The modern world thrives on the internet, even if there are some bizarre unintended consequences from tying everything to an Ethernet cable or wireless signal. And as networks grow, the demand for people who know how to design, build, maintain, and protect them becomes even more important. The 2021 Cisco CCNA & CCNP Certification Training Bundle will get you the certifications you need to become a professional network engineer.
Both certifications were created by the networking company Cisco as they realized their products were becoming more complex, while educational materials weren't keeping up. For IT professionals, that's meant getting two key certifications, starting with the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification, or CCNA. Tied to the #200-301 exam, a CCNA certifies that you're able to set up, run, and maintain a network for a small or medium-sized business.
The first course in this bundle explores that in detail with 150 lectures across nearly 47 hours discussing routing protocols, WAN technology, device monitoring and management and security fundamentals. Whether you're new to IT or just want to update your skills, it's perfect for all levels.
Then the bundle turns to the Cisco Certified Network Professional certification, or CCNP. This expands on what you learned in the CCNA course to apply it to much larger networks, adding network architecture lessons, how to employ virtualization for users, and network infrastructure and assurance. Even if you're not going for your CCNP, it's information worth knowing for any IT professional or engineer who will deals with networks.
Courses are run by ITU Online Training, which has won a ton of industry awards, including honors at the Best in Biz Awards and the Cybersecurity Excellence Awards.
The demand for IT networking professionals is only growing, and a certification will help you move forward in your career, or launch a new one. The 2021 Cisco CCNA & CCNP Certification Training Bundle is normally $198, yet right now you can save 74% and get both courses for just $49.99.
Prices subject to change.
Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with an affiliate partner. We may collect a small commission on items purchased through this page. This post does not necessarily reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) reported fiscal fourth quarter results that beat analyst estimates, but the company's outlook was cautious. In an interview with Yahoo Finance Live, Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins says the the company benefited from a more "diverse book of business" than its rivals and some supply chain challenges starting to ease. On the economy, Robbins says "it's clearly mixed," with some industries, like financial services and transportation, showing strength.
When it comes to AI, Robbins says the company is getting some "early wins with some of this next generation ethernet." Robbins says the company provides the networking equipment that connect the "brains" behind the AI systems. He adds that the company will see some benefit in its 2024 fiscal year, but "we think the real move to this new technology" will be in fiscal 2025. Robbins add that he thinks "the opportunity over the next 5,6,7 years could be three times what the original cloud buildout was."
BRIAN SOZZI: Cisco 2.0 looks to be unfolding in front of investors. Tech giant beat big on the top and bottom lines as it continues to ramp up and focus on artificial intelligence and also supply more money back to shareholders. Joining me right now is Cisco chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins. Chuck, nice to see you.
CHUCK ROBBINS: Nice to see you, Brian. Thanks for having me.
BRIAN SOZZI: So, coming into this quarter, I think there was a lot of pessimism on what you would report. Some company, I would say called Juniper, I think sparked a lot of worry in the marketplace, but I didn't really see that in your results. Sales up-- product sales up 20%, service revenue up 4%. What did the market get wrong?
CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, I think the primary difference between some of our peers is that they have a higher concentration or a higher exposure to the service provider segment, which was weak for us as well. But we have a much more diverse book of business. And so the enterprise and public sector, and commercial all offset it. But look, it was one quarter. Teams did a great job. We were really happy with how they executed. But still a lot of dynamics out there.
BRIAN SOZZI: And the margins in your business up pretty significantly as well. Is that just inflation coming down, and you benefiting from that?
CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, a lot of it is-- a lot of the costs that we incurred with the supply chain challenges have subsided a bit. But it's also just the teams do a great job. Our supply chain team and our engineering teams do a great job on just continuing to find efficiencies in how we build our products.
BRIAN SOZZI: This is a strange time in the economy. And look, I mean, today we have Walmart coming out here saying more people making over 100 grand are shopping it stores. Who would have thought. It's Walmart. What's your read on the economy here? Make sense of it for us.
CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, I'm not sure I can make sense of it for you. But I think it's clearly mixed. I mean, we-- as I said, we saw improvement in our commercial, which is sort of the mid-market down, we saw improvement in our enterprise business, and public sector was pretty steady, but service provider was very weak.
And I think there's industries that are doing OK. We saw financial services, transportation was strong. But I think it's just a little mixed and just a lot of dynamics that we're watching on a very regular basis.
BRIAN SOZZI: What are you most concerned about as we go into the back half of the year from an economic standpoint?
CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, first of all, I think that technology has become so core to how organizations run. This is not an optional thing, it's not a cost center, it's not some underlying ERP system anymore, it's deep in the heart of the strategy of these organizations. So there's not as much likelihood that you just completely stop spending on technology. Most of our customers will say that's the last thing we'll stop spending on right now.
They're being more thoughtful about which projects are being funded, which ones are the most important, and which ones that they're going to focus on. But as we look to the second half of the year, I think obviously getting inflation under control will be really important, geopolitical dynamics around the world are very important. And hopefully, we will see inflation continue to subside over the next few months.
BRIAN SOZZI: What's your read on the China economy? I think markets are really under pressure right now because of a China economic slowdown. You have exposure there, are you seeing that?
CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, we are very lightly exposed to China. It's less than 2% of our business. So it's not a significant part. But clearly, it seems to not be coming back online as fast as everyone expected them to. And I think that they'll continue to work the policy, they lowered their rates, which was interesting. And I know that the economic growth in China is one of the most important subjects for the leadership there. So I expect they'll continue to make whatever moves they need to make.
BRIAN SOZZI: Do you think we'll see, or are you seeing any signs of a contagion? China's slowing down. We're going to get that here in the US.
CHUCK ROBBINS: Not at this point. In fact, we saw improvement sequentially in the US. Again it was one quarter, but we saw improvement.
BRIAN SOZZI: In terms of sequential improvements, you did call it out in the earnings call, where are you seeing customers come back little quicker than you thought?
CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, the enterprise in the United States, our large enterprise customers, particularly financial services, it was our largest enterprise software agreement quarter in the history of the company. So big customers making big commitments. And didn't hear a lot of, well, I think we're just going to push that off a bit.
I mean, when you think about the need to invest in cybersecurity, the need to invest in this whole technology re-architecture for this multi-cloud world we live in, everybody's rebuilding applications and needs observability and insights that we can provide to them. Everybody's trying to solve this hybrid work problem, and everybody's focused now on leveraging technology for sustainability. So I mean, every customer. And so we're just fortunate there are a lot of things that we have a role to play in.
BRIAN SOZZI: When does Cisco start cleaning up on AI?
CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, it's important to understand the actual technology. And these GPUs, which you're the brains in these AI networks, they have to be connected. And what we-- there's a technology that has existed for a while that is currently connecting those. And we build obviously ethernet infrastructure which is what the cloud providers want to move to. And so we're getting some early wins with some of this next-generation ethernet. And-- but we think that FY 24, which we're just starting, we'll see some benefit, but we think the real move to this new technology for connecting these GPUs will be in fiscal '25.
BRIAN SOZZI: Was that-- so you've incurred a $500 million in the most accurate quarter from AI-related what chips Silicon One is it called.
CHUCK ROBBINS: We said we've booked-- we've taken $500 million in orders to date. It wasn't all in that quarter. It's actually systems that are connecting these AI processors, basically. So we-- they have to be connected at the end of the day. And so we actually provide the networking equipment underneath. And we think that the opportunity over the next five, six, seven years could be three times what the original Cloud Build out was.
BRIAN SOZZI: Can you make enough of this technology? I think all the stories right now are what you look at in what Nvidia is doing. They're leading in many respects these AI chips, but they can't make enough of them. Can you make enough products to service the demand you're seeing?
CHUCK ROBBINS: Absolutely.
BRIAN SOZZI: All right fair enough. Now, in addition to AI, you're also-- sound a little different in terms of capital commitment. Returning more cash to shareholders, why that shift in tone?
CHUCK ROBBINS: Well, we've been talking to a lot of our shareholders. We talk to them quite regularly, obviously. And it just became apparent that what they really wanted to see was they wanted to see more consistency and a higher level of buybacks, which we have the balance sheet and the cash to do. And they wanted to see operating leverage. They wanted to see earnings per share grow faster than revenue.
And ironically, we've been doing both of those things for the last-- we had leverage in the model growing EPS faster for the last couple of years. And we had increased and gotten very consistent with our buyback, but we had never declared that as a permanent strategy. So really, what we did yesterday is we told them that this is our strategy going forward, and you should expect it from us in the future.
BRIAN SOZZI: Does a commitment like that mean Cisco is out of the big M&A game?
CHUCK ROBBINS: No, we have plenty of-- we have a strong balance sheet. We have a lot of flexibility.
BRIAN SOZZI: Lastly, the Webex business under a little pressure as people, I guess, go back into the office and do their thing. What's your commitment to that business? And then, more broadly, on the return to office, where do you stand? Do you want to see your employees back in the office?
CHUCK ROBBINS: So, first of all, in our collaboration portfolio, the teams have done an amazing job. Most every customer right now is transitioning to cloud-based calling. And so our teams have shifted and are leading with cloud-based calling and collabora-- and the meetings portion of it is part of the suite that they get to do that.
So actually, meetings orders last quarter were up double digits. It was actually quite positive. And the overall portfolio was up significantly. Our cloud contact center, which is also part of that, which is customer experience being delivered from the cloud, was up triple digits. And so we're very committed to that business.
As it relates to hybrid work, what we've told our teams is that we let the team decide how frequently and how valuable is it for you to be in the office together, and then they make that call. But we see a slight increase as employees are starting to want to come back to the office. And our general belief is that we're changing all our offices because we want them to be a magnet and not a mandate, and we want people to want to come back.
BRIAN SOZZI: Do you see your productivity go up as people get back in the office?
CHUCK ROBBINS: We just had a record year. So I think, I mean-- but you got to remember, we were in this mode to some extent before the pandemic. 70 plus percent of our first-line managers have at least one remote employee already. We already had 12% to 14% of our employees that worked from home full-time. Based on the job they were doing was fine to work from home. So this was not a radical new thing for us it's just a little more broad-based than it was before the pandemic.
BRIAN SOZZI: All right. Let's leave it there. I know it's busy post-earnings day for you.
CHUCK ROBBINS: Yes.
BRIAN SOZZI: Cisco chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins. Always nice to see you. Thanks for coming down.
CHUCK ROBBINS: Thanks, Brian.
BRIAN SOZZI: Appreciate it.
Is the inevitable backlash against generative artificial intelligence at hand? Some early signals suggest the possibility, but you’d never know it from all the fundings and new products streaming out this week, as SiliconANGLE documented in a raft of stories this week.
We also covered the better-than-expected quarterly earnings from Cisco Systems Inc., which gave investors hope that a tech spending lull might be easing. Meantime, though, some cybersecurity companies are struggling as generative AI could be siphoning off information technology investments. Crypto isn’t dead yet despite the ongoing wintry conditions. And Intel Corp. dropped its bid for Tower Semiconductor after China’s regulators essentially nixed it — another in a string of bad news for the struggling chipmaking giant — even as Arm Ltd.’s IPO moves ahead.
For an insightful and entertaining take on this and other news in enterprise and emerging tech, check out this week’s theCUBE Pod, John Furrier’s and Dave Vellante’s weekly podcast. And this weekend, look for Vellante’s Breaking Analysis, his weekly deep dive on an enterprise tech trend.
I’ll kick things off this week with a look at the current state of the cybersecurity industry through the lens of one of its top leaders, Palo Alto Networks Inc., which announced earnings today.
Palo Alto held a highly unusual presentation on its earnings and a review of its strategy today — unusual in that Friday announcements are usually reserved for bad news. Not so today, since in Palo Alto’s case, the news was plenty good. (As Chief Executive Nikesh Arora apologetically explained on the call, which was kicked off with a remix of Rebecca Black’s 2011 earworm “Friday,” he wanted to leave time to talk one-on-one with analysts over the weekend before a planned company sales meeting that starts Sunday, on top of a board meeting this week.)
Anyway, the company reported its fiscal fourth-quarter profit before certain costs such as stock compensation jumped 90% from a year ago, to $482.5 million, or $1.44 a share. Net profit hit $227.7 million, or 64 cents a share. Revenue rose 26%, to $2 billion.
The outlook was positive as well. For its fiscal first quarter, the company expects adjusted earnings of $1.15 to $1.17 a share, up 40% at the midpoint, on a 16% to 18% rise in revenue, to as much as $1.85 billion. For the full year, the revenue forecast is a tick higher, between 18% and 19%, with adjusted earnings up 19% to 22%.
Investors liked the results. Palo Alto’s shares were rising more than 8% in after-hours trading. Shares were already up 80% on the year through the start of August.
“The report is better than feared,” Ivana Delevska, founder and chief investment officer of investment adviser Spear Invest, told me. “Guidance is light, but given the timing of the report many investors were expecting something much worse like an accounting restatement, or management change.”
Arora touted the “changing environment” that drove more customers toward “platformization,” meaning customers that buy multiple product lines. To that end, Arora said the company was surprised by the strength of its extended security intelligence and automation management, or XSIAM, product, with bookings of more than $200 million in its first year.
XSIAM, in its Cortex line, combines endpoint detection and response or EDR, security orchestration automation and response or SOAR, attack surface management or ASM, and security information and event management or SIEM technologies into a single solution. Many other companies offer these separately, which can be a pain point for customers that often must juggle many different cybersecurity products from different companies.
Despite the positive results, it’s no easy sledding these days, given high interest rates that are tamping down spending. “There is more scrutiny” on deals, Arora said. “There are some that get stretched or get canceled.”
