We are excited and honored to be a part of the class of 2020 Best Places to Work (BPTW), placing #12 in the ‘Medium Companies’ category! Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) made the announcement in August, revealing 50 companies in the Triangle who earned the coveted award. Southern Energy Management is proud to be back on the list after last earning this award in 2018.
Each year TBJ opens the floor to nominations for one of the most sought after business awards in the Triangle. Winners are chosen based on an employee-survey process conducted by Quantum Workplace. Once nominated, a company must meet a threshold in employee participation – a percentage that varies based upon the size of the company – to be eligible to be honored.
As a local business and B-Corp, this award means a lot to us. Receiving this award means that we are meeting our team’s expectations and creating an environment where team members are excited to take part in our mission to use business as a force for good for people and the planet.
Here’s what we answered when asked by Triangle Business Journal, check out our full profile in their award announcement here.
List the major accomplishments at your workplace that propelled your company to being one of the Best Places to Work in 2020. Strong engagement with all team members including open town halls and regular communications for policies and questions.
What method do you undertake to raise employee morale? As a certified B Corporation, we value our team members, as well as our community and our environment while also working to make a profit. We encourage small team-building events among our business channels and reach out to our team members to determine what needs they may have. We sent out care packages with personal messages from the owners of the company to all of our field team acknowledging the important role they play.
Name a unique benefit or perk you are offering employees this year. SEM YOUniversity is open to all team members for personal and professional development. The ability to work from home and flexible scheduling allows us to be successful and productive around the schedule that works best for each team member. We recognized the fact that many people cannot afford a small emergency (car repair, etc.) and partnered with a local financial service to provide no credit check loans that are affordable.
What’s a unique workplace feature or space that you offer employees? We replaced our water fountain with a water bottle filling station and have kept almost 21,000 plastic water bottles out of the waste cycle. We use Terracycle to recycle food wrappers. We installed solar on the top of our building to generate renewable energy.
What will you do to raise your scores even higher next year? We continue to work toward expansion of benefits, including dependent child care benefit coverage, as well as coverage unique to the pandemic. We listened to our team members concerns and issues and have adopted Environmental Justice as the cause that we, as a company, are working on. To that end, we have identified four uniques that we will be focusing on to make that successful – including hiring, community partnerships, educational outreach, and volunteering opportunities.
Tell us how the company is adjusting to Covid-19 protocols and challenges. When Gov. Roy Cooper announced the initial shutdown in March, we worked to make sure all team members that could work remotely had the systems and the equipment that they needed. We increased access to computer systems for remote access, and adopted flexible work scheduling that worked best for the team member. We made sure every team member had face masks, sanitizer and staggered work schedules. We continue to allow team members to work remotely.
What new strategies has the company put into place to make it a better place to work during these “new normal” times? We worked with our insurance carrier to waive waiting periods for new team members (and members that had not opted for insurance coverage during our open enrollment period) to allow for more access to health insurance. We allowed team members to use PTO time (even to go into a negative balance) if necessary to make up for missed work time. We set up a Slack channel for parents on our team to share resources, tips and concerns.
Congratulations to all the BPTW award winners and a big thank you to our team for making this achievement possible!