Case Study: High Expectations

This Florida distributor nurtures a culture of team selling and giving back to the community.

The Company

Wizard Creations (asi/362568)
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sales Reps: 8

Case Study: High Expectations

The management team at Wizard Creations operates under an important philosophy: selling and maintaining morale is every employee’s business. That’s why, no matter the job description, all 12 staff members, from art to customer service to accounts payable, are encouraged to sell and promote the company.

“It’s a team selling environment,” says President Luke Freeman. “Everyone is driven to offer fast service and to make sure every order is perfect the first time.”

To foster pride in the company’s brand, its offices in Fort Lauderdale are what Freeman calls “Google-esque,” and feature a putting green, lawn games, shuffle board, massage chairs, a dog- and kid-friendly policy and more. And not only are employees’ children welcome, but the company also gives them fun self-promo items, such as wizard wands and snap bracelets.

Staff also appreciate periodic recognition and incentive items for their hard work. For example, in acknowledgement of a big sales month, reps are given access to the company’s credit card points to shop at the rewards store. “Credit card companies have amazing rewards programs,” says Freeman. “Our reps can go in and pick what they want.”

Around the holidays, in order to show appreciation for the team’s work that year, the company allows staff to take two weeks of telecommuting time. While the business doesn’t close completely, employees are given the opportunity to work on the go while visiting with family and friends.

“In Florida, a lot of people are transplants,” says Freeman, a Chicago native. “So they like to go home for the holidays. If they’re taking the time off and not working, we always make sure there’s a plan in place so clients are still being taken care of. I used to say just take time off whenever you want, but it was a learning process. You can be generous with your staff’s vacation time, but you still need a plan.”

Before the staff disperses, management hosts The Wizzies, their version of the Dundees employee awards from the hit TV show The Office, at a local high-end steakhouse. It’s the culmination of a year of regular outings, including trips to pro sports match-ups and large entertainment venues. Next up for the Wizard team: a concert with pre-event tailgating and a VIP lounge for enjoying the show in comfort. And significant others are invited too. “That’s so when an employee has to work late, or take an afterhours call, their significant other understands the job and culture here,” says Freeman. “It’s work hard, play hard.”

The company also takes employees on retreats and trips that aren’t performance-based, but are often tied into charitable efforts. One Florida-based organization that benefits kids was looking to sell 100 rooms on a cruise as part of a fundraiser. Wizard Creations decided to help them out by not only taking the staff on the cruise, but also incorporating the effort to fill the rooms into a sales contest. Those Wizard clients who spent a certain amount of money in one month went with the distributor on the trip.

“We sold 115 rooms for the organization, we had our biggest sales month ever, and the charity made $50,000,” says Freeman. “It was a win-win. Our staff is an extension of our family, so we want everyone to experience things together.”

In fact, charitable efforts are a key part of the company’s operating model; working together for a larger cause builds solidarity among employees, which in turn motivates them to perform at a high level each day to meet team objectives.

“Our value statement is ‘Make money, have fun, give back’,” says Freeman. “If you don’t understand the importance of giving back, you won’t fit here. We’re all driven by money, but it’s not everything. To whom much is given, much is expected.”

The Takeaways

  1. Allow staff to unwind at regular outings.
  2. Invite significant others along so they’re invested in the company too.
  3. Combine fun with community service.

Company Perks at Wizard Creations

  • Happy Hours
  • Pet-Friendly Policy
  • Flextime/Work from Home
  • Company Outings
  • Profit Sharing