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What Does It Take To Create An Award-Winning Workplace?


Your company wants to win a workplace award, but you’re not sure how and I’m here to help!

When considering what workplace award to nominate your company for you can usually view a list criteria the award considers. The most recent award that PJ won, Wisconsin State Journal’s inaugural Top Workplaces, looked at 7 topics related to workplace culture. (Alignment, Connection, Effectiveness, My Manager, Engagement, Leadership, and The Basics)

The Top Workplace award identifies and recognizes companies in the region that demonstrate supportive leadership, a strong work-life balance, a dynamic culture, a well-defined mission and other signature characteristics that help create an exceptional place to work.

But beyond these lists and vague characteristics/words, what does it really take to create a great place to work?

Core Values Wall

Living Our Core Values

At PJ, our number one Core Value is we CARE about each other (our people). We are a fun, flexible, and un-corporate. We care about our people’s personal well-being, health and safety. We listen to each other, treat each other with respect and provide honest feedback.

The tricky thing is having this core value mean something more than just words on paper. We want the best for each other because frankly, we spend more time with the people we work with on a daily basis than our families. At PJ our co-workers become our extended family. All sounds nice, but how do you show you care?

The Value of Focusing on Health and Wellness

Through “digging into the details” and listening to our people we have created multiple opportunities for employee engagement, showing we care about our team, and ultimately fostering a better culture. Back in 2012, PJ experienced the loss of 3 employees due to health reasons that with quality care could have been avoided. We have showed we care by being more proactive when it comes to Health and Wellness. We started with removing vending machines and instead offering FREE healthy snacks at all locations. Our employees are also offered Health Assessments each year with included health coaching for areas that could use improvement. Beyond that, we incentivize staying active at work while incorporating FUN! By focusing on Health & Wellness we are showing that we truly care about our people (PJ employees) and want the best for everyone.

Friday Flannel

Other Ways to Show that We Care

In addition to our company focus on healthy and wellness, we added fringe benefits like flexible work schedules, additional PTO for babies, and Community Service time to our employee offerings. Our Community Service time off is in addition to all of the team volunteer activities that are planned (& optional) at all employee locations. We pack meals at the local food pantry, do a holiday gift drive, create teams for multiple walk/runs to support non-profits, and even completed a team Habitat for Humanity Panel Build.

We are also big fans of the work-hard, play-hard mentality. We like to make sure we provide opportunities to celebrate and have fun together. We have patio happy hours in the summer, crab & shrimp boils to celebrate milestone anniversaries, and company outings as big as Vail, CO and as small as the Mallards Duck Blind!

Beyond the perks, what really matters is the reason behind offering the perks. Offering free snacks, extra PTO, or employee outings won’t drive a better employee experience alone. But if the perks you offer ultimately support your core values, that’s what matters.

Employees Drive the Culture

It’s the employees that make PJ a great place to work, and it's not the effort of just one person or department. It is all of us choosing as leaders, managers, and co-workers to actively promote an engaging, supportive, flexible and fun environment where people want to work. While none of these things can single-highhandedly win you a “great place to work award” they can help attract top talent!

We believe our PJ peeps are the best of the best and we will continue to strive to give them a dynamic and fun workplace!

To learn more about our culture and the unwritten rules at PJ, visit our Culture FAQs.

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Shrimp Crab Boil

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