Best Places to Work Benchmark Winner: Information Network of Arkansas


Best Places to Work Benchmark Winner: Information Network of Arkansas
The staff of this year's Best Places to Work Benchmark Winner, Information Network of Arkansas (INA)

Located on the 16th floor in the Simmons Tower, the Information Network of Arkansas (INA) offices serve as a second home for employees, who rave about the company’s generous benefits packages, the unique office setup and the endless recognition from management and coworkers.

At the heart of it all, INA employees appreciate the office culture and camaraderie the most.

“All of the perks are great, but it is the people,” said Senior Software Developer Brook Wallace, who has been with the company for over a year. “You come in the door every day and see all the faces and get excited because you get to talk to your friends again. You share in the experience of life.”

There’s a good chance you’ve benefited from the work INA does even if you’re not aware of it. The company is behind a number of Arkansas.gov websites and hundreds of digital government services in the state of Arkansas. (Any Arkansan who’s renewed car tags from the comfort of their own home has INA to thank.) The company is full of project and marketing managers, software developers and designers who make products that improve the lives of Arkansans. All the while, management never loses sight of INA’s greatest assets — its employees.

Giving Back

Employees and their families receive 100 percent paid health and dental insurance, 100 percent paid short-term disability insurance and paid maternity and paternity leave. Wallace and his family were hit with a bad bout of flu earlier this year. He took his family to an urgent care clinic that INA partners with and he didn’t have to pay a single penny. INA’s paid time off is another added perk for employees.

“I get 25 days of paid time off a year,” said Senior Software Developer Joseph Yancey, who started working for INA in February 2016. “It’s enough paid time off that our GM has to regularly remind people to take time off from work.”

INA’s office space has undergone a makeover since the company moved in. Managers have individual offices along one wall and employees have their own individual cubicles. The office has a break room with a foosball table, a fully stocked kitchen and a playroom where employees can mingle, relax or even take a nap.

BY THE NUMBERS
3 percentage of voluntary turnover in the last fiscal year • 37 number of full- and part-time millennial workers • 8 weeks of paid time off given to new mothers • 12 paid holidays INA offers • 960 number of employees nationwide

Credit Where Due

INA managers have regular one-on-one meetings with their team members. Employees are able to discuss any feelings they may have about their career, morale and future plans.

EMPLOYEE-APPROVED PERKS
► 50 percent match on 401(k) contributions up to 10 percent.
► Kitchen stocked with soda, snacks, fresh fruit, hummus and more, free of charge.
► Office playroom set up with an Apple TV, couches, a Sonos speaker for music and mood lighting.
► Foosball table in the break room.
► Regular, one-on-one meetings between employees and managers to discuss career, morale, future plans and anything that might be of concern.

“My boss checks in regularly to see how I am doing,” Yancey said. “Not my work but me personally. They want to know how my family is and make sure that my career is on the track that I want it on. It’s a huge thing to be thought of as Joseph the person, instead of just Joseph the developer resource.”

INA utilizes a program called TINYpulse to regularly take the pulse of the company and its employees. INA employees can give a “cheers” to coworkers for a job well done. In 2017, INA received the Employee Recognition Award from TINYpulse. The award was given for the organization with the highest Cheers for Peers per capita.

“Everyone here is always pointing out when someone works hard or helps someone out,” Wallace said. “We also have a quick, Monday morning, all-office meeting where people are recognized for work done the prior week. We also have a monthly staff meeting where people are recognized. And to top it all off, at the end-of-year office party, there are awards given. We have recognition dripping down through the floorboards to the offices below.”

Having Fun

It’s not all work and no play at INA. An Employee Relations Committee (ERC) organizes events and surprise diversions each month, including impromptu ice cream socials, happy hours, board game days and video game tournaments. Last Halloween, the office shut down halfway through the day to screen scary movies in the playroom outfitted with couches, bean bags and an Apple TV.

“The [ERC events] range from potluck lunches to scavenger hunts in the River Market,” said Security Analyst Corrie Moore, who has been with the company since June 2016. “This really helps your coworkers feel more like friends than just coworkers.”

The list of perks is long, but at the heart of INA are employees who are valued, respected and allowed to enjoy themselves.

“Everyone is professional and gets their work done, but this is a super fun place to work,” Wallace said. “It reminds me of being in high school. Not the maturity level, but just knowing everyone and how everyone is different in their way. But everyone still fits in together in their own way. I love working with everyone here. Some are serious, some are silly, but we all get along great and get our work done together.”


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