Green Shoots Blog
The green building products company aims to make a difference in the world, starting with the 121-person team at its San Diego headquarters. 2018 marks the fifth consecutive year employees have given Cali Bamboo a high enough rating to land it on the San Diego Union-Tribune’s annual list of the region’s best places to work. Cali ranked #21 among businesses with 149 employees or less.
The formula has always been a simple one: business success will follow employee happiness. Cali Bamboo’s co-founders, Jeff Goldberg and Tanner Haigwood, believed this to be true when they launched the company in 2004, and its leaders today maintain the same philosophy. As a result, Cali is now marking its fifth year in a row 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.
Remarking on the news, Cali President and CEO, Doug Jackson says, “This team has really hit on something special. 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 a few 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 you at every turn, C-level and VP 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.
Cali’s VP of Human Resources, Talent, and Culture, Misty Madrid, has a keen understanding of the many benefits of a positive work environment. “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. 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!”