With a customer-focused purpose of enriching lives through meaningful connection, Precoa fosters the same environment among its team of more than 300 employees, a key factor in being named a 2022 winner in The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Top Workplaces competition, now in its 11th year .
The Portland-based company, which helps families be better prepared for loss through a pre-planned, pre-paid funeral, is intentional about how it facilitates relationships, said Tyler Anderson, Precoa’s vice president of business development.
“We are focused not just on cultivating traditional work relationships, but personal relationships as well,” he said. Employees concur, based on the responses that helped Precoa earn this designation.
Full list of Top Workplaces 2022 winners
“They place a strong emphasis on connection, which at past workplaces was frowned upon or discounted,” one worker reported in the survey, which is anonymous. Another said “I feel like we are part of an incredible family.” Other workers reported feeling respected, supported, encouraged and valued.
While most companies strive to create this type of engagement, it is particularly important in the business space Precoa occupies, said Michelle Reyna, director of employee services. After all, she noted, “The average person probably wouldn’t necessarily choose to join a company that specifically supports funeral planning, but what brings them in and keeps them is their fellow team members and the culture of connection we support.”
In fact, recruiters make sure to weave Precoa’s values into the interview process, along with emphasizing the significance of the service employees provide to families.
“Applicants learn about the purpose of ritual and what it means to those who are left behind, which they find appealing,” Anderson said. “It’s helpful for us to find alignment through the interview process because then there is a high likelihood the candidate will ultimately be successful.”
Whether new employees start in the office or work remotely, they are welcomed with a package that reinforces Precoa’s core values, along with a sense of playfulness. For example, with a personal welcoming note and onboarding materials, they’ll receive a pair of fun socks and a water bottle.
“We don’t take lightly the fact that they chose to join our team, and we want the first day to be a meaningful moment of affirmation that they made the right decision,” Anderson said. The company maintains that spirit of recognition on an ongoing basis, such as public kudos at all-hands meetings and in internal communications.
“It’s not a mistake that we want to have a really wonderful place to work,” Reyna said. “We are thankful Precoa has that reputation – from the recruitment period to the first day to those ongoing great experiences our employees appreciate.”
While Precoa aims to create a family-like atmosphere, the company also realizes that employees have their own families and lives outside the office. While many companies strive to create a proper blend of work/life “balance,” Anderson said Precoa prefers to reframe it as work/life integration, with employees devoting the time they need, when they need to.
“Any given week will look a little different in terms of the demands we face in our personal and professional lives,” he said. “Sometimes you have to contribute more to one or the other, and we embrace that fact and look to provide our employees with the flexibility to ebb and flow, as appropriate.”
When you provide a framework that allows employees to tend to their needs, accountability and loyalty grow, Anderson said. “We have found that when you provide a connected and inclusive culture at work, employees are better equipped to take great care of our customers, and the results speak for themselves.”