Profiles of the 2011 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2011
Tuesday, March 01, 2011

BY JON BELL

0311_Ruby_01
Rachel Shelton (front), Jewel Miller (at right) and other employees at Ruby Receptionists strike a tree pose during a company yoga session, just one of the many perks for those who work at the 8-year-old virtual receptionist company.
0311_Ruby_02
When customers give positive feedback, Ruby Receptionists employees add the kudos — and their own personal designs — to company compliment books.
0311_Ruby_03
Stacey Thompson plucks a banjo at Ruby Receptionists. One of the things employees appreciate about working at Ruby is that they still have time for creative side projects like playing in bands or making movies.
0311_Ruby_04
Jill Nelson, president of Ruby Receptionists, says she and a friend chose the retro name Ruby because it harkens back to a time when friendly, personal service was the norm. // Photos by Eric Näslund
Jill Nelson herself admits it: sitting at a desk, answering phones all day long — being a receptionist — is not traditionally a fun job.

But the founder and president of RUBY RECEPTIONISTS (NO. 2 BEST MEDIUM COMPANY), a virtual answering service in Portland with more than 1,000 business clients across the nation, says that core values like “foster happiness” and “practice wowism” truly permeate her company, leading to satisfied clients and smiling employees.

“People who like making people’s days do a great job here,” says Nelson, who started Ruby in 2003 as one of its three original receptionists.

The receptionists at Ruby — there are 40 now, as well as 20 other employees — pride themselves on their mix of professionalism and good cheer. It’s a blend that helps drive the company and make it a good place to work. The average Ruby receptionist makes about $14 an hour, gets health benefits at 32 hours and, new last year, can participate in the company’s 401(k) plan.

The relatively young staff, many of whom are involved in bands or films or other creative side projects, also have opportunities to grow professionally and personally within Ruby. And three years ago when employee morale seemed to sag, Nelson zeroed in on staffing shortages as the main culprit. The company has since stayed on top of its hiring needs, which has helped drive average employee longevity up from 275 days to 521.

Nelson is also a big believer in celebrating her company’s success with those who help make it happen. For Ruby Receptionists, which doubled its revenues in 2010 to $3.9 million, it means company parties that Nelson herself calls legendary.

“I think you really want to create an environment where employees feel rewarded and treated well,” she says, “one where, if it ever did get hard for us, our staff would be right there with us.”



 

Comments   

 
Gern Blenston
+1 #1 Great Photos!Gern Blenston 2011-03-12 10:23:03
Whoever this Eric Naslund guy is, his work just rocks! The one of Matt Lonsbury is just epic.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
22 twosidesBY JASON NORRIS

Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.


Read more...

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


Read more...

Healthcare Perspective

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Majd El-Azma, president and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, followed by the Healthcare Powerlist.


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...

The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

The Latest
Thursday, December 04, 2014
pingpongthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


Read more...

Behind the curtain: What students should know about accreditation and rankings

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 04, 2014
120414-edurating-thumbBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS