Top 100 winner Embark makes employees feel empowered to excel
NO. 1 MIDSIZE COMPANY
SPECIAL AWARD: Best managers
Business advisory firm based in Dallas with two local offices and 172 D-FW workers
At the end of last year, Paul Allen, chief vision officer and de facto CEO of Embark, offered employees $10,000 to quit if they weren’t on board with the direction of the rapidly growing accounting company.
Only four took the money and ran.
Dallas market president Jason Larkin says his management style is to “care for each individual that I interact with on a personal and professional level.”
His employees say Larkin and the managers he’s put in place are doing a great job at that.
“I am given big problems to solve and the runway to try to solve them,” said one employee. “I get support when I need help and the freedom to fail. For being so young in my career, I have a great deal of responsibility and I love it!”
Expressions like this are why Embark is also our special award winner for best managers.
Staffers gave their bosses the highest score among all Top 100 competitors when it came to the statements: My manager helps me learn and grow and My manager cares about my concerns.
“They meet with me on at least a monthly basis and are open to my thoughts, feelings, ideas and aspirations,” was one worker’s response.
Embark operates on a hybrid model that meshes remote and in-office work.
“If we empower teams and individuals with the flexibility and autonomy to deliver their best work while also emphasizing the importance of building relationships and strengthening our connective organizational tissue, everyone wins,” Larkin said. “That’s our simple yet proven formula for continued success.”
Once a month, Embark randomly picks four employees and pays for them to get to know each other better at a restaurant of their choosing.
“In addition to team happy hours, internal lunch and learns, and intramural sports, our directors of fun also coordinate monthly outings (pickleball tournaments, State Fair, renting a boat on the lake, etc.) to strengthen our organizational connectivity,” Larkin said. “None of this is necessarily new, but we continue to explore new and better ways to emphasize interactions across different people, preferences and environments.”
Gotta love a company that has a “director of fun.”
And its employees do.
“Each person is allowed to bring their whole self to work each day. We are encouraged to take ownership of our own paths and to promote the work/life balance we each desire.”
“I have the flexibility necessary post-COVID to maintain work/life balance, and the benefits/pay is unbeatable. I have the opportunity to learn and be exposed to a wide array of areas within accounting and because of that, I don’t feel stuck. I feel valued.”
“I am trusted. I have autonomy. I can improve. The culture is fun and positive.”
“Embark is flexible in allowing me to work with multiple practices and get a diverse range of experience. I’m allowed to manage my own schedule/life. Calls are only scheduled if they are going to be efficient and purposeful.”
NOTE: This story was changed on Thursday to reflect that Paul Allen is chief vision officer and Jason Larkin is Dallas market president. Allen is the one who offered workers $10,000 to quit.
To read the original article from from the Dallas Morning News, click here.