Employees

Vacation Should Be a Vacation from Work Too

It seems as though most companies expect – either explicitly in their policies or implicitly through the culture – that employees check in while they’re on vacation. At least to check their email to “keep up with what’s going on”, but sometimes also hop on conference calls or do some actual work. And the ones that don’t tend to put the onus on the employee to take care of their work before they leave. The work then piles up while they’re gone, which means they… Continue reading

11/12/19

A New Tool for Managing Busy Warehouse Days

Typically our busiest shipping day of the week is Monday. This is pretty intuitive, given that we’re shipping out orders from Friday afternoon through our 1 PM same-day cutoff on Monday afternoon. Three-day weekends during our peak season, such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, and (sometimes) July 4th, when we’re also typically running a big sale, are even busier. And as we’ve grown over the years, those peaks have become even greater proportionally. Essentially, it’s easier to find growth during a big sale in peak… Continue reading

1/24/19

Working From Home This Black Friday

We’re anticipating that this Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be our biggest and busiest ever. Unlike every single previous year though, I’m working from home on Friday and Monday, as are my partners. This is a really big step for us. It was just last Black Friday that I wrote: If there’s one thing we don’t have down to a science, it’s staffing. It seems that every year we have less people than we expect, which puts extra pressure on those who are working…. Continue reading

11/23/18

Would Universal Health Care Encourage Entrepreneurship?

I’ve always thought that the answer to that question is a resounding yes. While I do think that employers have a role in the health, balance, and overall well-being of their employees, it never made sense to me that as an employer I decide my employee’s health care options any more than it would make sense for me to make decisions about their schools, parks, and roads. Nothing about running an e-commerce company makes me qualified for those types of decisions. We provide our employees… Continue reading

10/18/17

How to Handle a Good Employee Leaving

We recently had a really good employee leave us for a better opportunity. I think most businesses botch almost all aspects of an employee leaving, to the detriment of the employee, other employees, and the company in general. This was our first opportunity to show that isn’t the case with us, and I think overall we did a pretty good job. It seems like the last few weeks of a job often suck for the employee leaving. Their boss and co-workers resent the person for… Continue reading

8/8/17

Letting Go to Grow: Why Delegating “Ownership” Matters

I accepted my first and only full-time engineering job at Schick with a few months left in my last semester of college. I had done a nine-month internship at the company. But the main reason that I decided to go back without even interviewing anywhere else had nothing to do with my previous experience there. It was my new boss. The department that he ran didn’t exist when I had interned there. He was young, energetic, and extraordinarily intelligent. We hit it off when I… Continue reading

6/13/17

“I Have a Question…”

Towards the end of 2015 we noticed a problem. Too often our employees would interrupt us to ask a question that they could easily find an answer to themselves. This was particularly a problem in our old office – an interruption would often interrupt everyone else because we were so tightly packed. The problem wasn’t exclusive to the office though, the same thing would happen via Skype when someone was working remotely. And to be fair, it wasn’t exclusive to our employees either – sometimes… Continue reading

5/16/17

Extending Our Employee Benefits To Warehouse Associates

We recently hired two more warehouse associates, bringing our total team to eleven (five warehouse associates, three salaried employees, and us three owners). We keep our job posting up on our website year-round, although we only open the application form when we’re accepting applicants. Each time we make a few tweaks to the application but for the most part it remains relatively the same. This time though, we added a really important bullet: Long term employees are eligible for health insurance and Simple IRA with… Continue reading

3/7/17

How We Structure Paid Time Off For Full-Time Employees

One of the many decisions that requires some effort when hiring full-time employees is how to structure paid time off. We put a lot of thought into these decisions in 2010 when we brought on our first full-time employee. Since that time we’ve found that these policies have worked out really well for a small company like ours. PTO vs Sick Time + Personal Time + Vacation Time This, I think, is the first choice we made. Should we divide up sick, personal, and vacation… Continue reading

1/9/17

Head Count != Success

In the pre-internet world the number of employees that you had was seen as a measure of success. If a restaurant/store/office had more employees, it was considered to be doing well. The ability to automate or outsource was almost nonexistent. You dealt with increased volume by throwing more bodies at it. Hence, people = success. These days? Not so much, yet the prevailing wisdom has seemed to linger. Smart businesses automate, outsource, hire contractors and part-time employees, and then only hire full-time when it’s absolutely… Continue reading

3/14/16