The PepperCom Workplace: Work Hard, Play Hard
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Holmes Report
CEO

The PepperCom Workplace: Work Hard, Play Hard

The HR program was designed with input from the staff resulting in a truly unique package that is an eye opener for new recruits as well as seasoned veterans.

Paul Holmes

  PepperCom is a high-energy PR firm where our staff is rewarded for their dedication, performance and continued commitment to quality.  The 60-plus professionals are entitled to an impressive benefits package and are recipients of some unconventional incentives as well. The HR program was designed with input from the staff resulting in a truly unique package that is an eye opener for new recruits as well as seasoned veterans. Here's  a look  at PepperCom 's workplace initiatives.
 
Detailed HR Program:
 
  • 401K Plan - company match (6%) and end-of-year Profit Sharing contributions
  • Major medical insurance – Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Does not require Primary Care  Physician.  In-network or out-of-network.  Includes annual vision care.  Company pays 85% of premium.
  • Life insurance – company pays 100% of premium.  Coverage equals annual salary.
  • Dental insurance – Guardian.  In-network or out-of-network coverage. Company pays 60% of premium.
  • Prescription plan – Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  Company pays $30 for prescriptions on the Blue Cross list, $20 for prescriptions not on the list, and $10 towards generic brand
  • prescriptions.
  • Paid maternity leave – 100% company paid maternity leave, in addition to accumulated sick leave.
  • Long-term disability – company does not pay any of  the premium in order to maximize benefits. Pays at 60% of salary to age 65.
  • Paid vacation – two weeks paid vacation within the first year of employment, increasing to three weeks after three years-of-service.
  • On their third-year-anniversary, each employee is entitled to $2,500 towards their vacation.
 
   …And the extras:
  • Subsidized health club memberships with New York Sports Club
  • Bonuses – awarded to staff annually
  • Stocked refrigerator and kitchen          
  • Transit checks – everyone receives a $30 transit check each month
  • Green mountain coffee maker
  • Casual dress code
  • Ticket raffles monthly – theatre, sporting events, etc.
  • Flu shots offered
  • Monthly massages by a professional masseuse
  • Blood pressure testing
  • Free checking w/Citibank
  • Game room being added;  foosball table, dart board, boom box, etc.
     
EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
 
  • For all new hires, the first day at PepperCom is set aside for orientation.
  • Meeting with HR Director to go over all benefits, payroll forms, etc.
  • PepperCom Overview; introduction to staff, agency culture and general office procedures.  
  • Meeting with Office Services to review use of phones, ordering supplies, etc.
  • Meeting with practice leaders and introduction to team and clients.
 
UNIQUE INITIATIVES:
 
PepperCom State University:  Proprietary management development program (details below).
Softball team:  PepperCom’s crack softball team was created and managed by employees.  In its inaugural season, the PepperCom squad finished 5-6 and barely missed making the playoffs.
 
Fun committee:  Employee managed, the fun-committee operates with an annual  budget and plans events for the staff; theme parties, outings, etc.
          
PEPPERCOM STATE UNIVERSITY:
 
Unique among agencies of it's size, PepperCom has it's own proprietary management development program also called PepperCom State University.  In addition to training our employees in the basic PR skills like writing and media relations, PepperCom State goes far beyond traditional approaches to include in-depth day long seminars on agency specialties such as: positioning, partnership development, media training, etc.
 
PepperCom State programs also reinforce the agency's focus on delighting clients in four key areas: 
  • Strategy
  • Creativity
  • Responsiveness
  • Execution
 
      Workshops:
Media Training
Teaches employees how to counsel clients on delivering messages, as well as  the do's & don'ts while working with the media.
Positioning
Employees are counseled how to position clients in an evolving market, partner them with like-minded organizations and produce bottom-line results.
TM
Stress Management – Staying on Course

Workshop on  how to effectively manage one's own personal job demands and handle situations outside the office.
               Writing
Workshop to help fine-tune writing skills; press releases, fact sheets, media alerts, pitch letters, etc.
Managing for High Performance
Teaches management how to assess company and client situations, set realistic goals and develop action plans.
Rapport Building
Workshop concentrates on enhancing internal and external communication skills.
Time Management
Help employees better manage their personal and business schedules.
Strategy, Creativity, Responsiveness & Execution
We've created specialized sessions that teach our definition of strategy, creativity, responsiveness and execution.
 
Brainstorming
Teaches the nuances of a proper idea generating session by encouraging employees to tap into their own creativity.
 
STRATEGY CONSULTANT:
 
The agency retains an outside strategy consultant, Dr. Richard Harte, who talks to clients every quarter and ask them to evaluate us.  These client report cards enable PepperCom to anticipate clients' needs and capture "best-in-class" approaches that can be implemented across the board on all accounts.
 
In conclusion, we believe PepperCom's workplace initiatives are both best-in-class and reflective of our unique approach to public relations.
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