No “Hatfields & McCoys” drama here. This tight-knit group of professionals gets a whole lot done, with a whole lot of networks’ and with not a whole lot of people. Efficiency rules at this operation, under CEO Abbe Raven’s watchful eye, which has been one of the best in terms of spotting and cultivating stars, and then giving setting them loose (Nancy Dubuc, for example). That empowerment attitude pervades AETN, as employees can advance quickly when they show initiative and do the hard work required. That’s in addition to the nuts and bolts, which includes extras like a defined pension plan that goes beyond the company’s 401K, work-life assistance to help employees find regular or emergency childcare, post-maternity leave telecommuting and transition programs, tuition reimbursement, and a nine-month mentoring program with a “speed matching event” to bring together the right mentors and mentees. Perhaps the best evidence that AETN knows how to treat employees is its famously low turnover rate, especially among the top executives. And that consistency at the top makes for a more stable corporate culture, which can be vital for employee retention. Yes, we’re impressed.

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