When it comes to boosting employee happiness, we’re always on the lookout for great tips and advice to share with our readers. The best ideas comes from people who have seen positive change in action. The people who have real stories and real world experience to offer about how they have built a work environment where employees can truly thrive.
That’s why we reached out to Art to Remember, winner of the 2017 TINYaward for Happiest Company in their industry. This TINYaward is based on an organization’s average score to the survey question “How happy are you at work?”. With thousands of companies using TINYpulse, achieving this award is no small feat.
We connected with Art to Remember to find out just how they did it, what their company culture is like, and asked what similar organizations can learn from their approach.
The team at Art to Remember with their TINYaward
Congratulations on winning the TINYaward for Happiest Company! What does this award mean to you?
We are honored to win this award. We feel that it’s a true testament of our employees’ work and dedication to our core values:
- Golden Rule
- Continuous Improvement
Why is it important to have happy employees?
While we know that everyday won’t be a display of perfect harmony, we really do want Art to Remember to be a great place to work. We want people to enjoy coming to work and working towards our mission of supporting art education in schools.
Is the Happiness Score in TINYpulse something that you pay attention to? What other ways do you measure employee happiness?
We do. Our staff works different schedules throughout the year, so it’s a good way to keep tabs on morale. We also think the comments are a great source of insight and usually include actionable items that can make a big difference in the day-to- day work-life of a teammate.
In addition to TINYpulse, we do yearly reviews and are implementing quarterly check-ins with every employee. We encourage employees to submit “kudos” for fellow teammates and at each company meeting, we read all the comments and give cash rewards to two employees.
What makes Art to Remember such a happy workplace? What do you do to maintain that culture of happiness throughout the year?
Over the last six years, we’ve worked hard to change the culture and that started with our core values. They are hung all over the building and they are reiterated in every meeting, kudos submission, review, and planning session.
In addition, every year we have an all-staff volunteer day at an off-site location, a team building day, an employee picnic, and a holiday party. We also like to give out swag whenever we have the chance.
Our customers also greatly affect our happiness throughout the year – we work with amazing schools and parents all over the country that thank us daily for the work we do. It’s a great feeling to know that you are making a product that people will cherish for years.
Was there a particular moment of happiness that stands out from 2017?
In 2017, we moved to a new building, which really was the final step in improving the culture. The building is bright, colorful, and happy – everyone loves coming into the cheerful environment.
How does happiness relate to your work values and culture at Art to Remember?
It’s all intertwined. While the word “happy” isn’t specifically in our goals and mission, it’s definitely the underlying theme. Happy employees lead to happy customers and vice versa. So, as we work towards our mission and values, we are continually asking “Will this lead to enthusiastic customers and/or employees that never want to work with or for anyone else?”
Can you tell us about a major challenge within Art to Remember that has affected employee happiness? How have you overcome that challenge?
Our biggest challenge is the seasonality of our business. Our team is made up of full-time employees that work year-round, employees that work seasonally, and temporary staff. When you are balancing the needs and wants of people who work very different schedules, you are presented with a different mix than you would in a traditional work schedule. That being said, we’ve really listened to the employees that are affected by this and have taken many steps to alleviate the pinch points.
Do you have any upcoming plans or initiatives that you hope will improve happiness in the future?
Our Finance/HR team recently started rolling out different games that allow you to learn about team members (like a crossword puzzle with a fun fact about each person). They’ve also started to roll out additional employee recognition practices and we hope to start an ongoing “Achievement Wall.”
Who are the biggest champions of employee happiness within Art to Remember? What are some of the ideas they’ve put forward that have increased happiness?
Our leadership team does a great job of reiterating the core values, combing through the TINYpulse surveys, listening to the needs of employees, and acting quickly. Beyond that, there are amazing people throughout the building that are great examples of living the core values not only within our walls but also out. They are proponents and leaders that others can turn to for small or large issues and for promoting small and large successes.
In one sentence, can you give us your best advice for other companies looking to improve their employee happiness?
Set high, but achievable standards for employees, ask for feedback, take employees seriously, take action to make your workplace the best it can be - and don’t forget to have fun!
Check out stories from other TINYaward winners:
- College Hunks Hauling Junk And Moving Tell Us What Led To Them Lifting A 2017 Tinyaward
- The Winner Of "Happiest Company" And "Most Recognition", Renewal By Andersen, Give Us Their Employee Engagement Takeaway
- Pray.Com, Leading The Way In Recognition, Feedback, And Employee Happiness.