A Dolly Parton Prize and Beer & Tell highlight Green Goldfish Project Top Ten List #6

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The Green Goldfish Project is an attempt to crowdsource 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe for employees. Signature little extras that make a big difference. Companies that put “employees first” to build culture, increase retention and promote positive word of mouth. For every 50 examples collected there is a Top 10 list created.


Without further adieu, here is the sixth list from the Project from Examples #251-300:

10. Empowerment is on the menu @WholeFoods
#270 – Whole Foods
Team members describe Whole Foods as a positive, caring place where they’re encouraged to be creative and they feel empowered. A store’s beer manager, for example, may select which brews to stock, while a deli worker might concoct a new salad. Staffers earn well above minimum wage and vote on everything from new hires to health benefits.

Great video of CEO John Mackey talking about empowering teams and building a stakeholder focused culture:

9. Maintaining 100% on your own work / life balance @Point_B
#279 – Point B
Believe it or not, this Portland management consulting company offers its employees no paid vacation time or holidays — and the employees seem to love it. That’s because this company believes so firmly in flexibility that associates get paid only for the time they work, so there is no arbitrary limit to how much time off they can take. “I’ve never worked anywhere that was as committed to helping employees realize what the work-life balance means to them individually,” says one employee.
Source: Oregon Business

8. The numbers add up working at GSM Consulting
#255 – GSM Consulting
GSM, an IT consultancy in Leesburg, VA has big perks, including five weeks of vacation, a 401(k) contribution of 15 percent of salary, fully paid health-care premiums, $1,200 toward the creation of a will, $5,000 a year to attend training or conferences, $720 toward Internet access, and $1,750 toward the purchase of a gadget–although employees are given all the technology they need for their jobs.
Source: Washingtonian Magazine

7. Mailing it in, a little something extra @HarbingrPartnrs
#285 – Harbinger Partners
Employees receive a gift each month. CEO Grausnick has distributed gifts that range from a Harbinger umbrella to flowers to iPads to big-screen TVs.?”It’s just really, really nice,” said Cindy Smith, Harbinger’s finance administrator. “It’s so much fun to get some mail. It’s all about the little things they think of.”
Source: Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

6. A rewarding workplace with well endowed awards @TheEduceGroup
#252 – The Educe Group
There are lots of employee honors–including the Dolly Parton Prize for the consultant with the highest billables and the Beanstalk Award for the staffer who has grown the most. Employees enjoy personal birthday gifts (say, a spa day or a membership to a beer-of-the-month club), and team-building trips to places such as New Orleans and Philadelphia.
Source: Washingtonian Magazine

5. Employees get treated to a luxury travel perk @TravelBeyond
#281 – Travel Beyond
Every 12 to 18 months, Travel Beyond sends our employees on a two-week exploration trip to exotic locales around the world. This past year our employees have visited South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Galapagos, Hawaii and an arctic polar bear expedition with National Geographic. The only way to offer great consulting advice is to have actually visited the places we recommend.
The travel consultancy then hosts breakfasts with bagels and coffee when employees return from a trip so fellow co-workers can all learn about their experiences.
Source: Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Here’s a peak at Travel Beyond in Alaska:

4. Enjoying work is ‘fools play’ @themotleyfool
#260 – The Motley Fool
A core value at the Motley Fool–the multimedia firm whose financial products include a Web site, books, and subscription newsletters–is to have fun. And they do, whether at a mini-golf tournament in the office, on a ski trip, or during a burger-eating contest. There’s one “fool,” as employees are called, whose job is to make sure colleagues are happy and in jobs that match their passions.
Source: Washingtonian Magazine

A closer look at this Foolish Culture:

3. An environment where giving is fully matched @Microsoft
#276 – Microsoft
The entire company donated $844 million worth of software to nearly 47,000 nonprofits in 2011. The Oregon office has an annual giving campaign where employee contributions are matched dollar-for-dollar. An added benefit, organizations where employees donate time to receive $17 an hour for each hour of service.
Source: Oregon Business?

A look at how Microsoft offers technology to help enhance productivity:

2. Creating an open environment of sharing is on the table @Clockwork_Tweet
#289 – Clockwork Active Media Systems
The best gathering, in our opinion, is the one that takes place every single morning. We have a large kitchen table that seats about 25 people. Every morning, that table is packed with employees starting their day with a cup of coffee and chatting with each other about the work that needs to happen that day. That organic kind of gathering speaks more to the strength of our work culture than any holiday party ever could.
Source: Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

. . . . . and the #1 example in the sixth Green Goldfish Top Ten List:

Celebrating with champagne, plus beer and tell @zeusjones
#300 – Zeus Jones
According to Rob White, CEO and Co-founder, Zeus Jones,

“Most Fridays, we have what we call “Beer and Tell,” where one or more people share what they have been doing to everyone on staff. The beauty of being a small company is that we can still all fit in a room, and celebrate the work, and the little or big successes of colleagues. In addition to our work for clients, these successes include new staff welcomes, engagements, pregnancies, babies, new pets in HH and even winning debates with AT&T over cellphone bills. Big successes are celebrated with champagne — we write the occasion on the cork and keep all these marked corks in a jar.”

Source: Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

A cool effort to help a local school and shed light on a greater problem:

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra for good measure) – A couple interesting extras from an orthodontist and a consultancy:

This benefit may Cap all others at Northern Virginia Orthodontics
#264 – Northern Virginia Orthodontics
Orthodontist Dr. Zachary Casagrande is a die-hard Washington Capitals fan–his office is decorated with framed jerseys, pucks, and other memorabilia–so not only are there outings to see the team play, but on game days the staff wears Caps shirts for good luck.
Source: Washingtonian Magazine

Working here might mean a trip to one of the Seven Wonders
#273 – Mark G. Anderson Consultants
Employees at this consulting firm enjoy an all expense paid trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the World for their ten-year anniversary.

In case you are wondering, here is the list of the seven wonders according to about.com:

The Original Seven Wonders of the World

  1. The Colossus of Rhodes
  2. The Great Pyramid of Giza
  3. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  4. The Lighthouse of Alexandria
  5. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  6. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  7. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

The Seven Wonders of the Modern World

  1. Channel Tunnel
  2. CN Tower
  3. Empire State Building
  4. Golden Gate Bridge
  5. Itaipu Dam
  6. Netherlands North Sea Protection Works
  7. Panama Canal

Natural Wonders of the World

  1. Grand Canyon
  2. The Great Barrier Reef
  3. The Harbor at Rio de Janeiro
  4. Mt. Everest
  5. Northern Lights
  6. Paricutin Volcano
  7. Victoria Falls
Here are the finalist for the New Seven Wonders:


FISHERMEN WANTED: Do you have a purple or green goldfish to share? If your example make the book, you’ll receive a free signed copy. Plus – for every example submitted I will donate a non-perishable to the Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport, CT. Click here to submit or e-mail directly at stan [at] 9inchmarketing.com

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