Robin Finnegan, HR Manager, shares what works for GSSI and why she’s proud to call it New Hampshire’s Best Company to Work For.
We are so proud to have been named one of the 2019 Best Companies to Work For in New Hampshire by Business NH Magazine. Baked into our company DNA is a real emphasis on supporting our employees in many different ways, so we were pleased and gratified that the annual competition recognized GSSI for creating an outstanding company culture.
Our President Christopher Hawekotte said it best when he commented, “We strive to create a space that inspires our people to do their best work. We are focused on building an environment that fosters open communication, collaboration, trust, accountability and… having fun. In doing so, we see our team members deeply engaged in what we are trying to accomplish and staying with us longer than national averages. Every employee has a direct contribution to our success. Their passion and energy have made us the leader in our industry, and a great place to work.”
I would like to take a minute to “crow” just a bit and describe the programs and opportunities that got us to this year’s list of great companies to work for.
We all treasure time with our families and personal time for ourselves to recharge and come to work refreshed. We understand that family time is valuable, and employees have personal lives outside of work. At GSSI, employees and their managers are empowered to work together to determine what schedules work best for the individual and the needs of the team.
For added convenience, GSSI created an onsite recreational room where employees can work out, play games and unwind during the day or after hours. The space holds a wide array of gym equipment and has hosted yoga and rowing classes which were a huge hit with employees. Adding to the focus on wellness is a subsidized mini market packed with healthy choices for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
We are fortunate to be located in a great area and many employees get together to play soccer or softball during their lunchtime at a large park located minutes away.
Employees are celebrated as often as possible at GSSI. We consider an employee’s first day to be an important milestone. Each new staff member is welcomed with a swag bag, a welcome lunch with the entire department, and a complete culture book created to provide new employees with a snapshot of tribal knowledge that cannot be found in an employee manual.
We enjoy celebrating milestone anniversaries at our company-wide meeting each month, at which employees receive a bonus check based on tenure. We also have a robust on-the-spot award program that promotes recognition for employees who go above and beyond their job duties. GSSI has made it a practice to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day in a big way each year. From themed lunches to a “Yankee Swap” style gift exchange (with gifts supplied by GSSI), employees are feted with gifts, piñatas, and even free vacation days.
When an employee retires, we send them off with a fun company-wide party, complete with catered lunch and a video that highlights the employee and the bonds they’ve made over the years. (And we roast them…just a little!)
GSSI supports employees with a robust training and development program that includes up to $12,000 in annual tuition reimbursement, leadership training sessions, seminar and webinar subscriptions, trade courses and certification.
We support our employees’ desire to develop themselves and believe it is a valuable investment in the company’s future. We want our employees to grow with the company and advance into the next steps of their career with us.
The company’s calendar of events and celebrations extends from annual “Minute to Win it” challenges, to a yuletide “Pouring of the Nog” party on the manufacturing floor, to a chili cook-off, to a regularly scheduled “Lunch with the President” program, which builds connections and makes it easy for employees to provide input and feedback directly to senior management.
Teambuilding is important here, and we encourage team outings – just a few examples include rock climbing, a lunch cruise, indoor sky diving, escape rooms, and beer tasting. We’ve found that these are great ways to get employees out of the office and get to know each other on a more personal level, which has a positive impact on productivity and communication.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t list the many other events we host all year long, like our summer Minute-to-Win-It challenges, company BBQ’s and potlucks, an annual Halloween costume contest, Celtics outings, and golf outings.
I have really just scratched the surface of GSSI’s commitment to being a great place to work – every year we build on what’s been done in the past and try to out-do ourselves! Once again, I want to say how proud I am that our efforts were recognized in this way by Business NH Magazine. We also extend our sincere congratulations to all the winners of the 2019 NH Best Companies to Work for competition.
PS. I forgot to mention that we’re hiring! See the opportunities on our CAREERS page and apply to join the “Best Company to Work For” in New Hampshire!