Perks are plentiful, but the people are the real draw
Regular companywide meetings host guest speakers from U.S. senators to television personalties and professional hockey players. Everyone gets a free holiday trip to Mexico, where artists Flo Rida, Girl Talk and Snoop Dog have performed beach concerts. The CEO takes new hires out to lunch.
These are among the perks offered at Power Home Remodeling Group, which has grown to be the nation’s second-largest exterior home remodeler, with 1,650 employees and $450 million in revenue projected for this year.
But the reason people love working at this Pennsylvania-based remodeling company goes beyond the lavish perks, co-CEO Asher Raphael said.
“If you ask anybody, the employees will give you the same answer: the people,” Raphael said. “They love working at Power because of the people they work with every single day. We are a team and a family.”
Power Home Remodeling tops small companies on this year’s Top Workplaces list, based on surveys conducted by WorkplaceDynamics. This is the company’s first time to appear in the survey.
The Chester, Pa.-based remodeling company, founded in 1992, was included last year on a Fortune list of best places for millennials to work and on a ranking of work-places with the best camaraderie.
The company’s workforce has an average age of 29. Half of its hires come from referrals. Corey Schiller and Raphael started working at the company in 2003 in entry-level jobs and rose to co-CEOs by 2014.
Power’s Houston office opened in May 2015 with 20 people relocating from different parts of the company. It has since grown to a little more than 100 employees.
Key is taking the culture fostered at headquarters throughout the new territories, said Josh Shepard, Power’s regional vice president in Houston, who transferred from Maryland when the office opened.
Shepard said members of his close-knit staff regularly hang out together outside of work. They attend frequent steak nights, play basketball on Sunday mornings and go out in Midtown on weekend nights.
“The last thing we want to do is for our employees to wake up Monday morning and dread going to work,” he said. “The goal is to hire the right people. When you go to work, you say, ‘I get to see my friends today and work at the same time.’ ”
Shepard also fosters an environment that helps employees reach individual goals.
He also said the majority of those in the local office are millennials.
“We can train them to do things the way we think works,” he said. “We have a different business model than other home-remodeling companies.”
The company’s expansion in Houston was part of an overall strategy to have a presence in every major market in the U.S.
“Everything we read about was that Houston had an educated workforce and it was a growing city,” Raphael said. ” ... It represented a challenge. Can a company based in Pennsylvania go to the Lone Star State and find success?”
Raphael said Houston performed better than any new territory ever in its first 12 months. The Dallas branch was opened solely based off the results in Houston, he said. The company also plans to open a branch in the Austin/San Antonio area.
He said when opening a new territory, Power makes sure to transfer existing employees who are familiar with the processes, policies and values of the organization.
Each year, the company puts on 165 events, from open bars and golf outings to leadership conferences and holiday parties, for its employees.
The all-expense paid trip to Cancun every year is in lieu of a traditional holiday party. Every employee is invited for four days, with a guest.
Raphael said he also gets to know all employees. He flies new hires to headquarters and introduces them to each department to show how the operations work. Then he takes them to lunch to get feedback.
“I’m getting consistent feedback,” he said.
The company is also involved in Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, and the Power Veterans Initiative.
Employees responding to Top Workplace surveys noted the friendly atmosphere, team-driven environment, training opportunities, performance incentives and the people they work with.
One added, “The ping pong table is pretty awesome, too.”