SMART TECH: "I had poor experiences early in my career with another company's management," says CEO Tim Miller. "I told myself that not only do I not want to work for a company like that; I would never want to own one." So Miller pays his team of project-management-software developers well (average salary: $105,000), covers 100 percent of their medical- and dental-insurance and prescription costs, and spends the first 15 minutes of monthly meetings recognizing employee contributions. "If you create a great work environment, you have a greater level of productivity," says Miller.
BEYOND BONUSES: When Rally meets performance benchmarks, employees get rewarded: ski trips in the Rockies, summer outings to a lake, formal receptions, stock options.
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: FROM THE COMPANY
Rally Software is the leader in Agile software development solutions, dedicated to bringing the speed, quality, and productivity benefits of Agile and Lean to large and distributed organizations. Rally's Agile products, coaching, online training portal, and Web 2.0 community guarantee its customers success with Agile practices.
FITNESS & WELLNESS BENEFITS
Rally has an on-site gym that includes a weight room, aerobic equipment, and shower facilities. Rally provides employees a $25 reimbursement each month to offset the cost of health-club memberships. It has a full cafeteria in the office that serves breakfast and lunch. Founder Ryan Martens even sells free-range eggs from his farm right out of Rally's refrigerators.
As part of Rally's 1% Fund program, employees are encouraged to spend 1 percent of their paid work time volunteering. Every quarter, the employee who logged the most community-service hours receives recognition at the company's all-hands meeting. In 2008, Rally employees contributed 1 percent of their time, totaling 2,500 hours, to 90 nonprofits, including Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Humane Society of Boulder Valley, American Red Cross, Hospice, Operation Respect, Adoption Exchange Guild, CSIA, and Tiny Tim Center, among others. As a company, Rally committed 1 percent of its equity to the local community as part of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado.
The foundation of Rally's employee-development practices lie in one of the company's core values: to "create your own reality." Rally understands that people are the key ingredient of a successful company and goes to great lengths to hire, develop, and retain the best employees possible. Employees are not hired to fill rigid job roles, but rather are encouraged to develop as individuals. Employees can sign up for biking and running e-mail lists that are used for coordinating lunchtime and after-work group outings, including Rally's many cyclists who hit the Boulder streets in their Rally cycling uniforms. Some of the other practices that promote a healthy work-life balance: Quarterly company celebrations such as ski days and Rockies baseball games and a fully loaded game room for breaks, complete with everything from old-school arcade games to Ping-Pong to Nintendo Wii.
Another core value at Rally is work-life balance, which means that employees are encouraged to work hard and play hardon their own schedules. Employees have the ability to telecommute and work on adjusted schedules so they can effectively maintain balance between their personal and professional lives.
Founder Ryan Martens has a goal that Rally will become the first fully sustainable software company, and his passion for greening permeates the company. A recent initiative to encourage employees to use alternative transportation was the Rally Commuting Challenge. This monthlong program encouraged people to limit the impact their work commute has on the environment. Six gift certificates to REI were rewarded to those with the greatest reduction. Overall, Rally was able to reduce its CO2 emissions by 17 percent, or 3.1 tons. In addition, Rally diverts 800 gallons per month of typical office waste into single-stream recycling and composting. In 2008, Rally offset its server energy with wind credits and moved more IT services to the Internet by switching to corporate Google Mail and purchasing high-end video conferencing to reduce energy consumption and travel.