Business as Unusual

by Jordan Redfearn | July 2, 2010

The Nashville Post wrote a piece about how cj is raising the bar on company culture as a part of their “Best Employers in Middle Tennessee” article.

Culture is a huge deal around here at cj Advertising. We’re stoked other people are starting to notice our excitement for coming into work every morning. With the Wii in the break room, the book club, beer carts being pushed by camels in our hallways, and spending money for our staff to attend training all over country, why on earth would we not want to come to work?!

“I’m not a philanthropist,” Malham explains. “I’m running a business. And the most profitable way, in my mind, to run a business is to have a workplace where people like coming to work, where they are reaching their dreams and helping me reach mine. It’s all for profit.”

At cj, we have a shelf boasting of books on marketing, management, and leadership. And in these books on said bookshelf, there are scribbles of money amounts. Yes, here at cj, we get paid to read books. We learn and benefit from these books, and make a little money while we do. Arnie says that if a person reads 10 books on a single topic, they’ll know more about it that 99.9 percent of all people.

“At last count, we’ve spent about $25,000 paying people to read,” Malham says. “We’re on a clip now of about $4,000 to $5,000 per quarter paid out.”

In addition to shelling out money to pay our staff to read, we spent over $60,000 last year sending employees to training.

“People know that we want them to improve themselves,” Malham says. “And I want cj Advertising to look good on their résumé.”

Arnie also believes that company philanthropy achieves bigger results than if he were to just give away money to a charitable organization. Instead, the entire company gets involved, which creates a really cool bond between employees.

Our most recent example would be the East Nashville Tomato 5k, which benefited the Margaret Maddox Family YMCA. We used our web, design, and media buying expertise to turn this charity into something way bigger than it has been in the past. It also creates the breaks we deserve from working on legal matter all day, to put our efforts into something more worthwhile, and getting to be a little more creative than usual.

“It shows that the group can achieve more together than separately or individually,” Malham says.

 Another great thing about working at cj Advertising, is our transparency.  We hang all of our clean, and dirty, laundry for everybody to see. We post our financials, like how much each client is spending, where that money is being spent, and who gets bonuses and why.
Betty Hintch, a Chicago-based human relations expert and editor of Workplace HR & Safety, had some kind words to say about our work ethic and culture:

“When employees know their leaders care about them, they will perform, even during crunch times. Mr. Malham has customized training, recognition and outreach programs that speak to his employees,” she says. “Many large companies, with far more resources, are working hard to accomplish that type of worker loyalty and engagement.”

So what’s next for us here at cj Advertising? We believe that when employees achieve the things they really want out of life, we are happier, more stable, and more energetic employees that do the things we need to do to help push the business a little farther more and more everyday. When we’re happy, you’re happy.
On that note, we’re going to hire a “dream manager” to help employees blueprint a plan to get the things we want out of life… personally, and professionally.
What Arnie has done here at cj has paid off in a big way.  We are one of the fastest growing companies in Middle Tennessee, and we represent 36 of the top personal injury brands in about 60 markets across the nation.
This post is courtesy of the Nashville Post.