At Great Place to Work® our focus is on measuring trust in the workplace, and the quality of the employee experience, so when we have the pleasure of working with organizations that demonstrate high levels of alignment between their mission, vision, and employee experience we call them out. Parkbench is just that, an organization that lives its brand.
Community minded always, Parkbench like others, has had to navigate through unprecedented circumstances, with thoughtfulness and agility. What is interesting here, is that Parkbench has proven new opportunities present themselves daily, when culture is open to change. For them, this has been a time of breakthroughs, innovation and growth. And even this may be an understatement considering in the last 12 months the organization grew from 15 to now 85 people.
Teamwork makes the Dream Work
For many, the concept of where work gets done continues to be a topic of discussion. However, Parkbench, we discovered, is well ahead of the curve, thriving with colleagues that work across the globe and all manage to not only do their job, but more importantly contribute to their community wholeheartedly as part of the Parkbench team.
After 30+ years of researching great workplaces we know that you don’t build exceptional environments overnight. Great organizations build successful cultures by aligning the values and mission which they live everyday consistently. The founders of Parkbench took the lead in the work-from-home trend in 2019, capitalized on it in 2020, and enabled their team to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy a thriving remote business model, which is integral to their team culture.
For 2021 and beyond, predictions we have for the future of this organization are easy to make. We predict success both in culture and their business bottom line. Why this prediction? When you get to know this team, the answer is clear. Vitally important to success is a strong business model and a team that is ready to execute effectively. Parkbench seems to have both these in spades! In fact, 100% of surveyed employees agree remote work is valued, a ‘family or team feeling’ is pervasive and ‘people care about each other’.
Set to hire more great talent this year and with a team that thrives on giving their best, proven by 90% of employees agreeing with the statement “my work has special meaning: this is not “just a job”, Parkbench is poised for success. The staying-power is clear with 97% of current employees expressing that they wanted to ‘work there for a long time’. Culture fit has been key; having great talent that not only loves the opportunity to work from home, but actually thrives in an entrepreneurial environment.
All good to say Parkbench hires for culture fit, and while critical to success, it doesn’t tell the full story of the great experience. Key here is to also recognize the investment Parkbench makes in its people. To understand this, you have to understand co-founder, Amanda Newman’s growth mindset. “this is all about investing in people, when there is a well functioning collaboration, where everyone is included in the decision-making process, the potential to succeed is imminent”.
The Great Place to Work® research team took the time to understand, if the confidentially collected data from the internationally recognized Trust Index® survey, bears out the commitment Parkbench claims to have, and here’s what we found:
100% of employees agree ‘I am offered training or development to further myself professionally.’
93% agree with the statement ‘I am given the resources and equipment to do my job’.
100% of employees revealed that they ‘admire their leadership and say that the company is a great place to work’.
Leader of the Pack
Newman’s key perspective, when asked about business growth sheds light on their focus, “growth is no longer wondering if you know which path to follow, it is merely how proficient you can be in executing whichever path you choose.”
Doubling down on an inclusive culture is where Parkbench shows proficiency. Newman’s approach “Listen to your employees – listen attentively – with interest, respect, and an unassuming nature, so that together, you can elevate.” Creating an inclusive structure has left room for no grey areas and one that has also become a valued part of the local community.
93% of team members feel Parkbench management ‘involves people in decisions that affect their jobs and work environment.’
Now Newman is thinking even bigger “for every company that wants to take care of its culture, you want to create the best possible employee experience” She says, “We’ve grown exponentially during a pandemic, hiring over 60 new team members and we have no intention to stop there”.
The approach is focused for Newman, “Don’t mention what you can’t do, start talking about what you can do!”
Always Keep the Bigger Picture in Mind
As all Great Place to Work® Certified organizations can attest to cultural shifts and transformation in ways of doing business comes with many bumps along the way, but the payoff can be exponential. Parkbench has certainly had challenges, but the team’s growth mindset built an infrastructure enabling the company to thrive. Essentially, opting to focus on their unique path which has made them agile and strong.
What we can learn from this is, dealing with challenges openly and intentionally building an exceptional employee experience allows teams to leverage opportunities as they present themselves is critical. While most of us are going through one of the hardest transition periods in our lifetime, Parkbench has laid the foundation for lasting success. Perhaps looking at the big picture the Parkbench model and approach to enabling each person to give their personal best may be key to shaping the future success of this industry, after all Parkbench has been named one of the 2021 Best Workplaces in Canada.
About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work® is the Global Authority on Workplace Culture. We make it easy to survey your employees, uncover actionable insights and get recognized for your great company culture. Learn more about Great Place to Work Certification.