50 Best Small to Medium Companies To Work For

50 Best Small to Medium Companies To Work For
10. Putney

What They Do

image06Develop high-quality, generic pet medications that vets sell to pet owners.

Headquarters: Portland, Maine
Employees: 57
Founded: 2006
Annual Revenues: $19 Million.

Putney, Inc. has been awarded:

What Makes Putney, Inc. Great

It takes mettle for a startup to push its way into the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry. But employees at Putney Inc., say they’re up to the challenge, thanks to a startup environment that helps them feel they’re making a difference while working with people they say go the extra mile, can be counted on to cooperate and are fun to be with.

Chief Executive Jean Hoffman started the Portland, Maine, maker of generic pet meds in 2006, but in the past two years, it’s grown from eight employees to almost 50, thanks in no small part to a $21 million financial infusion from institutional investors. To a person, employees say the company’s done a good job of hiring people who fit in, welcoming newcomers and making everyone feel like they’re in it together.

“Putney employs the most dedicated and competent team that I have ever worked with,” one employee says. “The team is truly driven to deliver great things. The work environment is fast paced but not particularly stressful, which is a rare combination.”

Inside Story

Behind Putney’s status as a David in an industry of billion-dollar Goliaths is, in part, the workplace it’s created for employees. To a person, employees says Putney is a friendly, fun and caring place to work, with a team atmosphere, where management is competent and there is nothing but pride in what they all accomplish together.

“Putney team members are very committed to the company’s mission and work hard to accomplish it,” one employee says. “They also play well with each other and get together several times a week outside of work because they genuinely like their team members. It’s a group of dedicated, yet very nice people.”

image02When they’re not taking on giants, employees keep it light by playing on company softball and bowling teams, “Office Olympics” during the real Olympic Games and “reindeer games” during the holidays. An employee who makes homemade maple syrup inspired the company to host a pancake breakfast for the entire staff. Employees also congregate at an annual holiday party and a summer lobster bake that includes families.

“Not a day goes by where I don’t have something fun or exciting happen that I will remember that evening while at home and smile about,” one employee says.

Ninety-eight percent of employees laud managers for encouraging them to balance work and life. They also give managers high marks for open communication and hiring the right kind of people to fill the company’s rapidly-growing ranks.

“They have done a nice job with hiring people that are hard workers, but also finding a nice blend of personalities that work well together,” one employee says.

Beyond contributing to Putney, employees give back to the community, and 98 percent of them say they feel good about how the company helps them do that. In 2012, Putney donated more than $21,000 to charity and gave employees paid time off to volunteer at the company’s partner organization, the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.

As a startup, Putney is growing quickly and doesn’t offer the variety of benefits and perks common at some larger, more established companies. In all, 79 percent of the company’s employees say the benefits are special and unique. That’s not to say there aren’t any. The company covers 79 percent of health care costs for employees and their dependents, offers benefits to domestic partners, subsidizes off-site gym membership, and provides 30-day paid maternity, paternity and adoptive leave. Employees also can use a $10,000 tuition reimbursement credit (though in 2012 none did).

Like other startups, Putney is gradually adding programs and processes, including a more formal performance management system and beefier wellness program. Putney also intends to switch from offering a company-supported simple IRA to a 401(k) to help employees with retirement savings.

The company’s Board of Directors also grants stock options, and in the past year, 40 percent of new hires and 15 percent of existing employees were granted stock options by the Board. Whatever startup growing pains the company has encountered hasn’t kept 98 percent of Putney’s employees from saying this up and comer is a great place to punch the clock.

