For more than 40 years, Wayne Homes has been making dreams come true by giving families a place to call home. Currently building homes in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Wayne Homes has found success in giving customers the home they are dreaming of. But behind all of the construction and customization is another story that Wayne Homes is making come true.
Wayne Homes’ volunteer program, Random Acts of Kindness Days (RAK Days) has touched countless people in need as well as volunteer centers. Wayne Homes provides two paid days for employees to be able to leave work and help volunteer at an organization of their choice. To date, employees have volunteered at a variety of places, including Make a Wish, Open M, Ronald McDonald House, hunger walks, local schools and local animal shelters.
Getting a Feeling from Volunteering
“I have worked at Wayne Homes for almost three years now, and I have never worked for a company that has a volunteer program like this,” said Sherry Schaadt, Executive Assistant at Wayne Homes. “I love the feeling of giving back to people; it is just amazing. And to work for a company that encourages you to go out and give back is really awesome.”
Another employee, Kelly Sumey, Human Resource Coordinator, is grateful for the time allotted to everyone since a lot of people can only volunteer on weekends or during the holidays, and feel conflicted because they also want to spend that time with their families.
“It’s really neat to be able to go out on a weekday and spend time volunteering. I think these organizations don’t have the volunteers they need to run their organizations, so it’s really beneficial to them and to us because we get to have the time to go and do it,” says Sumey.
“When employees come back from a day of volunteering, they are talking, walking taller and smiling broader,” says Mike Leckie-Ewing, VP of Organizational Development. “They bring their joy back to their teammates and to their customers. The value is tenfold the investment.”
Schaadt agrees. “Volunteering really makes me smile and that’s one thing that I always bring back to the office; it has an effect on everyone. To be able to show others that you’ve helped someone; it’s contagious to everybody at the office. People ask why you are so happy that day and you tell them and then they want to learn more and know how they can be a part of it.”
Wayne Homes also believes that volunteering should be a family affair.
“My three sons had the opportunity to work with the United Way Backpack giveaway. To see kids their age in a different setting than they are used to and have them understand the value of giving back to people that they don’t know, or wouldn’t of experienced if they had been exposed otherwise is just a fantastic feeling,” says Leckie-Ewing.
Blue House Program
The Blue House program gives employees the ability to recognize anyone in the company who they see doing something that is above and beyond.
Madison Byers, Marketing Communications Manager at Wayne Homes, says the Blue House Program is a way to send a company-wide shout out to any one you work with, either internally or externally, to recognize them for something they did.
“It could be as simple as getting you something in a timely manner, or providing an outstanding customer experience the rest of the company may otherwise not know about,” says Byers.
“For us, it’s also about treating people well and informing the office of what cool things are happening around here,” says Leckie-Ewing.
The Not-So Random Acts of Kindness
The Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness program takes place around the holidays.
“Each of Wayne Homes’ nine Model Home Centers becomes a donation drop off point for the charity of that office employees’ choosing. A certain dollar amount is donated to a charity of the customers choosing when they sign a purchase agreement,” says Byers.
During the same time, each department at the home office organizes fundraisers to raise money to buy local children Christmas presents who otherwise wouldn’t have any.
Winning NorthCoast 99
“Winning NorthCoast 99 is an honor. It speaks volumes about what type of organization Wayne Homes is. We stand out as a place that cares about their employees and about continuing to build a company where talented people will want to work,” says Byers.
Wayne Homes cares about its employees, it reputation and its community efforts. It’s no wonder this is one of the top 99 workplaces in Northeast Ohio.
“I think a great workplace is a feeling,” says Leckie-Ewing. “I think it’s that feeling you get when you wake up in the morning and you’re excited to go to work. There is no dread or dissatisfaction, it’s just that feeling of encouragement to want to go to work today. It’s the entire atmosphere, it’s the culture- and that is Wayne Homes.”