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February 17, 2017 Best Places to Work in Connecticut 2017

#3 Large Company Category: CDW-G

CDW-G employees attend the 2017 Best Places to Work in Connecticut event.

There's promoting family-focused benefits of a company, and then there's celebrating the real-life moments those benefits make possible.

At CDW-G, a global technology services company with an office in Shelton, staffers are provided a multitude of benefits, including paid paternity leave and adoption assistance. When one employee took advantage of the latter, it was much more than a paperwork transaction.

“We had an employee who traveled a very long distance to adopt a child internationally,” says Tara Barbieri, director of program sales. “When our CDW Life — a periodical mailed to employees' homes — came out, they ran a feature on it. The company was reminding staffers that the support was there, while celebrating that family's moment.”

CDW-G provides technology services for businesses, government, education and healthcare organizations all over the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Founded in 1984, the company employs more than 8,700 people. Despite tremendous growth, the company consistently rewards its staff.

“In 2003, when the company was part of a merger, they took everyone who had current employee agreements, and grandfathered in all tenure,” Barbieri says. “As a result, I'm on the record as a 21-year employee. At my 20-year mark I was given a 2-week sabbatical.”

Barbieri adds that it's both the overarching support and the smaller aspects of the company culture that strengthen that personal connection.

“At CDW, it's not called human resources, it's called coworker services,” she says. “The idea is that there is a different attitude here. They're not here to manage people, but to serve coworkers in any way needed.”

Working from home is an option up to the discretion of each department. Sales team members can earn additional benefits like remote set up, linking hardwork with the reward of flexibility. Staying healthy is another priority, backed by access to low-cost fitness facilities.

“Our company chose the Scinto Office Towers specifically because it has a local gym and a yoga studio,” Barbieri says. “When CDW looks for space anywhere in the country, access to fitness facilities is a priority.”

To further encourage healthy living, CDW-G employees are invited to take part in the global corporate challenge, a step-counting program in which teams try to walk “around the world” in 100 days.

“The first year we did it, it was U.S. offices only. Now we have participants in the U.K. and all over,” Barbieri says. “We had about 200 coworkers do it this past year. It's really catching on.”

Professional development is another focus area at CDW-G. Throughout each year, the company holds meetings as part of the talent review process. Management uses the time to discuss up-and-coming leaders, employees who should have exposure to another part of the business, and those to be nominated for the emerging leaders program.

“Once in the program, employees are put on specific project teams, each led by a vice president, and given specific assignments toward end-of-year goals,” explains Barbieri. “At the end of the year, they present their project to an executive committee. It's really an exciting and well-attended event.”

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

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