A team atmosphere and a focus on workplace flexibility helped make Charlotte, N.C.-based Babson Capital Management LLC a Pensions & Investments Best Places to Work in Money Management recipient for a second consecutive year.
Babson employees had high levels of praise for their co-workers and the overall team-focused culture. In employee responses to the Best Places to Work survey, one appreciated the “closeness of my team,” saying “everybody cares about each other and is always willing to help out when needed.” Another mentioned Babson's “collaborative team approach,” and the “camaraderie among employees.”
That is by design, according to Thomas Finke, Babson's chairman and CEO. “We are team-driven,” he said. “We are not a star system — we try to foster teamwork across teams in the organization and it makes for good employee engagement.”
Ultimately, he said, this translates to a high level of client service from the CEO down through the organization.
Mr. Finke said Babson employees also take their teamwork into their communities.
“We try to live the essence of community,” he said. Last year the firm donated more than $1 million to communities in which the firm has offices. “But it's not just money; globally our teams are engaged in causes in the communities where they live.”
Employees agreed, citing as one did: “Babson's high level of involvement (financial and volunteer-wise) in local charitable activities.”
Probably the most widely cited perk among employees was the flexibility offered to achieve balance between work and personal needs.
“The company appreciates the need for a healthy work/life balance,” one employee wrote. Another applauded the “capability to work from home combined with vacation time. From what I've experienced and what I have heard from other co-workers, Babson seems to do a great job around allowing employees to work from home to take care of personal needs and/or take time off.”
For Mr. Finke, “it starts first with the attitude that we don't want people to feel like they are punching a clock. Today's technology makes it a lot easier to have the flexibility to work remotely.”
He said Babson executives trust people to perform their best, regardless of where and when the work gets done. And employees notice, with one saying they have the ability “to maintain a balanced home and work life while performing at a high level on the job.”
Employees also praised the firm's focus on professional development.
“I feel my company really invests in me and my development,” said one, while another wrote, “the company encourages me to learn more.”
Mr. Finke said, “We invest in people not just financially (salary, benefits, etc.); we're investing in their needs for the long haul.”