CLEVELAND, Ohio – (January 27, 2020) – Apple Growth Partners (AGP), award-winning accounting and business advisory firm, has been named a 2020 honoree for the Smart Business Smart Culture Awards.
In the award’s third year, the Smart Culture Conference & Awards event recognizes organizations with a physical office in Northeastern Ohio for demonstrated cutting-edge practices in maintaining a “smart” culture. The firm will be recognized, along with additional local winners, during the presentation and award ceremony on March 19, 2020, in Cleveland.
The Smart Culture Award identifies the importance of healthy workplace experiences for employees and celebrates companies that are focused on defining, maintaining, and improving the organization’s internal wellbeing. The award celebrates local businesses that believe culture is critical to the company’s bottom line and a key driver to employee retention and success.
For chairman Chuck Mullen, AGP not only fit the bill but exceeded the requirements.
“Our firm is committed to fostering a culture of excellence, acceptance, support, and inclusiveness, with the end-goal of being an employer-of-choice,” states Mullen. “In a competitive employer landscape such as Northeastern Ohio, we’re proud to be recognized for this honor, as it truly celebrates the hard work our team has accomplished to evolve our culture.”
Demonstrating the firm’s commitment to culture was possible by highlighting key initiatives in the following award categories:
- Organization’s mission, vision, and values: The firm has established a strategic plan that encompasses the vision for the next 3-7 years, including champions of critical strategies to rebuild and fortify the firm’s infrastructure.
- Use of social media to promote company and culture: For the last two years, the firm has increased presence and branding across social media, including a dedicated focus on LinkedIn. The firm routinely shares relevant content for business owners and professionals and highlights the firm’s culture through employee spotlights, holidays, and significant AGP milestones.
- Use of communications, internally and externally: Communication is a top commitment to Mullen, as the firm’s chairman is the co-host of the growing podcast “Sliced,” and the author of the firm’s internal newsletters.
- Personal and professional team member development: In 2019, the firm introduced a professional development program titled “AGP Build,” identifying the needs for supervisors and managers to prepare for leadership roles. The cohort sessions were designed to develop supervisory skills, workforce management, and hands-on-training.
- Talent acquisition: Attracting and retaining top talent in Northeastern Ohio continues to stay top-of-mind for the leadership team, including the firm’s in-house director of recruitment. The challenge of staying competitive with employee benefits and programs is also a focus, as AGP has a variety of perks, including flexible hours, onsite health coaching, and recently announced, two paid days per year for employees to use to volunteer.
- Diversity: In 2019, the firm pledged to embrace a diverse and inclusive culture and established a dedicated committee to carry out projects to continuously improve employee’s experience.
“Our clients can only be served by employees that are engaged, appreciated, and well taken care of, which is an aspect of culture that must be demonstrated by the top-down,” Mullen comments. “Our firm has accepted the changing time, providing all employees with laptops to support remote work when needed. Work/life balance is more than a corporate buzzword; it’s an absolute must in our company.”
The firm also invests time and resources in receiving employee feedback, through cultural assessments and anonymous survey programs, in efforts to identify opportunities to improve.
“Our recent improvements have come directly from employee feedback; to remain an employer-of-choice, we must continue in open dialog with our employees to ensure they feel valued and appreciated,” says Mullen. “We can only help grow local businesses if our employees truly enjoy coming to work every day. We’re honored to be included in the Smart Culture Award recipients for 2020.”
About Apple Growth Partners
Apple Growth Partners is an award-winning accounting and business advisory firm with more than 75 years of helping grow local businesses. With offices in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Kent, AGP offers a full range of services, including audit and assurance, tax planning and compliance, business valuation, litigation consulting, employee stock ownership plans, and transaction advisory services.