On Monday, we announced the winners in our 9th annual Best Places to Work in Collections program. After a rigorous evaluation process managed by the independent firm Best Companies Group, 36 companies met the threshold to be named a “Best Place to Work in Collections” in 2016. Best Companies Group manages Best Places to Work programs in 24 states, 9 regions, and 14 industries, as well as 12 programs across Africa, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

To be judged, companies participate in a two-part survey program. First, employers provide information on workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. Then, employees complete a survey that measures employee experience. The combined scores (employee opinion is weighted more heavily) determine the top companies and final rankings.

Winners are divided into three categories, by size: small (15-49 employees), medium (50-149 employees), and large (150+ employees).

Click here to see all 36 winners and profiles, in ranked order.

The first-place winner in the Large Companies category is Williams & Fudge, Inc. from Rock Hill, SC.

 A collection agency led by CEO Bob Perrin, Williams & Fudge employs 328 people (59% female, 41% male) and is growing at a fast rate, creating 76 new positions last year. Williams & Fudge was founded in 1986 “with the purpose of serving the higher education community by aiding colleges and universities in the recovery of education-related receivables.”

The company is dedicated to being an Equal Opportunity Employer, with 66% of current employees classified as minorities. When asked about the subject, Williams & Fudge says “we utilize inclusion and engagement practices every day” and that their approach is “key to the day-to-day operations and success of our organization.” Additionally, W&F employs several members of the disabled community and takes a variety of steps to ensure an ideal working environment, saying “it is a core mission of the owners to help people that might be considered less fortunate.”

W&F states that their “top incentive program” is “the ability to make great commission for our collectors.” Their tiered pay structure allows top collectors to make more than $100,000+ per year. On average, exempt W&F employees make $73,500 per year.

Williams & Fudge encourages their employees to get involved in the Rock Hill community. In 2015, employees donated over 1,000 volunteer hours to organizations like the local school district, the Red Cross, YMCA, Chamber of Commerce, and other local charities and churches.

The company also puts a priority on the health of its employees. W&F offers treadmill workstations, standing workstations, and exercise balls to sit on so that employees can stay active while working. Additionally, the company offers a gym membership reimbursement program and a “Fresh Fruit Friday” program where fruit is delivered to every employee’s desk.

Williams & Fudge cites a family-friendly environment, flexible schedule, and great pay as benefits they provide that their employees love. They also provide a “unique lounge that includes ping pong, 6 large screen televisions, and arcade games” in addition to providing activities that are fun for the whole family, community volunteering opportunities, and an E4E Relief partnership to assist employees when they need it.

For 2017, the Best Places to Work in Collections program will become Best Call Centers to Work for

The program will celebrate excellence among call center work environments in care, collections, and outsourcing. In addition to collection firms, creditor and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies will be eligible to participate.

Best Places to Work winners use their award as an important recruiting tool. Plus, winning sends a great message to clients and potential clients about the strength of your operations. Even those who don't come out on top have can receive extremely valuable information -- candid feedback from employees, and a road map for improvement.

Winners in the 2017 program will be recognized during an awards dinner at the next insideARM First Party Summit, in May 2017. 

Click here to let us know you are interested in participating. We will make sure you are aware when registration opens (about a month from now).

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