During a 90-minute presentation, Arora dug into the evolution of what he says is a $213 billion cybersecurity market. There are new segments such as SASE, cloud security and internet of things security that contribute $29 billion, transforming segments such as endpoint and XDR as well as SIEM and network security at a collective $72 billion, steady segments such as identity, app security, data and email security at a total of $31 billion, and $81 billion in services.
“We were told customers don’t want platforms, they wanted best-of-breed solutions,” Arora noted. Instead, he said, Palo Alto is aiming to do both, through what the company calls a “build and buy” strategy, to become the largest pure-play cybersecurity provider. Cisco and Microsoft are larger, but of course cyber is just part of their businesses.
The upshot of all this is that Palo Alto looks to continue as a consolidator in this industry, along with a few others such as CrowdStrike Holdings Inc., Check Point Software Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. The industry does seem to be splitting between larger companies continuing to grow and roll up smaller companies and others struggling to maintain traction either because of aging technology or because IT departments are diverting more spending toward AI. Just in the past week or so, Rapid7 and Secureworks laid off workers. And Arora noted that there are 3,000 cyber startups out there — clearly unsustainable.
“We believe M&A will pick up significantly in the second half and 2024 and companies like Palo Alto that have the capital availability are in a solid position to benefit,” Delevska said. “We see ‘shift left’ as a major theme for M&A, that is, cybersecurity embedded earlier in the software development cycle.”
She also thinks there will be only a limited number of industry consolidators, in particular Palo Alto and CrowdStrike. “M&A has been hit-and-miss in cybersecurity and therefore track record is key,” she said.
Going forward, Arora sees a need for, and shift to, more real-time and autonomous security. “We will see a standard platform for security,” he vowed. “That’s the only way we’re going to get to the future we need for real-time and AI-based security.”
More cyber news below.
A well-known AI skeptic raises doubts about generative AI that are worth studying even if the essential critique is, as often with Gary Marcus, points to inflated expectations more than a complete lack of utility: What if Generative AI turned out to be a Dud? Also, Benedict Evans is unimpressed so far, though it’s a bit mystifying he can’t find any good use for it. Plus, gen AI has landed right at the top of Gartner’s Hype Cycle and you know what that means.
Axios talks to larger companies struggling to implement generative AI.
Some observers even think the AI startup Gold Rush is ending: A.I. startups are losing their bloom for seed investors, argues one VC
But that seems slightly early, many startups keep on coming: Former Google researchers launch startup to build nature-inspired neural networks and Elemental Cognition, led by IBM Watson’s former head, raises $60M
It’s getting competitive on the gen AI infrastructure front: Continuing AI investment is why the GPU battle, for one, keeps intensifying — and the software matters as much as the hardware, which is why Modular could raise so much money: AI software startup Modular seeks bumper Series A round to challenge Nvidia. Of course, the big guys such as Amazon are already well into this chips-and-software race: How Amazon is racing to catch Microsoft and Google in generative A.I. with custom AWS chips. Meantime, per the New York Times, the GPU shortage rages on.
And then there’s the endlessly fundraising Databricks: Databricks looking to raise ‘hundreds of millions’ in fresh funding to fuel generative AI push But Furrier notes in theCUBE Pod podcast that it’s not out of need for cash but striking while the AI iron is hot.
For better or — in the case of the Iowa school board that wants to ban books they can’t be bothered to read — for worse, harnessing chatbots for content moderation: OpenAI finds GPT-4 can Improve online platforms’ content moderation efforts
Even the big large language model creators are looking to provide industry-specific AI models: Anthropic raises $100M from SK Telecom to build AI for telecommunications Do they become AI superclouds? And in the same vein: Arthur launches open-source tool to help companies make data-driven decisions about LLMs
About the worry over those LLM data leaks — someone’s working on that: DynamoFL raises $15.1M to tackle language model data leaks
“Hey Google, what should I do?” Google DeepMind reportedly developing at least 21 new generative AI features Not scary at all, nope.
And the hardware suppliers see an opportunity to bundle things to make AI development easier, though it’s not clear how big a market there is for this kind of thing outside the big cloud providers: Nutanix offers quick-start approach to AI development
OpenAI makes its first acquisition: OpenAI acquires digital products company Global Illumination for undisclosed price
Amazon finds some low-hanging gen AI fruit: Amazon adds AI-powered review summaries to its e-commerce marketplace
Cybersecurity companies still cutting costs perhaps as AI steals some budget: Cybersecurity provider Secureworks to let go 15% of its workforce, on the heels of Rapid7 layoffs last week.
Strom looks at the latest CPU attacks and concludes they will be tough to fix quickly: Mitigating the latest processor attacks will be a chore on many levels
Same deal with phishing: New reports show phishing is on the rise — and getting more sophisticated
And another security issue in IoT (maybe take the stairs next time): New widespread IoT compromise could affect millions of logic controllers
Finally, here’s detailed advice on how to avoid security fatigue: How to prevent multifactor authentication fatigue attacks
Cisco earnings beat estimates and its stock rises a bit after-hours. At first a seemingly weak forecast from the industry bellwether raised doubts about tech infrastructure spending, but subsequent company comments and analysis indicate a good quarter and equally good outlook after all: In a positive sign for tech spending, Cisco’s stock rises on strong earnings and prospects for AI
More China economic war fallout: Intel scraps its $5.4B acquisition of Tower Semiconductor Vellante and Furrier think Intel’s in deep trouble, as they describe on theCUBE Pod. Tower wasn’t a game-changer in itself, but it’s hard to see how CEO Pat Gelsinger can revive Intel’s fortunes anytime soon.
Arm’s IPO to get rolling next month: SoftBank reportedly buys back 25% Arm stake from its Vision Fund unit
Crypto ain’t dead yet: Despite crypto downturn, BitGo raises $100M at $1.75B valuation and ZetaChain raises $27M. Plus Coinbase secures approval to offer crypto futures to US customers. And Crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger teams up with PayPal
That was quick: SUSE to be taken private by its majority shareholder
Eliminating the decryption tax for querying encrypted data: MongoDB unveils data encryption tech for developers to boosting data privacy and compliance
Supercomputers in the cloud: Harvard researchers clone supercomputer on Google Cloud
Sassine Ghazi to become CEO of chip design software firm Synopsys
Big changes in Europe for big tech: Doing business in Europe? Time to focus on its new Digital Services Act – now
VMware Explore runs Aug. 21-24, and SiliconANGLE and theCUBE will be covering it in Las Vegas.
Earnings from Zoom, Nvidia, Snowflake, NetApp, Splunk, Autodesk and Workday
Then the following week, Aug. 29-31, is Google Cloud Next, also to be covered onsite at Moscone Center in San Francisco by SiliconANGLE and theCUBE.
Presented by Cisco AppDynamics
Cloud native technologies might have improved speed to innovation, and offer greater agility, reliability and scalability — but these modern application architectures are posing serious challenges for IT departments across industries, according to accurate research by Cisco AppDynamics for its latest report, “The Age of Application Observability.”
Technologists say that 49% of their new innovation initiatives are being delivered with cloud native technologies. Cloud adoption promises to be aggressive across industries, with IT leaders expecting this figure to climb to 58% over the next five years. That means that the majority of new digital transformation programs will be built on cloud native technologies by 2028.
“These cloud native technologies are enabling IT teams to scale, to be able to take on more customers, to grow faster, and still maintain an optimized experience for the end user,” says Joe Byrne, executive CTO at Cisco AppDynamics. “But the rapid pace of adoption means technologists have been faced with challenges from both the tech front and the people front, and they’re struggling.”
Attack surfaces are expanding, complexity is skyrocketing, and data keeps pouring in. Seventy-eight percent of technologists said the increased volume of data from multi-cloud and hybrid environments has made manual monitoring virtually impossible. The rigorous pace of adoption and the technical issues that follow in its wake has also meant tension in the IT department as silos form, and stress and higher churn is becoming increasingly common.
“The goal of the application observability report was to underscore the need for technologists to adapt to this new hybrid world,” Byrne says. “And the report was designed to provide a resource to these technologists first to let them know they’re not alone – these are common issues. But more importantly, to find solutions and next steps in managing and mitigating these issues going forward.”
The cloud and on-premises, hybrid nature of modern architectures means that traversing that entire ecosystem is crucial. As a result, new teams are formed to help manage the complexity – a cloud operations team to work with the network operations team, and both operations teams working separately from security.
But to effectively manage what is essentially a fragmented IT estate, 85% of technologists say that observability has to be a strategic priority for the organization going forward – a way to pull this telemetry together, correlate it, and supply organizations insight into the crucial backend of their business. Bridging that gap takes not only tools and technology, but people and process changes and a cultural shift.
“Everybody needs to be on the same page when producing an application or an experience for the end user, who expects an optimized experience, whether that’s B2C or B2B,” Byrne says. “There’s a business KPI behind all software. Our goal is to ensure the software helps our customers achieve their goals, and thus helps the business achieve its KPIs. So, everyone must own a piece.”
“It’s new technology and new expectations bringing new problems,” Byrne says. “The old methodology of just validating that something is up and running isn’t good enough anymore. The idea of looking at the architecture as separate, isolated parts is not enough anymore. Now, it’s all about how is it all performing together, and what does the end result look like in terms of the experience? It’s a very different way of thinking. And it’s hard to get your head around it.”
It’s also the fact that the technology is moving at a rapid pace, as are the expectations of users, but processes and culture have always changed far more slowly. As a result, 36% of technologists said these issues are already contributing to a loss of their IT talent, which hamstrings teams and puts change on the backburner, in favor of firefighting – and 46% predict that churn is just going to increase if they don’t figure out a way to break down these silos and shift to a focus on observability, versus a monitoring solution.
The goal of most organizations is to build an application that’s always on, can be used on any device, whenever and wherever the customer wants to use it — but that’s what is creating these challenges for technologists. It requires new technology, it requires rapid adoption and acceleration of digital initiatives, and it leaves skill gaps, a Frankenstein management and reporting structure made up of the old and new, a lack of shared vision and objectives, and a lack of unified data and technology that’s reinforcing these silos.
“IT leaders need to implement new ways of working across departments, and incentivizing and driving people to change their actions is an important one,” Byrne says, “whether it’s shared goals, shared bonuses, or increased compensation. But tool consolidation is also crucial.”
Bringing in unified tools that are integrated tightly and able to work together, versus every team using a completely different tool, can not only save the organization money, but also means each team is looking at the same charts and data points, speaking the same language, using the same methodologies.
“Then they start to understand how important it is to work together, how easy it can be,” he explains. “Then those silos start to get broken down.”
Application observability serves as what should be a single source of truth. It brings together application information, network, infrastructure, performance, security and business data — and links that all together to supply technologists the overall health of the application, and the ability to generate insights into the business transactions of users. For instance, in a retail application that might be a user logging in, searching, adding to cart, checking out, which together makes up the business journey.
“Understanding how those are related, what technologies are involved for each of those transactions that complete that journey, is important,” Byrne says. “We found that 88% of technologists say that observability with business context is really what’s going to enable them to become more strategic and spend more time on innovation.”
For example, the business data that comes from monitoring applications can be aggregated and elevated, so that you can build a dashboard showing the average sales per day, the average number of customers, conversions and other business metrics. With that data, technologists see how their optimization directly impacts the business. That could include a change in the code that auto-populates some data, or enables the task to use less data to minimize friction for purchases. And now instead of being seen this application observability as a cost center, the value of the work IT is doing is tied directly to the business.
“If you release code and then see that happen in a business dashboard, the technologists can say, my code, my application, my infrastructure did that, and now they understand how they directly impact business,” Byrne says. “With the ability to link what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, the performance of their teams along with code and architectures, to a business metric, comes pride of ownership. They feel like they have a seat at the table now, a bigger voice, and can help advance the business. That’s a huge opportunity.”
Implementing an application observability solution also means that engineers are spending more time writing code – what they want to be doing – and less time bug fixing or refactoring. Team members get to the root causes more quickly, are able to measure performance more easily, before code ever goes into production, which means fewer errors are sent out into the wild.
“What these technologists need is that solution, like Cisco’s full-stack observability (FSO) offering – that brings a broad range of telemetry together and making it understandable and usable in terms of fixing issues and moving forward,” he says. “That’s what’s so needed.”
Dig deeper: Read the full “The Age of Application Observability Report” here.
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) fourth-quarter results exceeded the predictions of Wall Street, primarily driven by the increasing interest of businesses in artificial intelligence, security, and cloud solutions. As a result, shares rose more than 2% pre-market today.
The company’s management highlighted gains in market share and potential within the field of AI during the earnings call. The company’s reported earnings per share (EPS) amounted to $1.14, with a revenue of $15.2 billion. These figures surpassed the expectations of Wall Street, which had projected an EPS of $1.06 and revenue of $15.05 billion.
Cisco anticipates adjusted earnings in the range of $1.02 to $1.04 for the first quarter, accompanied by a revenue ranging from $14.5 billion to $14.7 billion. Street estimates stood at $0.99 for adjusted EPS and $14.6 billion for revenues.
As for the outlook for 2024, the company predicts an adjusted EPS ranging from $4.01 to $4.08, along with a revenue spanning from $57.0 billion to $58.2 billion. Wall Street analysts had anticipated an adjusted EPS of $4.04 and revenue of $58.4 billion.
Bring stories to your customers with our industry-leading content delivery solutions managed by an expert team.
AP's satellite network is the world's most extensive, reliable and efficient video distribution system, delivering AP's video files directly to the newsrooms of broadcasters worldwide. We also operate a dedicated, round-the-clock, global satellite transmission network allowing for delivery to virtually any location.
Our 3G/4G transmission with satellite/fiber delivery allows us to respond to client demand with portable solutions that take you to the heart of the story.
