Big Growth And Easy Camaraderie
"We All Just Get Along Really Well"
As the employees of distributor firm Mercury Promotions & Fulfillment stream into the company’s Sterling Heights, MI, conference room to grab some breakfast, it’s easy for the Road Tour crew to see why these people work so well together. The conversation is easy, with some colleagues playfully kidding each other and others breaking off into small groups over coffee, juice, and assorted muffins and breads.
“We all just get along really well,” says Jon Sloan, who founded the company in its current iteration along with Michael Wilson about 11 years ago. “We all work really hard, but employees cover for each other because they care about each other. A lot of us have been in the business for a long time, and we know what it takes to succeed. Our people really work hard to make it happen.”
And, it has really been happening for Mercury of late, as the company has grown from $3 million in sales to $34 million over the past 11 years. At the center of the company’s success is its culture, which can best be described as extremely transparent and communicative. Mercury holds breakfast meetings once a month for the whole company, where employees can ask any questions they want. Sloan provides an update about the business – complete with top line and bottom line financials – but really the sessions are meant to give the company’s 70 employees an outlet to speak their minds.
“Communication and transparency is really important for me,” says Sloan, while touring the company’s 75,000-square-foot warehouse that is home to its fulfillment and program business for major brand-name clients. “I want employees to feel like they can say anything they want and ask anything they want. They should know everything about the business that I know.”
This, though, is also a work-hard-play-hard culture where a premium is placed on group outings and, yes, fun. Mercury has formed a Peer Committee which is tasked with creating three activities a month for the whole company to take part in. In July alone, the company has had its Summer Picnic at the Detroit Zoo, celebrated Pina Colada Day, and also honored National Hot Dog Day with a BBQ and potluck desserts. “We’ll celebrate anything here to make it fun for people,” says Sarah Merrill, Mercury’s merchandise director who has been with the company for eight years. “The outings really help to build camaraderie among employees.”
That feeling is evident if you spend even just a few minutes with Mercury’s employees. “We really are a family,” says Amy Lamar, who is in sales for Mercury. “We have an open-door policy and people really enjoy working with each other. The departments cover for each other and they all work well together. You just enjoy coming to work every day because it’s fun, everybody works hard, and we celebrate for any reason.”