Beyond Benefits: Caiman’s Commitment to Employees
When I first joined Caiman as a consultant, there were a few things that made it an easy decision for me to join. First off, I felt like the leadership was approachable and it was clear they valued me as an individual. This extended beyond the leadership – everyone I met was genuine, welcoming, and made me feel like I was part of the team. Caiman gave me the opportunity to transition from consulting into leading the HR department. Having been in consulting for over ten years, I was able to bring my consulting experience to this new role to improve the experience for my fellow Caimanites. With our company growing at a steady pace, I knew that engaging new employees was a crucial part of maintaining Caiman's culture and identity. Creating a great workplace takes more than just saying you value culture and engagement, "it requires genuine dedication and intentional strategy,” according to Gallup.
An important part of my HR role became developing and reviewing the benefits strategy for our employees. During the onboarding process, it was evident that when I mentioned "benefits", employees often defaulted to asking about their medical, vision, and dental benefits. With Caiman's vision to build a diverse and enduring culture of high-performing people, I like to challenge our employees to think about benefits in a more holistic view. Yes, health benefits are an important part of a company’s offering. However, it takes a special place to create a culture that is welcoming and accepting of you as an individual and makes you feel part of a broader family. This is a different type of benefit. Here at Caiman, we have something that is truly unique. We truly care about the experience our consultants have – this is evident in our diverse set of programs such as our Annual Meeting, our wellness program and #keepcaimanmoving initiative, buddy program, All-Hands meetings, summer picnic, CAPHHP (Caiman Annual Post-Holiday Holiday Party), and our newly-launched Caiman Leadership Academy, to name a few. We also have a few time-honored traditions such as our tradition of trivia night, karaoke, and providing a month-long paid sabbatical for our employees every four years they’re with us. To me, these initiatives are what set Caiman apart from other consulting firms.
When Caiman was founded, the notion of creating a thoughtful culture that is unique and engaging was key to the vision of Raazi and Greg, Caiman's founders. One of their ideas, which still goes on 13 years later, is the Annual Meeting. The goal of the Annual Meeting is to bring together all our employees to celebrate the year's successes while preparing for future endeavors together. I recall the first meeting I attended in Maui, Hawaii. After that meeting, it validated the reasons that made me join Caiman. I saw the power and importance of bringing together everyone including employees, family, and friends. It creates a bond that goes beyond “co-workers” to a work family.
It is rare to find a company that will bring their employees together for a few days away from client work – better yet, in a tropical location – to celebrate our wins, get to know each other, and discuss priorities for the next year. Additionally, we encourage each of our consultants to share the experience with someone important in their life like a friend, significant other, child, or parent. The annual meeting showcases our operating principles, which are continually emphasized throughout the year. It’s not just about growth, it’s not just about the work, it’s not just about the client, it’s about how we operate at Caiman:
- We Practice the Golden Rule - We treat people the way we want to be treated.
- We Are Good Stewards - We act as champions of our people, cultivators of our culture and custodians of our business, our clients’ business, and our communities.
- We Create Value with Integrity - We behave with honesty in delivering great service that creates value for our clients.
- We Keep Getting Better - We work to continuously learn and improve so that we are always giving our best.
- We Work as a Team - We embrace diversity, connection, collaboration, and commitment.
- We Act with Respect - We entrust colleagues and clients with responsibility and respect their decision making.
Community benefits such as the Annual Meeting are a huge part of our DNA. As a mostly virtual company without a physical office space, we are intentional about how we bring people together to create memorable experiences to connect our teams across accounts and geographies. We strive to provide at least two weeks of in-person interaction for every employee. Our 13-year-old Annual Meeting is a cornerstone in our offerings, but we continually add upon and improve our employee engagement, true to one of our operating principles, “Keep Getting Better.” Every year we go through a comprehensive deep dive into our benefits both health-related and community-related, which incorporates feedback from our employees.
Three years ago, we saw an opportunity to improve our maternity and paternity leave policies. We are proud to say that for a company of our size, we provide maternity and paternity leave that is greater than or comparable to what our larger competitors provide. With the Washington Family Medical Leave act coming in 2020, this will also see some improvements in the coming years for all types of family leave. This is great for employees all around, not just those looking to expand their families.
Two years ago, #KeepCaimanMoving was founded with the focus of getting our team engaged in various wellness activities such as 5K runs (King County Big BackYard and Chase the Lights San Francisco) and account competitions. In 2017, we had over 50% participation across our company, and saw our team walking close to 4,000 steps more than the average American. It encourages our team to think holistically about their well-being for both themselves and their loved ones, which we know leads to a productive, happy, and successful workforce.
This year we’ve launched a People Development Initiative led by Partner Marci Marra and Principal Sheri Iverson. There are two initiatives within this: The Caiman Leadership Academy, which aims to build the next generation of leaders at Caiman through a targeted leadership program that meets monthly, as well as a broader training initiative across Caiman.
We understand there is always room for improvement, and Caiman leadership strives to stay ahead of the curve on being a leader in benefits and support of our consultants throughout all stages of their career and personal life changes. Since our beginning, we have constantly looked at what benefits are working well, both health and beyond, to stay relevant. We strive to provide an experience we feel every consultant should have: from their first interaction with our Talent Management Team, their onboarding experience, to the Annual Meeting, and more. It’s clear through these touchpoints that our culture and our approach to employee engagement are at the center of Caiman’s priorities.
If you have any questions or comments, we’re happy to talk. If you are interested in learning more about Caiman’s benefits and what Caiman has to offer, reach out to our recruiting team. And remember, as you search for your next great work home, whether or not you find yourself at Caiman Consulting, I encourage you to get to know what a company offers beyond the standard benefits and making sure it’s a great fit for you all around.