Originally Posted By: rbracklow
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This is interesting reading - check it out!!
David Weekly Homes is spending 4 million dollars to send their employees to paradise while Weekly continues to put the Richardson family through a living nightmare. The Richardson?s were forced from their Toxic Mold Home after only 5 short weeks, never to return but have continued to pay a mortgage on a their 5 bedroom the is now a toxic uninhabitable house built by David Weekly. For the past 2-? years (970 days now!) the Richardson continue to sleep in a single cramped bedroom, while David Weekly employees are going to Hawaii to celebrate.
Scott and Dawn Richardson can be reached at email@example.com.
San Antonio, Texas
Feb. 5, 2004, 11:39PM
Team effort leads to paradise
David Weekly rewards employees after sales double
By PURVA PATEL
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
At a time when most companies are trimming budgets, David Weekly Homes is spending $4 million to reward about 1,000 employees and their guests with a trip to Hawaii.
Next month they'll all get to spend a week on Maui, as their boss makes good on a promise made five years ago to take everyone from office clerks to builders on the trip if sales doubled and customer service improved by 2003.
Now workers wear Hawaiian shirts to meetings, talk about the luaus to come, and have grass skirts not only on the walls, but on the brain.
"We're very excited," said Debbie Geisler, a human resources manager for the Houston-based company. "Some people are talking about getting those spray-on tans so you look good in your Hawaiian gear."
The home builder posted $948 million in sales this year, almost twice the sales posted five years earlier, and company surveys indicate customer satisfaction climbed to 95 percent.
"We've had an extraordinary five years," Weekly said. "And our folks put out a tremendous effort."
It's no secret that low interest rates have bolstered the housing market in recent years, perhaps nudging Weekly Homes toward its target numbers. However, Weekly maintains that the market doesn't deserve all the credit.
"Have we had help from low interest rates? You bet," he said. "But the goals that we set were much further and deeper than low interest rates could satisfy."
In exchange for their hard work, all full-time employees hired before July 1, 2003, will get to snorkel, sunbathe and sightsee in Hawaii, without using their vacation days.
But they can't all go at once. They can choose one of four weeks in March to take the trip.
This isn't the first time some employees have gone on a holiday on the company's bill. The company has held contests before for particular divisions or city offices with a free trip awarded if the set goals are met.
The entire company went to Maui five years ago for reaching sales of $546 million. Fortune magazine mentioned the trip in 2000, the first of three consecutive years the publication listed David Weekly Homes among its top 100 places to work.
Like last time, this trip will be all play -- well mostly. A training session and a few team-building games on the beach are required, but the employees can do whatever they want the rest of the time.
Beverly Bradley, a senior sales coach, said she plans to lie on the beach and perhaps go snorkeling. She's going with her husband, who also works for the company, and he's bringing his mother along.
"Many of us would never go to Hawaii without an opportunity like this," said Bradley, who has gone on cruises to the Caribbean and a trip to Maui once before on the company. "It's awesome."
Such incentives are common in the sales industry, where salespeople often compete for trips or cash bonuses based on how much they sell.
But the rewards are usually limited to the top salespeople or specific divisions. Rarely does everyone from the human resources department to tech support get to go, experts said.
"It's not something that I've heard of done very often," said Paula Godar, a manager at Maritz Incentives, which provides companies with incentive design and consulting services.
While a group trip can help build camaraderie among co-workers and serve as a good recruitment tool, it can also backfire, said Anna Marie Buchmann, a management consultant with RHR International in Wood Dale, Ill.
Some employees may not like to travel or are too busy to take a trip. If there's no alternative reward for them, she said, the workers left behind could start to resent their employer.
Employees used to the trips could also start to see the rewards as a "right."
"You've got to ask yourself, are you increasing expectations to an unreasonable level?" Buchmann said. "You have to manage employee and prospective employee expectations."
Team awards also can be hard to justify if some employees think they worked harder than others.
But Weekly says the numbers prove his employees have worked hard to improve the company. They sold 15,000 homes in the past five years, 3,549 of them in 2003.
"That's a lot of people to make happy," he said. "We're a very performance-oriented culture. It's not just warm and fuzzy where we hug each other all the time. We live and die by our customer surveys."
What do you people think? This is one reason why we have inspectors!!