On the Careers page of our website, we have a simple tag line embedded in a few pictures of the people who work at SmarterTools:

Company Trips Photo Grid

Hard work is a mainstay at most companies and SmarterTools is no exception. The benefits of hard work are as varied as they are rewarding: an immense sense of accomplishment when meeting a difficult goal; building incredible products that assist millions of people, worldwide; understanding a difficult problem and coming up with a brilliant and functional solution to that problem and much more.

However, there are other rewards as well.

At SmarterTools, we're big believers in rewarding our employees with "experiences" instead of more traditional rewards. We do the more traditional stuff as well, but our greatest joy is in giving our employees memories that they take with them far into the future.

Customers may notice that, from time to time, we have blocks of "holiday time" carved out for what we term "company holidays." These are the times we use for taking employees on various trips or for taking time during the workweek to reward our employees for all of the hard work they're doing. During the extended company holidays -- those where our offices are closed for more than a few hours -- we do still check in on customers via our ticketing system, and answer pressing or urgent questions to our sales and support teams. However, we DO try and let everyone enjoy themselves, especially if we're out of town.

Examples of these company holidays include:

  • Attending the opening day of a huge summer movie. We're especially fond of Marvel movies.
  • Taking everyone to a conference. For example, CES in Las Vegas or even GDC in San Francisco.
  • Taking certain employees to conferences abroad, like WHD in Germany.
  • Playing paintball, going bowling, going to "entertainment centers" like Dave and Buster's, etc.

Recently, we took all of our employees to Maui, Hawaii. We spent 6 days there, doing everything from snorkeling to attending the requisite Luau. We had some scheduled events, but also gave employees some time to themselves, which they filled with activities like MORE snorkeling, shopping, hiking, wind surfing, taking the Road to Hana and more. We worked there, as well, answering tickets and working with customers on troublesome issues, but we also had a TON of fun. Below are some of the memories we created while there.

Hard work is its own reward, but there are times when it's necessary for us, as employers, to really show our appreciation for our employees. Creating memories enables us to do that, so we consider that time away from the office time well spent.

Do you do something special at your company? What experiences do you treat people to as a reward for their hard work? Feel free to share them in the comments...