Editor's Note: Transportation Impact is one of Inc.'s 2017 Best Workplaces, our annual recognition of companies creating employee-centered organizations.
When former UPS workers Keith Byrd and Travis Burt founded Transportation Impact in 2008, they were using skills learned in their past jobs in more than one way. The two employed what they knew of the transportation industry to create a transportation logistics company that helped to reduce small package and freight shipping costs, and the four-time Inc. 5000 honoree grew tremendously. But Byrd and Burt also used their experiences at UPS, along with the simple skill of listening, to build a workplace that employees enjoy. Here's how they did it.
--As told to Kaitlyn Wang
Byrd: Our culture is work hard play hard. When you come into our corporate office you'll see people with shorts and flip flops. We're on the coast in North Carolina on the beach. But when you put us in front of a C-level person, we're dressed to the nines and we can turn our leisure right into professionalism on the spot.
As we get bigger we've added a few more perks: car washes, massages, and on Fridays, we give people half a day off in the beach season, but they get paid for it. As we grew, and worked more with Millennials, we learned that they value a lot of time off. In recognition we try to be respectful and work to keep people happy. Travis and I spent 20 years each at UPS. They taught us a lot about being good to our people and giving back to our community.
Burt: Volunteering, for instance, is important to the folks that work with us; it was important to Keith and I that we didn't push it down, we just encouraged it. Some of the marketing staff came up with what is called the IMPACT1, we started that in 2017. At it's simplest form, that means we'll give up one percent of our time, one percent of our money and one percent in goodwill through a program that has some structure to it. We're encouraging all of our folks to at least give 20 hours to something we're passionate about or they're passionate about, and we'll pay them for it. So that's been well-received this year.
Byrd: And since our employees are paid a salary, everybody is eligible to get a hefty bonus, if the company makes its annual revenue goal. We have a 401K that we match up to five percent and then we have a profit sharing and a cash balance plan and benefits for health insurance. Excluding the health insurance all those other ones equate to eight percent of the salary. It's kind of like a complete package.
At the end of the day, you just want to treat people how you like to be treated. So that's the way we think. It's very simple in nature. If it's a perk I would like personally, then Travis and I will personally ask the team and if they would like it implemented.
One of our biggest successes has been giving employees a half day off each week during the summer. We live near a beach, so you can imagine that taking a half day and still getting paid for it is significant. It helps doing the simplest things like going to the grocery store before the tourists get here for the weekend or getting your kid out of school early or simply just getting some downtime at the beach by yourself. That's been a really big hit for our people.