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updated: 9/15/2020 4:52 PM

Pariveda Solutions, Dallas and Chicago

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Pariveda Solutions is a technology strategy and solutions firm with a location in Chicago, with focus on developing exceptional people to solve clients' complex and valuable business problems.

At Pariveda the principals of diversity, inclusion and equity are integral to their mission, and they are intentional in their efforts to foster those principles in everything they do. As an employee-owned firm their mission is to push their people toward their highest potential. When everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work, the best outcomes can be achieved for the employees, clients and communities.

That's just a few reasons why they're the No. 1 Best Place to Work in the large company category.

Q: What makes working at your company so special?

A: In 2003, we asked one simple question: can a technology consulting firm be successful by focusing first on growing the individual toward their highest potential? We believed through an unwavering commitment to developing people and delivering valuable solutions for our clients, we could create a different kind of company. We created Pariveda.

By helping the individual, counter to industry norms, we have grown every year. We are passionate about creating interesting solutions to the unknown and unmet needs of our clients and growing, both our people and our clients, through those experiences.

We believe in the efficiency of small teams working together to diagnose and solve complex problems leveraging strategy and technology. We believe in the importance of holistic transformation and the need to focus on people and relationships as a key element of any organizational optimization. We believe in growing deep relationships with our people, our clients, our communities and others in our networks.

Trusted relationships are integral to everything we do -- from relationships with the people with whom we work, the people we partner with at our clients and the people we interact with in our communities. We believe trusted relationships are built through delivering experiences that make a difference to clients and communities.

You will discover people here are passionate about their work. We seek to be difference-makers in our industry and the communities where we live by always learning, coaching more and giving back.

Q: What are one or two things your company does to promote employee engagement?

A: In 2007 we created an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, and over time, the company will be 100% owned by the ESOP. We believe employees who are company owners take better care of our clients and each other because their focus is on the long run and on maximizing the value of the company for themselves as owner-employees.

Being a privately held company and employee-owned provides benefits for our employees. Such benefits are that each employee is eligible to be an owner of Pariveda on their date of hire. In addition it provides a tax benefit and is a wealth-building tool alongside other plans we offer. Our annual stock valuation cycle allows management to make long-term decisions for the good of the company allowing employees to focus on their daily responsibilities while building long-term wealth.

The culture at Pariveda is one of our most prized assets, and one of the principal reasons our employees choose careers at Pariveda. We've built this culture together through our shared commitment to a set of fundamental values and our community's expectations of how we work together. As markets scale and the company expands, our goal is to provide decision guidance that encapsulates our culture and keeps it thriving. We've defined the behaviors that show who we are and how to act through our Findamentals. At Pariveda our Findamentals are to empower and enable others, treat everyone with respect, be curious and unafraid to ask questions, support and care for the whole person, grow yourself and others toward our highest potential, collaborate with others, celebrate growth and operate transparently.

Q: Do you have a workplace philosophy?

A: As a company, our focus is on growing the individual to their highest potential. Our Fins are problem solvers who possess analytical skills in combination with an empathetic, emotionally intelligent, people-focused mindset.

Talent development is a foundational element of Pariveda. Pariveda's Expectations Framework establishes a defined career path, based on a unique set of expectations of each level. It serves multiple purposes, such as evaluation of recruits, career path for development, and evaluation of promotion readiness.

At Pariveda we recognize the power of diverse thinking and learning from others. We strive to create an environment where learning happens every day, and you are given opportunities that enable you to work toward your highest potential over the course of your career. We develop creative problem solvers who know how to leverage ideas, learning and best practices from one situation and effectively apply it to another.

Q: How does being named the No. 1 Best Place to Work in Illinois help your company?

A: This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our Fins (employees), who bring their full, authentic selves to work and achieve the best outcomes for other Fins, our clients and our communities. The commitment to the pursuit of lifelong learning exhibited by our firm is fundamental to our continued growth. It enables the cultivation of an environment that encourages creativity and experimentation, one that promotes the inclusion of new ideas. This accomplishment is also an outstanding recognition of our ability and commitment to live out our mission. Our mission statement embodies developing, managing and applying talent: all talent, all employees. Our Fins are assets to the company and are highly valued. To live out our mission, Pariveda Fins receive performance reviews every six months. These reviews are as objective as possible because Pariveda has outlined expectations for every level in the firm in a tool called the Expectations Framework. Fins use the Expectations Framework to guide their development and to evaluate each other's behavior and growth. Everyone from a recent college hire to our CEO is evaluated using the Expectations Framework. Our objectivity is even more prominent when a Fin is eligible for a promotion (roughly every year). If a Fin has reached the next level of expectations, the individual is promoted; cost is never a consideration, nor are stack rankings or quotas. Because we have such a transparent review process, it makes sense that our salaries are also transparent, and every Fin at the same cohort level is paid the same amount. Pariveda publishes our salaries at all levels, and they can be accessed at any time by any employee.

Q: Three words that best describe your company's work culture.

A: Learn. Coach. Give. This is our mantra that, in just three words, explains our mission and value to clients, recruits, our communities and our people. It's the core of our culture at Pariveda. Learn. Coach. Give permeates everything we do, from learning on the job to coaching others through our mentorship program to giving back to each other and communities where we live and work. At our very core we desire to help the individual grow through learning, coaching and giving to others to grow toward their highest potential. As our people grow toward their highest potential, they are continually learning and helping each other learn new things every day. As we work together in teams, offering feedback and coaching enables growth in our people so we can continue solving complex, ambiguous business problems for our clients. At Pariveda it's important that we give to each other, our clients and our communities. In addition to community service initiatives in our local markets, the Pariveda internship program is fully philanthropic. Interns partner with a local nonprofit during an 11-week project and deliver incredible impact for the nonprofit organization and the community it serves. Beyond community service, we find it's important also to be giving of our thoughts. We exhibit this by sharing our thought leadership freely, and often, to help those around us solve business problems via creative ideas.

Q: How have you adapted your culture to meet the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: Because emergency preparation was in place in all of our markets, we were able to act on our plans very quickly to care for our Fins (employees). It was imperative that we quickly move to working from home for the safety of our Fins. We were already well prepared for remote work based on the nature of the consulting business, the infrastructure for using Zoom and Slack already in place, and the expectations for interacting with project teams remotely.

Since we've moved to remote work, our Fins have access to senior leadership through a biweekly companywide Q&A session to discuss various topics related to the pandemic and more. As we continue to ensure Fin safety, Fin well-being has become a high priority as well. We're providing workshops and learning sessions that focus on topics that include our physical health, financial health, and mental and emotional health during these times. Team cohesion has been a significant focus, and there have been consistent opportunities to be socially close while we are still physically distant. Fins come together often through virtual team game nights, virtual yoga and other workouts, virtual coffee breaks and more.