

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A PBN SPECIAL SECTION: 2011 BEST PLACES TO WORK

Emboldening staff to think, act creatively

RALLY POINT: Embolden employees take time out from work to relax and try out the company's pingpong table. PHOTO COURTESY EMBOLDEN
By John Larrabee
Contributing Writer
Posted 6/13/11

Employees at Embolden – a Web-development, design and consulting firm based in Pawtucket – have ample opportunities to advance their careers.

This year, 15 of the 21 staff members will attend nine conferences, with topics ranging from emerging technologies to content strategy. The company is picking up the bill, and will do the same for those enrolled in classes or seminars.

“Embolden invests in and supports its people in many ways.” said President Ann-Marie Harrington. “Flex time, telecommuting and professional development are standard practice here.”

To foster creativity, the company provides a comfortable and relaxing work environment that sometimes recalls a favorite college hangout.

“The feeling here is that investing in people also means creating an atmosphere that supports creativity and productivity,” Harrington said. “We’ll use any excuse to celebrate with cake, and we pay for a family YMCA membership to work it off.

“A significant portion of our office space is devoted to an employee lounge, complete with beanbag chairs and a pingpong table,” she said. “We have lunch together as a company once a week. … No one here is inaccessible.”

Many of the company’s clients are nonprofits and foundations, so employees can take pride in helping them in their mission. “We feel great about the work we do,” said Harrington.

Embolden sponsors a holiday party, and each year the staff decides where they would like to eat and what activity they would like to do. Past events have included rollerblading, laser tag and bowling.

Embolden’s health and dental insurance and free YMCA membership are open to same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners. •

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