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Morale Survey

At cj, open communication is key to our success. We make transparency a priority by encouraging all of our employees to complete anonymous surveys on their morale each month. Our leadership team responds to each individual comment and releases all feedback to the company.

Check out recent morale surveys to find out how we roll.

July 2018

Morale Average 7.75* – 2 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 51 – (93% participation rate)

Comment # 2121
I am McLovin’ the new direction of cj so far! (10)

We’re McLovin’ that YOU’RE McLovin’ it!

Comment # 2122
Not many companies with the benefits, ROWE and culture like cj! (10)

Herd that!

Comment # 2123
Things are great. Team has settled into our new workspaces and it’s far easier for us to communicate without those high walls. Dare I say our projects are going a little faster even though there are about 20 more than usual 😉 I have no complaints. A+ (9)

We dig it. ☺

Comment # 2124
I choose to be thankful, any day above ground is better than the alternative! A lady just buried her husband and kids. Now what was your problem? (9)


Comment # 2125
If you flush the urinal, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will be radically candid with you. (9)

We appreciate your radical candor! For all you gentlemen camels, please note that the urinals at L&C do not have automatic flushes like our 300th 10th Ave South ones did. Always make sure to flush as professionally modeled by Sr. Multimedia Specialist Nekos Barnes below.

Comment # 2126
Really impressed with our new leadership so far. Thanks for continuing to make cj a great place to work! (8)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 2127
I can’t help but to be curious as to when our new space will be completely finished. ie. all photos up, all furniture placed, whiteboards up, tv slides back, stairwells clean etc. Not a huge deal just wondering! Morale is great no complaints. cj rocks (8)

Awesome to hear that morale is great! Here’s an update from Facilities on when our new space will be completely finished:

  • Furniture
    • There are several pieces of replacement furniture that we are still waiting for, including two replacement tower units for the 25th floor and a new conference table top for The Opry. There are also two desks where the desktop power needs to be installed. OFRS is working on having all of this knocked out by late September as some of the pieces are still on backorder. Once everything arrives, they will come out to install on a single day.
  • Glass Doors
    • They have replaced the door handles with curved ones as well as added door closers to the offices and The Arcade. There is still one door that won’t close all of the way so they are working on getting that one fixed as well as adjusting the speed at which the door closers operate by the end of this week.
  • TV Slides
    • These are up and running again but there is an issue where the sides get stuck. Tim and Acumen are looking into this issue.
  • Stairwells
    • The building has now cleaned both stairwells between our two floors and has them on a weekly cleaning schedule. Keep in mind that floors above or below us might have construction work going on so the stairwells throughout the rest of the building are not guaranteed to be kept as clean.
  • Logo Wall
    • Framed logos are installed outside of The Opry.
  • Whiteboards
    • We have a large whiteboard that has been installed in Printer’s Alley along with another one near The Ryman which will act as the new war hall. We have one additional whiteboard that will be installed near the south stairwell on the 25th floor— this should be installed this week.
    • The Ryman and the offices on the 24th floor have window film installed so that the glass within those rooms have a backdrop and can now be used as a whiteboard. Rick is coming today to finish the installation of the window film on the 25th floor. The offices near cjID will not have window film installed per the preferences of those in them.

Comment # 2128
Things are good… missing that Charmin though!! (8)

Good to hear! And we definitely feel ya on that Charmin. Though sadly, we are not able to bring it back as L&C now stocks our TP. In the meantime, we have asked for the softest toilet paper they CAN provide. (And there’s always an option to BYOTP. ☺)

Comment # 2129
Hey guys, Nekos here. It’s been a long while……since I left you…..without a strong comment to step to.. step to….step to…step to… So here goes, I am happy with how the move has gone for the most part, but as an editor, feel very disconnected from the peeps on the 25th. We need someway to get employees together more. My suggestion is to get a kegerator downstairs to make the 24th floor a more attractive local for cj’ers. I will be happy to guard over it since I don’t drink very often. You can trust me. (8)

Hey Nekos! We’ve been missing your comments. Welcome back and thank you for bringing this to our attention! While the new seating will be an adjustment on a day-to-day basis, we definitely agree that we can look for more opportunities to unite the floors. The FiSH team has already started brainstorming, and they have some fun events up their sleeves. In the meantime, the Monday Leadership Lunch in the break room is always a good opportunity to mingle, and we encourage cj-ers from both floors to travel around and visit when able!

