"Promote a team environment."
To reward hardworking and dedicated crew members, Nature's Enhancement, Inc., sponsored an Employee Appreciation Day at a racetrack in September 2008. Nature's Enhancement is a wholesale nursery and full-service landscape company headquartered in Stevensville, Montana. The nursery division specializes in trees, shrubs, and wild flowers that are native and hardy to the Rocky Mountain Region in sizes ranging from a 1 Gallon to large caliper Ball & Burlap. The Landscape Division offers complete services, from consultation and design, through installation and monitoring of finished projects.
Being based in the rural Bitterroot Valley of Montana, there is little opportunity to participate in sporting events at a racetrack. Nevertheless; many of the crew members are avid race fans that watch races on television when they can.
2008 was a particularly hectic year for Nature's Enhancement. Usually our season begins in mid-late February, but Mother Nature gave us an extremely long winter with snowy conditions from early November 2007 through mid-May 2008. Not only did this give our crew "cabin fever" until the snow melted, but projects and jobs that were delayed due to winter conditions, all needed to be done in the same time frame.
The President and CEO of Nature's Enhancement, Gregory Monk, wanted to do something to reward the crew's hard efforts and energize the crew. Having recently won the "Test of the Best," several races, poles and the series championship himself, in a late model stock car at a paved short track in the neighboring state of Idaho, he thought this would be an appealing reward.
The "Employee Appreciation Day" was presented to the entire crew of Nature's Enhancement. Available race spots would be filled through earning bonus points by showing up for work on time, meeting deadlines, and having a positive attitude, etc. The employees who earned enough points became eligible to participate in the event. The points system energized the crew with a common goal... to get the rare opportunity to drive a real stock car at a paved racetrack!
By the time the big event happened, all current crew members found themselves eligible to race. Nature's Enhancement, Inc. closed for the day, provided the transportation to get to the track, and all the equipment and race cars were prepped and ready to go. Fun was had by all, with the additional surprise of the company's logo and name being lettered on one of the actual race cars driven during the "Employee Appreciation Day." (See photos below)
Not only did this event build excitement for the crews, it also built a team environment by bringing all company crews together to work towards a common goal. On the actual race day, this team environment was further strengthened through mini race competitions, cheering everyone on when they got in and out of the race cars, and by providing an opportunity for all the crew members to get together and share the same experience. The Employee Appreciation Day opened up and further strengthened lines of communication throughout all Nature's Enhancement, Inc.'s departments and employees. This event is still being talked about throughout the crews, and was a source of excitement between everyone who attended the end of the year Holiday party.
This experience was so successful, that we are considering offering another racing opportunity in the future that honors our customers.