BDO Columbus’ emphasis on company culture earns top workplace award

By Abigail Draper, OSCPA communication and engagement manager

Leaders at BDO Columbus stress that it takes time and focus to create a great work culture, but that doing so increases inclusivity, appreciation and productivity.

“It takes focus. It takes time. It takes energy. It takes a long-term commitment,” said Rachel Caviness, director of business development, “It’s not something that will happen naturally. You must foster this type of culture... You can’t just take it for granted that it’s a natural phenomenon. It takes a lot of effort, but it’s possible.”

BDO’s dedication to providing a comfortable and exciting workplace environment helped it earn recognition in May as the #21 midsize organization by Columbus CEO magazine.

“We're really excited about it,” said Mike Voinovich, office managing partner. “It’s not something that’s necessarily easy to obtain. It’s not that we write an essay and hope that we get selected, it’s based on what our folks have to say about what we do here at BDO and their satisfaction, motivation and enjoyment in the workplace.”

The Top Workplace award recognizes companies based solely on anonymous surveys completed by employees. Companies also must be nominated by employees to be considered for the surveys.

Caviness said she thinks a major factor that led to the award is the emphasis the office places on diversity and inclusion. “They really make sure that everybody feels like they have a voice,” she said. BDO also offers webinars for continuous learning and a flexible work schedule.

Ann Baucum, office administrator and chief culture champion, said it doesn’t take a lot of money for small firms to follow in BDO’s footsteps. For example, she facilitates office “brain breaks,” where team members get up from their desks and participate in activities. Most recently, that was a “shamrock hunt” where finding paper shamrocks garnered lucky winners a $10 gift card. Baucum also booked a busy season visit from an ice cream truck to boost morale.

“Ann does a particularly amazing job of learning and understanding what motivates [employees] and what would be helpful and a benefit to them,” said Voinovich.

The firm also does a “pulse” survey every year, and that gives them a chance to evaluate what they’re doing right and where they can improve.

Voinovich said the leadership at BDO takes pride in its transparency and in being sure to share suggestions for improvement as well as positive results.

“I’ll never be satisfied with where we’re at,” he said, “I have pride and I’m excited about where we’re at, but we can always do better and that’s what we love to do.”

BDO Columbus has now been named a Top Workplace by Columbus CEO for two years in a row.

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