It’s a particularly good day at Bellmont Partners: Our agency has been named one of Inc. magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2019, one of just seven Minnesota companies to make the list.
We’ve been recognized for our workplace culture before by local outlets like Minnesota Business and Mpls./St. Paul Business Journal, but this is the first national workplace-culture recognition we’ve received. As you might expect, it feels pretty darn good, mostly because it’s a high-profile reinforcement of what we know to be true at our agency – that the decisions we make around our culture are bearing fruit.
Bellmont Partners is people focused, period. That means building strong relationships with our clients to really understand what they and their businesses need, then doing everything possible to help them achieve their goals. And that is only possible by focusing on the Bellmont Partners team.
We’re celebrating our 23rd anniversary this fall, but we really only shifted into high gear in 2011, when we planted our flag as a “real agency” by leasing office space and starting to assemble a team beyond the three partners. I’m delighted with how we’ve built and continue to evolve our culture and benefits since then – I’m talking to you, work-from-wherever policy – but I’m most proud of how our culture impacts our people, and how that drive and engagement impacts our clients and the work we do.
Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way:
Driving exceptional results for clients starts with an exceptional team of people. Unique perks such as health-and-wellness stipends are great, but our biggest collective priority is making sure every employee has a seat at the table and feels supported and part of the team. Everybody here knows we have a good thing going, and we’re all grateful for it. We treat each other fairly and with respect. We assume good intentions. We give back to our communities. We take our work seriously, but we have a lot of fun while we’re doing it. We’re all adults, and we treat each other as such.
Flexibility is important. When we opened our first office in the far-flung suburbs, we started letting people work from wherever it made sense – why waste hours creeping through traffic during frequent blizzards? And even since we moved to a much more central location five years ago, we’ve kept flexibility as a priority. People can work from home, a client’s office, a coffee shop or a co-working space, as long as they get the work done. We stay tightly connected through technology (we provide a home-office stipend to ensure people have what they need to be effective) and make sure to gather when it’s important to meet in person.
Our approach delivers greater longevity. Since people like it here, they don’t tend to leave. We don’t have a high turnover rate – the average tenure of Bellmont Partners team members is 6.5 years. That longevity, coupled with ongoing opportunities to continue learning and applying new skills and thinking to client work, is a winning combination. It allows us to provide more consistency and stability for our clients, offering increased institutional knowledge and industry expertise, while keeping our skills, thinking and problem-solving approaches fresh and innovative.
It’s important to choose people over profits. We look at each decision we make through the people lens. Have we sacrificed higher profitability for the ability to be flexible and respond to what our team members need? Sure. But it has paid dividends over and over again, and it’s something we wouldn’t change for anything. We recognize that sometimes we need to be with our families, to pursue our passions or to grieve. And when we do, the rest of us are here to step in to take care of what needs to be done. Happy, healthy individuals make a stronger team.
We’re extremely proud of this recognition and grateful to our amazing team and clients. Thank you to everybody who’s played a role in helping our agency get here – we’re looking forward to continuing to improve on what we’ve built for many years to come.