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Employees Discover the New “WECxperience”

Members of “the WEC Family” celebrating the announcement of the firm’s newly expanded total rewards package

Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C. Employees Discover the New “WECxperience”
Firm turns employees’ feedback into action through expansion of total rewards package

Norfolk, Va. - CPAmerica firm, Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C. (WEC) has rolled out its newest set of employee initiatives, adding to the firm’s already extensive list of perks and benefits. In a firm-wide meeting, packaged as “The 2019 WECxperience,” firm leadership   unveiled long-term firm goals, five new/revamped employee benefits, upcoming firm functions for the year, plans for firm-wide employee gifts and new/revamped firm programming. The latest addition to WEC’s list of perks and benefits, which serves as a morale booster as the 2019 busy season starts to pick up, comes as the result of employee feedback, collected through focus groups and various surveys, as well as an analysis of benefits offered by other companies in the firm’s market.

“We have been looking forward to revealing the ‘WECxperience’ to our team as it is a great illustration of how much their feedback is heard and valued,” said WEC Shareholder Angela Kerns, CPA, HCCP. “We took the time to listen to our employees, then crafted perks, benefits and programs to meet their needs, and now it’s time to finally implement these changes to show our appreciation for the hard work they put in day in and day out.”

New employee benefits include paid parental leave and paid bereavement leave. Administrative and paraprofessional staff will receive the benefit of an additional week of paid time off after five years of service. This is in conjunction with the five weeks paid time off administrative and paraprofessional staff already received after 10 years of service. WEC has also revamped their CPA licensure coverage and incentive plan to motivate staff to get a head start on their CPA exams by providing reimbursement for all review materials, exam fees, license application fees and state specific ethics courses upfront, if they meet all criteria required by the program. A bonus will be awarded to those that pass all four parts of the CPA exam as well as the ethics course within 18 months. If passed within two years, staff will still receive a bonus, but at a reduced amount. The firm also announced it was moving to a “dress for your day” policy in which employees are able to dress down, while still maintaining a professional presence, on days they do not have client meetings or other items on their schedule which require a specific dress code.

WEC employees enjoying the firm’s new “dress for your day” policy **Justin Lewis, staff accountant, who is quoted within the press release is pictured on the far left.

“Our next generation committee (an internal committee comprised solely of staff and seniors) communicated changes we wanted to see regarding the firm’s existing CPA examination reimbursement program. We were extremely excited when it was announced the program had been revamped and even more excited when we could see that our feedback had been used to shape the new program. I love that the firm was willing to take our ideas and implement change so quickly,” said Justin Lewis, staff accountant.

Firm functions have always been a large part of the culture at WEC and what employees can expect from the “WECxperience” moving forward is “bigger and better.” To kick the year off, the firm rented out an entire escape room facility for its busy season intern social. Employees were strategically split into teams and given an hour to break free from their rooms – a true teambuilding experience. Next up on the firm’s event calendar is its annual end of busy season party featuring a DJ, karaoke, raffle prizes, drinks and eats, all at one of Downtown Norfolk’s very best event venues. Like all WEC deadline parties, there is a theme and prizes will be awarded for best dressed – this year’s “Athletes and Mathletes” theme is sure to bring about some interesting costumes.

This year, employees will also enjoy the addition of a brand new event: a WEC alumni event, held in conjunction with the firm’s summer intern social. As the firm welcomes in its summer interns, it will also welcome back former employees for an evening of shuffleboard, bocce ball and board games. To close out summer, WEC employees will enjoy a “family day” which takes place every few years, and historically has been limited to employees inviting their children and significant others. For this year’s family day, the firm is making the invite more inclusive and allowing employees to invite their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends – whoever they consider family.

In the fall, WEC will commemorate the end of extension season with a 10/15 happy hour at a local rooftop bar. To round out the year’s event calendar, WEC will celebrate its 30th year of business with a formal “Casino Night” holiday/anniversary party. In addition to the firm’s enticing firm function offerings for 2019, employee gifts have also been enhanced to better suit the WEC team. The firm already has programs in place for anniversaries and special life occasions, distributes firm-wide end of busy season gifts, coordinates raffles for big ticket items at major firm functions and gives the entire team custom-made ornaments at the annual holiday party. New for this year: a firm-wide gift distributed to the entire team once a quarter.

With the goal of pushing recognition down from higher ranking staff members, newly announced program, “Cash Me at My Best,” spotlights team members who go above and beyond during busy season. Employees being recognized receive an email with a description of why they are being recognized as well as a “WEC Cash” deposit which can be redeemed for a gift card at any point during busy season. These “deposits” are then shared at the firm’s weekly staff meeting to make the recognition public and promote positive team morale throughout the duration of busy season.

“The perks and benefits at WEC have a significant influence on our ability to recruit and retain the best talent, but what really draws candidates in and keeps our team engaged goes much deeper than the perks and benefits themselves” says Sarah Taylor, SHRM-CP, talent acquisition and development manager. “What our total rewards package shows is just how much each individual employee matters. When we demonstrate that feedback gets turned into action, that is what makes candidates want to be a part of the ‘WEC Family’ and what makes our current employees want to remain a part of our firm for years to come.”

Shareholder Angela Kerns, CPA, HCCP, served as the firm’s champion for the “WECxperience”