By the numbers, the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers is a great place to work.
One of 18 companies to make the Top Workplaces Top 100 list all six years, PwC this year earned the top spot, as determined by an annual survey of Philadelphia-area employees by Workplace Dynamics of Exton. PwC also won a special award for "Clued-in Senior Management -- Senior managers understand what is really happening at this company."
Founded in 1874 and headquartered in New York City, PwC has global ranks that are 180,000 strong, including 1,600 employees in the greater Philly market. So what's so inspiring about a company best known for its expertise in auditing and assurance?
Employees say they can count on the company to support work/life balance, as well as ongoing training and education.
"As a working mom with a small child, I am able to thrive at PwC and deliver the highest level of service to my clients and my community," said Jessica Sherry, Philadelphia Metro PCS human resources manager. "The focus PwC places on its people and our ability to be successful in all aspects of life is what keeps me motivated every day."
The company invests in continuing education for employees providing a minimum of 60 hours of training each year.
Each employee also receives an executive-level physical exam. Well-being rewards provide financial incentives for engaging in healthy behaviors, such as exercising, getting routine medical checkups, and using public transportation instead of driving, as well as volunteer work.
Each point translates to $1 in value. Points can be redeemed for retail gift cards or donations to charities.
"Being a great place to work is our culture and it's the mindset of our people," says Kevin Mickelberg, PwC advisory director.
"Our success is enabled by this culture because our people have the opportunity, every day, to contribute to and enhance the PwC experience for our employees and our clients."
In addition to financial services, PwC's U.S. operations provide human resources, deal making, forensics, and consulting services.
But employees don't spend all their time behind desks crunching numbers.
In September, PwC sponsored the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia. In November, more than 300 PwC volunteers participated in a Junior Achievement event, teaching Earn Your Future curriculums to more than 2,000 students in local schools. At the December holiday party, employees donated more than 1,500 toys to the Salvation Army gift drive.
For three years running, PwC has made donations to regional community-based organizations, including City Year, Legacy Youth and Tennis, the Philadelphia Zoo, Harrisburg Boys and Girls Club, Junior Achievement and the Police Athletic League.
PwC also is garnering national accolades for forward-thinking employment practices. The company has been named one of Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" every year since 2005. Working Mother magazine has listed PwC among the "Top 10 Companies for Working Mothers" every year since 2002. PwC is ranked fifth on on DiversityInc's 2014 "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" list. In 2011, PwC was inducted into Training magazine's Top 10 Hall of Fame after ranking No. 1 on the "Training Top 125" list for an unprecedented three years in a row.
"PwC's flexible culture provided the work/life balance I needed to assist with the significant health challenges of my family while remaining a connected and fully integrated member of the PwC family," said Kimberly Houston, PwC international tax manager. "[That] provided me with a rewarding career and the necessary support to take care of my top priorities."
Employees also enjoy working with smart people, plus the opportunity to enhance their own knowledge. That was a recurring theme throughout employee responses to the question: "What impresses you most about senior management at this company?"
• "Intelligence, span of knowledge."
• "The intelligence and dedication to auditing."
• "Knowledge and experience, combined with a willingness
to coach and share that knowledge."
• "Very smart individuals that are always willing to help you."
Mentoring also inspires employees to exercise their intellects.
Said one: "I feel challenged every day to advance the solutions we provide clients. This is very enriching, as we get to work with the best and brightest professionals across the 8PwC network globally. Couple that with helping others grow in their careers through the firm's mentoring and coaching program, and you have a great place to work and grow, both personally, and professionally."
Employees who feel fulfilled say they are are sticking with PwC over the long haul.
"My work allows me to continuously grow and develop even though I've been with the firm for over 20 years," an employee says. "At the same time, PwC realizes I have a life outside of PwC and allows me the flexibility to do what is important to me personally — spending time with my family and being involved in supporting my children's activities."
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story referenced PwC inexactly. The company is a professional services firm.