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TOP WORKPLACE TRAITS
Happy Employees Equal Happy Customers
By Andy Cohen

On the agenda for most of the Best Places to Work companies – as regularly as possible – is fun. These are organizations that fully know that the happier their employers are the better their businesses will be. And to make their people happy, they’re often hosting fun events.

Like the Spa Day that The Book Company (asi/41010), which is ranked number nine on the Best Places to Work list, recently held for its employees. The supplier firm closed its doors at noon on a Friday, had a sushi lunch in an outdoor garden of an upscale spa and then each employee was treated to 90 minutes of spa treatments – anything they wanted including massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and hot shaves for men.

“The event continues to reap rewards for us through positive feedback, new-hire recruitment, team bonding, and of course, continued talk of how to top Spa Day,” says Doug Greenhut, president of The Book Company. “We offer a laid-back, casual and easygoing atmosphere, combined with a serious and professional work ethic. All of our employees know that if the company does well, everyone will benefit.”

The Vernon Company (asi/351700), ranked number 19 overall and first in the large companies listed in the Best Places to Work, also espouses the benefits of fun through team-building events. This summer, Vernon launched a full-scale wellness initiative and instituted a Wellness Council to oversee corporate health activities. The council recently conducted an employee-wide survey to gauge awareness and interest from staff and is planning a number of programs to address employee health and wellness concerns. From the survey feedback, Vernon just opened a new employee Fitness Center, has conducted complete wellness screenings for employees and switched to healthier options in its vending machines.

The company also announced a completely tobacco-free campus effort, effective November 1. Upcoming initiatives include hosting health fairs, offering healthy cooking classes and exercise programs and initiating a campaign to encourage drinking more water. In addition to the wellness effort, Vernon’s activity committee plans several fun events for employees each year, including a summer ice cream social, an annual garage sale, an annual holiday luncheon, a Valentine’s Day chili and cinnamon roll party, local nonprofit fundraising efforts for Relay for Life, United Way and the Salvation Army and much more.

“Through all of these efforts, Vernon is showing its commitment to causes that are important to the company and its employees,” says Andrea Smith, the company’s industry relations manager. “Working at Vernon is like being part of a big family.”

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