Best Places to Work 2014: Zernco

Small category finalist
Wichita Business Journal – December 11, 2014

Besides normal pay and benefits what other types of rewards are used to recognize employees? 1. An open door policy is maintained among our executive team. Any employee at any time is welcome to share good news or voice concerns without fear of reprisal. 2. Zernco invests in its employees by offering tangible incentives. For instance, Zernco has purchased Carhartt jackets and offered work boot vouchers to our field employees. Embroidered shirts and caps have been given throughout the company. Each year Zernco plans a company-wide campout to include employees and their families at a campground in northeast Kansas. At Christmas employees and their significant others are guests of the company for a banquet, an evening of entertainment and a night in a fine Wichita hotel.

What is your company’s most popular perk? There are many incentives and perks offered to our Zernco family. However, when we have surveyed our staff, not one person mentioned the tangible rewards that come with working for our company. In various ways each person says that they value the family atmosphere — knowing that they are recognized and valued as individuals that makes employment at Zernco so satisfying. We believe it is this one intangible that makes us unique and enables us to retain quality team members.

How do you communicate with employees? We keep our Zernco family informed through a monthly printed newsletter which focuses on current projects, administrative details, important family matters, etc. This newsletter is also posted on our interactive website at www.zernco.com. We have an employee portal on our website dedicated solely to keeping our employees informed. Daily reports are filed through this site, administrative forms are available, safety information is distributed and email blasts are routinely published. Our field employees (who are located throughout the U.S. on various job sites) are equipped with IPads and IPhones so that daily interaction between employees in the field and office happens with ease.

What information do you share with employees? We strongly believe in transparency and give and receive open, honest feedback on questions and concerns. No subject is off-limits within the boundaries mandated by law.

What health insurance coverage does your company provide? We offer health and dental insurance through Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The company pays for 25 percent of the insurance premiums. We also provide life insurance policies on all our employees for which the company pays 100 percent of the premium.

When employees talk about your company, what do they brag about? Over and over we hear about the family atmosphere, the genuine caring that comes along with working for a company that knows you and your family by name. Additionally, our employees are proud of the professional work they do and happily share their talents and knowledge with others.

What makes your company the best place to work? The people. A president who is passionate about her work force and helping them grow into the best individuals they can be. A collaborative environment where all voices are heard. A strong work ethic and belief that profitability will naturally follow when personal values are upheld.

How do you help employees reach a healthy work/life balance? Our industry is very deadline-driven and often requires our employees to be away from their families. Every effort is made to allow our employees time to travel home on a regular basis. “Family first” is our philosophy and we are happy to work with employees when emergencies and special situations arise. We hold a minimum of two events throughout each year that include family members so that we can support the employee as well as their families when work requires travel. We communicate health and wellness information and encouragement to live a healthy and balanced life.

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