San Diego, Calif.—When Cali Bamboo’s co-founders, Jeff Goldberg and Tanner Haigwood, launched the company in 2004 they followed the phrase: “Business success will follow employee happiness.” As a result, Cali is now marking its fifth consecutive year among the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Top Workplaces. Employees completed a third-party Energage survey and revealed the business to be one which fosters professional growth, engagement and confidence in company leadership—leading to a ranking of 21 in the small business category.
The survey results also showed Cali’s OrgHealth (measuring the various aspects of a workplace that have the biggest impact on engagement) increased an average of 24% year-over-year and 29% above benchmark companies.
“This team has really hit on something special,” said Doug Jackson, Cali president and CEO. “You can feel it when you walk in the building and a labrador brings you a tennis ball to throw. We spend so much of our time at work, so it just makes sense for a company to invest in a great culture and make it a place to thrive. It keeps us positive, hungry and able to go a bit rogue when need be.”
Cali may have fewer sandy feet and wetsuits than the early days, but the surfer vibe remains. The company has mastered a fine balance between rapid growth and maintaining built-in ways to make employees feel fully supported—setting them up to do their best emotionally, physically and professionally. Company dogs greet employees at every turn, C-level and vice president office doors are always open and encouraging of new ideas. Endless office games, workout sessions and lunches bring opportunities to bond across departments, and team members are empowered to communicate their interests and goals so their careers can match the trajectory of the company as a whole.
“Over the past two years we’ve grown our headcount by 92%—from 72 to 140 employees—while decreasing year-over-year turnover by double digits,” said Misty Madrid, Cali’s vice president of human resources, talent and culture. “Better talent, better training and better employee support has kept us on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing U.S. Companies list 10 years running. It also just makes Cali a nicer place to spend your days.”