We combine a wealth of international experience with invaluable local knowledge to supply you as much support as you need wherever you are working in the world. We are experts at building tailored facilities to accommodate any broadcast needs. Let us handle your accreditation, workspace and event schedule, so you can stay focused on the story.
The businesses on PEOPLE's annual list go the extra mile to honor their customers, empower their employees — and make the world a better place
Cisco, a worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet, has an ambitious company goal: to positively impact one billion people by 2025. It’s a commitment that begins with its people on their first day — each new employee is given $15 in their onboarding session to donate to a charity of their choice. The idea: that a sense of care can and should be embedded in the DNA of the company.
And Cisco isn’t leaving their employees to find their philanthropic footing solo. Their Next Horizon Impact program actively connects team members, customers, partners and suppliers to shape strategy, form partnerships and work together to make the biggest difference possible. Recently, they have met and sustained their goal of 80 percent workforce participation in volunteering, donating and participating in programs that positively impact communities around the world. in fiscal year 2023, more than 70,000 employees have generated more than $27 million in total donations and matching gifts.
"At Cisco, we recognize that doing our part for communities around the world makes us better in everything we do,” says Francine Katsoudas, Chief People, Policy and Purpose Officer. “Over 80 percent of our employees supply back to causes and organizations that are meaningful to them, and in doing so help us achieve our purpose to Power an Inclusive Future for All. This is a wonderful recognition of our employees who bring our conscious culture to life every day."
In May 2022, Rocket Companies, a fintech platform centered on personal finance and consumer technology, increased their longstanding efforts to support residents of Detroit.
The Gilbert Family Foundation — cofounded by Rocket chairman Dan Gilbert and his wife Jennifer — debuted the Detroit Home Repair Fund, which was created to build capacity for nonprofit partners to provide low-income Detroit homeowners with critical home repairs. The foundation committed $10 million to the $20 million program, with additional support from ProMedica and DTE Energy. It is now expected to serve more than 1,000 Detroit homeowners.
“Stable housing is about more than a place to live,” explains Jennifer Gilbert of the foundation’s efforts. “It is about ensuring residents and their families feel safe and secure in their home.”
American Express, the globally integrated payment company based in New York City, has gone the extra mile to show generous care to not only their people, but people everywhere.
Recently, they granted $250,000 to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization that provides crisis services and counseling to LGBTQ+ youth. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the company also teamed up with Hilton to donate one million hotel rooms for refugees across Europe, and donated $1 million to support humanitarian efforts to charities like the Red Cross and UNICEF.
“This is a complicated, difficult and fluid situation,” said chairman and CEO Stephen J. Squeri in a memo to employees. “During these times, our values are what guide us, and we’re working hard to do what’s right for our colleagues, customers and communities.”
Chicago-based RSM, the leading provider of professional services to the middle markets, knows the power passion plays in building a top-tier company. But they also know that allowing employees to pursue their own passions makes for a workforce that’s healthier, more inspired and ultimately more successful.
To that end, through its Pursue Your Passions Program, RSM donates $90,000 to nine employees ($10,000 each), along with extra paid days off, to allow team members to make dreams realities. One 2022 winner, Brad Sawyer, a consulting senior associate from Gaithersburg, Md., used the time and money to make a summit attempt on Mount Rainier in Washington. Another, Misty Pleiness, a consulting director from Detroit, used the money to open a therapeutic horse-care and riding program for physically and mentally handicapped children, young adults and veterans.
“Every year, our 13,000+ people across the U.S. and in Canada look forward to learning about what their nine colleagues choose to do through the program,” says Doug Opheim, chief financial officer with RSM and chair of the RSM US Foundation. “As we get to know one another better, we strengthen relationships, which builds trust and enhances our ability to provide our clients with the best possible service.”
Baird, an employee-owned international financial services firm based in Milwaukee, has put focus on their efforts to support employee volunteering and giving. Through their annual Baird Gives Back Week, associates organized a variety of opportunities with more than 1,800 participants volunteering at over 120 nonprofits, donating over 5,800 hours of time.
Last year, Baird hosted its first Multicultural Community Conference in Nashville. Every ethnically diverse associate in the U.S. was invited, and nearly every member of Baird’s Executive Committee and many senior leaders attended. More than 350 people gathered to network and learn from each other, but most importantly to celebrate the contributions diverse associates make toward Baird’s success.
“The associates and culture are two of the biggest reasons this company is the best place to work,” says one Baird employee. “Giving back helps bring everyone together. It’s always about the we, not about the I.”
As part of the based financial services specialists’ philanthropic giving goal — $200 million by the end of 2025 – Edward Jones is building on its legacy of community engagement in St. Louis, its hometown for a century.
In late 2022, the firm announced its plan to open a branch office in a community space known as The Delmar DivINe, a hub for social, economic and community development, specifically in north St. Louis City. The space includes a minority business incubator, transit-accessible housing and student- and senior-oriented programming — and Edward Jones’s presence provides all-new opportunities for community development, social improvement and meaningful collaboration with underserved neighborhoods.
"Advancing inclusive growth demonstrates our belief that every person deserves an opportunity to thrive," says Laura Ellenhorn, an Edward Jones principal responsible for the firm's community impact efforts. "We want to do our part to provide economic opportunity to more families and revitalize this historic neighborhood."
Professional services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers is taking the workplace experience of employees to the next level with My+, a program launched in May 2022 that aims to transform the workplace experience with choice and flexibility.
The company made a $2.4B investment to improve, among other things, parental leave, hybrid working and the ability to move within the company to different teams and projects. They also expanded mental health benefits — doubling the number of free visits with mental health professionals from six to 12 annually — and increased the amount of out-of-network mental health support from 70 percent to 90 percent.
“I work with a lot of incredibly smart and kind individuals,” says one employee. “I'm genuinely excited to call them colleagues and friends, and they'd say the same about me. They care about me as a person and celebrate wins in my life, personal and professional, and also check in and offer support when times are tougher.”
Fargo, N.D.-based Bell Bank’s Pay It Forward initiative gives full-time employees $5,000 to donate as they choose, a program that has, to date, empowered more than $22 million in charitable giving.
One example of Pay It Forward’s reach: Physical security officer Andrew Gaydos, who was deployed in Romania for 10 months with the Army Reserve. During his time there, Gaydos used his Pay It Forward dollars to help the Salvation Army purchase school supplies for children and hygiene kits for families in impoverished areas.
“There are so many things that make [Bell Bank] great,” says a team member. “The Pay It Forward program is one of the most unique. It really gives the employees a sense of pride, power and commitment to help others. It’s one of the very first things I share with people when they ask me about my job.”
The retail giant based in Minneapolis is a Companies that Care All-Star — and their commitment to honoring their employees has only gotten stronger.
Central to their mission: Dream to Be, an education assistance benefit for more than 340,000 full- and part-time team members. Through the program, the Target Corporation supports employees taking select courses for high school completion, college prep, English language learning, certificates, certifications, bootcamps, and associate and undergraduate degrees. Team members have access to classes at more than 40 schools, colleges and universities, choosing from more than 250 business-aligned programs. For team members pursuing educational opportunities outside of the debt-free programs, Target will provide direct payments to their academic institution of up to $5,250 for undergraduate degrees and up to $10,000 for masters' degrees. Since its inception, tens of thousands of team members have taken advantage.
“There is no place else I would rather work,” says one longtime staffer. “This is my second family, and we have been through everything together. The people are what keep me here!”
Sage Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass., is taking its social impact mission to new heights. That commitment starts with SageCitizen Service Week, an annual event during which employees are encouraged to take time off to volunteer.
Sage organizes and hosts more than a dozen volunteer opportunities available in person around their offices in Boston and Raleigh, N.C., as well as virtual events for “Sageans” across the U.S., U.K and Canada. Last year more than 226 Sageans volunteered 496 hours across 16 virtual and in-person activities. Sage also provides additional compensation for employees who choose to dedicate their five-year sabbatical — a period of five weeks off, every five years — to acts of community service.
Says an employee: “Sage's benefits and perks are the best I've ever experienced. And we get to do amazing work that will change lives. Sage really walks the walks the walk when it comes to their core values.”
More than 180 leaders at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, serve on nonprofit boards across the country — because volunteerism is part of Nationwide’s DNA. To prove it, each year Nationwide recognizes an associate as Volunteer of the Year, with the winner receiving a $5,000 grant for their organization and two days of paid time-off. In addition, nine finalists receive $1,000 for their organizations and one day of paid time-off.
The 2022 honoree, Chris Stollar, has volunteered for more than 10 years with She Has A Name, an anti-human trafficking organization based in Columbus. He recently became the vice chair of the board of directors after training, mentoring and serving as an active board member for several years.
“We know thousands of our employees volunteer in their communities every day,” says Chad Jester, vice president of corporate citizenship at Nationwide. “We’re grateful for their continued commitment, and very proud of Chris and our 9 honorees.”
As part of Comcast NBCUniversal’s Project UP initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities, the global media and technology company has partnered with Easterseals, the nation's leading nonprofit provider of services and advocacy for 61 million individuals with disabilities in the United States.
In June, the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation awarded Easterseals a $1.3 million grant to expand digital literacy training among young adults with disabilities in employment programs at seven Easterseals Affiliates nationwide, while also funding a national study to determine digital equity and access among BIPOC populations with disabilities.
"Far too many people with disabilities do not have access to the digital tools and resources that will help ensure their full participation in society and life," says Dalila Wilson-Scott, EVP & chief diversity officer of the Comcast Corporation and president of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. "We are so pleased to further our partnership with Easterseals to deliver essential digital training and further equitable employment outcomes for young adults with disabilities."
When conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out in Feb. 2022, information technology leader NVIDIA sprang into action to ensure the hundreds of NVIDIA families in the two countries were safe. They made the decision to prepay salaries in the event of any disruption to operations, and assisted in relocating many to Armenia, even chartering a flight and setting up a new office in Yerevan.
One of NVIDIA’s company goals is to provide a supportive environment in which team members can “do your life’s work.” This includes finding passion in work projects, providing for one’s family, learning new skills and giving back to worthy causes. Today, many NVIDIANs participate in the NVIDIA Foundation's Inspire 365 efforts, resulting in more than $9 million in donations and 16,500 volunteer hours. In all, employees and the company have contributed more than $22.3 million in charitable giving and supported 5,700 nonprofits in 50-plus countries around the world.
“NVIDIA is dedicated to making a positive impact in the world,” NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang wrote in a accurate corporate responsibility report. “Our culture of generosity and service is our engine for making positive change.”
Terry Turner, CEO of Pinnacle Financial Partners, has a mantra: “We want to take everybody with us” as the Nashville-headquartered firm strengthens the economies in the markets it serves. According to Turner, prosperity that isn’t shared is a wasted opportunity.
Recently, Pinnacle committed $10 million to low-cost lending at The Housing Fund in Nashville. The money has been used in a shared equity program, a new model that seeks to keep homes affordable for decades, even as property values rise. The Housing Fund requires home buyers to provide one percent of the purchase price of a home. The program contributes a 25 percent down payment, and Pinnacle provides a loan for the remaining 74 percent of the price, creating a reasonable monthly mortgage payment and allowing buyers to build equity without extra costs.
“The teamwork exhibited at Pinnacle is unlike anywhere I've ever worked,” says an employee. “You see it when cross-functional teams get together to solve problems or implement something new.”
Deloitte, which provides audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to the majority of Fortune 500 companies, is well on its way to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 for their own operations. As part of that goal, Deloitte will reduce business travel emissions, source 100 percent renewable energy for its buildings and convert 100 percent of its fleet to hybrid and electric — all by 2030.
That success will rely, in part, on the actions its people take toward meaningful climate change. To that end, in a first-of-its-kind initiative among major global organizations, Deloitte launched a climate learning program for all of its 330,000 employees worldwide. Developed in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund, the program is designed to engage people around the world on the impacts of climate change, inform them about how Deloitte is responding to the climate crisis and inspire all to take action.
As Deloitte CEO Joe Ucuzoglu confirmed recently: “If there was any doubt that climate change is an enduring part of the business agenda, the increased focus on sustainability by leaders over the past year should put it to rest.”
Accenture, a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security, knows that businesses have an important role to play in times of emergency.
This core value is evident in Accenture’s long-standing commitment to the refugee crisis — and the more than $5 million in relief donations to people across the globe who have been displaced. What’s more, Accenture’s Refugee Employee Resource Group is giving boots-on-the-ground support to those in need, assisting in refugee resettlement, donation drives, professional development, legal clinics, mentorship programs and listening sessions.
The company also piloted a program called Accenture Academy for female Ukrainian refugees. “To support the women who have courageously left their country, we are piloting the first edition of an Accenture Academy for female refugees from Ukraine to build their technology skills,” explained Accenture’s Ellyn Shook, chief leadership & human resources officer. “Childcare will be provided so they can focus on their learning.”
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Aledade — a leading physician enablement company helping independent practices, health centers and clinics deliver better care to their patients — is committed to promoting civic engagement.
Last year, Aledade partnered with Vot+ER to help patients and communities exercise their right to vote. Vot+ER, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization works to Improve access to the ballot through the patient-practitioner relationship, providing practitioners with access to voter education resources and tools. Aledade also partnered with Power the Polls, a nonpartisan initiative to recruit poll workers, and gave team members paid days off to volunteer.
“Aledade is a place where our mission defines everything we do,” wrote CEO Farzad Mostashari in January. “Where you will never have to choose doing well over doing good. Where we hold ourselves accountable for the promises we make — to patients, practices and society. Where we make decisions that each of us, ten years in the future, would be proud of.”
As a leading provider of collaboration software for teams, San Francisco-based Atlassian, Inc. knows the value of working together to increase wins. To date, the company has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid to Ukraine through the Atlassian Foundation and employee giving programs. And, at the direct request of the Ukrainian government, they donated licenses of Atlassian software to aid their humanitarian and relief efforts.
