Originally featured on ocregister.com - January 24, 2017
Information-technology firm Sidepath recently earned a No. 1 ranking among the Orange County Register’s Top Workplaces for 2016 in the small-companies category. Through anonymous surveys conducted during the Top Workplaces selection process, Sidepath employees gave the firm kudos for its family-like environment and upbeat culture.
Based in Laguna Hills, Sidepath is an I.T. solution provider and technology integrator. According to Sidepath marketing manager Stevie Hutchinson, the company strives to foster an environment that promotes creativity and generates a feeling of family. Sidepath executives maintain a high level of involvement and visibility within the company, implementing open-door policies, seeking employee input and communicating with employees on company decisions, she noted.
According to Hutchinson, the Sidepath management team’s authentic concern for the people who work there is evident in every aspect of the business, from employee engagement to its benefits package, which includes 100 percent-covered healthcare, as well as other smaller perks, such as company-provided lunches on an almost-weekly basis. The company even provides stand-up desks for employees who prefer the flexibility, mobility and health benefits such desks offer.
“If you take care of your people, your people will take care of your company,” Sidepath President Jim Andronaco said.
Hutchison described the Sidepath team as a tight-knit group, comprising employees who are genuinely friends both in and out of the office. The company culture is based on a “work hard, play hard” mentality, where customer satisfaction is valued even above profitability and employees are encouraged to maintain a work-life balance and have fun. The employee lounge is equipped with a billiards table to help relieve stress and promote brainstorming, and free beverages and snacks are provided for employees to enjoy at work.
Sidepath’s most recent efforts to encourage camaraderie have included hosting group of 55 employees and customers for a San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints game in October, complete with a tailgate party. In December, the company’s holiday boat party drew 180 attendees, including employees, their guests and Sidepath’s clients and technology partners for an evening of food and fun. The highlight of the event was the harbor-front location overlooking the Newport Beach Boat Parade.
Personal and professional growth
Sidepath considers personal growth just as important as business growth, and the executive team believes that people need to get more out of life than just results in the office, noted Hutchinson. To encourage personal and professional development, Sidepath sponsors training sessions and classes for employees to increase their knowledge base as new technologies emerge and change, and also pays for employees to attend training events.
When recruiting new employees, the Sidepath executive team looks for team members who share the company’s customer-first philosophy, Hutchison explained.
“They want people who want to be part of building something bigger than themselves,” she said. “People here are sure to be a good fit if they are fun, energetic, enthusiastic, passionate team players who are willing to go above and beyond for the customer.”
Sidepath partner Patrick Mulvee said, “It’s about great people – people who are in it as a team, not focused on themselves. It’s all about finding people who care about the company and the customer.”
Hutchison noted that the company is always looking for top engineering talent.
Sidepath engages in a variety of charitable endeavors and was named Dell’s Philanthropic Partner of the Year in 2015. On top of his responsibilities as president of Sidepath, Andronaco serves as a Board Member for the Orange County Childhood Language Center, which provides free diagnostic and therapeutic services to children from 2 to 16 years of age who exhibit a wide range of speech, language and learning challenges.
Sidepath also supports multiple local and national charities through employee participation in golf tournaments and other fundraising events, and by donating silent auction items. Organizations it has supported include Patriot Paws, local baseball leagues, high-school and college sports teams, the Coachella Valley Autism Society, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, the Nike N7 Fund, the Timothy Hatch Foundation, Susan G. Komen, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, Autism Speaks, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the American Diabetes Association.
In 2015, Sidepath was also the title sponsor at the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Charity Golf Tournament and had staff onsite participating at the event.
Sector: Information Technology
Employees in region: 35
Headquarters: Laguna Hills
What employees enjoy