A few weeks before the birth of Cal Pelly’s third child, his employer, Seattle-based insurance-consulting firm MCM, gave him a unique gift. “We call it a man-shower, and it was a hoot!” says MCM president John Meisenbach, who founded the firm in 1961 and has watched it grow into one of the largest, privately held benefits-consulting and insurance-brokerage firms in the Northwest.
That kind of dedication to employee well-being isn’t unusual for MCM, which was named one of Washington’s top 100 companies to work for three years running by Seattle Business. “We take care of employees and their families because it’s important to us,” says Meisenbach, who learned that lesson early in his career. “I remember when my first assistant left, years ago. I had to hire three people to replace her. I realized then how valuable employees are, and ever since have been dedicated to making this the best possible place to work.”
It’s hard to argue that it isn’t. Every year, the firm gives each employee a $1,000 all-expenses-paid fantasy vacation. The firm also gives all the children of its employees $1,000 savings bonds on their birthdays. Employees receive gift cards for their birthdays and anniversaries. Additionally, the firm takes employees who have reached their 10-year anniversary out to dinner with their families and gives them a $10,000 bonus.
What is it like working at MCM?
“MCM feels like a family, my home away from home. Working here makes me feel that I belong.”
Senior Account Manager
“We have such a collaborative and positive work environment; it’s fun to come to work each day.”
Director of Client Services
“There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit at MCM, and it gives us the freedom to be flexible in meeting our clients’ needs.”
The firm is also concerned about employee wellness. It pays 100 percent of the cost of employees to join any area health club, and last year paid part of the cost of a broad employee-wellness plan that included testing and treatment recommendations. “It was one of most successful things we’ve done,” Meisenbach says.
MCM encourages employees to give back to the community and contributes a significant amount of its own profits to charitable organizations. For the past two years, the Puget Sound Business Journal has named the company number one in their size category for philanthropy.
As a result of the firm’s unique culture, retention is phenomenal. “We have people who have been here 10, 20, even close to 30 years,” Meisenbach says. “And a happy employee leads to a happy client.”
Lorrie Baldevia, vice president of executive benefits, agrees. Baldevia, who has been with the company for 12 years, knows it’s a rare culture. “We have benefits that are beyond compare,” she says. “From the employee perspective, it’s easy to see that the company cares about you as a person, and that makes you want to work harder for the company.” Lucky for Baldevia and the company’s 71 other employees, Meisenbach doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. He says he gets his ideas for employee perks when he’s out calling on companies and serving on boards, and wants to keep them coming. “You see what other people do, and you try to think of ways to apply it to your own efforts,” he says. “Culture is one of our greatest strengths, and
we plan to keep it that way.”