Atlassian has also pledged to donate the equivalent of all forward revenue from customers in Russia and Belarus, starting with an initial donation of $5 million, to causes that provide direct support to the people of Ukraine.
Says an employee: “The people, the culture, the benefits and the opportunities: Atlassian somehow manages to balance each element of being an employer masterfully. The people truly care about one another here and that extends very naturally to caring for our customers and company as a whole.”
On May 14, 2022, when a mass shooting at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, N.Y., rocked the community, Wegmans responded with uncommon compassion. First, Wegmans leadership confirmed the safety of their own employees — then turned attention to their neighbors.
Wegmans arranged for a tractor-trailer delivery of groceries and wellness essentials to the neighborhood, a food desert, previously served by the Tops market, and followed that with a $400,000 contribution to the Buffalo 5/14 Survivor Fund and the Buffalo Stronger Together Fund, benefitting victims and their families.
“We stand in solidarity with you in putting our values into action,” wrote CEO Colleen Wegman to team members, “especially in extending care and respect that all people deserve, all of the time.”
The diversified financial services company headquartered in McLean, Va., takes its social impact volunteerism commitment very seriously. One initiative, Capital One Coders, has allowed volunteers to work in more than 120 schools and youth-serving nonprofits, building mentor relationships and inspiring confidence in students as they explore technology.
Through the program, Capital One strives to combat the equity gap in computer science by focusing on underrepresented students. Seventy-eight percent of Coders students are underrepresented minorities; 52 percent identify as female; over 90 percent of students are from low-to-moderate income communities. 96 percent of schools and nonprofits report that the Coders program filled an existing need for computer science education to a moderate or large extent.
“Capital One lives its mission and values with great pride,” says an employee. “I am excited to live the mission of ‘Changing Banking for Good.’ The values match and embody my own.”
Bank of America uses its size to magnify the impact it can have on people’s lives. The financial institution headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., requires U.S. vendors to provide a minimum hourly salary of $15 per hour to employees, and they actively seek to work with certified diverse businesses through the supplier Diversity Program.
BoA has also committed $1 trillion in financing by 2030 to help clients transition to a low-carbon future. That includes financing to help small businesses adopt more sustainable business practices, and to help major corporations in all industries transform and decarbonize their business models. Finally, they tripled their Bank of America Community Homeownership Commitment to $15 billion through 2025 with a goal of helping 60,000 low- and moderate-income (LMI) individuals and families to purchase a home, and issued two $2 billion Equality Progress Sustainability bonds, proceeds from which are designed to advance racial and gender equality, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability.
Says one employee: “The company's commitment to community service and charitable contributions is a huge part of what makes it a great place to work. It builds the employees’ relationship with the community and instills trust."
Intuit, a global technology platform with more than 100 million customers worldwide, states its corporate values plainly: “Integrity Without Compromise,” “Courage,” “Customer Obsession,” “Stronger Together” and “We Care and supply Back.”
That uncompromising integrity and courage was on display in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson that limited access to comprehensive reproductive care throughout the country. Committed to providing employees and their families equitable access to comprehensive healthcare — regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual identity, sexual orientation or where they live — Intuit made updates to its health insurance policy, allowing those who aren’t able to access services in their state to receive care in other states. They also expanded the travel and lodging coverage.
As CEO Sasan Goodarzi wrote in a accurate corporate responsibility report: “I firmly believe that the shared passion among our more than 17,000 employees is a key driver in helping Intuit continue to grow and thrive as a company, and make a more meaningful impact on society,” adding, “We’ll never stop working to make a difference.”
As a leading content cloud platform, Box powers how the world works together. And that spirit of collaboration also extends to making the world a better place for all.
Through the Box Impact Fund, the company provides $100,000 in grants to help fuel critical missions and digitally transform nonprofits devoted to child welfare, crisis response and the environment. accurate grantees include ChildFund Mexico, which connects vulnerable youth in Mexico with resource they need to grow up safe, healthy and educated; HERA Digital Health, which helps refugees access healthcare; and Replate, which aims to reduce food waste and counter climate change.
“I love Box and feel incredibly grateful to be part of this organization,” says an employee. “From our CEO to our new entry-level Boxers, it is about delivering incredible work with amazing people and in a wonderful culture. Our values are part of our DNA and ingrained into all that we do.”
As global logistics experts, DHL Express aspires to be the first choice for customers, employees and investors worldwide.
To show care for their team members, they recently launched a wellness campaign, Pole2Pole, to encourage employees to walk, run, hike and get in their steps to maintain physical wellness. They also launched a SPIRE Class, giving employees the option to learn how to enhance their spiritual, physical, intellectual, relational and emotional lives. And in support of their communities, DHL has joined the Fill a Backpack drive, helping schoolchildren get the supplies they need to excel academically.
“DHL is a great place to work, because they have some of the best managers I have ever had in my professional career,” says an employee. “They go above and beyond to really cultivate the sense that they are in the employees' corners, to help with whatever matters may arise.”
A Big 4 firm providing advisory, audit and tax services, KPMG still keeps an eye on the smaller community. Their Community Impact Volunteer Portal connects employees to charitable opportunities that align with their interests and values.
One of KPMG’s biggest accurate impacts has been made through the KPMG Family for Literacy group’s Summer HEAT program, an initiative that promotes healthy eating, exercise and time spent reading. The group distributed more than 70,000 books and 6,500 health and wellness kits, and breakfast bags to 65 schools and organizations serving kids in need. A post-campaign survey to educators confirmed overwhelming results: 94 percent agreed the healthy breakfasts provided necessary nutritional resources to students, and 90 percent agreed the educational and wellness resources supported students’ ability to learn.
“We have a lot of opportunities to be involved with programs and volunteer opportunities,” confirms a team member. “It makes for a great community.”
Zillow, the Seattle-based real estate specialist, is working to make home ownership a reality for more people.
Since 2019, Zillow has worked with Housing Connector to find homes for more than 3,000 individuals and families experiencing homelessness across the Puget Sound and Denver regions. Nine-in-ten families remain housed after one year, and 74 percent of renters who moved into a unit owned or managed by a Housing Connector partner landlord remained in their home after two years. Through this partnership, communities are able to house people experiencing homelessness with just under $3,000, one-tenth the annual cost to a community to support an individual experiencing homelessness
“The amount of genuine care that is shown…has brought me to tears a time or two,” says a team member. “ I am extremely proud to be an employee of Zillow Group.”
Southfield, Mich.-based Credit Acceptance offers automobile dealers finance programs to help them sell vehicles to consumers, regardless of credit standing. This commitment to helping people get a leg up — encapsulated by the company purpose “We change lives” — extends to the way they treat employees and the community.
Credit Acceptance’s Community Service and Diversity and Inclusion Committees recently co-hosted a fundraiser for the Ruth Ellis Center, a local organization that creates opportunities for LGBTQ+ youth — with an emphasis on young people of color, and/or those experiencing homelessness, involved in the child welfare system or experiencing barriers to health and well-being.
“The company's culture is second to none,” says a team member. “The company goes to great lengths to make team members comfortable, supported and ready for success. Leaders are always thinking of ways to Improve the employee experience.”
The San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe Systems Incorporated is guided by its mission to change the world through digital experiences.
An important area of focus for Adobe is supporting the protection and advancement of equal access to opportunity for marginalized and underrepresented groups. With support from the Adobe Foundation, the company launched a three-year Equity and Advancement Initiative with 11 leading global NGOs — including OutRightAction International, Human Rights Watch and Equal Justice Initiative — that seeks to address systemic barriers to opportunity and advance social equity. Through this model, Adobe is making long-term strategic commitments and investing a minimum of $20 million to provide partnership opportunities, employee learning experiences and new ways of leveraging the team’s unique strengths to support issues key to the company and communities.
“Adobe’s commitment to doing the right thing by focusing on people, purpose and community dates back to our founding,” says Adobe Inc. chairman and CEO Shantanu Narayen.
When it comes to doing what’s best for their employees and communities, Synchrony — a premier U.S. consumer financial services company — is flexible.
As they learned that nearly any job could be done virtually, and that employees were more productive and satisfied than ever before, Synchrony quickly launched flexibility for all. U.S. Synchrony employees are given the opportunity to work full-time remote, going in when business needs require, or in hybrid fashion for those who want to enjoy office life a few days a week. To remedy virtual meeting fatigue, they instituted Flex Fridays — no meetings in the mornings, with afternoons off — allowing team members time to catch up on deep thinking and learning and development, as well as moments to disconnect and be with their families.
Says one Synchrony employee: “The company truly listens to what we need regarding benefits and flexibility since we are people with emotions and at-home lives. After talking with friends from other employer backgrounds, [I know] this quality of care is truly unique. It makes Synchrony a very progressive place to work.”
Salesforce, a leader in customer relationship management based in San Francisco, takes a holistic approach to doing good in the world, through employee care, community engagement and efforts to combat climate change.
The company has been committed to sustainability for years, but they officially made it their fifth value last February, incorporating environmentalism into everything they do. They continue to support the Trillion Tree initiative (having funded more than 43 million planted trees so far), and they have established UpLink, a platform for eco-preneurs. They are also evaluating the materials they bring into their real estate spaces, pushing the manufacturing industry forward. Salesforce recently made a $100,000,000 investment to help remove carbon from the atmosphere at scale, and as part of the First Movers Coalition — a group working to scale carbon removal — they’re also working to replace five percent of conventional jet fuel usage with low- and no-carbon alternatives.
“I'm very thankful for having the chance to develop my professional career at Salesforce,” says one employee. “I'm blessed because the company shares my personal values, such as trust, sustainability and giving back.”
Progressive — the third largest auto insurer in the country, a leading seller of motorcycle and commercial auto insurance and one of the top 10 homeowners insurance carriers — works hard to help their people help others.
In 2022, The Progressive Insurance Foundation introduced Name Your Cause, a new charitable giving program for employees. Through Name Your Cause, employees can recommend a charity of their choice and receive a one-time $100 donation for that charity. They also continue to help veterans through their Keys to Progress vehicle giveaway program
“The way we supply back to the community is out of this world!” says a team member. “Progressive supply cars to veterans in need. I attended an event in the past, and it was truly amazing to see people’s lives changed in just a moment.”
Houston-based David Weekley is one of the largest privately held homebuilders in America, and they’re passionate about their “Building Dreams, Enhancing Lives” purpose.
For more than 30 years, the David Weekley Family Foundation, now known as the Dovetail Impact Foundation, has provided more than $250 million in grants to deserving nonprofit organizations by allocating a percentage of profits from the company to support these efforts. Each year, the amount given to support domestic and international organizations has increased, with more than $31.7 million allocated in 2021. These efforts included delivering meals to primary school children in Kenya through Food for Education; working with Indus Action to help vulnerable Indian families access vaccines; and launching the Houston Methodist Chaplain Program to support frontline health workers and patients with spiritual care.
“This is the only job I have ever had where the employees talk to each other about how lucky we are to work here,” says one David Weekley team member.
At Plante Moran, one of the nation’s largest audit, tax, consulting and wealth management firms, company culture has revolved around gratitude and recognition for nearly a century.
And leadership at Plante Moran is quick to point out: Gratitude isn’t about monetary incentives or a point system, but a more encouraging, organic way of recognizing one another. One method of keeping the attaboys and attagirls coming among team members: Shout Out Plante Moran, a special Yammer page designed for staff to supply kudos and kind words to their colleagues. The goal is to make the “thanking experience" more public, to call out the gratitude givers as well as the shoutout receivers and remind everyone that they need not be shy in doling out high-fives to one another. Each month, 20 Shout Out posters/nominees are randomly selected to receive $100 in their next paycheck.
“The culture of the firm truly embodies the firm slogan of ‘We Care,’” says one team member. “Everybody goes out of their way to get to know you and make you feel welcomed and supported no matter how long you have been here.”
Veterans United, headquartered in Columbia. Mo., helps service members and veterans achieve the American Dream of homeownership. And through their Flourish Program, Veterans has found all-new ways to help young people experiencing employment and educational barriers.
Flourish focuses on providing resources to individuals in Boone County, Mo. The program has provided housing, scholarships and other resources for hundreds of youth since its inception in 2019. In 2020, The Flourish Home opened its doors and, since then, the space has housed 19 youths for a total of 1,600 bednights. Every single resident has improved their school attendance and GPA while staying in The Flourish Home.
“I have never been associated with a company that cares more about people,” says one Veterans United employee.
Highlight Technologies, Inc. is an awarding-winning, employee-owned federal government contractor dedicated to providing digital government and mission support services to more than 20 federal agencies.
Among Highlight Technologies’ most important corporate priorities is community health, which is why they launched HighlightCares: a company-led effort with a mission to supply back to employees’ local communities and support charitable organizations. Their first initiative was in support of Feeding America; with employee and corporate donations of canned goods, dry goods and monetary funds, they provided over 114,000 meals. In addition, to honor Earth Day, employees donated more than 130 hours of their time participating in activities like building gardens with recycled materials and clearing brush. In just two years, Team Highlight has also donated more than $40,000 to its charity partners.
“Highlight Tech is the best company I have ever worked for, bar none,” says a team member. “Every employee from upper management on down is very humble and caring. I hope to be employed by this wonderful company for years to come.”
Hilton — a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising 7,000 properties and nearly 1.1 million rooms in 122 countries and territories — partners with organizations that equip people of all backgrounds with skills that prepare them for the future and contribute to opportunities for career growth.
