OtterBase, Inc. was ranked the #1 "Cool Place to Work" for companies with 51-250 employees by the Crain's Detroit Business and the Grand Rapids Business Journal
By Daniel Schoonmaker
Grand Rapids Business Journel, Crain's Detroit Business
OtterBase: TEAM EMPOWERMENT
Jeffrey and William Bennett founded their supplemental staffing business, OtterBase Inc., believing that if they could build an organization filled with people as passionate about winnng and success as they were, the competition wouldn't stand a chance.
"We would essentially 'out-passion' them," said Jeffrey Bennett. "It's an issue of pride. The more pride, the more everything."
He compared the notion to that of a championship college football team.
"They're not playing for money; they are simply playing for pride."
OtterBase in Grand Rapids is one of the nation's fastest-growing staffing companies with an expanding list of Fortune 500 clients. Its recruiting can be applied to any customer in need of contract labor, regardless of profession, scope or scale.
Bennett attributes that to the company's internal culture, which he says is defined by passion, diligence and humility.
Employees strive to teach each other through accountability, confrontation, team problem-solving and leadership by example. To support a culture of learning, OtterBase forgoes seniority and internal structures that its founders feel "could slow the boat down."
Instead, OtterBase has worked to empower its employees with the ability to influence company policies and operations. They celebrate success as a team: playing songs for wins, honking horns for interviews, and throwing company-sponsored victory parties.
In addition to generous compensation and benefit packages, OtterBase also offers reimbursement programs for tuition, home technology and wellness.
The company has grown from three employees in 1998 to more than 200 workers.