March 2, 2018 | last updated March 2, 2018 2:48 pm
BEST PLACES TO WORK IN CONNECTICUT 2018

#2 Large Company Category: CDW-G focuses on community service, perks to attract workers

CDW-G

CT Headquarters: Shelton

Industry: Technology

Website: www.cdwg.com

Twitter: @CDWCorp

Top CT Executive: Tara Barbieri, Director, Capture

At CDW-G, the people who show up every day aren't just employees, they're co-workers.

"I feel like we all work toward commonly held goals that center around our customers," says Dario Bertocchi, director of contracts management and program sales. "I believe that our co-workers recognize that our collective ability is so much greater than any one contributor could be alone."

A subsidiary of Illinois-based CDW, a global technology provider, CDW-G in Shelton focuses on technology products for the education, government and healthcare industries.

According to Tara Barbieri, a director, the company is deliberate in replicating the headquarters experience in all the satellite offices, offering similar perks and company culture like health and wellness benefits, targeted veteran recruitment, retirement compensation plans and an emphasis on work-life balance.

"We live in a paradox," says Barbieri. "You have the Fortune 500 resources but it still feels small. Corporate makes decisions that allow us to push authority to the local level."

At the Shelton office, the 200 employees choose charities like Junior Achievement to support and spend volunteer days at Hole in the Wall Camp in Ashford. The office competes in bowling and horseshoe games with other area businesses.

Co-workers have come to expect community involvement, Barbieri says, and CDW-G surveys employees every other year to assess the benefits people want and value.

"Sometimes it's letting go of perks that affect only a few people, to widen the scope for everyone; such as an increased 401(k) match," she said. "We make adjustments and have the flexibility to stay competitive and keep highly engaged co-workers."

"Work is like a second home," Barbieri added. "We are spending most waking hours there, we want people to feel comfortable here."

Bertocchi is not afraid to point out there's one perk that impressed him immediately when he began at CDW-G in 2003.

"I must admit, at first it was the food," he says. "CDW and our partners provide generous eating opportunities here in Shelton and our other locations, and it's quite easy to overindulge in everything from bagel day and ice cream day, to special fried chicken lunches, smoothies, and breakfast sandwiches. And one of our sales managers makes utterly incredible waffles from time to time."

Of course, CDW-G is more than just the frills. It's about treating co-workers as vital resources with career planning, on-boarding and continuing training, connections to management and bonuses.

"The derivative of great companies is great people," says Bertocchi. "I think it's really that simple. If you can synergize a diverse group of incredibly talented co-workers around a common strategy and direction, great things will happen — including high levels of satisfaction."

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