Recently, Hilton and the Hilton Global Foundation have partnered with organizations such as Springboard and Aurora Foxes, teaching hospitality skills to disadvantaged youth and young people with disabilities. And HGF made progress on new social impact goals by awarding a three-year grant to Clean the World to launch a Mobile Hygiene Unit (MHU), which will provide shower services to the unhoused of Orange County, Fla. Not only have communities with these services seen a 15 percent decrease in homelessness, but individuals experiencing homelessness who use supportive services are more likely to participate in job training programs and attend school. Since April 1, 2022, the MHU has provided 441 showers, 607 Hygiene Kits and 109 articles of clothing in Orange County.
“Now more than ever,” says Hilton president and CEO Chris Nassetta, “it’s our responsibility to preserve the destinations we call home and create truly inclusive growth in our communities.”
Global technology leader HP Inc. demonstrates its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) through its Business Impact Networks (BINs), which build an increased sense of belonging for all employees and promote diversity in development, hiring and mentoring. HP has 131 BINs in 37 countries, open to all employees and representing those who identify as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin American and LGBTQ+, as well as groups dedicated to multiculturalism, multi-generationalism, veterans, women and individuals with disabilities.
HP is also the first Fortune 100 tech company to commit to achieving 50/50 gender equality in leadership by 2030. In 2021, women represented 32.5 percent of director level and above positions globally. Women also represented 22.7 percent of technical and engineering roles at HP, putting the company on track to achieve greater than 30 percent by 2030.
“Building a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture across HP and the communities we serve has long been one of our strategic imperatives,” says president and CEO Enrique Lores. “It's an integral part of understanding the needs of our customers, driving innovation and building a Future Ready company.”
With its size and scale, global hospitality leader Marriott knows it has both a responsibility and a unique opportunity to be a force for good. It’s in this spirit that Marriott continues to build on its longstanding partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to help empower and support refugees.
Through the IRC’s Hospitality Link program, Marriott has provided skills-development training, life skills instruction and English language classes to resettled refugees, while introducing them to careers in the hospitality industry. Marriott also aims to provide employment opportunities to Hospitality Link graduates and other clients from the IRC network. Marriott has supported the Hospitality Link program since 2016 and has helped train more than 600 refugees.
“At Marriott International, we believe in…making a positive and sustainable impact in the communities where we do business,” president and CEO Anthony Capuano recently said. “Across Europe, this has included support for refugees from Ukraine since the start of the war. Our focus on creating job opportunities has already led to over 970 refugees hired across dozens of our hotels in the European region. Marriott’s goal to hire an additional 1,500 refugees in Europe builds on the work we’re doing to promote opportunities...and highlights our steadfast commitment to put people first.”
In early 2022, Baker Tilly declared its purpose: to unleash and amplify talent. With employees at the core of everything they do, the CPA firm works to provide a supportive and rewarding work environment and experience, allowing their people to grow, develop and bring their best, true selves to work each day.
Baker Tilly has instituted an unlimited time-off policy and introduced Disconnect Days to encourage team members to collectively log off. The company has also begun sending team members monthly care packages — to all of their 6,000+ employees — with items that not only show the company values them, but also encourage them to relax, rejuvenate and recharge. Packages have included individually curated snack boxes, a “Cozy” kit with blankets, soup-making supplies and candles, and “Movie Night” kit with popcorn and a gift card for an at-home viewing.
“This company is very generous to their employees and very thoughtful,” says a team member. “As a company, they go above and beyond to keep their employees, which is really amazing. I've never seen anything like them in my entire life.”
World Wide Technology, a global technology solution provider, helps companies think differently about how technology can enable their business by turning complex IT solutions into a practical and actionable way forward.
And finding actionable solutions extends to WWT’s philosophy of caring for its employees. WWT continues to go above and beyond to recognize employees’ health and wellness. Recently, they began offering employees two new and enhanced mental health mobile apps to support well-being. Additionally, through their Employee Assistance Program (EAP), WWT engaged the National Alliance on Mental Illness-St. Louis to provide a series of webinars and presentations to help employees deal with stress and Improve quality of life.
“I love that WWT really cares about our personal health and well-being,” says a team member. “The company's mindset [about] these things has motivated and inspired me to take better care of myself than I ever have before, and it's made a difference in every aspect of mine and my family’s lives.”
HubSpot — a leading CRM platform that provides software and support to businesses — is focused on perfecting work-life balance for its 4,400+ employees. As a fast-paced, growing company with over 158,000 customers in more than 120 countries, HubSpot is no stranger to the symptoms of burnout. They recognized they needed to create a more sustainable way of working.
Between an available five-year sabbatical, unlimited vacation and flexible working schedules, HubSpot has always encouraged employees to take time off, but they recognize it’s easier to truly rest and unplug when your colleagues are doing the same. That’s why they recently introduced an Annual Global Week of Rest in July, when all employees take time to recharge. Additionally, they adopted "No Internal Meeting Fridays" to encourage deep work, prep or time to decompress.
Says one team member: “The environment and the culture that is deeply ingrained in everything we do makes HubSpot an amazing place to work. From even my first encounter with recruiting, I could tell this was a place that was special, supportive and willing to do everything it can to ensure employees are successful.”
One of the most meaningful ways Collaborative Solutions, a leading global finance and HR transformation consultancy, gives back is through its long-standing partnership with nonprofit awareness organization Autism Speaks.
The company’s IT team helps facilitate an internal event, Laptops for Autism Speaks, that gives employees the opportunity to purchase refurbished computers at a heavily discounted price, with a portion of those proceeds going to the nonprofit. Collaborative Solutions team members also participate in an annual awareness walk for autism, and a recently established program allows employees to dedicate a percentage of payroll contributions.
As the company explains its mission: “We’re passionate about bringing visibility and funding to autism. We understand that behind the statistics...are people — people and their families who live with autism every day."
Orrick is a forward-looking law firm focused on advising clients in three sectors: technology and innovation, energy, and infrastructure and finance. The firm was named No. 1 for pro bono impact by The American Lawyer with 98 percent of their lawyers participating in pro bono work, contributing 141,000 hours of free legal advice to the community — the equivalent of a social impact law firm of 70 lawyers.
But Orrick’s efforts to support its community don’t end there. Their Racial Justice Fellowship Program allows five Orrick lawyers to work full-time for a year at full salary embedded with organizations dedicated to civil rights, criminal justice reform and economic equity. After the year, they return to the firm and advance in class year. One of their associates was recently appointed to the San Francisco Police Commission after serving as a fellow with NYU Law School’s Policing Project.
“[Orrick] really takes care of their people,” says an employee. “From our generous benefits, time off to unplug, wellness programs, work at home program, community involvement and overall care, Orrick really takes us into consideration. You don't find that in many places."
It’s no surprise that BetterUp, the largest mental health and coaching startup in the world, places so much attention on the well-being of its employees.
BetterUp creates a culture that encourages employees to regularly pursue “Inner Work” through activities like meditation, reading, walking, spending time in nature, volunteering, creating whitespace, diving into philosophy, journaling for structured reflection and participating in coaching and therapy. Employees are encouraged to participate in Inner Work during their workdays, and BetterUp provides five paid Inner Work Days, plus five paid volunteer days annually. What’s more, in early 2022, BetterUp invited the world to launch a movement around Inner Work, with the first annual public-facing Inner Work Day. The event was a success, with 22,000+ people from across the globe registering to reset, refocus and realign themselves in pursuit of achieving peak performance.
“The connection between the mission, product and experience is intertwined in a positive way,” say a team member. “Each day is an opportunity to not just be your best self personally or professionally, but to help empower and inspire others to do the same.”
6sense, a San Francisco-based revenue AI platform, puts the power of machine learning and big data in the hands of its customers. The company’s goal is to usher in a new era of B2B platforms that will fundamentally transform the way businesses create, manage and convert pipeline to revenue.
But 6sense also knows the importance of good old-fashioned giving, and pledges one percent of the company’s equity, time, product and profit to Improve communities around the world. The company partnered with online charitable gifting provider Daymaker during the winter holidays on a “Making Spirits Bright” campaign, allocating funds to each employee to treat underserved children to gifts. Many 6sense employees supplemented $100 company contributions with their own funds, bringing the giving total to $53,400 and providing 2,630 gifts to 611 kids.
“Even through hyper-growth, we still remain true to who we are,” says a team member. “This is because our executive team truly cares about all of us aside from how we impact the bottom line.”
Blue Shield of California is committed to addressing the growing mental health crisis impacting young people. To that end, the Oakland-based provider of health, dental, vision, Medi-Cal and Medicare plans established the BlueSky initiative to bolster support through access, awareness, and advocacy — with a priority on equity.
They helped offer services to 20 schools in California with specialists providing 4,038 individual, group and family counseling sessions to 491 youth. Blue Shield also provided a $1 million community investment to support youth mental health services within the California Department of Education’s public school system of six million youth and young adults.
“To help future generations succeed, we need to ensure access to high quality and culturally relevant mental health supports, particularly for youth from marginalized communities,” says Antoinette Mayer, vice president of corporate citizenship and co-founder of BlueSky. “This includes improving mental health care on school campuses and in community centers, as well as bolstering peer support. While it’s encouraging that youth are taking action to Improve their emotional well-being, more can be done to reduce stigma and to empower youth to speak up.”
Crowe, a Chicago-based public accounting, consulting and technology firm with offices around the world, walk the walk when it comes to valuing employees and caring for the communities in which they do business.
Recently they launched Crowe’s Stewardship Ambassador Program, asking for volunteers who are passionate about service. More than thirty ambassadors play a key role in mobilizing their office colleagues to participate in volunteer opportunities — both local and firm-wide — facilitating events and communicating key messages locally around Crowe’s corporate responsibility priorities. The firm’s overall charitable giving, managed by the Crowe Foundation, has recently made contributions exceeding $2.5 million.
Says one employee: “We are really committed to living our values, and it starts from the top down. The effort put into not only communicating but educating everyone on our values and purpose is unparalleled to anything I have ever experienced at other organizations. Our commitment to community is sincere.”
Nations Lending Corporation is one the fastest-growing independent mortgage lenders in the country, but they’ll never get too big to care for their own in their Cleveland hometown.
Recently, they worked with a Cleveland-area military veterans group to save their VFW Post from being lost to foreclosure, ultimately providing a $25,000 donation. The building had fallen behind on its property taxes roughly three years ago, and the veterans lost ownership. The donation from Nations Lending helped put the VFW Post back into the group’s possession. Now operating on a solid financial foundation, the VFW Post plans to completely pay-off the building’s debt in less than 10 years.
“[My father’s] military background helped solidify who I am, what I do and to hold myself to an accountability,” Nations Lending CEO Jeremy Sopko has said of the inspiration he took from growing up in a military household. “If you’re in the service, you count on others around you. Your word is all you have.”
Power Home Remodeling, the nation’s largest, full-service, exterior home remodeler, recently took the step of incentivizing employee volunteerism, offering team members $125 the first time they donate time outside of the company. But they didn’t stop there.
Through their Cultural Diversity & Inclusion Initiative (CD&I), they’ve encouraged volunteerism from employees across the business, building a long-standing national partnership with the WeLoveU Foundation. Through the partnership, they organize regular opportunities, like trash cleanups in areas facing disparities in litter and pollution. These neighborhoods are shouldering much of the burden of excessive waste and single-use plastics, piling up fastest in the communities least capable of properly disposing of it. Power wants to not only Improve the quality and overall health of these communities, but to do their part to protect the environment as well.
“Power focuses on the people first and knows that personal growth will transition well into the workplace with happier employees who perform at a higher rate,” says a team member. “ It is a great place to work with a positive culture.”
Santa Ana, Calif.-based First American Financial Corporation, which provides title, settlement and risk solutions for real estate transactions, knows that making an impact in the communities they serve can only happen with dedicated employee volunteers.
First American has a vast network of employee volunteers from across the country, called FirstAmCares Champions, dedicated to the promotion and organization of community events. They are critical to the success of the FirstAmCares program, and First American is proud to help them serve the communities where they live and work. Founded in 2019, the group has helped First American raise more than $2.6 million to date. In 2021 alone, the Champions and their teams raised over $1 million for local and national organizations. This program has also increased First American’s Trust Index score on community contribution by eight percent since 2014.
“The contributions we make to the community are outstanding,” says one employee. “Whenever a disaster or emergency situation has developed, the company keeps us informed and advises of what [efforts] we can become involved in. This is a compassionate and community-friendly company.”
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based ServiceNow provides a cloud platform and solutions that help digitize and unify organizations so that they can find smarter, faster, better ways to make work flow.
The company has taken meaningful steps to apply their professional know-how in support of the environment. Recently, they launched an integrated environmental, social and governance Command Center solution to help customers achieve their ESG goals. ServiceNow also achieved 100 percent renewable electricity, became carbon neutral in their operations and business travel and provided customers with a carbon-neutral cloud. In addition, they facilitated boots-on-the-ground events in support of the environment, coordinating 12 tree-planting and plant restoration projects around the world.
“When I think of ServiceNow’s responsibility to make a positive impact on the world, I’m reminded that none of us is as smart as all of us,” says chairman and CEO Bill McDermott. “From vaccine management to refugee resettlement to helping businesses navigate global economic uncertainty, ServiceNow is doing well for our customers…so we can do good things for the world.”
Expel, a security operations provider based in Herndon, Va., honors the company value: “Take care of our people first.” It’s the guiding principle that has inspired transparency related to salary ranges, bonuses and commission targets, and that motivates Expel to continually Improve their diversity and inclusion efforts.
And because Expel takes care of its employees, employees are empowered to take care of their community. At Thanksgiving, through a program called “Pay it Forward,” Expel provides gift cards to all employees so they can make donations to local organizations. In Oct. 2022, Expel and the Recipe for Success Foundation partnered to hold a team culinary experience. Their "Cooking for a Cause" event provided lasagna dinners and bagged lunches for the local Embry Rucker Community Shelter. In May, they hosted a Charity Bike Build-a-Thon for She Believes In Me, a local nonprofit that benefits vulnerable children.
