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Observations from the Watch Dog: How we keep tails wagging at Tyler 2

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Tyler 2 Community Garden & Yappy Hour

Cultivating Morale: It's more than just growing vegetables

Every company wants to find ways to improve employee morale and encourage camaraderie.  Generally the thought process is that “happy associates will be more likely to stay and produce good results.” Over the past couple years, Tyler 2 has taken two small but distinct steps to grow our employees’ morale and improve our working relationships.

The first step was the creation of Yappy Hour.  Yappy Hour occurs every other Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. when we encourage all our associates to stop what they are doing and participate in an hour of conversation, games, snacks and beverages at our office.  The only rule at Yappy Hour is no one is allowed to discuss work.  Instead we want our associates to talk to each other, play games and share some laughs.  Our hope is that this time will allow us to grow our relationships and build a closer knit team.

The second step was to convert an area behind our office to a company garden.  We perform most of the initial tilling and planting during successive Yappy Hours.  The majority of the harvesting occurs while people are on break or walking to the office from the parking lot.  All the vegetables are collected in our office and available to our associates on a first come first served basis.  We have experienced wonderful success in our garden with lots of tomatoes, peppers, peas, cucumbers, squash, basil and melons.  We also learned that carrots, corn and strawberries are easier to purchase at the Teeter than to grow in the garden.

I have no scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of our efforts to boost morale.  Frankly, I don’t need it when I hear laughter on those Thursday afternoons or see crops sitting in our break room. 

Dale Fite
President & Watch Dog
Tyler 2 Construction, Inc.

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