BEST SMALL AGENCY TO WORK FOR: WARSCHAWSKI
David Warschawski describes his Baltimore-based firm as a “vision oriented organization,” and that’s a theme that’s echoed throughout any discussion of the firm’s workplace environment. Each new employee attends a seminar to learn how a vision-oriented organization functions and the role vision plays in the firm’s day-to-day operations. And people are encouraged to learn how they can apply vision orientation in their personal lives.
It also colors every aspect of the firm’s culture, starting with the recruitment process: Warschawski focuses first “on the type of person we are hiring, then on a specific skill set or specific industry experience,” says senior vice president Shana Harris. “We believe specific skills can be taught and learned quickly by great people, but great personalities cannot be taught. We look for candidates who have a fire in the belly, people who are looking for more than a job. We want candidates who are passionate and who will bring that passion and excitement to their work. We look for candidates who have an entrepreneurial spirit and are hungry to learn and grow.”
There’s a unique emphasis on work-life balance, tailored to individual needs. Says Harris: “We do not believe that everyone has or wants the same ‘work/life balance’ equation. Therefore, we believe the company should not set or mandate each team member’s proper work/life balance by instituting company-wide policies. Rather, we believe each team member should determine the work/life balance that makes them happiest. We believe in the philosophy of freedom and responsibility. As a company, we then do everything we can to support that team member’s individually optimal work/life balance approach.”
Last but not least, there’s a strong emphasis on advancement. Over the past year, despite the difficult economic environment, all Warschawski team members (excluding the most senior management level) were promoted and/or received a significant raise at least once.
“The camaraderie of the team and the way management keeps the entire team fresh,” says one respondent to the survey. “It's pretty awesome when your relationship with colleagues can extend beyond the office and into the friendship realm. Makes it much easier to work and bounce ideas off each other, opening the door for the best work to happen.” Adds another: “We love to have a great time and do great work. We don't see them as two separate concepts. We have a fantastic team of very talented folks that make sure we are creating outstanding results for our clients and at the same time we all create ways to make Warschawski a really fun place to work.”