After reading last week’s blog and learning some of the ‘out-of-the-box’ perks that companies use to retain employees, I thought it would be interesting to look at how the perks and benefits at FMP have evolved to attract and retain employees. Specifically, I wanted to learn more about what we’ve done in the past, what we’re presently doing to retain our great workforce, and what FMP’s future plans are to retain employees for years to come. And, I figured, there aren’t many people who could have a better perspective of this than one of FMP’s most veteran Managing Consultants, Dr. Bryanne Reynolds!
Bryanne joined the FMP family back in June of 2006, and recently shared with me (and now you!) her perspective of what FMP has done, and is doing, that has kept her with the company for the last 13 years, as well as what motivates her to stay with the FMP family in the future.
How FMP attracted and retained employees in 2006…
You joined FMP after leaving another company in 2006. What aspects about FMP attracted you to the company 13 years ago?
“I was most attracted to FMP because it was a small, results-oriented company that didn’t have, or make, rules just to have rules. My other company was very structured, and you were expected to be at your desk from 8am – 6pm each day, regardless of whether you had work to do. FMP treated employees like adults and didn’t focus on how many hours you worked each day, or where you worked, just as long as clients were happy, and you were getting the work done. I loved that FMP was focused on results and was flexible in where you could work and what hours you worked.”
Were there any unexpected benefits and/or perks about working at FMP that came as a pleasant surprise to you when you first joined the company?
“I don’t know that I realized it right away, but FMP is very entrepreneurial. If you see something that is missing, or something that you want to change, everyone is open to you doing that. I started the Work-Life Effectiveness (WLE) program with a few other people based on my research interests in work-life balance. Working with the Wellness team is still one of my favorite things about my job today!”
In your opinion, what were some of the key milestones that stick out in your mind that FMP did over the next several years that contributed to you staying with the company year after year?
“I think there are essentially three areas that FMP remained committed to practicing and improving on over the years that have gone a long way to retaining not only myself, but other employees.
The first area is transparency. The FMP executives share so much about FMP, how we are doing, what we do well, where we need to improve, and how everyone can contribute to the company’s success. It’s very rare for a company to share that much information with its workforce, and I really value this.
The second area is collaboration. Everyone at FMP works together and genuinely wants everyone (and the company) to succeed!
The last area that FMP has really embraced and has contributed to me staying with the company is something I already mentioned, and that’s flexibility. I had my first child in 2012 and have worked a part-time schedule since then (and also had a second child!). FMP has been so supportive of me keeping a manager position but also keeping a part-time schedule to accommodate my family life and commitments. Life as a consultant is always a balancing act, but I think FMP is fantastic about respecting employees as people and working with each person to ensure that his/her work situation and schedule is beneficial to both FMP and the individual.”
How FMP attracts and retains employees in 2019…
Let’s fast-forward 13 years and talk a little about FMP today, and the strategies that the company is using to retain employees. Some of the elements you mentioned that first attracted you to FMP 13 years ago were autonomy, flexibility, treating employees like adults, and no unnecessary rules. Which of these do you still see reflected in the company today?
“All of them!”
So, would you say that the reasons you left your previous job in 2006 and joined FMP are the same reasons that you are still with the company today?
“Yes, and there are other reasons too. I very much appreciate the feeling of being treated as an adult. But, at this point in my career, I really appreciate the fact that I can influence the types of projects that I work on and I love managing and mentoring employees. For my family situation, I also appreciate the flexibility to take care of my family needs while still having a stimulating career.”
Are there any additional perks, or is there anything different about FMP now that contributes to you staying at the company?
“Moving to our new office space has been a great perk! I also think FMP has a lot more support in place for employees now, including our extensive onboarding program, the FMP-sponsored wellness and charity events, the technology and IT infrastructure, and all of the services that our Internal Operations and Strategy Group provides.”
In your opinion, what perks does FMP offer today to employees that most supports retention?
“I think the flexibility is probably the biggest thing. We are all consultants, and this is not a traditional 9am – 5pm job, so there will be times that work has to be done outside of those hours; however, everyone is an adult and we want everyone to be happy, healthy, and have a life outside of work.”
What FMP is doing to retain employees for the future…
The last question I have is about the future of FMP. In your opinion, what is FMP doing, or what does FMP have plans to do that excites you and makes you want to stay with the company for another 13+ years?
“There are a few different things that immediately come to mind.
From a benefits perspective, FMP is constantly re-evaluating what our package looks like and this is important for all employees. FMP regularly 1) compares the benefits, incentives, and programs we offer our employees to what other companies are offering, 2) solicits feedback and input for our workforce to ensure our benefits packages align with what our workforce wants, needs, and is interested in, and 3) makes adjustments, as needed and able.
Second, something that excites me personally, because of my position in the organization, is that, as part of the management team, I get to be part of figuring out what the future of FMP looks like, which is exciting. But even beyond that, and on a broader spectrum, something that I think is going a long way to retaining our workforce is that everyone at FMP, regardless of level or tenure, can impact the future of FMP by making recommendations and suggestions for how we, as a company, can change and/or what our capabilities and offerings can be.
And finally, FMP plans to continue to grow so that we can have more opportunities for career development for our employees. As we win more work and take on new projects there will be exciting opportunities for everyone to grow and develop in whatever ways people want, and I think that makes everyone, at all levels in the company, energized for what the future has in store for FMP!”
As I take a minute to reflect on my interview with Bryanne, other informal conversations I’ve had with my FMP colleagues, and my own personal reasons for leaving my previous job to join FMP, there seems to be a shared perspective on what makes employees stick around. While each employee has a different story to tell about what brought them to FMP (and what has kept them here), I feel like there are a handful of key elements that emerge and are woven in, to some degree, in each person’s testimony. In no particular order, they are:
FMP is all about Flexibility.
FMP is very Entrepreneurial.
FMP is Open and Transparent.
FMP values Collaboration.
FMP strives to offer opportunities for Career Growth and Professional Development.
And so, let’s bring this full circle. As you recall, this month’s truism is, ‘the grass isn’t always greener on the other side’. While this is undoubtedly the case in a lot of work situations, where people change jobs to join a company that is far better than where they came from (only to find the job and/or company is not all it’s ‘cracked up to be’), for those of us that have pitched our lawn chair on the FMP side of the fence, we feel pretty lucky to have found such a green field! And, my hope is that the same is true for you, whatever job you’re in and whatever company you work for!