We often get questions about best practices in human resources and employee engagement from our clients and we love the opportunity to highlight a company that is doing things well.
For two years running, ZYTO has been recognized as one of the top places to work among small companies along the Wasatch Front, as nominated directly by their own employees. The Lindon-based organization employs more than 60 people and has been in business since 2004, producing software and integrated hardware products that are specifically designed to provide insight that facilitate personal health and wellness decisions.
Walk into the ZYTO office, and you’ll immediately recognize company culture is one thing that sets them apart. Breakroom walls are plastered top to bottom with smiling faces of employees standing in all sorts of terrain doing all sorts of activities. Last year, the organization launched the ZYTO Utah Outdoor Challenge. “We are in the business of helping people become healthier, and we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Encouraging our employees to get out, be active and take advantage of all that Utah has to offer, just made sense,” said George Wright, Executive Vice President Global Development. And that’s how the ZYTO Utah Outdoor Challenge was launched. Employees were given a stylish ZYTO bandana together with a list of 50 things to do in Utah, including running a 5K, hiking Little Wildhorse Canyon in Goblin Valley State Park, taking a ride on the Alpine Slide in Park City and floating in the Great Salt Lake (just to name a few). The challenge required employees to complete as many of the activities as possible during the year and to post a picture of them proudly showcasing the ZYTO bandana on the company’s private Facebook page.
The challenge took off like wild fire. Not only were employees becoming more active and healthier in the process, but they also started talking more among themselves and sharing stories about their experiences. Individuals who conquered activities in the challenge over the weekend and posted to Facebook were then peppered with questions on Monday morning from interested (and envious) team mates who wanted to know more about their weekend adventures. ZYTO leaders firmly believe their company culture is strengthened through stories. Capturing a quick selfie from the challenge helped to jump start that effort. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
The 2015 Utah Outdoor Challenge is one of many things ZYTO has done to foster an engaging culture. Halloween is one of the organization’s most celebrated events (they host an actual spook alley in the break room). Everyone loves telling the story about the time one of their senior leaders drove an actual go kart in the office as part of a Mario Kart costume. “Awesomeness in the workplace is inspiring, and our customers hear it on the phone. We take care of our employees so they can reciprocate and take care of our customers,” Sophia Erickson, Vice President Corporate Communications said.
ZYTO leaders credit their strong culture to attracting and keeping good people, taking care of the basics, noting that intangibles matter, and celebrating success. They aren’t quite sure what’s in store for 2016, but the spirit of the Utah Outdoor Challenge lives on and continues to foster the kind of culture ZYTO wants—one that builds camaraderie, creates engagement and encourages people to keep telling stories.