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February 17, 2017 Best Places to Work in Connecticut 2017

#2 Small/Medium Company Category: Lockwood Group

Lockwood employees enjoy a summer Met's game with their colleagues, families and friends.

A family trip to a luxury suite at Citi Field to see the Mets play is just one of the many benefits offered to the Lockwood Group's 100-plus employees. And the perks aren't all fun and, well, games.

“Work-life balance is part of our core values. We believe in taking downtime when it's available,” says Lockwood Human Resources Director Christine Hinkle.

Employees of the medical communications firm have the opportunity to work from home as needed. Those based at the office enjoy amenities like access to a gym, lactation facilities for nursing mothers, and catered lunches several times a month.

Keeping and maintaining quality team members is a priority at Lockwood, where over a third of the staff hold advanced degrees in science or medicine. Specialized expertise is directed toward work with a spectrum of clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech, genetic and medical device industries.

Through the company's RISE program, employees can nominate a person or team within the company for recognition.

“RISE was introduced last year by a new employee. Our first year, we had 10 nominations; this year we've had 20, so it's gaining popularity,” says Hinkle. “We are looking to reward people, in the hopes that it inspires others to help a team member out.”

In one notable instance, a RISE winner's medical expertise was critical in a real-world situation. Lockwood's senior scientific director, Malik Cobb, was flying home from a business trip with a colleague when a fellow passenger reported severe chest pain. Cobb immediately tended to the passenger — who was in real danger given his medical history — administered therapy, stabilized him, and stayed with him until he could be safely turned over to an emergency team upon landing.

“He didn't hesitate to help a stranger. He is special in every way,” wrote colleague Susan Goldberg, who was on the flight with Cobb, in her nomination form. Hinkle says word spread quickly about Cobb's critical action.

“Malik's response from colleagues was equally impressive as the act itself,” she says.

The Lockwood Group also tries helping each and every employee meet their professional potential. Through a formally designed career ladder, training is provided for managers and employees several times a year to encourage discussion about development. In addition, Lockwood's human resources department reviews the career path of each employee with their managers to ensure there is a plan in place to help them develop according to their own goals.

“It's on-the-job training and lots of mentoring. One-third of our company was promoted this year, and that's typical,” says Hinkle. “We also start every year with an annual meeting focused on career development as well as growing the company as a whole.”

Topics at the meeting, she says, include building team trust, delegation and constructive feedback.

Lockwood Group employees are also encouraged to take part in activities that support causes such as Children of Fallen Patriots — an organization that provides college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty — and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

Read about the other Best Places to Work in CT 2017 winners.

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