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Employees say FRCH is a workplace filled with infectious creativity, where people enjoy their colleagues' company both on the clock and off.

EMPLOYEE RATINGS

     

This review is based on 114 employee surveys, with a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 4.94. It was published on Oct 2, 2014. 4996 Visitors

What You Should Know

FRCH Design Worldwide works hard to create an atmosphere filled with infectious creativity, where people tend to enjoy the company of their colleagues both on the clock and off. FRCH employees overwhelmingly describe their workplace as caring and fun. That's helped in no small part by frequent social events such as an annual outing to a horse track and architectural field trips intended to spark team members' inspiration. These creative professionals are proud to shoulder a significant deal of responsibility in their jobs while also collaborating with like-minded co-workers they say take a genuine interest in one another's well-being. FRCH will appeal to people seeking to further their careers within a social, supportive team. Some employees would like to see a larger share of the company's profits, although FRCH does provide 401(k) matching, incentive compensation, and has a history of providing bonuses.

“The vibrant culture of FRCH is what makes us so great,” says one employee. “We are a diverse group of people who support one another inside and outside of work. This makes us much more than a company. We are a family.”

WHAT THEY DO

FRCH provides architecture, interior design, graphic design and brand-strategy services to clients that include specialty retailers, department stores, restaurants, retail centers, hotels and entertainment venues.

Website: www.frch.com US Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio
US Sites: 2 Major Locations: Cincinnati; New York
US Employees: 184 US revenues: $32.4 million
Worldwide revenues: $32.4 million Founded: 1968
Industry: Professional Services

Great Challenges

How much responsibility would I have? What kind of support is there for professional development?

Great Rated! conducted an anonymous survey of randomly selected employees to assess the quality of the workplace challenges the company provides. At FRCH, 85 percent of employees report the company often or almost always provides needed training, fair promotions and personally challenging work. Another 13 percent report the company sometimes provides these opportunities, for a combined positive rating from 98 percent of employees in the Great Challenges category.

FRCH employees provides services in architecture, interior design, graphic design and brand strategy. The company has approximately 160 employees in the United States, where they operate two offices. The vast majority of employees (95 percent) say they carry a lot of responsibility in the organization, and 91 percent say that managers trust them to carry out these responsibilities without micromanaging them. For the majority of employees (87 percent), their work at FRCH is more than just a job: The chance to contribute their creative talents in a highly cooperative team provides special meaning.

At FRCH Design, 89 percent of employees feel they receive the training and development they need to further their careers.

Supporting Employee Development

  • College Tuition Reimbursement: $5,000
  • Average annual training for full-time salaried employees: 40 hours
  • FRCH offers a broad slate of programs for employees to expand their skills. These include cross-studio training, a leadership program, career-management courses, job shadowing, special project assignments and workshops. 
The individuals who work at FRCH strive to get deliverables out the door or to management efficiently and effectively. Employees are rewarded for their hard work with work-sponsored events.

Great Atmosphere

What would my colleagues be like? How do people have fun? How formal a workplace is it?

At FRCH, 90 percent of employees say they often or almost always enjoy their colleagues and find their workplace to be fun and cooperative. Another 9 percent sometimes benefit from these qualities, for a combined positive rating from 99 percent of employees in the Great Atmosphere category.

FRCH's head office is centrally located in downtown Cincinnati. It features few offices with doors and an open floor plan where most company leaders sit side by side with their colleagues.

Fun and Celebrations

  • FRCH has many ways to celebrate success and foster a fun work environment. Employees gather for annual retreats and trips to sporting events and theater performances. The firm also hosts monthly happy hours to encourage interaction among departments, as well as seasonal events such as a trip to the Keeneland horse-racing track, a summer picnic, a holiday party and a party celebrating the firm's founding.

Caring and Support

  • When FRCH employees face personal crises or illness, colleagues often pitch in to provide support by way of meals, covering work assignments, helping with household chores and allowing children to come to the office if childcare isn't available.
People celebrate special events around here.
99%
 
FRCH loves to celebrate its culture and keep the 'family' atmosphere. We have multiple celebrations throughout the year as a result of this. I've never been a part of an organization that has four annual celebrations covering employee families, company history, traditional holiday party and a celebration of just us as employees and our vendors. In addition we have a 'Mojo' committee that will do little things to keep up the esprit de corps during hard times, like handing out treats such as Popsicles in the summer, or baked goods.

Demographics

 

Great Rewards

What kind of perks and benefits are part of the employment package? What is the work-life balance like? Does the company appreciate hard work?

At FRCH, 80 percent of employees often or almost always find the company compensates them fairly, provides special and unique benefits, supports their work-life balance and shows genuine appreciation for their contributions. Another 17 percent report they sometimes receive these benefits as well, for a combined positive rating from 97 percent of employees in the Great Rewards category.

FRCH is truly a workplace that cares about its people and understands that our uniquely talented and creative employees are truly what makes us successful. Our leaders take time to celebrate success and recognize individuals for their contributions. It seems leadership is always working hard to introduce new benefits and other perks like giving surprise days off, in order to show their appreciation for the hard work that we all do.

