Best Places to Work in the Meetings Industry 2012
Five fun companies that inspire excellence and reward loyalty
by Sarah J.F. Braley and Michael C. LoweApril 1, 2012
M&C Video Extra
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Briggs Inc. Headquarters: New York City
have an old-fashioned work ethic," admits Anthony Napoli, president of
New York City-based destination management company Briggs Inc. "I'm used
to everyone being in the office by 9 a.m., no exceptions." But when
employees recently asked for the freedom to set their own hours, Napoli,
a 25-year industry veteran, gave it serious thought -- and then agreed.
"My employees work extraordinary hours, and they wanted to be able to
adjust their schedules to suit their time, so we said yes. It's an honor
system, and people love it. No one has abused it, so I'm OK with it,"
Their hard work is rewarded in other ways, all year
long. Achieving certain goals, like winning a new piece of business or
getting a glowing a client letter, earns workers points. At regular
intervals, Napoli rolls out a giant game-show style prize wheel, and
those who have accrued 900 points can spin for prizes. Winnings have
included a paid day off, 25,000 American Express travel miles and
tickets to a Broadway show.
"It sounds silly, but everyone loves
spinning the wheel," says Napoli. "I could easily just give them an
award or prize, but the wheel adds this crazy element to it. It really
does make everyone want to work harder."
The annual incentive
trip has a twist, too: Everyone goes. The excursion is a true VIP
experience, with meet-and-greets, tours, dinners, upscale venues and
team-building activities. "This works out really well," says Napoli. "It
brings the company together, and it also reinforces what we do as
Other annual events include a Christmas
activity and dinner that Napoli plans, but he doesn't reveal the
itinerary until the day of the event. One year he took the whole team to
The Nutcracker ballet in the afternoon, followed by a bus trip to the
Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets, where employees were handed $250 in
cash and told if they didn't spend it all before they got back on the
bus, they would forfeit the unspent money. A show-and-tell of the
purchased items was held over dinner.
Briggs also throws Friday
happy hours and offers half-price gym memberships. A healthy work-life
balance is important, says Napoli, as is creating an environment where
employees continue to want to come to work. "You have to love this
business to do it, but if you hate the office environment or the working
culture, that can deplete your love for the job fast," says Napoli. "We
want our team to have a rich personal life so they can share it with
the office. It makes everyone that much better."
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