FUN, GAMES AND CONNECTION: Andera goes a long way to create an enjoyable atmosphere for its staff, including PingPong and pool tables, and special events, like this Super Bowl potluck earlier this year.
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. •