Local offices: Fairfax.
Number of employees: 50.
When a basket of sugar cookies arrived at Elaine Schlegel’s front door on a Saturday afternoon, nobody was more surprised than she was.
Except maybe her kids.
“They were so excited,” Schlegel said of her children, now 6 and 3. “They thought it was somebody’s birthday.”
The cookies were from InTec, where Schlegel had begun working days earlier.
The government contracting firm has been welcoming new employees and their families with gift baskets since its founding seven years ago. Baskets are ordered and delivered to the employee’s home during their first week at the firm.
“It’s an immediate way to show employees that we care — not only about them, but about their whole family,” said Robert Donaldson, director of human resources.
InTec founder and president Bruce Donaldson (also Robert’s father) says he first got the idea for the welcome baskets during his 21-year career in the Army’s Corps of Engineers.
“In the Army, we considered the soldier’s entire family a part of our team,” he said. “An employee is only going to be happy if his family is happy.”
The contents of the welcome basket are determined on a case-by-case basis, said Office Manager Alessandra Harris, who orders the gifts.
“If it’s somebody with kids, we’ll usually send a cookie bouquet,” Harris said. “If it’s someone who’s single or just has a husband or wife, we might send flowers or fruit.”
As for the beach-themed cookies that arrived at Schlegel’s house last August?
“They didn’t even last until the end of the weekend,” she said.