Great Lit­tle Box Co. B.C.’s best for be­ing great to its staff

Mag­a­zine’s ku­dos per­sonal high­light in life, says pres­i­dent and CEO of more than 185 em­ploy­ees

Vancouver Sun - - Working - BY BRIAN MOR­TON

It

could be de­scribed as the lit­tle com­pany that could. Ac­tu­ally, it’s the Great Lit­tle Box Co. (GLBC), a Rich­mond­based de­signer and man­u­fac­turer of cus­tom and stock cor­ru­gated boxes and dis­plays that’s just been named “the best com­pany to work for” by BC Busi­ness mag­a­zine.

The mag­a­zine rated B.C. com­pa­nies us­ing a sur­vey by Wat­son Wy­att World­wide, a global HR con­sult­ing firm.

With four lo­ca­tions in B.C. and Wa s h i n g t o n , m o r e than 185 em­ploy­ees and a 23,225-sq.-me­tre pro­duc­tion plant and head of­fice in Rich­mond, GLBC is not so lit­tle any more.

“Per­son­ally, this [the BC Busi­ness rat­ing] is one of the high­lights of my life,” com­pany pres­i­dent and CEO Robert Meggy said in an in­ter­view. “I work very hard to cre­ate a good com­pany with good peo­ple.”

G L B C ’s re c o g n i t i o n by BC Busi­ness mag­a­zine comes on the heels of be­ing named by Ma­clean’s mag­a­zine as one of Canada’s top 100 em­ploy­ers — for the third con­sec­u­tive year.

Meggy said that’s proof that his com­pany’s cor­po­rate cul­ture is as de­voted to a healthy work­place as is it to mak­ing prof­its.

He said that when he started out 25 years ago to turn around a com­pany that was in re­ceiver­ship, his fo­cus quickly be­came his em­ploy­ees. Over the years, he said, GLBC set out to en­gage and em­power em­ploy­ees as much as pos­si­ble.

“Peo­ple want to know what’s go­ing on in a com­pany and we’re good at t h a t . We r e v i e w the fi­nan­cials ev­ery month for ev­ery­body — the in­come sta­tus and bal­ance sheet. Peo­ple know how we do — the good, bad or ugly.

“Our turnover is about one per cent [an­nu­ally] that’s within our con­trol. It [some­one leav­ing] is very rare.”

Me g g y sa i d G L B C ’s h u m a n re­sources prac­tices in­clude a monthly profit-shar­ing pro­gram, an open book man­age­ment style and BOX, which stands for Big Out­ra­geous eX­trav­a­ganza. That means em­ploy­ees go on an allinclu­sive week­end trip to such des­ti­na­tions as Cabo San Lu­cas, Puerto Val­larta or Las Ve­gas, if profit goals are met.

“We took 150 peo­ple to Cabo San Lu­cas,” noted Meggy. “We paid for ev­ery­thing. It was about $1,200 a per­son. But for us, it’s well worth it. When you’re sit­ting in a hot tub, drink­ing mar­gar­i­tas to ge t h e r, yo u ge t re a l ly go o d bond­ing.”

Meggy said t h e No. 1 thing em­ploy­ees want is recog­ni­tion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion — and his com­pany works hard at that. “We spend a lot of time hir­ing to get the right peo­ple. And we have lots of so­cial events and the com­pany gen­er­ally pays for ev­ery­thing. We have a party for all the kids. We buy all the toys, gen­er­ally about $60 to $70 each.

“A n d they’re fairly paid. No­body’s ever left be­cause of money. Our ben­e­fits pack­age is pretty good.”

How­ever, he said that be­cause they run a man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity — which also pro­duces foam pro­tec­tive pack­ag­ing and dis­trib­utes ship­ping and mov­ing sup­plies — telecom­mut­ing can­not gen­er­ally be of­fered.

Car­rie Daw­son, 35, a sched­uler at GLBC for seven years, wouldn’t think of work­ing any­where else.

“I started as a very preg­nant

GLENN BAGLO/VAN­COU­VER SUN

Great Lit­tle Box Co. pres­i­dent and CEO Rober t Meggy and seven-year em­ployee Car­rie Daw­son.

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