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Springfield, MO

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Craig Wescott, Vice President and Co-owner
Craig Wescott, Vice President and Co-owner

2011 Choice Employers, 101 to 300 Employees No. 2: The Track

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Family fun parks company The Track operates with 19 full-time employees and a part-time work force that can grow to 180 during peak seasons. The company pays 100 percent of health insurance premiums for full-time staff, who also have access to paid time off. All employees are eligible for bonuses. The Track also offers tuition reimbursement for continuing education, and an employee mentoring program. The company rewards employee achievements through awards such as Crew Member of the Year. Other benefits for full-time employees include an annual staff retreat, and most are eligible for a cell phone allowance.

How does your company foster employee loyalty?
“We treat employees using the principles of servant leadership. We know we can’t be successful leading this company if we are not serving as well and leading by example. Also, we provide a comprehensive benefits plan and are flexible with employees’ time and needs. In our business, we realize that a fun, family style work environment will (create) loyalty (and) ultimately have a positive effect on our guests’ experiences at our parks.”
 
Tell us about your firm’s team-building activities or events.
“We have cookouts at our different locations, as well as activities where we encourage all employees to participate, such as softball and bowling nights. We also sponsor several company teams in recreational sports leagues. ... From an ownership and management standpoint, we take a yearly two-day retreat where the entire purpose is to team-build and unwind from our busiest operational time.”
 
Has the economy made it difficult to award raises? How are employee efforts rewarded?
The economy is definitely making us look harder at being more efficient in all areas of our business. However, we would rather be more efficient by creating an atmosphere where our employees have a vested interest in saving money than saving money by not awarding raises. So, we give raises when at all possible. We try to further reward employee effort by being flexible with job schedules and by doing things like paying for meals and taking company retreats.”

What makes your company’s benefits offering stand out in the market?
“From a full-time employee standpoint, our comprehensive health and dental insurance benefits are strong. As far as full-time and seasonal employees go, our scholarship program is a great benefit. We encourage employees and the children of our employees to continue their education. We offset thousands of dollars of their college education expenses per year based on a formula that we derived.”
 
How does your company support employees’ desires to give back to the community?
“As our ownership team is involved in our community, we also encourage employees to get involved in community efforts and organizations. An example of this is our company’s annual participation in Loaves and Fishes, a program (through which) groups provide and serve free meals to anyone in need during Branson’s off season. We are accommodating with employees’ community involvements that are during work hours … . We also donate monetarily to those organizations in which our employees are involved.”
 
What is the most celebrated benefit/perk among your staff?
“Our scholarship program, which helps offset some educational expenses. Another is the Crew Member of the Week program, where one employee is selected at each track location each week during the summer to receive a $50 gift card based on excellent performance. A Crew Member of the Year for each location is selected from those employees, and those three people are awarded $500 each.”

Click here for the full 2011 Choice Employers.
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