Does your company love you enough to deal with your dirty laundry?

nextjump_logo_blackEmployees at Next Jump in New York City are routinely asked the following question,

“How can we make things better for you to be happier at home or at work?”

Once a response shows up a couple of times, the company looks into the viability of the suggestion. A few years ago employees complained about the need to do their laundry on the weekends. It turns out that an afternoon every other weekend was wasted in laundromats around the city.

Founder Charlie Kim looked into the possibility and decided to offer wash and fold as an employee benefit. According to the Next Jump website:

laundrybagEmployees can drop off their laundry bag in the office on Fridays every week. Their laundry is washed, dried and folded over the weekend and can be picked up the following Monday. This program ensures maximum “strategic disengagement” for the employees. Instead of spending hours doing laundry every weekend, employees can have more time to rest and relax, ready to be energized for next week.

Next Jump came up with the motto: 

“My company gets my laundry, I get my weekends back.”

green-goldfish-15-ways-to-drive-engagement-300x248Next Jump also has a number of other (green goldfish) programs that work to reinforce the desired culture. Like Google, they hit on all cylinders whether its the Basics like recruiting, onboarding, food / beverage, space, wellness, modern family, time-away, Belonging like transparency, team building, recognition, flexibility, retirement and Building like training, pay it forward and empowerment.

I had the privilege of hearing Matt Tenney speak at a couple recent events. Matt is a thought leader around the topics of servant leadership and corporate culture. Here is Matt talking about Next Jump as part of a keynote. In addition to the laundry, Matt touches on Code for a Cause, The Avenger Award and Office Bedrooms and the amount of applicants at Next Jump:

ServeToBeGreatMatt is also the author of the upcoming May 5th Wiley release, “Serve to Be Great.”

TAKEAWAY – Take a cue from Next Jump, routinely ask your employees how you can better serve their needs at home or at work. Because happy engaged employees create happy enthused customers.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Want to take a look inside Next Jump? Here’s a quick video by the folks at Wistia:

4 replies
  1. Ashley Verrill
    Ashley Verrill says:

    Great read Stan. I think this is such an overlooked fact — too often I hear thought processes like “This is a voluntary workplace. If they’re not happy, they can quite.” We’ve reached a generation that was more coddled than previous, so unfortunately they expect a lot more… well, coddling. And when they’re not happy, the impact on the customer experience is clear.

    Take a company like Zappos, for example. They provide amazing customer service and this is primarily because they have so many programs targeted at employee happiness (extra earned paid time off for performance, for example.)

    Thanks for the great post!

    Ashley

    • Stan Phelps
      Stan Phelps says:

      Thanks Ashley. Organizations of today need to do the little signature extras to attract top talent and set themselves apart. You may call in coddling, but I see it more as caring.

  2. Adrian Swinscoe
    Adrian Swinscoe says:

    Stan,
    That’s a really interesting idea about laundry. However, I wonder where it all stops……paying for your employees groceries or having food delivered to their house? Is that really the responsibility of the business?

    Adrian

    • Stan Phelps
      Stan Phelps says:

      Good point Adrian. There is definitely a line. Rackspace takes a similar stance when it comes to employee extras. They do many little extras (green goldfish). Their philosophy though is an interesting one. They’ve decided to push it all the way up to the point of entitlement. At that point they stop.

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