Hawaii’s Best Places to Work 2012
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Thanking employees every day
Employees: 294 (Hawaii) / 969 (U.S.)
Average annual pay: $63,022 (salaried) / $32,445 (hourly)
PTO days a year: 13
The Kauai Coast Resort at the Beach Boy is a perfect example of why SVC (formerly known as Shell Management Hawaii) has topped the large companies category for three years on the Hawaii Business Best Places to Work list.
“We try to tell our employees ‘thank you’ every day,” says Tim Albao, who, as executive housekeeper, supervises a staff of 22. Albao has been with the company for 11 years. He started as a bellman and has also worked at the front desk, in security, as the pool bartender and as an administrative assistant. “Staff appreciation is huge and we like to have fun and celebrate the successes of our departments and employees, always with food, of course.”
There’s a lot of celebrating going on at this picturesque, Kauai beachfront resort, which is one of 25 timeshare resorts in North America managed by Shell Vacations Hospitality. The other Hawaii locations are the Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village, Kona Coast Resort, Paniolo Greens in Waikoloa and Waikiki Marina Resort at the Ilikai.
“The Hawaii region is consistently the company’s best performing region,” says Linda Anthony, SVC’s regional VP, Hawaii. A lot of it has to do with the high retention rate of employees. Although the company takes training seriously, there are so many old-timers who know the ropes that there’s not a lot of time spent retraining new staff. Things run smoothly, making for happy workers and satisfied guests.
“One thing that keeps employees happy is expectations,” Anthony explains. “We have extremely detailed procedures on how we do everything, even how to clean a mirror. So nobody has any doubt how to do their job.”
Although she works out of the company’s Kailua-Kona office, Anthony warmly greets staff at this Kapaa resort as family. It may sound corny, but Anthony says they don’t have a problem saying they love each other.
“If you’re in an environment where you know you are loved as a person, then you’re not afraid. If everyone trusts one another, you’re not afraid to admit mistakes and you’re not going to hide them. That’s how we learn and grow. We genuinely care about each other.”
Helping each other
Average annual pay: $59,000 (salaried) / $35,000 (hourly)
PTO days a year: 11
For Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union concierge Vai Seto, those two words are more than just her employer’s motto.
Seto moved her family to Oahu from American Samoa after her teenage son, Hipa, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and she was hired by the credit union a few months later.
After a lengthy battle with the rare form of bone cancer, Hipa passed away in June 2011. During the process, Seto came to see her co-workers as family.
“I had planned to return to work the Monday after Hipa’s services because I had run out of paid time off,” she recalls. “That’s when I found out that many of my co-workers had donated their PTO to me.”
Seto says she was truly touched by her co-workers’ generosity and wanted to thank them personally, but was told they wished to remain anonymous.
Senior VP Stevette Santiago says Seto’s story captures the essence of their workplace. “It feels like a home away from home,” explains Santiago. “We try to help each other internally and it manifests itself in how we treat our customers.”
Glad to come to work
Average annual pay: $78,692 (salaried) / $43,209 (hourly)
PTO days a year: 15
In the anonymous surveys conducted as part of the Best Places to Work selection process, Castle Medical Center employees said they enjoyed coming to work, even though they must regularly deal with human suffering.
President and CEO Kathryn Raethel has felt the same way from the start. “When I first walked in, I felt something different,” says Raethel, who took the helm in December after 12 years at Castle. “There’s an atmosphere that’s friendly and welcoming. It’s a place where people are comfortable.”
The second-largest employer on the Windward side opened its doors in January 1963. “One associate has been here for 45 years and five have more than 40 years of service,” says Raethel. “It’s a place where people come and want to stay. Me, included.”
Steve Bovey feels that way, too.
He started as a family therapist at Castle 28 years ago and for the past 14 years has served as its quality-improvement coordinator. Bovey plans to retire there.
“The combination of meaningful work and working with upbeat, positive people makes it a great place. Every day, I leave feeling like I did something important with people I love working with.”
All other large companies listed alphabetically
Employees: 928 (Hawaii) / 931 (U.S.)
Average annual pay: $64,622 (salaried) / $26,734 (hourly)
Vacation days a year: 12
Sick days a year: 6
Personal days a year: 3
The annual holiday party is a big occasion for the bank and its employees. For the past two years, a professionally produced video starring CPB’s executive team has been screened at the annual holiday party. In 2011, many of the 900 employees were involved in a companywide flash mob, with departments and branches coordinating dances and getting into costume. CPB also gives back to the community, and employees can earn points for volunteer service projects, which can then be redeemed for rewards.
Average annual pay: $50,362 (salaried) / $18,928 (hourly)
Vacation days a year: 10
Sick days a year: 7
Personal days a year: 2
The hardware store recognizes and awards its employees for great customer service, either from customers or their peers. Awards are announced monthly and published in the quarterly newsletter. Prizes range from polo shirts to $250 gift certificates.
Employees: 182 (Hawaii) / 279 (U.S.)
Average annual pay: $75,000 (salaried) / $55,000 (hourly)
Vacation days a year: 18
Sick days a year: 6
The GM at this concierge service provider visits the offices on all islands every month to celebrate birthday lunches. Employees are eligible for the Concierge of the Year award, for which they are recognized nationally at Expedia’s annual tradeshow in Las Vegas.
Average annual pay: $75,000 (salaried) / $32,000 (hourly)
Vacation days a year: 15
Sick days a year: 8
Personal days a year: 1.5
The jewelry manufacturer and retailer loves employee referrals. Maui Divers pays $500 to $1,000 per qualified referral, and even entered referring employees into an iPad drawing. Employees are encouraged to take their breaks to relieve stress during the day.
Average annual pay: $88,100 (salaried) / $51,475 (hourly)
Vacation days a year: 10
Sick days a year: 10
Personal days a year: 3
Servco, which does business in automotive retail, home appliances and insurance, has a number of formal and informal ways to recognize its employees, ranging from gift cards to sales-incentive trips to the mainland, Japan or Australia. For employees who reach 25 years of service, the company presents them with a Rolex watch at the annual company dinner.
Employees: 53 (Hawaii) / 783 (U.S.)
Average annual pay: $103,746 (salaried) / $42,814 (hourly)
PTO days a year: 14
The Berry Company, a local advertising specialist in print and Internet, brings out the kid in its employees by having ice cream carts and popcorn days. It recognizes its sales team through top producer awards, sales bonuses and hotel stays at places like Disney’s Aulani Resort.
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