Best Places to Work: Cox Communications
By Eric J. Wallace
1341 Crossways Blvd., Chesapeake | 757-224-4269 | CoxInc.com
Employees: More than 1,500 in the Coastal Virginia area
Cox Communications is a Fortune 500 company. Yet, local employees say working there feels more small business than mega-corporation. Senior Vice President and Region Manager J.D. Myers, II says that’s because Cox started as—and continues to be—a family-owned business.
“Being a family-owned business allows us to focus on what matters most,” he says. “For us, it’s about empowering people to build a better future for the next generation. We do this by putting our employees at the center of every decision we make.” The continuity creates an atmosphere of caring and community. Employees are regarded as people whose happiness and wellbeing matters. “When we say we’re committed to taking care of our employees, we mean it. From paid education programs to adoption assistance to an employee assistance program which helps employees and their families in times of need, we truly do offer it all.”
They offer competitive compensation packages, nearly unlimited opportunities for advancement and a slew of great benefits. A dedicated team gathers employee feedback about the workplace environment, incentives, events and more and crafts proposals based on their suggestions. Resulting diversity and inclusion programs have led to accolades from Forbes and Diversity Inc., citing Cox as one of the nation’s best employers for diversity. Combined, the efforts have created a progressive corporate culture that, according to Forbes, is one of the 500 finest in the U.S.
The community-minded thinking isn’t limited to employees—it extends to the surrounding region as well. “At Cox, we have a culture of giving back and a determination that our company should be a force for good in the world,” says Myers. “We believe we’re defined by our actions, and our employees take action by the thousands. Each month, employees are encouraged to take paid time off to volunteer and give back in their local communities.” Upward of 16 hours of paid time off encourages workers to participate in local volunteerism. The company has donated $1.8 million to Virginia nonprofits since 2009. Last March, Cox Charities gave a $10,000 grant to a local Girl Scout troop along with six other Coastal Virginia organizations.
Community and Public Affairs Specialist Erin Brunelle says such actions are par for the course. They make her feel proud to be a member of the Cox team. “Cox’s Why Statement—that is, the reason behind everything we do—is ‘empowering people today to build a better future for the next generation,’” explains Brunelle. “When the company you work for is focused not just on profit but on building a better future, that tells you you’re in good hands.”
- Feedback from employee opinion surveys informs important workplace decisions
- Wellness programs including company-sponsored events like Know Your Numbers, where participation yields a $200 payroll credit
- Robust and comprehensive healthcare and retirement benefits
- Bonus benefits including home and auto insurance, identity theft protection and pet insurance
- Internal rewards program enabling employees to recognize one another for a job well done. Rewards accumulate in the form of cash points and enable workers to purchase items ranging from household supplies to designer handbags
- Virtually endless opportunity for advancement
Why I Love My Job:
“As an employee at Cox, I have a wealth of benefits and resources. My favorite is the flexible paid time off policy that empowers me to define my own work-life balance. I’m encouraged to pursue my interests, both while doing my job and outside of the office. In addition to standard paid time off, I get about two days of [PTO] to be out in the community volunteering or working with nonprofits I’m passionate about. What better way to demonstrate that Cox cares about me, my wellbeing and my community, than literally encouraging me to leave my desk and paying me to do it?” —Erin Brunelle, Community and Public Affairs Specialist, two years with Cox Communications