LOCATION: Durham, N.C.
GIVING BACK: Since 2006, McKinney has hosted
the Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands, where local corporate
bands compete to raise funds for charity. Taken together, the
"Battles" have raised more than $300,000. (McKinney's band Role
Playaz won this year.) Proceeds were directed to a program from
educational institution The Hill Center, whose Operation Literacy
program provides children in the Durham Public Schools with
individualized, after-school tutoring.
Still more professional development happens at the in-house
Blackwell School, named for the Durham-based agency's street
address. Courses include everything from HTML5 to "How We Make
Money," a show of transparency about a topic many companies prefer
to shroud in mystery.
Meanwhile, who wouldn't love working in such a cool-looking
space? Every design decision in the renovated Lucky Strike factory
-- including the floor plan's 50 meeting places -- was made to
cultivate the exchange of ideas. Workspaces aren't divided by
discipline, and people can expect to get their own darn mail. Why?
So that they bump into each other.
That includes the executive team. "The partners aren't just
figureheads," said senior VP-Communications Strategist Gretchen
Walsh, who, since presenting her case for working flextime hours in
2006, has balanced work and children on an alternative schedule.
"They're involved in the day-to-day -- in shaping the work we do.
So it's not just a matter of access. They're active
Another important ingredient in McKinney's secret sauce is its
ability to show employees that working there is more than a job.
McKinney employees effect social change directly. A "Give to Get"
program includes the opportunity for them to pitch their favorite
charity to coworkers, who vote to determine which will become the
agency's pro-bono client. McKinney's current "Give to Get" account
is emergency-services organization Urban Ministries of Durham.
"When people can connect with things that are bigger than
themselves, it creates value beyond what any paycheck can give
you," said Mr. Brinegar.