PEOPLE's list of 8 companies supporting families

By Hilary Shenfeld
March 29, 2017 08:30 AM
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Can a company do well and do good? The 50 firms on PEOPLE’s first annual Companies That Care list do just that. In partnership with the research firm Great Place to Work, we surveyed workers at nearly 1,000 companies across the U.S. With charitable giving, community outreach and some very creative perks, these firms prove you can make a profit and make the world a better place.

The following is a list of 8 companies supporting families.

Ultimate Software: Holiday Party for disadvantaged in community
Ultimate Software employees at a holiday party for children in need in their community.
| Credit: Ultimate Software

Ultimate Software, a cloud-based human capital management solutions company, wants to make sure it’s providing its best to its customers and that philosophy extends to its employees too.

“Caring about people is central to our core philosophy,” says Chief People Officer Vivian Maza. “Our tagline is even ‘People First,’ and our people feel the love every day. Ask anyone at Ultimate Software. We are family, and we extend the love to our local communities. Our CEO always tells us, ‘Do the right thing,’ and that’s what guides us.”

Employees rave about their workplace’s family atmosphere that fosters a sense of caring and compassion.

One especially popular perk for workers is the company’s grant of $300 per child up to 12th grade to use for anything extracurricular. “Sports, art class, dance, piano lessons, gymnastics, our choice,” one Ultimate staffer says. “It’s an amazing bonus!! One that my kids and I are thankful to utilize. I know that I am valued and appreciated.”

Alston & Bird - Community Service Project
Alston & Bird employees take part in a community service project.
| Credit: Alston & Bird

Alston & Bird, a national law firm with core practice areas in intellectual property, complex litigation, corporate and tax, prides itself on its warm and caring atmosphere that is evident through its extensive support and flexibility for families and the community.

The firm offers a wide array of benefits including help toward family planning, adult/eldercare caregiving, childcare and community service.

One favorite is the Family Volunteer Day, an annual event for the entire family focusing on such areas as the civil rights movement, homelessness and disabilities. Participants learn about a subject through a storytelling experience and then work on a variety of related projects.

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Kimpton employees participate in a Pride parade.
| Credit: Kimpton

Kimpton Hotels, which operates 61 boutique hotels and 81 chef-driven restaurants, lounges and bars in 33 U.S. cities, fosters such a warm workplace culture it’s described as the “Kimpton Love Bubble.”

Among the perks is the Pet Relations program, in which staffers are encouraged to bring their pet to work, offered pet insurance, access to the Director of Pet Relations and paid time off to grieve the loss of a pet. The chain is also known for its special efforts to welcome LGBT guests and partners with The Trevor Project, a 24-hour toll-free suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth. “From our early days with Bill Kimpton at the helm to today, we embrace the LGBT community as an integral part of our family,” says Kimpton CEO Mike DeFrino. “This ranged from being one of the first companies to include transgender-inclusive, employee health plans to rallying around specific causes, including programs that fostered HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention during the eighties.”

The latter hit especially close to home, directly impacting our employees. Bill personally funded flights and rooms to get family members out to their loved ones’ sides. In recent years, we’re honored to support The Trevor Project… They share our beliefs that diversity of thoughts, beliefs, backgrounds, gender and sexual orientation truly make our communities stronger and our businesses better for it.”

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Ernst & Young volunteers help underserved students gain access to college and succeed in tomorrow’s workforce.
| Credit: EY

EY, the professional services firm providing tax and financial advisory services, takes pride in its commitment to families.

Among its offerings is up to 16 paid weeks of leave for a birth mother, father, or adoptive/foster parent serving as primary caregiver. EY also offers coaching and resources to new parents headed back to work. Employees can work anywhere at any time that lets them find work-life balance

During busy tax seasons, EY provides free back-up childcare and eldercare and also waives the standard co-pays for care centers and in-home care.

Even employees trying to start a family get help from EY, which covers up to $25,000 for fertility treatments, freezing eggs (or sperm) and in-vitro fertilization and up to $25,000 in adoption fees.

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Colleagues across Roche Diagnostics come together for a day of hard work and fun in the sun to make improvements to parks and schools in Indianapolis.
| Credit: Roche

Roche Diagnostics, which provides testing solutions, is a serious business that still knows how to have fun.

One way is via its Camp Roche. Through a partnership with the YMCA, employees’ children ages 5 through 12 enjoy summertime activities. On Fridays, parents can join their kids for a picnic in the park or a quick game of kickball or basketball before heading back to the office.

“The kids are taken swimming three times a week, an off-site field trip once a week, and plenty of other activities,” one worker said. “My kids love it and I love knowing that they are having fun, making friends, and enjoying their summer.”

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Allianz President and CEO Walter White (left) is joined by three employees participating in a yard clean-up for senior community services.
| Credit: Allianz

Allianz Life, which offers annuities and life insurance products, provides peace of mind to its customers as well as its employees.

One way is through the Employee Critical Need Fund, which provides monetary support in crisis. The company offers 20 days paid leave and matches employee contributions 1 to 1. “I have two elderly parents ages 92 and 88,” one worker said. “When both of them developed significant health issues and my dad went on hospice for brain cancer, I needed to be there for them. And Allianz Life was there for me.”

The company also offers a free service to address future financial planning for special-needs kids.

Acuity Insurance
Acuity offers many ways for employees to recharge during the day, including Ping-Pong tables that are always in use.
| Credit: Acuity Insurance

Acuity, a property and casualty insurer, likes to treat its staffers well, and that extends to their families as well.

Among the ways the company shows it cares is through the Acuity Scholarship Program, which has awarded almost $370,000 in scholarships to sons and daughters of employees. In 2016, eleven scholarships were awarded starting at $1,000.

“This company truly cares about not just the employee, but the employee’s family,” one working mom said.

Another worker noted, “One of the best things about ACUITY is how much it gives back to the employees.”

Bairdsent in by "Foster, Marianne"
Baird associates work in the foothills outside Boulder, Colorado, to assist Jeffco Open Space Park and Trails during Baird Gives Back Week.
| Credit: Baird

Baird, an international financial services firm providing wealth management, capital markets, asset management and private equity services, doesn’t leave its fathers out of the equation.

The paternity leave policy imposes a “no-fly restriction” so dads don’t travel more than two hours by car from their home for 30 days before the due date. For the first week after baby arrives, bankers are expected to be offline completely (no checking email, no work phone calls, etc.) and during the second week, they also are off, but may check in.

“Being able to spend the first four weeks of my child’s life by his side was invaluable,” one new father said.