Smoothies, yoga classes and cool parties are just a few of the perks of working for the "Kung Fu Panda" creator
Brush up your resumes animators.
DreamWorks Animation has been ranked among the 100 best companies to work for in an annual list compiled by Fortune Magazine. It is the fifth time that the Glendale, Calif. based studio has made the cut.
"We’re thrilled," Dan Satterthwaite, head of human resources at the company, told TheWrap. "We’ve been at it for over a decade in terms of really trying to create a unique and special place for people to come and do work. Any creative enterprise needs an environment where people can explore and feel valued and you can't create that in a dungeon."
This year DreamWorks Animation came in at number 12 and was the only Hollywood studio included in the pack.That represents a slight bump from the previous year, when DreamWorks Animation was deemed the 14th best employer, but does not match its sixth place ranking in 2010.
So what makes DreamWorks Animation such a sweet gig?
Among other things, the studio offers its 2,350 employees yoga classes, free breakfast and lunch at the company commissary, a fruit truck that whips up smoothies and a stipend to personalize their desks. There's also a doctor on call to tend to aches and pains, a gym at one of the company's two campuses and a stipend for exercise classes at the other. Employees have an opportunity to brush up on the sculpture and photography with art classes that are hosted at the studio, culminating in a company-wide art show.
Satterthwaite said that DreamWorks Animation has also tried hard to create a community feel, something that became more critical as its work force grew by 50 percent over the past 5 years.
To that end, every day now begins with a company-wide blog post from Jeffrey Katzenberg, in which the chief executive officer updates employees on the projects he's working on and other news of note. Last year, the studio paid to fly down the employees from its office in Redwood City, Calif. to its Glendale campus to attend a five hour show and tell, during which the teams on various films shared work from their projects with the rest of the studio.
The result of all this tender loving care is a 97 percent employee retention rate that Satterthwaite claims trumps other animation studios. It also allows DreamWorks Animation, which specializes in computer generated animated films, to attract people from Silicon Valley titans like Google that also offer loads of perks.
The studio, which credits "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda" among its big hits, generated $700 million in revenue last year, according to Fortune. Not everything it touches turns to gold, however. DreamWorks Animation's most recent film, "The Rise of the Guardians," flopped at the box office and could lose the studio $50 million, TheWrap reported last month.
As a public company, DreamWorks Animation is very conscious of keeping expenses down, so Satterthwaite says they do not offer certain amenities such as free daycare or tuition reimbursements in order to save money.
"We know that there are trade-offs we have to make, so we're generous in some categories and frugal in others," he said.