In addition to being CEO of Atlanta Home Theater, Jennifer Ross has been a certified relationship therapist in private practice for over 17 years. This allowed an element of industrial psychology to have an immeasurable impact on the emotional stability and professional development of the team. While not every onboarding company is lucky enough to have someone like Jennifer to help keep employees happy, her methods can be used as a guide.
So what does Jennifer do when employees need help? When needed, one or more team members gather for specialized meetings in Jennifer’s circular, uterine office on the second floor for professional coaching, support, and resolution of fragile or critical issues, she explains.
The value of this level of care in any organization cannot be underestimated. Sometimes even seasoned, grounded team members need to vent, especially in a male-dominated industry where feelings or conflict can be suppressed for fear of being seen as weak. This investment in the team pays off big.
“If this was the only thing AV integrators were adding at their pace, it would probably be the most cost-effective change,” advises Jennifer. “However, the most anticipated and outrageous event that lifts the team’s spirits is AHT’s Mystery Day, where the whole team comes together for a grand adventure!”
A giant bus with driver swallows a sleeping and sometimes blindfolded team, without any idea of what awaits us for the day. They just know there will be good food, lots of laughs, and times outside of their comfort zone.
The company is hosting a competitive white elephant gift exchange on the way with draws for cash prizes and additional paid days off. Past Mystery Days have included helicopter rides, indoor skydiving, caving, escape rooms, ballroom dancing, high-speed cart races, a Simon and Garfunkel concert in a private suite at Philips Arena, Whirly Ball and even a play date with giant, exotic reptiles.
“It’s something that everyone is looking forward to,” says Scott. The Mystery Day motto for decades has been “A team that plays together, stays together.” Indeed, more than half of the team has been with AHT for 10 to 20 years, and a handful of employees for more than 20 years.
“When you’ve been in business for a quarter of a century,” Scott says, “you can do things for your team that other companies can’t, like longer vacations, match investments, help them lead personal battles, mentoring them to negotiate major purchases, guiding them towards lucrative investments, helping them with personal loans, and providing extra time off for therapy visits, to attend their children’s special events, even those who happen during the working day. They give us 100% and we give them back 200%.
“Stability allows us to deliver the things that matter most to our team,” he adds. “We’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years, but today our business is a fine, well-oiled machine.”
“I know it’s cliché, but we really are one big family. We feed off each other’s support and positive energy. Our team celebrates colleagues by attending their weddings, child births and family funerals,” says Jennifer. “They have a history of sharing the latest industry updates, new product releases, the latest science and health advancements, and top-secret grilling recipes.”
“Our diverse team is steeped in a nurturing culture and pollinates our customers with enthusiasm, positive energy, and the magic of home technology that makes their world go round. Respectively, our customers have a high regard for the professional integrity of Atlanta Home Theater, but they also like to consider us great friends in the company. We love that!