Originally featured on ocregister.com - December 7, 2018
Ask the founder of telecom IT company Sidepath in Laguna Hills what sets it apart from other firms and you get a pretty astonishing point of pride: The company has not lost a single employee to a competitor in its 12-year history.
Jim Andronaco, who owns the company with Patrick Mulvee, said the firm’s commitment to excellence keeps it a step ahead of the pack. Employees from the top down get ownership benefits, training and direct communication with the bosses. These strategies and workplace tools help Sidepath’s staff adapt to the industry and keep their customers front and center, he says.
Employees in the annual Top Workplaces survey said they feel like they’re “part of something great,” and are “excited to be part of a growing and successful company — and to work with owners that care for everyone’s well being.”
“There aren’t enough words,” said another. “I just love, love, love my job.”
Andronaco shared more about how Sidepath, which has landed in the Top Workplaces program for four consecutive years, continues to rank highly among the best companies in Orange County:
Q: Describe the things you do to retain and attract employees.
A: I believe our focus on autonomy and mastery are main reasons we can attract top talent. Most high-achieving individuals want to believe in what they represent and have the opportunity to be the best at it. We are able to retain top talent by giving them a purpose. All of our employees have direct access to ownership. Quarterly one-on-ones encourage input and ideas for change, which are seriously considered and implemented regularly. Our employee recognition events, such as our recent company trips to Alaska and Mexico, also help.
Q: How does your company stand out within its industry as a top workplace?
A: Sidepath is known throughout the industry for its commitment to excellence. Our entire team is focused on customer satisfaction and delivering the best experience possible. This has enabled Sidepath to attract top talent from our competitors. We have not lost a single employee to a competitor in our 12-year history.
Q: How does leadership play a role in keeping staff engaged and part of the overall process?
A: Leadership continuously meets with all employees to discuss the direction of the business and what changes to expect. Input from all employees is encouraged and implemented.
Q: How do you incorporate training to ensure workers are up to date with the latest technologies?
A: Based on interest and job responsibility, employees work with leadership to determine a training path, which is reviewed quarterly. Employees are given the time and resources to participate in training to expand their expertise and stay up to date as technologies change. For example, one of our employees recently received a full scholarship to participate in a 12-week Cybersecurity Leadership Program, a rapidly growing and changing segment in the industry, and will be able to share this skill set with the team.
Q: Are employees encouraged to share ideas, as well as workplace concerns, with management?
A: Absolutely. In addition to ad hoc discussions and quarterly one-on-ones, a year-end review takes place. At that time, we request feedback regarding the three things that worked the best at Sidepath and the three areas they would like to see change.
Q: Are workers encouraged to be involved in community or charitable causes?
A: We encourage but don’t require. In 2015, Sidepath was named Dell’s “Philanthropic Partner of the Year.” Sidepath has been very philanthropic in the local community, committing time and resources to causes like the Orange County Childhood Language Center and The Boys & Girls Club, as well as many other national organizations including Susan G. Komen, the American Diabetes Association, Autism Speaks, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Headquarters: Laguna Hills
Industry: Information technology
Local employees: 40
“We are able to retain top talent by giving them a purpose. All of our employees have direct access to ownership,” Jim Andronaco, co-owner of Sidepath