“Everything we do is rooted in our values,” says a team member. “Every decision made, whether it be benefits or events or deals, we always do so with our values in mind. That's what makes the culture so great.”
Based in Dallas, Credera is a consulting firm focused on strategy, innovation, data and technology. Even with long-time market-leading clients like Mercedes-Benz, McDonald’s and Southwest Airlines, the company never loses sight of its mission statement: “To make an extraordinary impact on our clients, our people and our communities.”
Recently, Credera has taken new steps to support communities, launching a philanthropic arm called Credera Community Impact, with the goal of providing STEM education-based opportunities and a wide variety of options to which Credera employees can contribute time and resources. Their company-wide Service Day gives employees an opportunity to volunteer. In June 2021, Credera hosted their largest and most impactful Service Day to date, with nearly 400 team members packing and distributing meals to those in need, beautifying parks and preparing meals and building care kits for families with sick children.
Says one team member: “Our core values actually matter in how we work. They are ingrained in how we make decisions, how we run projects and how we resolve conflict. People will literally bring up the core values as a rationale for a decision. Who wouldn't want to work at a place where those things are truly valued?”
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company is the global edge-to-cloud company that helps organizations accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere.
HPE’s commitment to the environment is inextricably linked to its business strategy, as helping customers achieve their IT sustainability goals is, in HPE’s opinion, the single biggest impact the company can have on the planet. To that end, they have accelerated their target of achieving net-zero emissions across HPE’s entire value chain by 10 years, from 2050 to 2040, and they are implementing a comprehensive roadmap to get there that includes holding C-level executives directly accountable for achieving these goals. In addition, HPE’s Technology Renewal Centers in the U.S. and Scotland are the largest IT refurbishment centers in the world, taking in 3 million assets — regardless of manufacturer — last year and re-marketing 85 percent of them for a second life.
“The human and environmental challenges we face today present us with unprecedented opportunities for innovation,” says president and CEO Antonio Neri. “I am incredibly fortunate to have the backing of a talented global team who share this vision.”
The upscale casual restaurant chain based in Calabasas Hills, Calif., is one of the busiest in the country — but they never lose sight of the needs of their customers or their employees.
An example of how The Cheesecake Factory goes the extra mile: When staff experience a catastrophic event, they can reach out to the HELP (Hardship and Emergency Lifeline) Fund for a financial grant — no repayment required — to cover basic needs or defray costs associated with a housing disaster or death in the family. During the first six months of 2022, HELP Fund applications nearly doubled from the previous year, resulting in nearly $210,000 in grants to staff in need (compared to $134,000 granted during the first six months of 2021). And through the Nourish Program, the company donated approximately 925,000 pounds of excess food to local nonprofits in 2021 and the first half of 2022.
“Cheesecake Factory has been an amazing work environment for me,” says a team member. "The managers and my coworkers are my family, and I look forward to coming to work every time.”
Mastercard, headquartered in Purchase, N.Y., is a global technology company in the payments industry, and the company powers an inclusive digital economy that benefits everyone. Part of that commitment to benefiting all revolves around doing their part for the environment and social equity.
Recently, Mastercard introduced a new compensation model for executives at the Executive Vice President level and above. Their bonus is determined in part by the company’s performance on three environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) priorities: carbon neutrality, financial inclusion and gender pay parity. Thanks to a collective effort, all goals were met or exceeded. Expanding on the system in place, now bonus calculations for all employees will factor in shared ESG goals.
“We’ll continue to use our technology, our experience, our partners and our people to create [a brighter] future,” says CEO Michael Miebach. “It’s the right thing to do, and a responsibility we embrace."
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose — to care for people so they can be their best. In fact, a common mantra among team members: “Care is our superpower, guiding our decisions and actions every day.”
That superpower was on full display recently, as Hyatt placed special emphasis on addressing the challenges of Afghan refugees in the U.S., connecting them with employment opportunities at their hotels. Building on this, they partnered with the charitable groups Welcome.US and Welcome Exchange to identify Afghan refugees in search of work and enable them to begin a new life in the U.S. The effort has been an incredible success: They’ve placed 100+ refugees in roles at hotels across the country — and they continue to build on those efforts.
“I feel very comfortable being exactly who I am and bringing my whole self to work,” says a Hyatt team member. “People around our property truly care for others and demonstrate that often."
Insmed, based in Bridgewater, N.J., develops and commercializes therapies for patients with serious and rare diseases. The manner in which they carry out that mission of transforming the lives of their patients reflects a larger ethos of helping whenever and wherever they can.
In 2021, Insmed established an official ESG working group that conducted a thorough assessment of their ESG achievements to date and outlined a plan for the next several years. They then committed to laying the foundation to build an in-house patient advocacy function that will further ensure patient and caregiver needs are being met as they develop new medicines and address the most significant challenges within patient communities. Insmed is also taking active steps to reduce carbon emissions from their vehicle fleet over time, including the integration of electric and hybrid vehicles.
“This company is all about culture!” says a team member. “Employees of all levels leave their egos at the door. I have never worked with an organization that has cared more about its employees."
Professional services heavyweight EY, headquartered in New York City, works across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions. And you don’t become a trusted expert in so many fields without knowing a thing or two about the needs of people.
That knowledge and attention to detail shows in the steps EY has taken to care for its team members. Through the EY Way Of Working Transition fund, the company has set aside money and resources to reimburse their people for out-of-pocket expenses related to teaming, commuting, dependent care and pet care. The fund has been used to reimburse 29,500 people for over $22 million in eligible expenses. In addition, their new Wellbeing Champion Network serves as a community of advocates who promote well-being by acting as a direct line between employees and the Talent team. Through their Wellbeing Fund, every U.S. professional is reimbursed for 75 percent of the costs of well-being — items such as fitness classes, ergonomic home office equipment, meal delivery services and outdoor fitness equipment — up to $1,000.
“The wellness fund has been a great additional benefit,” says one EY employee. “Our culture of care and empathy shine through.”
Detroit-based Ally Financial Inc., the largest digital-only bank and leading auto lender, is driven by a straightforward motto: Do it right. This mission starts with the way they treat their team members.
First, Ally Financial increased its minimum hourly wage from $17 to $23. Then, in early 2023, they made each person a shareholder in the company, giving 100 restricted stock units to all employees. Ally also expanded a robust financial education program aimed at assisting teammates with saving, investing and managing their money. Finally, all Ally employees have access to certified financial planners and monthly seminars focusing on at least one aspect of prudent financial management, whether that’s saving for education, reducing debt, the fundamentals of investing or retirement planning.
"Ally is a large company with an intimate feel,” says a team member. “It feels like they care from the second you get hired. During Covid, layoffs were never mentioned; instead, Ally doubled-down on its employees, guaranteed our commissions, offered assistance and gave employees their own stimulus. I am forever a loyal Ally employee.”
New Relic, an information technology company based in San Francisco, is a leader in observability — empowering engineers with a data-driven approach to planning, building, deploying and running software. And while it takes a great deal of expertise to provide their level of insight, it's not hard to see the good they’re doing in the world.
Through the 21 Days of Goodness campaign, New Relic connects employees with each other and inspires them to supply back to their communities with intention. A key part of the campaign is Giving Tuesday, during which the company deposits funds into employees’ accounts for them to donate to any charity they choose. Similarly, on their Global Day of Service, New Relic shuts their offices and encourages employees to partner up with a local philanthropic organization. More than 60 percent of New Relic employees in 21 countries across the globe participated in the most accurate Global Day of Service, spending more than 4,000 hours on community projects.
“New Relic is absolutely amazing,” says an employee. “We are a team that has the same goal — to help our customers succeed. I see this in my daily interactions with both my coworkers, my leadership and other teams.”
“I don’t ever want my employees to wake up and groan that they have to go to work,” says Karl Sun, CEO of the South Jordan, Utah-based Lucid Software, a leading visual collaboration suite. “My goal is to make Lucid a place where people genuinely want to be because they enjoy what they’re doing, and, maybe more importantly, whom they are doing it with.”
With that in mind, Lucid’s leadership launched Lucid Heart, a community engagement program focusing on strengthening communities through partnerships with schools, nonprofits and other organizations. Through the program, Lucid supports studying programs, donates laptops for distance learning, compiles studying packets for pediatric hospitals and refugees, and leads coding competitions for underrepresented youth.
Lucid also runs an Adopt-a-Family holiday program annually, recently donating more than $72,000 in gift cards, clothes, games, toys and more. All told, the company has supported more than 35 families and nearly 200 additional students through the program.
The Fairfax, Va.-headquartered Custom Ink believes that its custom apparel and products do more than make their customers look good — they also help them to feel good, inspire them to do good and bring people together.
A longstanding part of Custom Ink’s giving is its Charitable Outreach Program. For customer orders placed supporting certain charities, Custom Ink donates a percentage of money to the cause. (Customers often don’t know about this practice, so it comes as a nice surprise.) It’s Custom Ink’s way of thanking customers for letting them be a part of those special moments in their lives. Since the company started the Outreach program in 2008, they’ve donated more than $1.2 million to customer causes.
An email from a happy Custom Ink customer reads: “My sons, Jacob and Joseph, founded this team in 2013. We hold an annual fundraiser to raise money for the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County to help feed kids. One in five kids is at risk of hunger in our county. Since 2012, we have raised over $86,000 for the food bank, and we are hoping to hit $100,000 with this year’s campaign. Your donation will help us get there!”
One of the largest homebuilders in the U.S., Tri Pointe Homes, Inc., headquartered in Incline Village, Nev., takes pride in the work they do to supply back to the community.
In the past year, team members have recorded more than 1,000 hours of paid-volunteer time off, and Tri Pointe as a whole donated more than $350,000 to charities like HomeAid, Boys and Girls Clubs, Challenged Athletes Foundation, City of Hope and House of Refuge. Recently, the Austin division served as Builder Captain for the nonprofit developer HomeAid, constructing eight tiny homes for the unhoused and volunteering at the annual City of Leander backpack collection for a local middle school.
“The energetic and positive culture of this company is absolutely incredible,” says a Tri Pointe employee. “The team atmosphere coupled with the common desire to provide outstanding service to our clients — all while having having some fun — makes this company a sincere pleasure to work for! It feels great to work with folks that all have the common goal of doing great work while being supportive and respectful of each other.”
Based in Atlanta, Alston & Bird is a leading international law firm with core practices spanning complex litigation, corporate, intellectual property and tax.
In 2021, the firm dedicated 48,477 pro bono hours and over 12,000 hours serving in the community — including helping with the distribution of federal emergency funds related to the housing crisis and rental relief. And efforts to provide support to Ukraine are ongoing. An Alston & Bird attorney is currently serving as the President of the Ukrainian American Bar Association, and the firm has worked to support numerous emerging legal needs. Attorney volunteers are assisting with immigration status for many, and the firm has held various fundraisers, drives and service projects as the conflict continues.
"Alston & Bird is a fantastic place to work,” says one team member. “They care a lot about their people and because they do, their people care back. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone here that isn't genuine, caring, giving, kind, hardworking and willing to help out in any way they can.”
Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals creates transformative medicines for people with serious conditions like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
As a leader in effective therapies, Vertex also offers its employees innovative health and wellness solutions, like Ginger, an emotional support coaching app that gives team members day-to-day support in learning new skills and achieving personal and professional goals via a real-time coach-chat, guided content and video therapy. Ginger is offered at no cost to employees and their dependents across the globe. Another solution, aHealthyMe, is a digital wellness platform that assists employees in reaching personal goals, from managing stress to quitting smoking to meal planning.
"The vision and the mission are extraordinary,” says a Vertex Pharmaceuticals employee. “People speak about our commitment to curing disease and improving patient lives in a real way. It's not theoretical. It drives us every day and you can feel it.”
Omaha-based Fusion Medical Staffing, an award-winning healthcare staffing company, prides itself on finding the best talent in the industry and matching them with the right facilities.
The most meaningful and impactful event for many Fusion employees takes place at the end of each year. Through a local organization, Angels Among Us, Fusion adopts 50 families who have been impacted by childhood cancer. Departments pool money to buy toys and gift cards for the families, and Fusion's Be the Change committee organizes a Winter Wonderland event — a catered meal and a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. The event helps the families enjoy a stress-free night of holiday fun, and the gifts given to them help take some of the stress of the holidays off their shoulders.
Says one employee: “The opportunity to volunteer and make an impact on the community is at the top of Fusion's priorities. I love being able — as well as it being highly encouraged by the whole leadership team — to supply back.”
San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the original boutique hotel company since 1981, now operates more than 50 hotels and 60+ eateries, bars and lounges.
A commitment to hospitality and care extends to every decision Kimpton makes, including the resources they provide their 4,000+ employees. In the wake of Covid, Kimpton has increased its health and wellness offerings by starting a partnership with online and mobile therapy service Talkspace. All employees, from frontline staff to managers, can participate in the Talkspace membership free of charge for unlimited therapy, as well as access a variety of other educational resources. Kimpton also recently distributed a Managing Mental Health guide for leaders, to help them support anyone on their teams struggling with their mental health.
“It is the culture!” raves one team member. “I have never in my life truly felt like I belonged to a team where I work. When I started working for Kimpton I immediately felt like I was home. Everyone looks out for one another. I have never felt such warmth at [another] place of work.”
Founded in 1952, Sheetz is one of America's fastest-growing family-owned and -operated convenience restaurant chains, with over 24,000 employees and more than 650 stores in six states. And Sheetz, Inc. takes their commitment to those communities they serve very seriously.
