TINYpulse Award Winner: Interview With Pet E-Tailer dogIDs

by Sabrina Son on Feb 16, 2015 8:00:00 AM

dogIDs_Group_PhotoCongrats to dogIDs for winning the 2015 TINYpulse Happiest Company Award in the Ecommerce & Retail industry.

dogIDs was founded in 2005 by Clint Howitz, who saw a need for personalized products for his four-legged friend. So not only are they keeping dog tails wagging, but they're also putting that enthusiam towards keeping their employees happy.

Q: Tell us about some of the great things you do in your workplace that keep employees engaged and energized.
A: We try to have at least one culture event and one staff meeting per week. The cultural event is some kind of fun bonding activity to help us become more comfortable with each other. The staff meeting focuses on the current projects everyone is working on as well as what feedback or assistance they need to complete their projects. 
We have also been working in the past six months or so to really get everyone in our business involved in setting the company's vision and goals for the coming years. 
Q: Tell us a little bit about what your company does and why employee recognition is so important to you. 
A: dogIDs is an online retailer of high-quality dog products, specifically personalized items. The website went live in 2005, but we didn't really become a company of multiple employees until 2010. 
We are really still in “start-up mode” right now, meaning that we have a flat company structure and everyone works together to get the job done. 
With only a dozen employees, it’s incredibly important to us that everyone knows what's expected of them and gets the appropriate recognition for the things they are doing well.
Q: What kind of improvements/changes have you seen in your culture after using TINYpulse?
A: We love that TINYpulse comes up with great questions that lead to healthy discussions. We also appreciate that TINYpulse helps to keep us focused on bettering our culture every week, even when we are busy. 
We have found the Cheers for Peers function to be extremely rewarding, as it reminds each of us to reach out and let our fellow team members know that we appreciate them. 
Q: What kind of reward system do you have in your workplace to encourage recognition?
A: Since we are still so small, we haven't implemented anything official yet for encouraging recognition, but that's definitely a direction we'd like to head. 
Q: What’s an outdated recognition tactic you keep seeing?
A: We think it’s important, no matter the company size, to have recognition coming from not only your managers but also your peers. That’s a fairly new concept. Many older systems focus only on what The Boss sees. The people that are in the trenches with you day to day are really the ones that can best see you grow in your role.  
We also aren’t huge fans of material rewards/perks. We feel that employee retention is much more about giving them purpose and direction in their role than motivating through money. 

Thank you to Clint and his team at dogIDs for sharing their story!


The Effects of Employee Recognition & Appreciation Report by TINYpulse

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This post was written by Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the managing editor for the TINYpulse blog. A Seattle native, she loves her morning (or anytime) coffee, spending her weekends on the mountains, and of course, the famous rain.

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