“You find yourself fully invested in what we do and proud of Putney from day one,” one employee says. “I have never worked somewhere where everyone gets along and fits so well together and I wake up each morning looking forward to my day.”

image04Great Perks

  • Tuition Reimbursement: Putney reimburses up to $10,000 for approved education courses.
  • Recognition: The company says that employees who show exceptional performance are recognized through opportunities to increase their scope and responsibilities with commensurate increases in compensation. Additionally, employees can receive rewards such as gift certificates and meals.
  • Annual Events: The company hosts an annual holiday party. In summer, employees and their families travel take ferry boat to Peaks Island for a lobster bake feast.
  • Wellness Program: Putney’s wellness program includes subsidized gym memberships, healthy options at employee lunches and on-site shower facilities. The company is planning to expand its wellness offerings.
  • Referral Bonus: If a job prospect is hired based on a referral, the employee is eligible for a bonus of up to $1,100.
  • Celebrations and Fun: Celebrations at Putney range from the formal to the spontaneous. When a new product was approved, several team members literally cartwheeled through the company’s halls. One team member makes maple syrup outside work, so several people organized a pancake breakfast for the entire staff at work to taste his harvest. The company sponsors the Putney Alleycats bowling team and Putney softball team. Their seventh anniversary was a more formal affair, with champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres.

Putney, Inc. Facts

57 Total Employees $19 Million Annual Revenues
33% Percentage of executives that are women $46,000 Avg annual salary of Inside Sales Representative
79% Company-paid health coverage for dependents 79% Company-paid health coverage for employees
$10,000 Tuition reimbursement 29 Days PTO after one year

How To Get Hired At Putney, Inc.

image08If you want to get hired on at this fast-growing pet med startup, study the “topgrading” method that some companies use for interviews and identifying top candidates, since it’s what Putney relies on to separate “A” players from the rest of the pack.

To make the grade here, you’ll need to show how you fit in the company’s high-growth, energetic culture and be able to show strengths in their five core values of adaptability, communications and teamwork, external focus, judgment and problem solving, and quality. The company also looks for prospects who have achieved outcomes that are required in open positions – in other words, it pays to have a track record.

Putney’s human resources department prefers to work directly with prospective team members, so make sure you apply directly to the company even if you also work with professional search firms.

For more information, visit their careers page

Hiring Outlook

140% Job Growth 81 Average number of applicants per opening
2% Total voluntary turnover in past year 2850 Applicants in past year
35 Openings in past year 40% New hires by employee referrals

What Employees Say About Putney, Inc.


Great Rated! collected feedback from Putney, Inc. employees via an anonymous survey.  Following are quotes that the data indicated represented common themes in employees’ feedback.

“Everyone really believes in what Putney is doing, which create a really great work environment. Most of us have pets of our own and truly understand the need for quality, more affordable medications for our furry friends.”

“We are encouraged to share our ideas, concerns or suggestions in order to influence changes to improve all aspects of the environment in which we work.”

“At this point, I would just get us a larger work area, which I know we are working on, but we are growing so fast, we need to get it done so we can continue to grow.”

“Team members feel encouraged to volunteer input in organization-wide meetings regardless of their title or role within the company.”

“Every member of the Putney community is a valued contributor.  The vertical organization of the company is deemphasized in favor of a more open idea sharing “egalitarian” environment. Team members feel encouraged to volunteer input in organization wide meetings regardless of their title or role within the company. There is a strong sense that we all have “skin in the game” here and are reliant on each other to ensure our mutual success.”

“A conscious effort is made to make sure people are valued and acknowledged for what they do. I appreciate the manner in which things are considered and implemented here in the office.”

“Putney is not a place where you can sink into anonymity or disappear within a bulky corporate structure.”

“Putney focuses strongly on the individual fit and how they will work with other team members.”

“(I would like to have) summer flex hours.”

“I decided to join Putney because of the significant contributions they make to society and science; the quality of the drugs they produce and impact it has in the industry; and team culture promoted at Putney. From my previous work experiences culture was the most important aspect and reason for joining Putney versus another company.  Working at Putney has exceeded all my hopes and expectations.”

“Everyone is extremely nice, genuine, and wants to be at work. It’s crazy how the vibe in the office is so enthusiastic and fun.”

“A great sense of team, everyone pulling together to achieve goals. People achieve success by helping advance the company not by individual one-upmanship.”



image12 image09 image07 image11