sponsored by BDA
This article is part of a series focusing on select companies who placed among WA's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2017, as determined by employee surveys that measure their perceptions and satisfaction across 61 individual attributes within 10 employment categories.
In any large company, maintaining first-name basis with all of your employees is a feat, but it's something the founders of Bensussen Deutsch & Associates, LLC. (BDA) make a point of attempting every day. This spring, that effort was recognized in an employee survey evaluating internal perception and satisfaction in BDA’s Woodinville office, earning the company a slot on the list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in Washington.
Work Hard. Play Hard.
The promotional marketing and branded merchandise provider just entered its 33rd year of business, and has spent that time making its office culture something to brag about.
“BDA goes out of its way to provide a fun work environment and culture for its employees,” shared one employee. “The culture here is one where everyone gets along very well and keeps life-long friendships. We have Beer Fridays, co-sponsored food trucks, a huge holiday party, kids day, BDA Olympics, a summer picnic, bi-monthly company meetings, department outings, and a huge volunteer day where everyone volunteers in the community.”
Employees applauded their company for taking the time to care for and appreciate them through more than just yearly bonuses, creating opportunities for teams to connect and refuel through office events and activities.
In January of this year, BDA became the exclusive Premium Merchandise Supplier for the Boston Red Sox, signing the team for three years, which only adds to the impressive list of BDA clients. “We get the chance to work with tons of sports teams, leagues, and Fortune 500 companies while still maintaining a relaxed and fun company culture. We have a true 'work hard, play hard' attitude that can be seen from the top down,” explained another employee.
“What initially drew me to BDA was its commitment to helping and improving the local community with its charity work, such as the Day of Difference,” mentioned one employee. On Day of Difference, the entire company takes the day off work to volunteer in the community.
Another employee expressed their enthusiasm for the company culture, saying, “I have been with BDA for 19 years. Why? I love the people from the top to bottom and back to the top. We have a unique culture that is impossible to find in any other work environment and rare to find in family households. The demand is intense and I thrive on that.”
A Family Culture
A “tight-knit” group requires people who can knit the group tightly—and BDA has plenty of them.
“There is care and empathy for each other here and an ability to step in and assist other co-workers to get the job done," explained one employee. "This is fostered by our family culture to have each other's backs. We work really hard, but develop strong personal working relationships from it.”
“We are constantly encouraged and challenged, not only from our direct superiors, but the superiors even above them,” remarked another employee. “If there are any issues, whether it be related to client, or project, or personal, we are encouraged to talk about it and resolve it. I have never had a problem that I didn't have some kind of outlet to go to.”
“Everyone is so positive and very uplifting towards one another—that is a rare thing in a sales environment and something to be rewarded,” noted another employee.
Many employees were grateful for their relationships both with their co-workers and their superiors. “From the day I started as a temp to now as an official employee, there has never been any discrimination in how employees are treated. Everyone is made to feel welcome and encouraged to be part of the team,” explained an employee. “My colleagues are like my family, and that's what has made working for BDA really stand out to me.”
“The atmosphere breeds success, everyone is ready to help regardless of how busy they are. I have relationships with people in every department and it is not a small operation,” shared another. “Teamwork is key to what we do and we do it very well.”
BDA opened another office in the Philippines this past March, adding to their international presence in Canada, China, and the UK and giving employees an opportunity to offer their services to a new region.
BDA employees could not say enough about the company's leadership, praising their involvement and enthusiasm for the business.
“Jay and Eric, the founders and owners of BDA, are here in Woodinville, on sight most of the time,” mentioned one employee. “If they see you in the hall, they always take the time to say ‘hi’, give you a hug, and ask how you are doing. They both have a strong passion for the business and their BDA employee family.”
“The owners of our company make us feel empowered and special," stated another employee, who added "I have never worked for a company where the owners know all 500+ people’s names and faces."
Numerous employees praised the ongoing efforts of the company founders/owners, and the pervasiveness of their values throughout the organization.
“Our entire organization is a reflection of the owners who started the company as teenagers in 1984,” explained one employee. “Their passion, dedication, creativity, professionalism and love for work and play can be seen in each employee—making BDA an entertaining place to be, as well as a great place to develop your career and enhance your skills.”
“The President is always available to chat, even about non-work related topics," remarked another. "He gets out there and wants to know what is going on."
Employees also praised the flexibility their executives provide by honoring and cultivating work-life balance.
“The flexible working hours and a great manager has made this the best working environment I've ever worked in," noted an employee.
This enthusiasm is widely shared, and summed up best by one employee who said, “It's hard not to love my job. This is my last stop. I hope to be here until the day I retire.”