One example: the Sheetz For the Kidz Holiday program. With assistance from The Salvation Army, every Sheetz store helps 16 children in their neighborhood each holiday season — purchasing and distributing gifts to roughly 10,000 kids and families per year. Similarly, in 2021, Sheetz announced the “Get a Meal-Give a Meal” campaign, aimed at feeding children and adults most in need in the communities Sheetz serves. The company donated one meal for every 6-inch sub sold, and two meals for every 12-inch sold, totaling a $50,000 donation.
“Our house burned down in October, leaving us with seven devastated children, one of whom is battling cancer,” says Amy, a Sheetz customer and a beneficiary of the Sheetz For the Kidz program. “After losing everything, SFTK was the blessing our family needed to get through the holiday season with a sense of hope. It meant everything to us when we needed it most.”
Among the largest equipment finance companies in the nation, First American provides leasing and project financing to the most creditworthy and sophisticated commercial borrowers in the country, including nonprofit organizations. Central to their success: First American has built a culture of listening to their people. Much of the feedback from company surveys is activated by the Culture Team, who have implemented impactful initiatives like $20,000 per year MBA financial support, a free flu shot clinic, remote colleague gift packages, remote colleague gym subsidies, 20 hours of Volunteer Time Off and much more.
Last October, First American hosted the inaugural Captain Your Cause Day. This event, completely colleague-driven, brought passions and community engagement to life. Thirteen captains led nearly 100 colleagues on a variety of fundraising and hands-on volunteer work for nonprofits, benefiting organizations like Villa of Hope, Isaiah House and Empowering People’s Independence.
Confirms a team member: “First American has a commitment to community giving that is encouraged from the top down.”
San Jose, Calif.-based Cadence is a pivotal leader in electronic systems design, building upon more than 30 years of computational software expertise. The company applies its underlying Intelligent System Design strategy to deliver software, hardware and IP that turn design concepts into reality.
And Cadence is committed to building an infrastructure through which their people can help others. Employees are given 40 hours volunteer time off each year and offered a 100 percent donation match up to $2,500. Their annual Season of Giving last year saw more than 1,000 employees across 15 countries volunteering over 2,000 hours to support causes meaningful to them, with a total of $1.9 million+ employee and Cadence-matched donations. This support allows all Cadence employees to feel secure that their work is life-changing.
Lynn, a team member, has experienced the impact and success of Cadence’s culture firsthand: “Throughout my career at Cadence, the leadership team and my managers played a key role in providing meaningful work that not only leveraged my skills but also enabled learning and development — providing challenging, even difficult, opportunities that yield deep satisfaction, growth and a sense of accomplishment. The rewards and recognition matter, but more important to me has always been to be in a role that’s impactful.”
Headquartered in New York City, Bombas is a comfort-focused premium basics brand with a mission to help those in need. Originally founded in 2013 on the core value “give back meaningfully and personally," the company adheres to a strict giving model: For every item — socks, underwear, t-shirts — sold, a specially-designed item is donated to the homeless community. To date, Bombas has donated more than 60 million items to those at-risk, in need, and experiencing homelessness.
Last year alone, through the One Purchased=One Donated model, Bombas donated almost 27 million pairs of socks, underwear and t-shirts. In addition, they made great efforts to support local communities. Employees collectively spent over 1,000 hours volunteering, and each month the Giving team organizes 10 to 15 volunteering opportunities made available to all employees. A accurate example: assembling over 200 hygiene kits that included non-perishable and personal care items for their New York neighbors .
“Bombas has a mantra that's rooted in the name: It's ‘bee better,’” cofounder and CEO David Heath told Forbes in 2020. “I got a tattoo of it to celebrate our one millionth pair of socks donated. It's knitted on the inside of all of our socks, printed on the inside of all of our t-shirts. It's this gentle reminder that we can always strive to be better.”
Founded in 2001, Houston-based Venterra Realty is a rapidly growing owner and manager of approximately 70 communities and more than 20,000 apartment units across major U.S. cities that are home to over 38,000 people and 12,000 pets. A key part of their success: a commitment to “out-caring” the competition.
In support of their employees, Venterra instituted the Venterra WOW Program. The initiative provides leaders with resources to create meaningful experiences for the members of their team. In turn, leaders are rewarded for positively impacting the lives of their colleagues. They’ve dedicated an $80,000 budget to this important initiative each year, and more than $38,000 has been spent on creating personalized moments for teams so far. In addition, their Venterra Cares program empowers employees to supply back by providing eight paid hours each year to serve their communities as they see fit.
Says one Venterra staffer: “This company makes work fun and enjoyable for its employees! They push lifelong learning and career advancement. Venterra is simply the best, and I'm beyond proud to be a part of such an amazing team!”
MetLife is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Central to MetLife’s corporate philosophy is a commitment to sustainability — a position they have fortified through significant progress on their environmental goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 21 percent, originating more than $6 billion in new green investments and planting more than 200,000 trees around the world. And through the MetLife Foundation, the company has provided more than $1 million in climate-focused grants.
In June 2022, MetLife introduced a new Volunteering PTO day as part of their U.S. paid time-off program. The floating day was launched in response to employee feedback, and is designed to provide maximum flexibility for employees who wish to supply back to their communities.
“For MetLife, sustainability is about managing the business for the long term and ensuring we can deliver on our purpose for generations to come,” says chief sustainability officer Jon Richter. “Living our purpose means ensuring MetLife can remain a force for good in the communities we serve, with a deep commitment to using all our resources to foster a healthier, more inclusive and equitable world. While sustainability and [environmental, social, and corporate governance] may be gaining increased attention, for us, it’s always been woven into our DNA.”
Formed in 1997 by a group of local hospitals determined to continue providing not-for-profit health care to the community, BayCare Health System provides an integrated network of services, with 15 hospitals, ambulatory and physician services in West Central Florida. Their commitment to this area runs deep — and extends well beyond patient care.
Since 2021, BayCare has increased its support of food pantries at 18 public schools to 42 across the region, so families in low-income neighborhoods, many of them food deserts, have access to the proper nutrition. The pantries represent an annual commitment for BayCare of more than $1 million. BayCare also opened a first-of-its-kind Health Education Center at Feeding Tampa Bay’s food distribution center, where hundreds of struggling families come each week for nourishment and other essentials.
“Any health care professional will tell you that food is the first medicine,” says Tommy Inzina, BayCare’s president and CEO. “Without good nutrition, maintaining one’s health is significantly harder, and no medical intervention can compensate for what we need first: good and dependable access to food.”
Richmond, Va.-based CarMax revolutionized the automotive retail industry by driving integrity, honesty and transparency in every interaction, and offering a uniquely personalized car-buying experience.
In a post-pandemic world, CarMax has found inventive ways to bring associates together — whether they’re on site, remote or hybrid — for opportunities to serve the community. By adapting their Volunteer Team-Builders (VTBs), they successfully completed 1,700 events in the fiscal year 2022. Those included “virtual walks,” in which associates walked for an hour to earn corporate donations (up to $2,000) for the organizations of their choice. At home or in office, CarMax associates also assembled Kynd Kits, care packages for vulnerable populations like injured veterans, cancer patients, displaced LGBTQ+ teens, those in homeless shelters and essential workers. More than 12,000 kits were distributed in 2022.
“I’m grateful to work for an organization that gives me an opportunity to support my community as a remote employee, and glad to be able to share this with my family,” says Nicole Gasper, a senior recruiter.
Headquartered in South Jordan, Utah, Ultradent Products is a company driven to Improve oral health globally through science, creativity and education. Their passion has made them into a global dental manufacturing company that has experienced nonstop growth for over 40 years.
Channeling their expertise for good, Ultradent proudly donates all of the dental supplies used at a small dental clinic in Namche Bazaar, a village located at the base of Mt. Everest in Nepal. The clinic services and teaches basic dental hygiene to village children, who are often given candy by climbers and tourists who visit the region every year. The Namche Bazaar clinic also addresses frequent incidents of dental pain in climbers from all over the world, often caused by the area’s sharp increase in elevation.
“Everyone employed at Ultradent truly lives out the core values; that’s what separates us from other companies,” says one team member. “Integrity sets the bar, care is contagious, quality is without a second thought, innovation is encouraged and implemented, and hard work is a result of all of the above. I’ve never been a part of a community of people who are so kind, helpful and dedicated. It makes me want to be a better version of myself every day."
Scripps Health is a $3.2 billion private, nonprofit, integrated health system in San Diego that is ranked among the top 15 in the nation. With five hospital campuses, 29 outpatient centers and clinics, 4 emergency rooms, 3 urgent care sites, over 16,000 employees and 3,000 affiliated physicians, Scripps touches more than 700,000 lives each year, representing about one-quarter of the county’s 3.3 million people.
When a major blood supply shortage threatened San Diego County in Jan. 2022 — amid the Omicron surge — Scripps joined forces with community hospital leaders, created blood use criteria and mobilized its own courier service. By sharing resources, spreading the word and getting in front of local media, Scripps sparked an influx of donations. What the Blood Bank predicted could take up to six months was resolved in three weeks — because Scripps stepped up to care with the community’s needs first.
“One of my contractors saw us on the news and rallied his motorcycle club,” says Scripps CMO Dr. Ghazala Sharieff. “Here’s somebody I know personally but never would have thought to tell. But because he saw the news, he was able to spread the word.”
Founded in 1989, Hilcorp Energy Company is the largest privately owned oil and natural gas producer in the United States. The Houston-based company says it “is built on the people and energy we produce, and strives for alignment with our fundamental core values.”
Every five years, Hilcorp sets a goal — a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal,” in fact — and that seemingly unattainable target brings with it an equally audacious reward. Hilcorp’s most accurate BHAG, called Northbound 275, rewarded all employees, “from the pumper to the president,” a prorated $75,000 cash bonus. Hilcorp braved tough market conditions, natural disasters and a pandemic, but hit record marks in spite of it all. The bonus was hand-delivered to each employee at the corporate and field Christmas parties. As one final surprise, Hilcorp threw in an additional $25,000 for charitable giving.
“This company goes above and beyond for the employees and what they offer the community,” says a team member. “They supply us the opportunity to get better every day.”
Burlington Stores, Inc. headquartered in Burlington, N.J., is a nationally recognized off-price retailer operating more than 900 stores in 46 states and Puerto Rico.
In 2021, the company launched the Burlington Stores Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-operating private Foundation built upon their commitment to the community and enabling people to live better lives. Through the Foundation’s grants program, associates nominate nonprofits that support education, health and poverty relief in their neighborhoods. Those approved receive up to $5,000. In 2021, over 100 nonprofits were approved, with grants disbursed in early 2022. The Foundation is also privileged to be able to support many worthwhile organizations through charitable contributions. In its inaugural year, it awarded nearly $670,000, including $500,000 to five nonprofit diversity organizations, as part of the $1 million Social Justice and Racial Equality Pledge.
The company further outlines these values in a DEI Statement of Commitment, which reads in part: “At Burlington, we stand for equality and the dignity of each person. We specifically condemn racism, discrimination and bigotry in all forms. We embrace the many facets of diversity that strengthen our communities and Our Burlington. We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and understanding.”
Located in New Hyde Park, N.Y., Northwell Health is more than New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer. They are a community of innovators who regularly push the status quo and offer superior health care to two million people annually. Central to their success: partnering with communities to ensure a healthy and vibrant future for all.
In the last year, Northwell has continued its work against gun violence, putting a particular emphasis on influencing other health systems to act through Northwell’s annual forums, partnerships, federal funding and ongoing government conversations. Northwell also took action when the attacks on Ukraine began. Through early 2022, Northwell’s Ukraine Relief Fund had raised nearly $250,000, with 100 percent of donations directly funding international relief partners. Northwell also donated 18,000 pounds of medical supplies to be used to care for refugees and those injured during combat, in addition to shipping more than 1,110 pounds of non-perishable food items, aiding with telemedicine and collaborating with the U.S. Immigration office to expedite medical visas for families with complex conditions who needed treatment in the U.S.
"I believe all of us, irrespective of the position that we are in these days, have a special obligation to do everything we possibly can to help the situation in Ukraine," Northwell CEO Michael Dowling told Fox Business.
Ripple is a crypto solutions company based in San Francisco that is transforming how the world moves, manages and tokenizes value.
A key component of the company’s commitment to supporting the community is Ripple Impact, a corporate social program focusing on financial inclusion, sustainability and research and innovation. The company offers “Ripplers” the opportunity to contribute to causes or charities of their choice, as well as discover new organizations aligned with their values. In 2021, Ripple saw its most generous year of employee giving, nearly all of which was matched by Ripple. (Ripple matches up to $1,000 per full-time employee annually.) Upon joining, employees receive a $50 credit to explore the platform and make an initial donation.
“There are opportunities to get involved with community service and access to mental health care benefits,” says one Rippler of company culture. “Most importantly, employees are appreciated and encouraged to balance life and work.”
Chicago-based Sprout Social is a global leader in social media management and analytics software. The company empowers more than 30,000 brands to deliver smarter, faster business impact with comprehensive solutions, including publishing and engagement, customer care, advocacy and AI-powered business intelligence.
And Sprout Social actively seeks ways to support larger communities. Sprout Serves is their employee-led volunteering program, which helps source organizations and opportunities worthy of support. The company holds an annual Philanthropy Week, when team members gather to raise money for causes and charities — including organizations that provide access to healthcare, fight for LGBTQIA+ rights, combat homelessness, increase educational opportunities for underrepresented communities and more.
“Sprout has a great company culture and core beliefs,” says a team member. “The level of effort in the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts that permeate all aspects for the company is really wonderful to experience. We hire amazing people from all types or backgrounds and they bring their experience and perspective to our team. Sprout also supports outside organizations and does great work for the community.”
