Ten years ago, I came to Perks as a designer. I have now spent a quarter of my life with Perks and have been here 75% of the company’s existence. Working here has impacted my life on both a professional and personal level. Let me share with you a few of the reasons that I have stayed at Perks.
1. The Atmosphere and Personal Empowerment
Perks has had a eccentric atmosphere since the day I started. The offices are without cubicles, and most of the space is open. Some days the office is dead silent with heads down and everyone focused on work. Other days the office sounds like kids lining up for the water fountain. Perks empowers their employees by giving them objectives and trusting that they will be reached. As long as the work is done, we can and do have fun.
We are a team of self-starters and like to push the envelope. If you are looking for a team of employees with an intense work ethic you can find it here. Egos are quickly removed as we focus on the tasks at hand and our goals. Everyone has unique opinions and even when disagreeing we reach new conclusions from these different insights. Seemingly ludacris ideas often come back around and we realize they weren’t as crazy as we thought.
2. Opportunities to Learn and Develop
Perks provides employees with training tools including Lynda and Pluralsite. Technology and software are constantly evolving. Having access to these tools allows all employees to learn new things, and stay up to date. Any employee can access these tools at any time. Whether it’s something you need to learn or simply want to learn, the opportunity is always there and I have taken advantage. In my time here I have learned new software and perfected my skills in many areas.
Then, there is help you recieve from your fellow Perkies. What is a Perkie? Perkies are all of us at Perks, the employees. Perkies help each other, and we are willing to go out of our way. This is done by teaching someone, not doing work for them.
Jacob: “Can you explain it to me?”
Me: “I think so…”
Jacob: “Ok then, explain it to me.”
Me: “Ok so…. (stammering)”
Jacob: “If you can’t explain it then you don’t understand it”.
That last quote sticks with me today and you will often hear me repeat it. Simply put, you really can’t explain something you don’t understand.
10 Year Anniversary:
At Perks we use the same employee recognition solution we provide to our customers. Employees understand how the program works and the experience of participating. I remember during my first week, a designer (at this time I was still learning names) was recognized as a “Perks Rockstar” for a job well done. Points were added to her MyPerks account and, a week later, her new iPod arrived! (Remember this was 10 years ago.) This had a lasting effect on me. I was amazed to be working at a company where someone was recognized for their work and rewarded with points to a catalog where they redeemed for an iPod. I was intrigued, by this small celebration. This wasn’t an end-of-the-year party where we reflected on the year, this was daily, weekly, and monthly! These incentives provided a means for us to communicate appreciation to our fellow employees and receive recognition. Redeeming points is always an incentive, but there is a deeper reward in feeling valued and appreciated.
Initially we are all wowed by the incentives we earn and we do our best to get recognized. However, when an incentive program is kept alive and reinforced over a few years, the results are outstanding. At Perks recognition is the norm. We recognize people for hard work, going out of their way, helping each other and often doing things that may not be required.
4. Culture and People
That first “Perks Rockstar” experience with our incentives platform set the stage for what I would experience for the next decade: recognition, rewards, and engagement. It wasn’t the fact that someone was rewarded for hard work that grabbed my attention. It was how nonchalant Perks employees acted about the recognition experience. Rewards and recognition… This is what we do. This is what we offer. This is what we created. This is why I am still here.
Everything mentioned above points to one factor: Perks Culture. I am not talking about the office decorations, dress codes, or policies under which we work. This is about the culture of people who share this office with me. My co-workers and my friends. Perks is a motley crew with personalities from all extremes. Each one of our personalities comes with strengths and weaknesses but all share one thing in common, we work together as a team. We look out for each other, celebrate each other's successes and aid when someone needs help. Perks’ work ethic comes from this culture. Each of us has control of our destiny and what we would like to achieve professionally. The flip side is that the atmosphere of empowerment we have here is equally matched by accountability.
Of course, the last ten years have not been without slings and arrows. There have been tough times, times of stress, long hours, and frustration. Things I would expect from any occupation. No one here ever wants to see a Perkie fail or create stress for another Perkie. Open office communication, recognition, rewards, and good people are at the heart of Perks.
Ten years ago I started here as a designer. Today I am a Sr. Marketing Manager and Perks is an important part of my life. If human beings spend up to a third of their lives at work, I’m grateful to be spending my time here with these people at Perks.
About the Author
Chris Spann is a Senior Marketing Manager, brand expert, and content contributor at PerksMore Content by Chris Spann