I love the Olympics and even though the London games are behind us I’m still feeling the spirit. But it isn’t because I am a huge sports fan. To me, the best thing about the Olympics is hearing the passionate and motivating stories about the athletes all over the world. Stories of overcoming disabilities, stories of escaping serious life challenges, stories of being the underdog and rising to the top; they are all amazing to watch. As I sit on my couch in my cumfy house with all my blessings, I often forget how blessed I am to live in one of the super power countries of the world. The Olympic Games tend to humble me and leave me in awe of people who have to beat the odds to even attend the games.
At times, I feel the same way working for The Beryl Companies. I have been here so long that at times I forget what it can be like in a corporate environment where the business and profit come way before employees. I worked at a horrible place before I came to Beryl but it was so long ago that it is a distant memory. I often hear about things that happen to others at work that leave me in disbelief.
My mom called me one day to tell me that a co-worker of hers was selling many of her pre-owned designer purses in the break room. She wanted to know if she should buy one for my daughter. Me being the inquisitive one, I asked why she would be selling such great purses. My mom proceeded to tell me that this co-worker was about to have major surgery and was going to be docked her pay for the time that goes over her allotted PTO. So she decided to sell her personal things to pay bills. I shrieked, “Whattttt? They are doing what? Docking her pay!” It was then that my mom said something that has stayed with me for years. She said, “Lara Baby, we all don’t work in Candy Land.”
Wow. What a statement! That was when it really hit me how very lucky I am to work for a man who not only wants us to take care of the people but he expects us to. I actually have payroll funds in my culture budget to cover the salaries of employees who have a personal crisis but are out of PTO. Now of course there is a lot to factor in with this type of benefit; are they a good performer, do they come to work, etc. But the fact that I have the autonomy to do the right thing for someone is invaluable to me.
What are some of the horror stories you have experienced at work? My fellow “culture fanatic” and founder, Marisa Keegan, often focuses her blog on what she calls, “Culture Crushers”. She talks about some of the crazy things employers do to crush their workplace culture. What are some of the things you have experienced that make you wish you worked at Candy Land? Let us know!
Editors Note: For the past 12 years Lara Morrow has been The Queen of Fun & Laughter at The Beryl Companies, a title accidentally appointed due to her wacky personality. She spearheads their internal communication, recognition, employee relations, leadership training and culture strategy. Her efforts have led to Beryl being recognized nine different times as a best place to work including being voted the #2 Best Medium Sized Company to work for in America. She is a co-author of Smile Guide, Employee Perspectives on Culture, Loyalty and Profit. After hours, Lara “releases steam” through her passion for cooking, blogging and reviewing local restaurants.