Comment # 2130
Can the women’s bathrooms get an additional paper towel dispenser–One for both sinks? (7)

Awesome suggestion. You got it! Not only did we recently add additional paper towel dispensers for the 25th floor double bathroom sinks, but we also added an additional paper towel dispenser for the solo bathroom sinks on the 24th floor.

Comment # 2131
15Five Rockers – I feel like these have become so “as a matter of fact” these days and we are rocking people for executing their daily job responsibilities. It waters down the Rock nominations for those that are truly going above and beyond. Can we talk about these nominations and maybe cut down the # of people you can rock each week? (7)

Thank you for your feedback! 15Five High Fives are a great way to show appreciation and recognize people who not only go above and beyond, but also do their regular job responsibilities with extra zeal and enthusiasm. While we hear you, we choose to err on the side of letting people know when they’re awesome as opposed to not saying anything at all.

Comment # 2132
Things are moving pretty fast over here. We have a high volume of work which is great, but it feels like we’re being asked to drop everything to do “urgent” work for certain clients while we’ve already promised deadlines to others. I know that we can’t make everyone the top priority always, but it seems like our priorities are a little tangled right now. This also makes me concerned about the the client pitches that are happening. I’m excited about the growth, but I don’t see how growing our client base this much so quickly is sustainable with the manpower we have right now. (7)

Thank you. This is good stuff. We are excited to grow, too, and we definitely want to make sure we do it responsibly. To help us get there, we need to know which departments and client projects are running into these issues. Your feedback is incredibly vital to our success. We just need further details so that we can take clearer action.

Comment # 2133
Our workflows still feel like they are getting added into a machine rather than scheduled out strategically. Software itself can only do so much. We spend a lot of time together and the team is great but we’re mostly stressed out instead of celebrating our wins. (5)

Thank you for your feedback. Our intent is to be strategic and purposeful in all we do for the agency and our clients. If we’re not accomplishing that in any department, we want to fix it. Our workflow systems have to work for the people doing the work and not just for reporting purposes. If this is specifically related to Workfront, we’re actively working to streamline project processes, and we’re going to be meeting with the cjID team to go over what we’re trying to accomplish so that there’s a defined strategy. Please continue to share more details on how we can improve, whether it’s directly related to Workfront or another program that the agency uses.

Comment # 2134
My lowest score so far. Morale seems low in most place around the building with lots of people holed up in their offices and cubes. I get that busy is good but too busy for too long without much genuine recognition coming from leadership might be damaging the many things that make CJ great. I’ll talk to leadership if the opportunity is right. (4)

Thank you for your honest feedback. We’re very excited about our journey towards growth, but we also want to enjoy it and recognize hard work along the way. We want to treat each other right, treat our client’s right, do good work, and celebrate successes through more communication, more appreciation, and more fun. All of us at cj can make it a more enjoyable place to work by showing recognition and appreciation, and we’ll be extra mindful of that as we continue to grow. Please continue to share this and more details with Leadership until we get it right.

Comment # 2135
No point in explaining, it doesn’t get better (2)

We don’t want anyone to feel this way. For you or anyone else who may be feeling similarly, please know that you can reach out to any member of Leadership at any time to talk. Below is a list of their cell phone numbers. Whether it’s at cj or somewhere else, we care about all of you and want to help you succeed.

  • Chad Dudley, CEO: 225.454.9959
  • Micki Love, President: 270.799.6713
  • Greg Howell, Director of Operations: 615.891.0906
  • Robert Johnson, Controller: 615.400.1246
  • Beth Sanchez, Director of National: 615.397.9978
  • Angel Putman, Director of ACS & Media: 615.484.5776
  • Jennifer Floyd, Director of Creative Services: 615.957.5929
  • Jason Domangue, Chief Digital Officer: 512.963.2492

June 2018

Morale Average 7.89* – 1 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 38 – (69% participation rate)

Comment # 2110
I love coming to work at the “new” cj, up in the tower, in the middle of everything. Pretty much everything is better, except for the bathrooms. But that’s a small gripe…my morale’s better than ever (10)

Awesome! We’ll see what we can do to improve the bathroom experience… ☺

Comment # 2111
Having a blast dude. Doing tons more work, and it’s just getting better. (9)

Love it, dude!

