At PTG, we have a focus on company culture. Yes, that’s a buzz phrase you hear about a lot these days. It seems most companies want to appear fun, cool, laid-back and filled with talented, happy, and hard-working employees. It can be challenge enough carving out a niche in a competitive market to sustain a profitable business year over year, and that goal can easily take precedence over employee satisfaction in most companies. But through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that PTG has found its stride and our recent selection as a winner of the 2022 Metro Detroit’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® by the National Association for Business Resources is affirmation of just that.
We are very proud to be recognized as a Best and Brightest company and we are even prouder that this designation was heavily based off the anonymous feedback and workplace satisfaction of our entire staff. Winning companies were assessed by an independent research firm, which reviewed several key measures relative to other nationally recognized winners. The categories applicants were scored on include: Compensation, Benefits, and Employee Solutions; Employee Enrichment, Engagement, and Orientation; Employee Achievement and Recognition; Communication and Shared Diversity; Diversity and Inclusion; Work-Life Balance; Community Initiatives; and Strategic Company Performance.
“We are truly honored to be named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to work for,” said Bill Fons, PTG President. “The more we have tried to understand and support the needs of our staff the more strength we have gained with our culture. That culture rooted in team support has now translated into looking after our customers in the same way.”
The pandemic changed the way most companies had to conduct their business. Work from home mandates, virtual meetings, and uncertain sales projections caused a lot of unforeseen stress to companies and workers alike and that was the same for us here at PTG. With the absence of face-to-face interaction, we really had to put a focus on building a new connection with our team and addressing their needs. From this challenge The Morning Toast was born. The Morning Toast became the way for our entire staff to meet virtually on a weekly basis to have a very transparent state-of-the-company review. This opened the opportunity for dialogue and transparency and how we can better meet the needs of our employees.
The Morning Toast became a great platform for us to focus on enrichment as well. We invited guest speakers to give professional insight and advice on topics pertinent to our lives while navigating the uncertainty of life in a pandemic. Our team was able to listen to and ask questions of guests who specialized in areas such as of healthcare, finance, mental health, estate planning, and more.
Another initiative that we put in place was our Pulse Survey. Sent out weekly, this allows team members to anonymously discuss their current workplace satisfaction, challenges, work/life balance, and offer recommendations. This gave our leadership immediate visibility to the needs and challenges of our team and allowed us to take the right steps to enhance our operation. Each week begins with a leadership meeting where we track work/life balance and the needs of our staff by department.
“We understand that we are not going to get it right one hundred percent of the time,” stated Deb Zupancic, PTG Executive Vice President. “But we give one hundred percent effort to try and do so. It’s important to listen to our team since it is nearly impossible for leadership to know what they are experiencing on a day-to-day basis. With the communication channels we’ve put in place, it allows us to really immerse ourselves in our employees’ experience and to be able to make decisions that make a difference not only in the business but in our employees lives.”
When we all returned to the office, The Morning Toast continued in a monthly fashion and even branched off to include a podcast hosting interviews with interesting guests, conversations with industry thought leaders, topics with a special purpose, or themes that support our core values. The podcast has been picked up by our industry trade publication Commercial Integrator Magazine and is published monthly.
Also, post pandemic, The Pulse Survey helped create and test new office culture program recommendations:
Summer Flex Fridays – Employees are paired together and cover for their partner every other Friday during the summer to give everyone a few extra days off to soak in the summer fun.
Work From Home Option – Employees that can perform their job remotely have regulated, supervisor approved work from home options. This garners better work/life balance, eliminates travel time to and from the office, and lessens the financial burden of increased transportation expenses.
Gas Stipend – For employees who are working from the office every day and can’t take advantage of work from home, we have offered a bi-weekly gas stipend to help offset transportation costs.
Dog Friendly Office – The stresses of the pandemic affected us all, but post-pandemic, our pets deal with stresses of their own as we all returned to the office. A dog friendly office helps alleviate the separation anxiety of our furry friends and brings joy to our staff as the pups roam our halls.
Star Appreciation Program – Employees have the opportunity to recognize team members that go above and beyond. Through this program, those recognized can earn star points that can be redeemed for select rewards.
The incentives don’t stop there, at PTG there’s never a dull moment. We work hard and we play hard. Office activities are as numerous as they are diverse; corn hole tournaments, chili cook-offs, beer carts, company softball teams, Halloween costume contests, out of office outings, and the famed avocado Thursdays just to name a few. We also believe in giving back to our community with canned food drives, animal shelter support, feeding our local firefighters, adopting a family for the holidays, and more. With our PTG Gives program, employees are given time to perform community outreach on company time, just another way we can help each other make a difference. Our people enjoy being together and it shows.
Although not all of these programs were easy to put into practice, they have made a difference in our culture and continue our focus on the workplace satisfaction of our team. Together we will continue to uphold the spirit of the Metro Detroit’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® award and embrace a workplace culture where employees feel enriched, recognized, and fulfilled.
“These 2022 winning organizations have stood out during unpredictable times and have proven they are an employer of choice. They continue to keep the needs of their employees first and provide perks that include, development, wellbeing, work-life balance, rewards, and recognition. In addition, these winning companies offer a fantastic work culture and workplace environment that attracts and retains superior employees,” said Jennifer Kluge, President and CEO of NABR and The Best and Brightest Program.
The Best and Brightest award is another milestone that caps a year of significant achievement. Earlier in the year we were honored as an official member of the PSNI Global Alliance, we received the 2022 Bose Summit Award, and our Director of Sales, Katelyn Kazanowski was named to Commercial Integrators 40 Influencer’s Under 40. The focus we’ve put into our workforce a few years ago is really paying off.
“We’ve spent the past thirty-six years working really hard to become the company we are today,” stated PTG CEO and Founder, Lynn Matson. “I believe that today we have the right formula, and we seem to be hitting our stride. At PTG we believe in the perfect triangle; we take care of our employees, our employees take care of our customers, and our customers take care of us.”
We’ve learned that our culture creates the environment that attracts and retains talented, happy, and hardworking employees which is what makes PTG a fun, cool, and laid-back place to work. •