New employees are made to feel welcomed into a family-like atmosphere during lunches with Kennedy and other senior leaders during their first week on the job. “They get an opportunity to spend quality time,” Odom says. “It's a very relaxed atmosphere. That's highly unusual. Most (new employees) don't get to spend that much face time with senior leaders.”
Once on board, employees receive coaching and professional development; the company has provided 499 hours to the sales force and 333 hours to business partners and technical staff between January and August of this year, Odom says.
“It's a lot of one-on-one attention,” Kennedy says. “If you were to say to (managers), what is your primary goal? People at other companies might say, ‘driving revenue,' but ours would say, ‘coaching and developing my team.' That is our view, and it's hard-wired in—if we coach and develop our team, the rest will follow.”
That philosophy has worked, with top-line revenue growth in the low- to mid-double digits, hitting 40% this past year, with 51 new positions created. The training department has grown from one person to eight, and Weatherby has added three people in employee engagement, who are there “for no other reason than to keep people happy,” Kennedy says.
But Weatherby doesn't coast on that success and assume employees will stay happy only for that reason, Rodriguez says. “The employees are appreciated in all they do, and you see it and you feel it,” he says. “They're recognized in tons of different ways—team events, birthdays, anniversaries, holiday gifts, different contests that we hold recognize success and meeting goals.”
To keep the communication flowing after that first week, Kennedy says she keeps her door propped open. “I keep trying to entice people into my office,” she says. “I'm fundamentally trying to understand what each and every person, at the desk level, feels about the business.”
Weatherby stresses wellness among employees and backs that up with an on-site gym and healthier food options as a result of employees' suggestions, Rodriguez says. “A happy, healthy employee is one that's going to stay on indefinitely,” he says. “We have a committee that goes around with healthy snacks for the staff—we always incorporate fruits, salads, and things like that.”
The company tries to instill a “work hard, play hard” mentality, Odom says. “We say it all the time,” she says. “We're performance-driven but good-natured—it's about being able to laugh, have fun and focus on performance.”