As the Counselor Road Tour crew pulled into the expansive new property that belongs to SnugZ USA (asi/88060), about a dozen employees were playing a game of soccer on the supplier’s permanent futból pitch. It wasn’t because the U.S. men’s national team had just completed a crucial World Cup game minutes before. Rather, it was a normal weekday activity, part of a year-round pursuit of several self-professed soccer fanatics at the West Jordan, UT-based company. The most refreshing part? Top executives mixing in with factory floor employees and other personnel. “From the top to the bottom, they all play together,” says Stevie Clark, the company’s customer support manager.
The casual and fun vibe of the pick-up game perfectly fits the atmosphere that CEO/President Brandon Mackay seeks. “We work really hard, and if we want to go outside and play for an hour, we will,” says Mackay, who has been with the company for 20 years. Success enables what he calls “earning the right to make choices” – of the fun variety. Employees get “recess” once a week. Yoga is taught by one of the company’s sales reps. SnugZ sponsors fun activities like staff softball teams and even a 200-mile relay race. Company-wide Halloween parties and barbecues are annual traditions.
The supplier has been in business for a quarter-century, and its new building (the 15th in company history) is certainly the most impressive. While the 120,000-square foot facility enables Snugz USA to manufacture its lanyards and personal care products all under one roof, its massive break room, open office spaces, and abundance of natural light have been big hits with its 300-plus employees. Mackay and the company’s top executives admit that the “creature comforts” were foremost in their minds when they built the facility. “A lot of us are in the work, so we wanted these things as much they did,” says Darren Massey, director of manufacturing for Snugz USA’s personal care products.
Casual is the prevailing atmosphere, as well as the primary dress code. Underneath it, however, is an emphasis on hard work and competitiveness, with a wide latitude to attack problems. “One of the great parts is not being micromanaged,” says Sydra Newell, vice president of sales. “Do a great job, but be ready to own it.”
It’s clear that SnugZ employees are fiercely loyal and completely invested in the company’s vibe. “We all drank the Kool-Aid around here,” says Chris Culley, director of operations. And for those who haven’t, perhaps it can be served at the end of next week’s soccer match.