Inspired Orientations

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Give Hires a Running Start

Before stepping foot on a truck, new employees at Gentle Giant Moving Company of Somerville, Massachusetts, are often required to run the steps of Harvard Stadium. The practice began informally in the 1980s, when CEO Larry O'Toole hired members of college rowing teams, who liked to work out on the stadium stairs. In the early '90s, O'Toole institutionalized the run as a way to test the mettle of new hires and emphasize that he expects them to push themselves. Most movers complete the trial within their first few weeks on the job. Office workers are encouraged to try as well, and about a quarter of them do. "Moving is very unpredictable," says O'Toole. "You need to know the person isn't going to let up."