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|Articles - March 2011|
|Tuesday, March 01, 2011|
Page 2 of 7
BY JON BELL
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.”
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