Programs and Actions That Create a Top Workplace

By Becca Reilly, Director, Human Resources at Southern Land Company

On June 21, Southern Land Company was nominated by The Tennessean as one of Middle Tennessee’s Top Workplaces in 2016. The following is one piece in a two-part series about how Southern Land Company has worked to earn that honor.

Southern Land Company has a culture of imagination and employee support. To feed this culture, the company takes specific actions that other companies looking to be a top workplace could replicate.

For example, Southern Land Company offers a well-rounded benefits package, including health and dental insurance, company-paid life and long-term disability insurance, a Health Savings Account, Dependent Flexible Spending Account, a 401(k) with an employer match of up to 5% of contributions, made on a per pay period basis, and a generous Paid Time Off (PTO) and Holiday plan.

Southern Land Company also recognizes the importance of community involvement and encourages employees to volunteer and participate in community service by providing flexible work schedules that cater to those activities.  Employees are eligible to take 32 hours of paid community service leave annually.  Employees are also encouraged to join the Contributions Committee, either as a board member or as a participant in one of the many volunteer opportunities the company coordinates throughout the year.

Communication is also integral to the success of Southern Land Company and ideas are shared across all levels and in many different ways.  From our semi-annual Town Hall Meetings, to monthly divisional meetings, weekly tool-box meetings, conference calls, Skype calls, and spur-of-the-moment hallway discussions, the exchange of information is free-flowing.

Additionally, Tim Downey recognizes every employee on his or her birthday with a hand-written note and gift card.  This is just one of many examples of the ways that he shows the approachability of Southern Land Company executives.  Leadership also acknowledges milestone anniversaries with service awards and calls attention to special achievements earned by employees, both personal and professional.  Continued education is supported at Southern Land Company and financial assistance is provided to those employees earning or renewing professional licenses and certifications.

Superior talent and hard work certainly equal success at Southern Land Company but we do reserve a bit of time for fun.  The company provides a free lunch to all employees every second Friday of the month and healthy snacks, such as fruit, nuts, oatmeal and granola bars, are always available in the kitchen to promote a happy, healthy workplace.

We get a bit competitive every October when employees vie for top awards in our Chili Cook-off.  We offer free tickets to Titan’s and Predator’s games, and we gather to celebrate special occasions throughout the year such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The extra touches incorporated into the workday are what make Southern Land Company a Top Workplace!