Leading the Way
On a recent episode of business podcast For You Leaders, Four Hands CEO Matt Briggs spoke with host Kirk Dando about operationalizing these values to drive employee performance, company success and, ultimately, customer empathy. Among those values, noted Dando, that of having fun stands out as being most unique. But it isn’t mere window dressing, says Briggs. “I’ve always believed that employees need to have fun at work – that it brings out the best in people.”
Driving that value home, the company hosts regular celebrations for record-breaking months, employee anniversaries, holidays, and more. Earlier this month, Four Hands HQ hosted its fourth-annual office-wide Olympics, during which drafted teams compete in lighthearted events, from ping-pong and hula-hooping to darts, dodgeball, trivia, and more. “We have a team dedicated to planning these events,” adds Briggs. “This isn’t something done in employees’ spare time – an enormous amount of detail goes into planning everything, from our annual boat party on Lake Austin, to throwing a spontaneous parking lot party with bartenders and food trucks.”
The classic “Work hard, play hard” sentiment rings true even among Four Hands’ forward-thinking ethos. “We hope people learn from it,” says Briggs, speaking to his teams’ thoughtfully bred culture of positivity. Four times annually, hundreds of new designs debut at trade shows in High Point, North Carolina and Las Vegas, Nevada. Post-Market, accomplishments are celebrated; more importantly, slower-selling styles are seen as auspicious learning experiences. “We don’t have meetings to ask, ‘What went wrong here?’” he continues. “Instead, we ask, ‘What did you learn from it?’ I believe if you treat people like the adults they are and encourage their best work, they intrinsically follow suit.”
Leading the experiential team responsible for planning these events, Mallory Kohutek says the Four Hands difference can be felt in its focused creation of emotional connections. “My goal is to make memorable experiences,” she says. “From tailored menus at internal events to hand-selected wines at national trade shows, it’s personally rewarding for me to see people genuinely enjoying themselves.” Speaking to another Four Hands principle, the team’s collective efforts of valuing the whole person ultimately help distinguish Four Hands as employer and hospitality leader alike.
Passion for Excellence
Vice President of Human Resources, Candace Bridges, says the impact of these values reaches beyond the office walls. “When getting feedback about Four Hands as an employer, we often hear about the difference these collective efforts make in employees’ day-to-day lives. At the end of the day,” she says, “Our ability to laugh, support, collaborate, compete, and celebrate together has a huge effect on how our employees interact with each other and with our customers, and with their friends and families too.”
Bridges and her team are constantly brainstorming fresh initiatives, to further boost engagement and rapport. “Our passion for excellence doesn’t stop at what we’re doing this week, month, or even year,” she notes. “That’s why we’re always looking for new ways to take our employee experience to that next level, which impacts the success of each team, and ultimately our entire business.”
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Listen to the full episode below.