March has been an exciting month at Plante Moran. The firm recently found out that it’s been named to FORTUNE magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the 18th consecutive year. The list, which appeared in the March 15 issue of FORTUNE Magazine, ranks Plante Moran #33 — the highest ranked accounting firm on the list.
Making this list is no small feat, and being a longtime resident doesn’t guarantee us a spot. The entire process takes close to a year and starts with completing a lengthy culture audit where we give detailed explanations and examples of the inner workings of our firm. This comprises one-third of our total score. The other two-thirds comes from an anonymous staff survey conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute and sent to about 65 percent of our staff; this questionnaire is one of the most extensive staff surveys in corporate America.
The pace of business moves so quickly nowadays that it takes intentionality to step back and say, “Wow. Look at what we just accomplished.”
As you can see, a lot goes into applying for the “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, so when we are selected, we celebrate big! In addition to staff gifts, congratulatory emails, banners, social media posts, and an incredible video developed by our talented graphics team, we celebrate our good fortune with contests and prizes. This has proven to be a great way to involve all 2,000+ staff members from our 22 offices.
This year, since it was our 18th year on the list, we introduced a digital FORTUNE yearbook on Yammer, our internal social media site. Why a yearbook? Well, if the FORTUNE list were alive (with all of the companies moving onto and off of it each year, it often feels alive), it would be graduating high school now and on its way to college. I kicked off the fun by sharing my own high school yearbook photo. Take a look at that tie!
Staff were invited to share their own high school yearbook photos or candid “class” photos of their teams. In addition, they can add a 100-word-or-less signature to the yearbook. Signatures can be general or focus on something specific, like work-life balance, personal growth, career advice, or a tribute to another PMer. All told, we’ll be giving out $7,000 in prizes — and who wouldn’t be excited about that?
I’m sharing this because I think celebrating accomplishments with staff is so critical. The pace of business moves so quickly nowadays that it takes intentionality to step back and say, “Wow. Look at what we just accomplished.” Whether it’s a sign on a team member’s door after winning an engagement, lunch out to celebrate a team accomplishment, or a simple verbal acknowledgement of a job well done, celebration and appreciation are important aspects of any great culture. And if your staff gets the added bonus of seeing you in a ‘70s tie with a questionable hairdo, all the better.
So what about you? How do you celebrate success with your team? I’d love to hear your ideas.