Chris Tuttle needed a late afternoon snack, so he grabbed a Kind bar and some Tillamook cheese from the stash in the office refrigerator and munched away while working at his computer.
Earlier this year, the company he works for, Fatbeam, polled employees to make sure it was stocking whatever snacks and beverages were needed to help them get through the day. That, along with perks like a relaxation lounge, monthly chair massages, seasonal parties and occasional free lunches ordered in, are minor elements of a vibrant business culture highly focused on employee happiness.
“Benefits like health, dental and vision insurance and the 401k are important to me,” said Tuttle, a 28-year veteran of the telecommunications industry. “But what I truly appreciate is the latitude that I'm given to go out and solve problems in the field. It's about mutual respect and trust.” He is the outside plant project manager who oversees the installation of Fatbeam's fiber optic networks across the region.
“I also like that there is no 'above-your-pay-grade' here,” Tuttle said. “The leadership shares the business model and business plans with us—it's a regular topic of discussion. I appreciate that.”
“Culture starts at the top,” said Greg Green, the CEO of Fatbeam, a Coeur d'Alene-based company that provides broadband access services to businesses, healthcare, education and government customers throughout the western United States.
“We make a concerted effort to hire the right people, give them what they need and get out of their way,” Green said. “Fatbeam pays far above the state average for employee wages—we're committed to paying a living wage. It's very deliberate.”
Not bad for a company with fewer than 20 employees.
The emphasis on culture recently paid dividends for the small business.
Fatbeam was recently recognized as one of this year's Best Places to Work Inland Northwest by the Journal of Business. The company was selected based on a two-part survey process. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the final rankings.
For more information about Fatbeam, go to http://www.fatbeam.com/.
-Written by Marc Stewart, Director of Sponsored Content