COMPENSATION BY THE NUMBERS

$25,000 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Receptionist $80,450 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Registered Architect
33% 401(k) match of employee's salary, up to 2% of an employee's contribution 80% Company-paid health coverage for employees
80% Company-paid health coverage for dependents

COMPENSATION PROGRAMS

  • 401(k) or 403b plan
  • Pre-tax savings account

PERKS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER

  • Free fresh fruit delivered weekly
  • Lunch provided for training sessions
  • Massage and yoga therapy
  • Fitness classes
  • Banking
  • Free coffee during the day
  • Onsite package/mailing service
  • Discount ticket sales
  • Weight Watchers meetings
  • Personal travel service

WORK-LIFE BALANCE BY THE NUMBERS

22 days Holidays, sick & vacation days after one year of employment 5 days Paid leave for adoptive parents
1 week Paid week off between Christmas and New Year's

WORK-LIFE BALANCE PROGRAMS

  • Unpaid sabbaticals
  • Telecommute option (5% use it)
  • Lactation rooms
  • Childcare reimbursement during business travel
  • Flexible schedule (20% use it)
  • Phased retirement planning
  • Elder care resources
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
96%
 
People are encouraged to balance their work life and their personal life.
83%
 
FRCH has a very familial feel to it. The firm is respectful of employees' need to balance work and life priorities and allows each person the leeway to make small shifts in their schedule to accommodate personal needs.

HEALTH INSURANCE COVERS

  • Dental care
  • Prescription drug subsidy
  • Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy or chiropractic
  • Vision care
  • Mental health care
  • Fertility treatments

ONSITE HEALTH BENEFITS

  • Breast cancer screening
  • Skin cancer screening
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Complete biometric screening
  • Cholesterol tests
  • Flu shots
  • Subsidized offsite gym memberships

Great Pride

What inspires employees' company spirit here? Do people stand by their teams' work? What impact do people have outside the organization?

At FRCH, 92 percent of employees report that they often or almost always carry meaningful responsibilities within the organization and are proud of their accomplishments, community impact and the company's reputation in the world. Another 7 percent report that they sometimes experience this pride as well, for a combined positive rating from 99 percent of employees in the Great Pride category.

FRCH is committed to providing innovative architecture, interior design, graphic design and brand strategy for clients in more than 40 countries. The company has worked for Disney, Hershey's, Whole Foods, Sprint, McDonald's, Macy's, Hilton hotels and the Cincinnati Reds, to name a few.

I'm proud to tell others I work here.
96%
 
We work hard and play hard. There is a culture to our company that most other places don't have. We produce some of the best architectural and design work around and we also have the best firm-wide celebrations out of any company I have ever heard of.

Supporting the Community

  • 24 hours paid time to volunteer per employee per year
  • $130,000 in philanthropic donations in the last year
  • FRCH participates in philanthropic initiatives throughout the year. The firm has organized bake sales, beer tastings, a chili cook-off and a grill-out in the parking lot to support the United Way. Another big event is the Artswave drive where employees make and auction off paintings. A team of employees also prepared food and served it at a local shelter. 
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
94%
 
FRCH works very hard to give back to the community and encourages its employees to as well through events, parties, tutoring, fundraisers and various competitions. 

Great Communication

How easy is it to talk with managers and get the information I need? Will managers listen to my input?

At FRCH, 80 percent of employees say they often or almost always experience a free and transparent exchange of ideas and information within the organization. Another 17 percent sometimes have this experience as well, for a combined positive rating from 97 percent of employees in the Great Communication category.

Despite operating two U.S. locations and multiple groups with different focuses, FRCH employees generally describe a workplace where they can easily access the information they need. Most employees (87 percent) feel their managers are approachable and easy to talk with. Eighty-six percent of team members report that they can ask their leaders any reasonable question and receive a straight answer, while 82 percent describe a management team that makes its expectations clear. Most (76 percent) say their leaders genuinely seek and respond to suggestions and ideas.

Leadership at FRCH is unusually open with the employees. We have regular town-hall meetings where status of the business is shared with everyone from co-ops to management. These meetings always focus on the positive, but negative items are also shared. Many companies hold back something they consider bad news. FRCH presents it along with the lesson learned and what will be done differently next time. 

Great Bosses

What are managers' leadership strengths?

At FRCH, 79 percent of employees say their managers often or almost always act with integrity and care, are competent in their positions and provide clear directions and vision for the organization. Another 17 percent say their managers sometimes display these characteristics, for a combined positive rating from 96 percent of employees in the Great Bosses category.

FRCH employees widely appreciate the collaborative atmosphere and the creative energy their leaders encourage at the company. They also express confidence in the way the agency is run: A full 92 percent of employees believe their leaders are competent at running the business and do so in an honest and ethical fashion. Most team members (87 percent) feel their managers show a sincere interest in them as individuals, not just as employees, and eight out of 10 believe the company would lay people off only as a last resort.

