Gimme a break
Ryan LLC’s perks include companywide summer break
Of all the company perks offered by Ryan LLC, the paid, weeklong summer break often tops the list of employee favorites.
Summer break dates are announced ahead of time, and the whole company shuts down. Clients are notified that the international tax services and software provider’s employees will be off. The setup allows Ryan’s workers to truly disconnect.
When Ryan started summer break, “it removed the risk that [employees] were on vacation and they missed an important phone call,” says Cutchin Powell, principal in charge of the Arlington office of Dallas-based Ryan. The concept — a week with no work worries — was instantly popular.
“I don’t think we’ll ever undo that one because everyone likes it so much,” Powell says. Ryan employs more than 3,000 people globally and 1,900 in the United States. About 40 people work in the Arlington office.
The company is often lauded for its innovative “myRyan” programs, the first of which was implemented in 2008 in an intentional cultural shift aimed at boosting employee satisfaction and retention. That’s when Ryan rolled out flexible scheduling, allowing employees to take paid time off and work remotely as long as productivity didn’t suffer. Powell says it makes sense to operate this way.
“We’re empowering our employees to be humans,” he says. Better work-life balance often leads to happier employees and higher retention rates, which has been true at Ryan, Powell says. He fully supports the work-to-live approach over the live-to-work grind.
“I’ve been here more than a dozen years and I’ve had the chance to see how we evolved,” Powell says. During that time, the company has completed multiple mergers and acquisitions around the world, and business has steadily grown. “I like to think what’s been a part of that growth is the focus on our team.”
Tax services companies like Ryan have in the past been some of the most rigid in terms of requiring time in the office, but that’s changing. Ryan employees can now break from work to take care of personal obligations or leave for vacation.
“If you have a doctor’s appointment, a child’s sports game or you want to take off for the beach for the weekend, you can do that … as long as you do your job,” Powell says.
The move to extra flexibility has granted new options to employees who are nearing retirement. Ryan now allows those workers to reduce their workloads so that they can manage it more easily and remain in the workforce longer.
Ryan regularly solicits questions and feedback from employees around the world. “We want to hear from everyone,” Powell says. The firm has set up an online system for gathering employees’ suggestions and ideas, some of which leads to the development of new programs. “It really allows for collaboration. … We have such a big footprint now.”
To address diversity and inclusion, the firm launched its RyanMOSAIC initiative in 2020 and hired a third-party consultant to gather employees’ feedback on how the firm could make advancements in this area. Since then, Ryan has worked to create more inclusive celebrations and has brought in speakers to educate the workforce on topics such as Black History Month and women’s initiatives.
Ryan has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list four years in a row. Other accolades include being named by Glassdoor as the No. 3 company for work-life balance.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Ryan has avoided the “Great Resignation” that has plagued many large companies as dissatisfied workers have resigned in unprecedented numbers. Says Powell: “We haven’t suffered, thankfully.”