Comment # 2112
Really enjoying the new digs and excited about the growth mind set. (9)


Comment # 2113
Are you an adult or are you a child? Doesn’t matter, your mom doesn’t live here at CJ so clean up after yourselves! Use a camel cup – clean up! Spill coffee – clean up! Drop food – clean up! Rinse out your dish in the sink – clean up! You’re smart, see the pattern? That is all. (9)


Comment # 2114
Noticed a few things missing from our new locale: squatty pottys and Charmin toilet paper. Will these be making a return? (8)

We are 100% Team Squatty Potty up in here, and they have made their return to the bathrooms as of last Friday! Sadly, we are not able to bring back the Charmin, as they are stocked by L&C. In the meantime, we have asked for the softest toilet paper they can provide and are exploring other options to make your bathroom experience as enjoyable as possible.

Comment # 2115
Pay has not changed to reflect current Nashville cost of living. (8)

Thank you for your comment. While we do not do a standard increase in pay based on cost of living, there are currently two triggers for a salary increase that we believe are very fair: An annual performance review or a change in title. If you do not feel that you are being fairly compensated, particularly following one of

Comment # 2116
I feel like we’ve had more internet/computer issues since Acumen took over. This was such a rare occurrence at 300, that we seriously took it for granted. I always felt that Carter, Kevin, Paul, etc. were completely on top of everything, and I just don’t feel like that’s the case with Acumen. (7)

Thank you for your honest feedback. We hear you and agree that we had some unusual internet/computer issues happen recently, particularly around the time of our office move. We’ve been working through it and hope to be on the other side of it. We have complete faith in Acumen to do a good job supporting our IT needs moving forward. If you ever have a technical issue, please submit a ticket through Acumen via email. If you have an urgent issue, call 615-744-2001 to submit the ticket. Should you ever need to escalate a ticket that has already been submitted, call the 615-744-2001 number. If your issue is not being addresses after submitting a ticket and/or escalating, please let Greg Howell know. Also, please note that an Acumen team member is assigned to be onsite every Tuesday and Thursday if a problem specifically needs to be addressed in person.

Comment # 2117
Well boys, these urinals aren’t going to flush themselves! (7)

Comment # 2118
Appreciate Chad’s speech and I hope we can all feel comfortable being more candid with each other (5)

Thank you for your feedback. We definitely agree on both fronts. Please let us know how we can boost your morale up from a 5.

Comment # 2119
It feels like we’re treading water lately rather than creating our best work… just moving from job to job. Without championing individual growth & engagement in our work, I worry about overall team morale & ability to stay competitive (5)

We absolutely want to champion individual growth and do the best work possible for our clients. We know that comes from working with purpose and being proactive, not reactive. We’d love to hear more details about this topic. Please share with someone from Leadership, on the Morale Survey Team, or in the next morale survey so that we can help resolve.

Comment # 2120
More people are needed in cjid as well as an additional viewpoint in their leadership. They have excellent salesmen and need someone to be the brakes and provide more strategy and organization when necessary so clients (and employees) will be satisfied long term. It would also be great if id provided more information to client services. They are left in the dark about most of what’s happening, but then are asked to be involved in various capacities. (4)

Thank you for your honest feedback. Improving communication across departments is one of our top priorities for Leadership right now. We are on it and appreciate the insight. We definitely want to hear more about the additional people and viewpoints needed for cjID. Please share with someone from Leadership, on the Morale Survey Team, or in the next morale survey so that we can better address.

May 2018

Morale Average 7.95* – 1 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 40 – (68% participation rate)

Comment # 2103
Very excited about cj’s next new chapter. (10)

Us too!

Comment # 2104
It was nice to have the weekly agency lunches, the crawfish boil was great celebration and all the work done to organize the move is very appreciated. (9)

Agreed! Huge thank you to everyone who helped work on these.

