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Great Places in Greater Peoria: OneFire, Inc.

The buzz surrounding best-practice employment in America’s technology-based industry is what legends are made of. We are proud to say you can experience the same legendary culture and benefits at companies right here in Greater Peoria…if you take time to notice. Our new monthly GP Great Places interview will highlight those unique best practices and share creative ways GP employers are attracting and keeping top talent.

Jason Parkinson, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of OneFire, Inc. laughed when we called his company the “Google of Greater Peoria,” but we know the leadership’s focus on employee wellness rivals that of many larger companies. This innovative start-up, led by owner Jake Hamann, is located in the Peoria Next Innovation Center. They specialize in matching business clients with technology-driven solutions to their problems.

OneFire’s current and future success lies in their ability to recruit and retain talent in high demand in today’s digital marketplace. How do they do it? Here are a few ways OneFire creates a place their folks want to stay…

  • Wellness Benefits. OneFire provides all employees with a full-time membership to RiverPlex Recreation and Wellness Center. While employees are not required to take advantage of the gym membership, Operations & Human Resources Director Tulany Doglio says it removes the excuse of a gym membership being “too expensive.” To provide their employees with these benefits, OneFire struck a deal with RiverPlex, in which they trade their services for employee access.
  • Flexible Work Hours. OneFire’s digital media employees are permitted to work during the hours they feel most productive, whether that means at noon or the middle of the night. Some employees can connect to their work remotely from home to complete simple web design or coding tasks. As Doglio mentioned, “I’ve always thought people don’t necessarily need to be in the office, sitting at a desk for 8 or 10 hours a day for you to get the best work out of them. We hire adults that are able to manage their time to get their own work done. If that means that they’re at the office for 8 hours a day because they need the collaboration or because they’re working with a team and need to be present, that’s fine. But if it means hunkering down at home where they’re more comfortable and can work until midnight, that’s fine, too.”
  • Personal Enrichment. OneFire knows that its employees may not stay with them forever, so they try to make sure  people are able to pursue their passions outside of work and can leave with some new skills. If this means allowing their employees to take off work to follow their dreams or providing them professional development opportunities, OneFire will make it happen. Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Jason Parkinson has coworkers with talents in photography, volunteerism, and orchestra. However, he has no desire to ask employees to choose between their passion and their job.“We’d be fools to think this will be everyone’s one and only job. We want to see people grow and take on new opportunities. We make sure that we can invest in our people so that they can really get something out of here other than a 9-5 or a 10-6 or whatever that may be,” said Parkinson

By encouraging employees to practice wellness in their physical, professional, and personal lives, OneFire makes an investment in their people that grows their company and increases employee satisfaction. They are one of the best places to work in Greater Peoria because they focus on improving their people as well as their product.  

As Parkinson said, “at the end of the day… our people are our product. It’s our job to keep them happy and healthy and excited to come here and work. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.”
 
Want to share your employer’s best practices with others? Contact Kate Carroll, Director of Workforce solutions at

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