2015 Top Places to Work in PR: Edelman USA

“At Edelman, everyone is an account executive.” Those words, said years ago by founder Dan Edelman, ring true today. Walk Edelman’s halls and, in any office, you’ll sense creative energy and a fast-moving but collegial tone marked by coworkers with diverse backgrounds coming up with new ideas, debating and laughing together.

Edelman’s learning and development program follows a 70/20/10 philosophy, which means it believes that 70 percent of learning should come from on-the-job experiences; 20 percent from coaching and feedback; and 10 percent from courses.

While managers, peers and even direct reports provide others with opportunities for on-the-job training, Edelman also offers a formal program called Edelman Learning Institute, or ELI for short. ELI provides in-person classes and on-demand online modules, as well as colleague-endorsed and shared external content (e.g. articles, book, podcasts, etc.). The intuitive, Netflix-style platform is set up to encourage exploration and self-learning in areas of specialty within the firm.

In an anonymous Glassdoor.com employee survey, one staff member commented, “There are a lot of employee perks and benefits—probably the most I've ever had at any other company. If you like hard work, are just starting out and need experience, this is the place for you!”

Some of the creative and unique benefits and perks at Edelman include paid sabbaticals every five years, starting at three weeks off at 10 years of service plus a financial reward. In addition, the annual Edelman Escape contest awards 30 winners an extra week of vacation and $1,000 to “live a dream” of their own or “give a dream” to a cause. Past winners have produced film scripts, studied culinary arts and aided countless volunteer organizations across the globe.

Edelman’s Wellness 360 program awards participants financial incentives for improving healthy lifestyles, quitting tobacco or serving as a wellness mentor to a colleague. Employees also receive generous paid time off (PTO), including summer “balance days,” annual “optional days” and birthday PTO, in addition to generous vacation/holidays.