Comment # 2105
I really appreciate the efforts in making packing and the move as easy & stress free for us as possible! The hard work has been amazing & very much appreciated. (9)

MUCH appreciated. Move crew ROCKS!

Comment # 2106
The move has obviously hit some bumps but I think the team has continued to keep a positive attitude and is really being resourceful in terms of continuing to meet client requests (or at least managing expectations). Also kudos to Greg, the admin team, and all those heavily involved with the install at L & C. Thanks for keeping your chins up and doing your best to get us off on the right foot at our new digs! (9)


Comment # 2107
Excited for the move to L&C! (8)

We’re here, and it’s all happening!

Comment # 2108
Busy as a bee, but that’s how you make honey (8)

Ain’t that the truth! ☺

Comment # 2109
Overwhelmed & underpaid but the people are great (3)

Thank you for your honest feedback. We don’t want anyone at cj to feel this way and want to help, though we are unable to assist if we don’t know who you are. If you have already reached out to your manager and are not getting help, please share with someone else on Leadership. Micki’s door is always open if you would like to share directly with her.

April 2018

Morale Average 7.90* – 1 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 49 – (83% participation rate)

Comment # 2087
Free lunches are still greatly appreciated. Also, the hand lotion in the ladies bathroom is a nice touch! (10)

You’re welcome. And it sure is!

Comment # 2088
Busy as a beava, ya best believa This grand diva’s runnin this with the speed of a cheetah, meet a Lyrical murderer, I’m servin em like two scoops of chocolate Check it how I rock it… (9)

“Rock on with your bad self!”

Comment # 2089
Communication between the guys from Acumen Technology seems to be lacking, which causes frustrations with help desk tickets. When a ticket is submitted one person fixes it and the next day another person comes down to resolve something that has already been taken care of. It’s confusing. (9)

Thank you for letting us know! We’re looking into this and sharing with the Acumen team.

Comment # 2090
I really appreciated the “Chad” meeting. I think it was a smart way to connect with the individual departments. The Mon-Wed lunches rock! (9)


Comment # 2091
Pretty excited about all of our changes: the new building, new leadership etc. It’s also a little bitter sweet because it’s crazy to imagine cj without the Malhams and the Bewleys being present. Things are very busy, but our immediate leadership has been extremely accessible and communicative. I also appreciate the efforts from on-high by Greg, Chad, and others to keep us informed. I would just ask everyone to continue to be mindful about how stressful this move can be–especially while we’re so busy meeting client requests. Plan ahead. Get yourself packed up and organized. Pitch in to help your department organize shared resources. I can promise you there will be plenty of setbacks and “oh shit” moments over the next six weeks. PS The free lunches on Mon and Wed have been fabulous and are much appreciated. (9)

Amen! All great reminders!

Comment # 2092
I know there were a ton of comments on the last morale survey about the free lunches, but I want to reiterate how thankful I am for them! It’s been so nice to get to know coworker’s I don’t normally work with. It really makes a huge difference in the office’s morale. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Also excited for the crawfish boil! (9)

You’re welcome, and that’s awesome to hear. That crawfish boil was something else, right??

Comment # 2093
The free lunches have have been a true bonus- I feel like I am getting to know the team better! (9)


Comment # 2094
Just have to say, I really appreciate the weekly lunches! Great bonding time and an excellent perk for those who make the trip into the office. Also, thanks for the quick fixes for the parking lots at 300. Much appreciated. (8)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 2095
My morale is good, and all is going well. But what happened to the fruit? It’s been a great health perk for so long to have access to fruit and almonds. It was a bummer to see it go. (8)

Thank you for your feedback. The almonds are still here (and still free!), but unfortunately, we could no longer sustain the free fruit with our vendor, Creation Gardens. They require bulk minimum orders, and with a smaller-size group here at 300 since LIP moved out, we were having to throw out large amounts of unused fruit. This issue combined with not having a dedicated Facilities staff when we move to L&C played a part in this difficult decision.