Management goes above and beyond to get FRCH recognized for its work and people. They take great pride in what we do as a firm.

Great Perks and Programs

  • Free Advice: FRCH provides its employees with a range of resources to help them manage their finances, address legal issues, raise children and care for elderly parents. Employees also have access to a travel concierge.
  • Time Off: In addition to their vacation time, FRCH employees take the week off between Christmas and New Year's Day. The firm has also been known to throw in a surprise day off to extend holiday weekends.
  • FRCH Walkabouts: Seeking creative inspiration, employees board buses on a quarterly basis to visit buildings designed by the firm and other interesting locales. 
  • Wellness: FRCH gives employees ample opportunity to improve their health and wellness. The firm sponsors yoga and Zumba classes, free-fruit Fridays and clubs centered on walking, gardening, golfing, cycling, softball, soccer and dodge ball. The company even offers equipment for employees to walk or pedal while at their work stations.
  • Anniversary Recognition: The organization thanks employees for their tenure with increased vacation time, paid parking and gifts. Team members are recognized after three, five and 10 years with the company and every five years after that.

Employee Quotes

Great Rated! collected feedback from FRCH employees via an anonymous survey. Following are common reasons employees said they appreciate their workplace.

"The vibrant culture of FRCH is what makes us so great. We are a diverse group of people who support one another inside and outside of work. This makes us much more then a company; we are a family."

"There is a solid team atmosphere - we are all working toward similar goals, and try to communicate wins across business units."

"When I had surgery and was unable to work for five weeks, employees from all over donated vacation time and sent two separate care packages. People made food and even volunteered to drive my kids to school. I don't have family in the area but the people at FRCH are my family. The great thing is everyone pays it forward."

"They go to great lengths to put on fun activities for the company, to bring everyone together and help socialize. Events such as the Keeneland horse races, family picnics, holiday parties and celebrating birthdays every month give everyone something to look forward to and to be excited about."

"FRCH has lots of special events/parties that can make it feel like more than just a workplace, and more like a family. They care about making sure their employees have a good time and that they feel appreciated. FRCH likes to participate in things throughout the community/industry and encourages the staff to partake."

"The company utilizes its creative roots in everything we do, not just our billable projects but also our internal events, our community involvement, etc. We leverage our creative talent for the greater good."

"We do a lot of special events to give back to employees. We spend dedicated time focusing on our culture and just having fun together. This goes above and beyond from what I've seen at other companies."

"FRCH is a large company with a small-company feel. Being a new employee, I was welcomed into the studio and given the freedom to start working on many different projects within my first week. Being able to work closely with directors and designers has been a pleasure and any suggestions, even from a new employee, have been welcomed with an open mind. My first month has been eye-opening and exciting and I truly expect this to continue throughout my career with FRCH."

"The company has a long history of going the extra mile to promote enjoyable events. The company sponsors at least one event every two months, if not more frequently. "

"There is a strong sense of personality with the firm. They really try to foster creativity for all of its employees, which makes for an enjoyable and productive work environment. I also like how the firm is broken down into studios, so even though we're relatively large compared to other design firms, it never feels that big. I feel like we get the best of both worlds of large firms and small/medium-sized firms."

"FRCH is unique and unusual because of the people that work here. There is so much diversity in the people that are employed at FRCH but somehow we all fit together despite our different backgrounds and specialties."

"We often celebrate our accomplishments as a firm and recognize teams and individuals for their outstanding contributions."

How to Get Hired

We asked FRCH for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.

What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?

Some of the key characteristics we would look for in a candidate are low ego, high energy, entrepreneurial spirit and ability to adapt quickly to change. We want to hire people whom we are excited to partner with. We prefer a team that is a well-oiled machine to a group of rock stars that can't play together. Building the right team and the right culture is critical to building a firm that is successful in the long term.

What can prospective employees do to get your attention?

Being a leader in the design industry, one of the best ways to get our attention is through a well-crafted, highly creative portfolio of work. This is actually the first step in our hiring process. One thing that stands out is when we have candidates who get published in leading design journals, participate in national conferences as speakers and who win individual design competitions.

Are there any unusual or especially rigorous steps of your hiring process that candidates should be aware of?

Individuals will need to present their work in front of a hiring panel that includes the hiring manager, HR, studio leader, person in the same position and someone in the position above the candidate. Since our employees interact with clients their presentation and salesmanship skills are very important.

Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?

We have a lot of architecture, interior design and graphic design work at the moment so we have been heavily interviewing for these positions in multiple studios. We also have a few key clients expanding in Latin America so we are looking for multilingual candidates in our department store market. We are expanding our New York office and have some key positions identified, as well as opportunities on the West Coast.

What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?

Once someone has a strong portfolio put together, he or she should be proactive in the search process. We invite people to connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We suggest our students come in to job shadow or apply for an internship. Candidates can call, send emails or go to our website to ask questions or to apply for a position.

Hiring Outlook

10%Job Growth 68Average number of applicants per opening
8%Total voluntary turnover in past year 953Applicants in past year
31Openings in past year 33%New hires by employee referrals

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