Posted: August 01, 2012
2012 Best Companies, small: No. 2 AccurenceNora Caley
Accurence offers employee benefits that range from flexibility in health-care plan choices to generous paid time off to a fully stocked kitchen. The on-site free food is especially appreciated, and as it turns out, important for the success of the company.
"We did some of our ROI (return on investment) analysis," says Romney Williams, president of the software-as-solution service provider. "We found it’s not just a time and money saver for employees, but it helps with morale, increases productivity, and saves time that could then be reinvested in the company."
The company’s 33 employees do not have to feel stressed every morning preparing lunch before they run out the door, and they don’t have to waste time driving around Westminster, where the company is based, looking for lunch. Better yet, Williams says, staff members end up talking to each other. Customer-care people talk to marketing folks, and product people chat up the finance types. "It creates a relaxed setting in our environment," Williams says. "We are working so hard and we are so focused on execution, and this forum in the kitchen helps with interdepartmental communication."
Employees vote on which sodas they want the company to buy. (One recent top vote getter was Diet Dr Pepper.) Other get-togethers include monthly birthday celebrations, which are potluck events with themes. June was international month, so employees were asked to bring a dish from another culture.
The company also offers formal communications. Accurence sends employees weekly newsletters that include updates from executive management as well as key items for the upcoming week. There are also monthly company-wide meetings that include a question and answer session with executives.
Accurence, a name that combines "accuracy" and "intelligence," offers onsite inspection and automated scoping software for property insurance claims adjusters and roofing contractors. The company’s products include SettleAssist and ScopeAssist, which include, among other features, a mobile app and cloud-based software so the adjuster can gather and transmit information from the loss site. The company was founded in 2005 by people who worked in field services, disaster restoration, contracting, quality assurance and property insurance.
The small business also offers benefits that are usually reserved for large employers, such as health, vision, dental and life insurance, and a 401(k) plan. The real benefit, Williams says, is the culture. "We have a unique opportunity where we are transforming large industries so there is energy and buzz around the fact that we make a difference," he says. "It doesn’t feel like a job. It feels like it’s fun, and like I’m really part of a much bigger mission."
The company is careful to hire people who will fit in with that culture. It’s a startup, so Accurence looks for team players who can take risks and who can show some resourcefulness. "In basketball you can’t coach height," Williams says. "In the workplace you can’t coach passion."
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Nora Caley is a freelance writer specializing in business and food topics. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.