Comment # 2096
Are we slowly losing Culture perks? Pets, fruit, what’s next? (8)

Thank you for your feedback! We LOVE our camel culture and want it to continue being awesome. With our upcoming move to L&C as well as our transition from MLG to cj-only, though, there will be some give and take based on new building policies and the needs of our current team. We may discontinue some perks but add other really cool perks, such as the downtown views, the surrounding retail, and the free workout room. For further information on what happened to fruit, see comment #2095 above. And we LOVE having pets in the office, but sadly the new no pet rule is an L&C building policy.

Comment # 2097
Given all the effort to upgrade our current bathrooms (deluxe TP, white noise, squatty potties) is it too late to request a bidet at L&C? (8)

Hmmm… Probably a little too late, but bidets ARE pretty sweet…Greg??? ☺

Comment # 2098
Overall, things are good. One thing I’ve noticed as we grow is that I’m seeing silos forming in cj. Meaning, as departments are so focused on their own work and changing landscape, the agency as a whole loses some magic if we can’t interconnect ideas and processes. I’m being nit-picky because in general things are great here, but I’ve seen a few instances lately in different places where it makes me wonder how we get back to being a true agency and not just a collection of departments? This is nothing against the new ownership – they rock! I think the change in ownership has just revealed something that’s been around for a while but not as obvious when cj wasn’t in growth mode. I’m trying to be part of the solution but sometimes I don’t know what to say or do to challenge this mindset without offending those who prefer the silo mindset. (8)

Thank you for your comment as it helps us move towards a solution! We definitely value interconnectivity between ideas, processes, and departments. As a Leadership Production Cycle goal, we have been focusing on improving internal communications between departments and clients to help us do what we do best: Growing brands and growing people.

Comment # 2099
Why don’t we have interns more often? It seems like we could use some extra help because everyone is always so busy (7)

We do like bringing in interns for 3-4 months at a time, particularly when there is a likelihood that it could turn into a full-time role. (In fact, current rock stars Joe Hayden, Claire Beadle, and Jordan Harris all began their cj journeys as interns!) But because of the time spent training interns, managing them, and gaining a better understanding of their abilities, we do like to ensure there is a definitive need for them before moving forward. If you have specific areas where you need help, please let your manager know, and we’ll look into the best solution!

Comment # 2100
There still seems to be a huge delay in response times from Acumen… It’s like they aren’t receiving our tickets at all sometimes. Huge shoutout to Patrick though, he takes the time to diagnose problems and check-in throughout the day to make sure everything is working properly. (7)

Patrick most definitely ROCKS! If you have an emergency IT request, we always recommend calling the Acumen helpdesk at 615-744-2001 to get the fastest response. However, if it’s a non-emergency request, estimated help time is within 24 hours, which may vary depending on priority level and complexity of request. If you have not received a confirmation email or had your issue resolved within a reasonable time, please escalate the ticket by sending another email to and cc’ing Greg Howell. Pro tip: Always make sure to check your junk and/or clutter folders in case responses are going there.

Comment # 2101
Lots of noise right now from clients and cj but hopeful that the dust settles soon. (5)

Definitely a lot of change and a lot of projects in the hopper right now. We promise that the dust will eventually settle, though. Hang in there!

Comment # 2102
No one realizes how much work I’m doing or how buried I am in work and stress. It doesn’t feel good to get yelled at for not doing something which wasn’t clear in the first place, but you feel like you can’t say anything back, so you just suck it up. (3)

We have a zero tolerance for getting yelled at by anyone for anything, whether it’s from a fellow team member or a client. Please know that you are supported, and you don’t have to “suck it up.” We want cj to be a place you want to come to, and if there is ever an issue, we want to solve the problem by dealing with it directly. Please reach out to your manager or someone in Leadership so we can help further.

March 2018

Morale Average – 8.17* – 1 score rated a 3 or below

Total Number of Participants 47 – (80% participation rate)

Comment # 2070
I have filled out over 100 morale surveys and never given a 10…until today. No LIP, top lot parking spots, free lunches, aggressive growth of new clients and business offerings. Keep it up. cj ROCKS. (10)


Comment # 2071
Shout out to leadership, Alli, and Shannon for providing us with awesome lunches on Mondays & Wednesdays! Thank you thank you thank you (10)

Aww yeah!

Comment # 2072
Loving the free lunches, we are so grateful! Hope it continues after the move! 🙂 (10)

Great! We’re definitely looking into ways to keep these going at L&C.