Headquartered in Houston, Camden Property Trust is a publicly traded, multifamily real estate investment trust that provides homes and exceptional customer service to more than 90,000 people across the country.
A commitment to fostering an environment where all are welcomed and encouraged to succeed led Camden to develop a small but impactful program partnering with Workforce Solutions — a 16-week apprentice program for “opportunity youth,” young adults who are low income and experience very specific challenges to employment, including former runaways, past offenders and disabled individuals. Camden has continued its commitment to find and retain maintenance employees from local communities with five of the six apprentices being offered full-time employment.
Laurie Baker, chief operating officer, summed up the program this way: “These experiences are not only impacting the [apprentices] but the Camden team members working with them. What an amazing opportunity to connect with individuals whose lives need meaning and purpose. It gives everyone involved a sense of accomplishment while helping serve others.”
In business since 1912, Boston-headquartered Liberty Mutual Insurance is today the sixth largest global property and casualty insurer. The company employs more than 47,000 people in 29 countries and economies around the world, and offers a wide range of products and services.
To honor the diverse and wide-reaching communities it represents, Liberty Mutual Insurance instituted Serve With Liberty, dedicating corporate days of service annually in May, where employees can spend time giving back. Most recently, more than 11,000 employees across the globe volunteered 47,000 hours on projects with community partners, supporting over 700 organizations — planting trees, stocking food pantry shelves, readying summer camps for children, cleaning up beaches and more.
Liberty Mutual team member Raquel Rodriguez and her colleagues in the Scranton office have volunteered for years at the Sixth Street Shelter — both in person and, when required, remotely. “When we were back together,” she says, “we went into ‘family mode’ without missing a beat and did everything we could to help out our extended family at Sixth Street.”
Princeton, N.J.-based Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative products, with a focus on pharmaceuticals to meet unmet medical needs, specifically in the fields of neuroscience, nephrology and digital innovation.
Internally, Otsuka makes great efforts to care for their people’s mental health. In 2022, they introduced a new collaboration with Lyra to provide employees with cost-free, confidential and personalized mental health care for themselves and their families. Lyra’s online platform allows employees to find the right coach or therapist for their individual needs. Employees and eligible dependents are offered 16 coaching or therapy sessions per person per year at no cost, regardless of their participation in the company’s medical plan.
“Everyone is genuine and helpful,” an Otsuka employee says. “This has been such a nurturing culture, and I love that all levels interact. I feel comfortable speaking with anyone when at meetings, and everyone is vested and motivated by the success of others."
With a mission to heal and inspire the human spirit, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is among the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country.
In reaction to a worsening economy, IEHP took steps to ensure employee salaries remained competitive in the marketplace. The company commissions a compensation study every three years and adjusts compensation accordingly. In Jan. 2022, IEHP went above and beyond this practice to account for the additional strain of cost-of-living increases and inflation. To help employees address the financial burden, IEHP announced a six percent cost-of-living increase across the board to all eligible employees, in addition to any annual merit increase and company-wide bonuses for meeting organizational goals. At a time when many companies were laying off and furloughing employees, IEHP made a calming statement of stability to its work family.
Says one IEHP staffer: “People are warm and kind and very helpful toward each other, while helping our patients and the community we serve. Benefits offered are unprecedented to other places I worked before, including other nonprofits. I hope I can continue to work at IEHP until retirement!”
Dow, headquartered in Midland, Mich., manufactures a broad range of advanced materials including plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones. The company operates 109 manufacturing sites in 31 countries.
In 2021, Dow found an effective way to adjust company benefits. Utilizing feedback directly from employees, Dow expanded its offerings, adopting a global minimum standard of 16 weeks paid time off for new parents and up to three weeks of paid time-off to care for sick or injured family members. They also launched Dow’s first-ever Volunteer and ERG Participation Policy, which allows Dow employees paid time-off to volunteer in the community and engage in employee resource group (ERG) activities. The company also committed $600,000 over six years to the Dow Promise program, an employee-led initiative to positively impact educational and economic challenges faced by Black youth and adults in communities near Dow sites through competitive grants and nonprofit partnerships.
“This company is a great place to work,” says one employee. “I feel Dow truly cares about its people. I also truly appreciated being able to take my 12-year-old daughter to work with me to show her what we do. It's a great way to inspire young people.”
Roth Staffing is one of the largest privately held staffing companies in the country. To support clients’ growth and evolving needs, six specialized lines of business at the Orange, Calif.-based firm provides temporary, temporary-to-hire, contract, contract-to-hire and direct hire staffing solutions and recruitment services.
Roth recently launched its “Roth Food for Thought” initiative, through which coworkers across the nation volunteer at local food banks in support of Feeding America. Through this initiative, Roth has seen a huge influx of participation, volunteer tracking and coworker engagement, and the company has exceeded its internal goal of 500 volunteer hours by 30 percent. Similarly, based on overwhelming employee response, Roth expanded its Make a Wish involvement in 2022, making three wishes from across the country come true — a trip to Disneyland, a tropical vacation and a marine biology adventure.
“[I appreciate] the way the organization prioritizes giving back to our communities and creating a remarkable experience for everyone,” says a Roth team member. “I have worked for a couple other companies in the industry, and I never knew a company this great really existed!”
Asana helps organizations orchestrate their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company has millions of users in over 200 countries and territories.
Asana recently implemented two cutting-edge tools for the benefit of employees’ well-being. The first, Modern Health, allows Asanas access to tools related to mental heath and self-improvement, including professional support from a dedicated coach or therapist, curated courses, and meditations — plus live community circles. And through Thrive, Asana’s internal mental health community, employees have a safe, stigma-free space to share thoughts, feelings, experiences and resources related to mental well-being. In these ways, Asana is ensuring that team members are bringing their full selves to work, while also being their full selves outside of work, with family and friends.
“We have built and nurtured our culture with the same care and intentionality that we’ve invested in designing our product,” says Asana cofounder and CEO Dustin Moskovitz. “It’s not just about doing the right thing; these efforts are essential to maximizing the longevity and success of our business.”
Teleperformance, based in Salt Lake City, is a global digital business service company that provides a comprehensive, AI-powered service portfolio, including customer care, technical support, debt collection, social media services and trust-and-safety services that help defend both online users and brand reputation.
A charitable spirit is in Teleperformance’s DNA, as evidenced by several long-standing collaborations. Every year since 2017, the company has worked with The Alzheimer’s Association to raise money and awareness, resulting in more than $84,000 in combined contributions. A newer partnership, with the Wounded Warrior Project, resulted in team members donating through payroll contributions. Together, Teleperformance raised $13,117 to support military veterans in need.
“I honestly love working here,” says a Teleperformance employee. “Everyone is like one big family, and we all are about going the extra mile to provide help when needed. It’s an everyday thing.”
Vizient, based in Irving, Tx., is a community of experts, change makers and innovators leading the performance improvement journey for more than half of the nation’s healthcare systems.
In addition to helping healthcare organizations to do their best work, Vizient makes sure its team members are in a position to theirs — a responsibility that involves a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In 2021, Vizient strengthened its organization by increasing women in leadership roles by ten percent and executives of color by 15 percent. The same year, Vizient also expanded their inclusive policies by introducing a company-wide self-identification program and LGBTQ-specific training. They also added LGBTQ-owned businesses to their supplier diversity program, and developed a transgender inclusion policy.
“Vizient is focused on bringing your real self to work,” says a team member. “I have not experienced that anywhere else.”
Protiviti, a global consulting firm headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach and unparalleled collaboration to help leaders confidently face the future. And imbuing its own employees, their families and the larger community with the confidence and support needed to optimize their future is an integral part of their company culture.
As part of its mission to assist women in their pursuit of careers in technology, Protiviti’s GET IT (Gender Equality in Technology and IT) employee network group has formed relationships with related nonprofit organizations, including Girls Who Code and TechGirlz. Recently, three Protiviti GET IT members in the Chicago office hosted a virtual workshop in collaboration with TechGirlz to coach 14 middle school-aged girls on the basics of building a website using Wordpress. After the session, the girls were able to retain access to their websites and continue practice what they learned in the session.
After the event, one of the girls’ parents wrote to the organizers: "I just wanted to thank you so much for hosting such a wonderful workshop, such an inspiration for the girls. My daughter really enjoyed it and is still working on her website even after the class. Look out NASA!”
Robert Half, based in San Ramon, Calif., is the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions firm that connects great businesses with highly skilled job seekers. The company offers contract and permanent placement solutions for finance and accounting, technology, administrative and customer support, legal and marketing and creative roles.
While volunteering in the community is an everyday focus at Robert Half, the company also implements a “Season of Service,” during which hundreds of team members across the country engage in events. In 2021, over 5,000 employees spent 23,000 hours volunteering in their communities, and the company matched $2.3 million in donations to nonprofits. The company is also working on making its Employee Emergency Relief fund global — to continue giving assistance to team members affected by hurricanes, fires, flooding and damage caused by extreme weather shifts.
“When Hurricane Ida displaced me and my family, we were unsure when we could get back to our home and what condition it would be in,” says senior recruiting manager Carrie Lewis. “Robert Half and everyone who contributes to the fund really helped us through those stressful moments.”
Education technology platform Chegg Inc. provides homework help, digital and physical textbook rentals, textbooks, online tutoring and other services. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company prides itself on helping students save time and money — and get smarter.
But Chegg is also passionate about combating food insecurity. In lieu of a holiday gift item for their employees, the company recently donated $150,000 to support on-campus food initiatives through nonprofits. Additionally, in 2021 the Chegg.org Impact Fund — which estimates that up to 26 percent of students have struggled to afford food in the previous 12 months — donated $200,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley, as part of their ongoing effort to support people experiencing hunger in their communities.
Says one team member: “Feeling cared for by Chegg inspires me to bring my A-game to work!”
Ryan, a corporate tax advisory firm based in Dallas, aims to liberate clients from the burden of being overtaxed, freeing their capital to invest, grow and thrive.
A significant part of fostering employees’ well-being is encouraging and facilitating community giving. A favorite Ryan mantra: “Generosity Matters: I share success with colleagues, clients and the community." To that end, Ryan actively promotes its progressive Community Service policy, which provides employees 16 hours per year of paid volunteer time for firm-sponsored community outreach. Also, The Ryan Foundation matches 100 percent of employee donations raised through designated fundraising days, payroll deduction and other charitable activities.
“The culture here is authentic and welcoming,” says one team member. “It is so very important to feel like you belong at work, as it creates a space for growth, improvement and ultimate success.”
Panda Restaurant Group, headquartered in Rosemead, Calif., is a family-owned and family-inspired restaurant company with more than 44,000 associates and more than 2,200 restaurants nationwide. The company has a self-described commitment to becoming a “world leader in people development.” Whether sharing good food with guests or creating opportunities for professional and personal growth for associates, Panda embraces all in a genuine family environment.
Panda Cares, the philanthropic arm of Panda Restaurant Group, is committed to serving the communities in which Panda Express operates by providing food, funding and volunteer services to underserved youth. Panda Cares also supports relief efforts during times of disaster, serving meals to first responders and their families. Finally, Panda’s yearly Associate Giving Campaign allows associates to donate a portion of their checks to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital — an effort that has resulted in more than $570,000 in total donations.
“These people are my family,” says a team member. “This is what Panda is about. Putting people first really shows.”
NewYork-Presbyterian is a world-class academic medical center committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. Based in New York City, it is one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive hospitals, and a leading provider of inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the hospital launched the Northern Manhattan Recovery Fund, which led to the distribution of $5.3 million in emergency funding to 600 local businesses and community-based organizations. Working in collaboration with community leaders and with administrative support from the Hispanic Federation, the Fund disbursed grants of up to $25,000 to help businesses recover from the economic losses they incurred during the pandemic. Since 2021, the Fund has pivoted to long-term recovery efforts and resilience projects, like promoting vaccine and booster efforts, bolstering arts and culture, expanding community mental health supports and fostering youth-focused programming.
“To say this facility is a great place to work is really an understatement,” says a team member. “I started here in my 20s as a single mother of two little boys. I didn't know if I was coming or going at the time. NYP nurtured me like a plant from the ground and watered me into becoming the woman I am today.”
Berkeley Heights, N.J.-based Summit Health helps patients with all their primary and specialty care needs, working to deliver care that allows patients to make the right choices and stay ahead of any issues.
And Summit Health takes pride in how they empower their people. Their rewards and Recognition programs make it easy for managers to recognize staff for jobs well done. Through a web-based platform, managers can send e-cards, reward team members with points redeemable for prizes and even acknowledge above-and-beyond performance with monetary rewards of up to $1,500. In addition, Summit Health makes it possible for team members to take a day off each year to do volunteer work with the company’s philanthropic foundation on a variety of community-based projects.
Says one Summit Health team member: “The unique thing [about] this company is that, once you let your voice be heard, they really listen, and they stand by you until you feel comfortable with the outcome. They really show they care.”
One of Florida's most comprehensive private, not-for-profit healthcare networks, Orlando Health is comprised of ten award-winning hospitals, nine hospital-based- and seven freestanding ERs; rehabilitation services, cancer and heart institutes, imaging and laboratory services and much more.
The care shown to more than 160,000 inpatients and 3.6 million outpatients per year is only matched by the appreciation Orlando Health shows to its 23,000+ team members. The company’s “Your Best Place to Work” committee has even taken to feeding as many employees as it can, packaging grab-and-go meals at every Orlando Health cafeteria. The organization has now begun introducing family-style meals at its hospital locations. To deliver even more options, the committee is partnering with local vendors for Food Truck Fridays.
Needless to say, response has been enthusiastic. “This is a fabulous idea, and I love the creativity and innovation!” wrote one staffer. “Thank you! This really does take some weight off our shoulders,” said another.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.