17. Paradigm Group

Employee-benefits, retirement, and HR consulting firm

LOCATION: Nashville, TN
BEST PERKS: Flex time, Community & environmental support, Swag
HIRING? No. paradigmgroup.net

Our tagline tells the story: “Excellence in employee benefits, retirement services, and HR consulting."

The president says, “We take our work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously.” Our work environment is friendly and often full of levity. Employees have great senses of humor, and we enjoy each other’s company. When employees responded to a question on this topic, their most often used words and phrases included (in no particular order): flexibility, fun, work/life balance, good people, casual attire, president honestly asks and considers our input, teamwork produces amazing results, success generously shared in the compensation structure.

All full-time regular employees participate in profit sharing. A profit target is set each year; excess profits fund the profit-sharing pool. Prior to the beginning of the year, each employee is given a “pool share” determined by the president. Employees not in a sales role are given a percentage of first-year revenue for each new account they acquire. HR consultants receive a percentage of project revenues. Ad hoc bonuses may be given to individuals at the president’s discretion for exceptional contributions. A cash bonus and gift (generally a logo item) is provided at the holidays. Annually, the company sponsors off-site planning/relaxation/fun outings. Most recently, the entire company flew to Las Vegas for three days and two nights, completely paid by the company. Several times a year, we take half-days to go hiking, bowling, play laser tag, etc. 

A non-affiliated professional training studio is located on our floor in the office building. We get a “tenant discount” and may pay studio dues via payroll deduction. In addition, employees may work out during business hours. Our BlueCross BlueShield health plan includes a “BluePerks” program that provides discounts for wellness products and services. The Chick-fil-A US City Challenge comes to Nashville this year. A longtime client invited us to participate with its employees. Starting August 26, many of us (on a voluntary basis) will take the Body Age assessment and participate in the eight-week challenge to improve our fitness. Paradigm Group is paying half the $40-per-person entry fee.

Our general practice is flexible hours for employees to pursue whatever they want/need to as long as the clients are served.

We make a donation in our clients’ honor to a charity (e.g., homeless shelter, Red Cross, etc.) each holiday season. Employees also sponsor one or more families for whom they provide clothing and holiday gifts. Nearly all employees participate in favorite charities by serving on boards or committees. We may work on these activities during work hours as long as the clients are served. During the 2010 catastrophic flooding in Nashville, employees were encouraged to schedule one day off with pay to participate in the flood-relief activity of their choice.

We recycle plastic bottles and soft-drink cans and provide ceramic coffee mugs. We contract with a vendor to pick up and recycle paper and shredded documents. We encourage turning off lights and computers when not in use. Recently, we purchased reusable water glasses and agreed to share clean-up responsibilities in order to eliminate use of plastic water bottles.

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