$39 Million Investment at Ruby Receptionists Shows The Value of a Great Workplace

Posted by Peter Barnes on February 06 2015

After becoming one Oregon's fastest-growing companies and earning the no. 3 spot on Great Place to Work's 2014 list of the best small workplaces, the founders of Ruby Receptionists recently announced that they're selling a majority stake in the company for $38.8 million.

Ruby Receptionists grew into this eight-figure valuation over just 12 years by providing answering services to thousands of small businesses, just as more and more large organizations were setting up computers to handle their incoming calls. The company's success hinged on returning a human touch to its clients' interactions with customers. And a large part of that strategy also entailed taking care of the humans answering the phones.

"I never worked for a company that was more concerned with my well-being," says one employee surveyed by Great Rated! "In the end, because Ruby cares so much, it makes the employee really care about their performance to contribute to the success of such a wholesome company."

The company's caring comes in the form of six weeks of paid leave for new parents, five-week paid sabbaticals after five years of employment, and workplaces that 94 percent of employees agree are cooperative and fun. Co-workers greet each Friday with a theme, with many employees showing up to work dressed as Jedi knights one week or in zombie makeup the next, plus the company hosts informal gatherings like movie nights and happy hours at least once a month. The more traditional benefits are noteworthy too, with nine in 10 team members saying they're paid fairly and a dollar-for-dollar company match on 401(k) contributions, up to 4 percent of salary.

"Our employee benefits and profit sharing are outstanding and are always being enhanced with the employee's current livelihood in mind and future retirement in mind," another employee says. "We are one of the most friendly, conscientious workplaces I've ever worked in or have been exposed to."

How many call centers or other workplaces where most people answer phones all day are described in those terms? Ruby Receptionists put the effort and the money into being a fun employer that listens to its team members and ensures they have what they need to be happy on the job. In turn, employees have helped the company double its revenue in the last two years, proving once again that investment in people can pay dividends.