To Bendyworks, “innovation” means trying new and interesting things without losing sight of fundamentals.
As a software consultancy, we certainly employ exciting technologies with our clients, leveraging powerful open source software in unique ways. But that’s fodder for a technical conference or a sales meeting. Where Bendyworks really shines — and this is applicable to nearly any other organization — is how we innovate on demonstrating care for our employees.
Although innovation requires the careful execution and evaluation of new and exciting goals, it isn’t about the departure from norms; it is about extending what we already do well. And when it comes to employee benefits, it is imperative to get the foundations right. To that end, Bendyworks provides a host of “traditional” benefits, including a 401(k) plan; at least 3 weeks vacation and ample parental leave; health, dental, and vision insurance; and more.
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Where we push the boundaries, though, is how we bring more to the table for our employees. For instance, we offer $1,500 bicycle loans and $3,000 laptop loans, both interest-free. To further encourage sustainable transportation, all employees receive a Metro Card for unlimited usage.
Employees also receive continuous education and remote-friendly headset budgets. To foster total team cohesion, Bendyworks even pays for 1:1 lunches between team members, as long as they don’t repeat the same matchup that year. Finally, we dedicate every other Friday to “Growth Time,” setting aside the day for explicit personal development. It’s a huge investment on our part, but it is critical to the health and success of our team.
By defining innovation as augmenting, rather than replacing, fundamentals, we lower the apparent risk of attempting innovation. With this framework, anyone can innovate; all it requires is reflection of where you are and how to improve it.