ST. PETERSBURG — When senior associate Amy Maltinos suffered a stroke last year, she faced a month in a physical therapy rehabilitation center.
That meant putting many aspects of her life on hold so she could get better. But her bosses and coworkers at Spoor Bunch Franz, a tax and accounting firm, made it clear that her job shouldn’t be one of her concerns.
“You’re still a part of the team,” she remembered feeling. “They showed that every single day of rehab.”
The St. Petersburg-based firm ranked No. 4 this year in the Top Workplaces small business category. Among the strengths of the organization, employees said in a survey, are the care members of the firm have for one another and the emphasis on a work-life balance.
Every day during her 30-day stay, Spoor Bunch Franz employees carpooled to see Maltinos and cheer her up. They even packed into her room in costumes on Halloween.
That kind of personal touch is part of the firm’s larger effort to put their employees first.
“If you know your people and you watch them and take the time to care for their development,” said partner Steve Bunch, “you’ll see when they are struggling and see when to support them.”
A strong work-life balance helps maintain their employees’ happiness, too.
At previous jobs, senior manager Julie Moore found it difficult to juggle her work and her personal life. Moore is from North Carolina, and until last spring when her parents moved to Florida, her entire family lived there.
At other firms, “there was a period of time I couldn’t take off and go see my family,” she said. “And I felt very guilty about that.”
The schedule flexibility and paid time off at Spoor Bunch Franz, Moore said, make it easier to keep in touch with family and maintain her traveling hobby.
Many of the company’s people-focused values stick, the partners said, because employees helped design them. Just before the company was created in a merger in 2016, the partners took employees on a retreat in St. Petersburg and asked them to help establish the company’s future.
“We decided that we were going to get everybody into a room, and the goal should be that we’re going to develop a mission and vision and core values,” said partner W.G. Spoor. “We were very mindful not to take over the conversation."
The company checks in with its employees at an annual retreat to identify ways the company is succeeding and how it can do better.
“It’s definitely not a one-time thing,” Bunch said. “It’s something we have to think about and ponder all year long.”
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Spoor Bunch Franz is a certified public accounting and consulting firm based in St. Petersburg.
Location: St. Petersburg
“All staff are treated equally, no one is better than another. Every one respects each other. We are treated as adults which allows the flexibility to take care of our family needs.”
“I am given tasks and clients that challenge me and enrich my skills. I am given opportunities to share my knowledge and skills with others to help them grow. I truly feel like my work makes a difference to my clients and my team.”
“People Matter Most: I get to do what I love to do, at a firm that feels that it is important for their people to be happy at work, and outside of work.”