Inspirational bosses are few these days and when I was told about this remarkable company, I had to share this story. When you look at their website www.callruby.com, it’s a ‘virtual receptionist’ operating out of Oregon. However, business owners listen up, you can be anywhere in the world to use this service. Taking a closer look at the operation, there are real people behind the phones that all have the same name – ‘Ruby’. Ruby is smart and cheerful; she is trained to make a difference in your day and handles each call with care. Ruby is friendly and has a can-do attitude, and most of all she is a professional. Well, Ruby is, in reality, a group of great women who love their jobs.
It all started in 2003 when Jill Nelson, founder and CEO, first started the company, then called WorkSource, Inc. and focused on making businesses more efficient. However, the feedback they received from clients centered more on how kind and helpful their staff was, and how their receptionists’ cheerfulness helped their clients win more customers. After a few years, Jill Nelson re-branded the company as ‘Ruby Receptionists’ and really focused on the happiness of her clients and on creating personal connections with them.
Jill has a passion for making people happy and it reflects in her staff. Superb customer service is certainly on Jill’s priority list and it shows in several awards: from being a five-time ‘Fastest Growing Company in Oregon’ award to the wonderful accomplishment of being named a top 10 ‘Best Company to Work For’ for two years running. A couple of weeks ago the company received their new crowning achievement, being named the #1 ‘Best Small Company to Work for in the U.S.’ by Fortune Magazine and the Great Place to Work Institute.
Jill Nelson is a busy woman. Her bio reads that she was named a 2012 ‘Customer Champion’ by ‘1to1 Magazine’ and was featured as Portland Monthly’s April 2012 ‘Rainmaker’. She has held multiple positions on the board of the ‘Portland chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization’, and in 2010, was honored by a Portland Business Journal with the ‘Orchid Award’ for her service as a female business leader who is deeply involved in the community.
“Happiness is incredibly important to us”, says marketing champion Katie Wilson, “It’s definitely played a huge part in making Ruby a success. Let me give you some examples on how we foster happiness,” she continues, “We have 5 core values, one of them is happiness and we encourage and endorse the following:
• Happiness Journal – We launched a program based on leading positive psychologist Shawn Achor’s work, encouraging employees to complete daily journal entries for a month in order to create habits of positive thinking. Those who completed the program were entered to win a trip to Hawaii. Virtual Receptionist Anastasia Poirier won, and used the trip as her honeymoon. The experiment lead to happier employees and actually improved our accuracy in message-taking by 60%.
• Smile File – Every Ruby receives a Smile File when they first start. They can fill their folders with compliments, notes from coworkers, and other items that will brighten their days. It helps our staff focus on the positive moments and take pride in their accomplishments.
• ‘Five at Five’ paid sabbaticals – For every five years at Ruby, employees receive 5 weeks paid time off, plus a $1,000 grant and coaching session with positive psychologist Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener. Our staff can use these resources to fulfill a dream that they wouldn’t otherwise have had an opportunity to realize.”
It’s no wonder that Katie is friendly and efficient. Her job title ‘Online Marketing Champion’ shows creativity and encouragement to be the best she can be.
With 100 employees, all answering the phone with a cheerful ‘Ruby speaking’, you can be sure that Ruby is never sick, late, at lunch, or on vacation. You can relax knowing that your calls are answered promptly and with care. ‘Ruby’ is with you around the clock, she is always available.
Sara Lee Frazey, one of the employees coming up on 5 years with Ruby, loves her job. “We do dress-up Friday’s”, she giggles and the photos prove that she is not kidding. There are many perks to working at Ruby’s: a reading room stocked with inspirational books, lots of interactive fun, catered lunches and themed events are the norm at this entertaining yet efficient office. “Our boss even bought us a nap-couch!” grins another Ruby. The morale at ‘Ruby’ is extremely high, not something you see a lot these days where employees mostly complain about their work places and environments. Not so at Ruby!
Congratulations to a job well done and to all ‘Ruby’s’, and lots of admiration and thank you to a boss lady with such a big heart!
Phone: (503) 445-6900