Every quarter, managers at The Grove head offsite for team-building activities, such as navigating their way through escape rooms, where they must work together to solve puzzles, discover clues and complete a timed mission. Likewise, the top-performing employees from each department can attend their own quarterly excursions, such as paintball competitions.
“Team building is huge,” says Tiffany Hoven, director of operations. “Whether it’s something that’s educational or not, getting people out together, enjoying their time outside of responsibility, is very important to us.”
These regular events help to connect The Grove’s team—bringing people together across departments to create a “chill family vibe,” Hoven says. In fact, CEO Demetri Kouretas knows all 116 employees by name, Hoven says.
Those relationships make it easy to keep communication flowing through all levels of the company. Employees use the messaging platform, Slack, to stay in touch daily and share ideas across departments via instant messaging, group emailing, voice and video calls. Then, every quarter, employees come together for an all-staff meeting to openly discuss changes, issues and concerns.
“In any relationship, communication is absolutely key, so we try to keep people in the loop,” Hoven says.
Rewards and Recognition
Realizing that people are key to The Grove’s success, the company strives to reward employees for their performance.
“Putting people in the spotlight is very big to us,” Hoven says. “We have multiple employees of the month just to say, ‘Thank you. The Grove is The Grove because of you.’”
Employees of the month are announced in the company newsletter with their pictures posted on the wall in the lobby—where people can add notes and positive feedback to congratulate them.
Incentive programs in each department also allow employees to earn monthly rewards, paid in product from The Grove. The retail employee who sells the most in-house product, and the cultivation employee who trims more than the daily quota, might earn an eighth of flower—along with an invitation to the quarterly staff outing.
On top of that, the company offers quarterly gift bags containing new products for employees to sample. Not only is this a nice perk, it’s also an educational tool to help employees understand the product, Hoven says.
“A company [that’s only focused on] the bottom line would never buy anything for their employees, but that’s not how a company should run,” Hoven says. “You take care of your employees, and employees will take care of you.”