Lots of growth and separate buildings posed worker-relations challenges for account-opening and funding-solutions company Andera. The Providence company, which automates the customer-acquisition process through bank branches, call centers and websites, got big fairly quickly.
“We started out in 2000 as a regular Web-design firm,” said Kurt Anderson, director of human resources. “In 2004 we stumbled into the online-account-opening arena [and] fully made the transition into what we are doing now.” About a dozen employees grew by eight times that number, he said.
The challenge: to keep employees feeling unified and appreciated.
Priority No. 1 was having the entire team under one roof. That accomplished, said Anderson, free food is the next logical step. Bagel Fridays, a supply of soda, regular pizza deliveries – all go a long way, he said. “It’s more just an appreciation thing,” he said. “[Food] is probably the easiest way to get someone somewhere and a good way to get people to hang out.”
Another way to get people to hang out: Ping-Pong and pool tables. Andera has both, and an Xbox. “The Xbox gets the least amount of love,” admitted Anderson, “but it’s there. The Ping-Pong and pool table, I would say get used daily,” making for great stress relief, he said.
Game nights are also part of the culture at Andera.
The company has cash bonuses for employee referrals, a commuter-benefits program and departmental cross training opportunities.
“We have a long history of noticing talent and promoting it,” said Anderson. •