ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO FILM
An employee newsletter? That’s not enough for the Four Seasons.
In addition to receiving a quarterly mailing, Boston employees create a 10-minute newscast every two weeks about what they’ve been up to. “Experience News” airs on TVs in the back of the house, with a different department and guest employee anchor starring in each show. The executive chef hosted a bit about passing out frozen turkeys at the Greater Boston Food Bank; a doorman talked about visiting his native Haiti after the earthquake. A sales coordinator runs the camera, the public relations director writes the script, and the room service assistant manager edits the raw footage and gussies it up with music, B-roll shots, even amusing outtakes at the end.
Employees not only find out more about one another through the newscast, they also get to show off their department’s accomplishments — and get a taste of celebrity at the same time.
Macall Newman, an assistant manager at the front desk, anchored a spot last spring about perks the five-star hotel gives its young guests, including shots of the hotel’s ice cream man wheeling a make-your-own-sundae cart to a guest’s room. Newman, 26, enjoyed her anchor duties, even though she had plenty of bloopers for the gag reel. “I’m much more comfortable standing in front of a guest,” she said.
OUT TO LUNCH — AND IT’S OK BY THEM
Rick Keilty’s lunch is usually a “plain old bland turkey sandwich” from home, but the 26-year-old software engineer’s noontime cuisine got a lot more exciting earlier this year when a variety of gourmet food trucks started visiting the office. Two trucks come to Vistaprint in Lexington every other Wednesday, and the online marketing services provider springs for all the tacos, hot dogs, and Korean barbecue noodle bowls the employees can eat. Keilty’s favorite: the grilled cheese sandwich with guacamole and applewood bacon from Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese . “I find myself jumping in line more than a few times,” Keilty said. And he never, ever gets a plain old turkey sandwich.
A CHANGE OF BUSINESS CLIMATE
ZeroTurnaround, a tech firm that creates tools to make Java software more productive, put its own productivity to the test recently when it sent its employees on a working vacation to Crete — a Greek island the company’s founders had always wanted to visit. Sixty-four employees from the firm’s offices in Estonia, Prague, and Boston spent a week in early September making sales calls and giving product demonstrations at a villa overlooking the Mediterranean — as well as playing tourist and taking a cruise on a vessel decked out like a pirate ship.
There were some complaints, though. “It’s kind of hard to work while you’re overlooking the Mediterranean, and you’ve got the breeze blowing through your hair,” said marketing director Jeremy Lopez. This was the second year the ZeroTurnaround crew was treated to an all-expense-paid trip to Crete, and if they reach their goals next year, they’ll have the Mediterranean breeze blowing through their hair again soon.
A MEMORABLE ANNIVERSARY
Twenty-five is a magic numberat Christian Book Distributors in Peabody. Employees who have put in a quarter-century at the 33-year-old Christian catalog company get 25 extra vacation days, two plane tickets to any destination in the United States or the Caribbean, and a $2,500 bonus. Vice president Rick Brown, 52, used his time off to take his family to see the redwoods in California, Yellowstone National Park, and Mount Rushmore, and hang out with his daughter before she left for college. The only drawback: the 2,000 e-mails that piled up in his inbox while he was away. So far, 14 of the company’s 500 employees have hit the 25-year mark; in 2016, nine people will reach the milestone, but president and owner Ray Hendrickson isn’t worried about busting the budget. “I couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Hendrickson, who is already trying to figure out what to do when the first employees hit 35 years.
A HALLOWEEN BASH
Employees at Enterasys Networks don’t just put out bowls of candy corn and slap on silly wigs for Halloween, they throw a full-on bash, with a haunted house, a pony and dogs in hula skirts, or last year, three floors of decorated trick-or-treat stations.
Each department at the Andover network security company competes for the best decorations and costumes, with many adopting a work-centered theme; the IT team once dressed as fire fighters and the quality assurance team has come as bugs. There’s a bean bag toss and pumpkin decorating, as well as pizza, cider donuts, and, of course, candy. Continued...