Comment # 2073
I love the weekly lunches! I feel like I have gotten to know my co-workers on a more personal level. Thanks for coordinating and investing in team! (10)

We love the team bonding that’s happening!

Comment # 2074
The lunches are FANTASTIC. I’m not sure what prompted them but it’s awesome. (9)


Comment # 2075
The lunches have been awesome. Thank you, thank you very much. (9)

You’re welcome, you’re welcome very much.

Comment # 2076
I love the Monday & Wednesday lunches! It has given me a chance to interact more with other people here at cj. (9)

Love it!

Comment # 2077
Thank you for providing lunch for us on Mondays and Wednesdays! (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 2078
Thank you for the free lunches on Mondays and Wednesdays! It really saves me money and is a great way to bond with our coworkers. I appreciate it. (9)

You’re welcome. Such a win for cj!

Comment # 2079
You guys do so much for us (thanks!) so it feels wrong to ask about anything, but…. will we be having a Sounds game outing this year? Those days are so fun! (9)

Unfortunately, we had trouble matching up with The Sounds’ schedule this year, but we’ll likely do it again in the future. On a related note, though, we’re hosting a Crawfish Boil in our parking lot on Thursday, May 17! Stay tuned for more details.

Comment # 2080
Any updates or thought from the new owners about offering a 401k benefits package? (9)

We’re still looking in to it. It is definitely being considered, though most likely for 2019 as opposed to 2018. We are still weighing options and will keep you posted!

Comment # 2081
We’re really busy and things are a little chaotic but I love the direction are going!! (9)

Great to hear! Hang in there and keep on rockin’ forward!

Comment # 2082
The Squatty-potties have had a positive impact on my life (8)

We’ve done a lot of over the years to improve every aspect of the “in-office experience”, and this addition certainly feels very appreciated.

Comment # 2083
The Monday and Wednesday lunches are wonderful and bring us together as a group twice a week! Thank you for making that happen! (8)

Great to hear. You’re welcome!

Comment # 2084
These last few months have been busy with the new services and additions that came with the new acquisition. And with that, I feel like we are moving further away from being aligned as an agency. The new mindset seems to be “get it done as quickly as possible” without thinking through the “how” or “what are we missing?” which has caused us to be reactive vs. proactive. This may be part of natural growing pains, but I’m fearful this is the new cj. Also curious as to why NPH is coming back in for a visit if we as an agency agreed that wasn’t a win/win partnership when they left in 2017. (7)

Thank you for your honest feedback. Our goal is most definitely to be proactive and to think decisions through, though we realize a lot of change has put us in more of a reactive state right now. We are looking to steer this back to being more proactive and appreciate your patience as we transition and work things out. The more details you can provide about what may not feel aligned right now, the more that we will be able to help, though. We hope that the recent Q&A sessions with Chad may have been able to address some of these concerns, and we always welcome direct conversations with managers or in the morale surveys if you prefer to keep it anonymous. Regarding Nurenberg Paris, we suspect that after experiencing life outside of cj, the firm may be in a better position to appreciate our tenure and aptitude in the marketplace. If that proves to be correct, we see an opportunity for a remarkable win-win for the firm and the agency going forward.

Comment # 2085
seems like laptop and technical issues with the cloud and server have been frequent (5)

There have been several recently, and we deeply apologize for the disruptions. We greatly appreciate your patience as we continue to onboard with Acumen.

Comment # 2086
Lost, helpless, overwhelmed, frustrated (3)

We don’t want anyone at cj to feel this way and want to help! Please tell us more details either through your manager, a member of Leadership, or via the morale survey if you prefer to keep it anonymous.

We asked if you had any questions for the April staff meeting. The following were received, though we were not able to address them due to time constraints. Here are the answers:

  1. Do we know if the new space at the L&C will be dog and kid friendly, or are we losing that perk? (10)

    The new space will still be kid-friendly, but sadly, we will no longer be able to bring dogs to work. We love having y’all’s adorable furballs around, but unfortunately, it’s L&C building policy.

  2. Just concerns about how small the space is and how tight the seating looks. I’ve been in an office laid out like that and it’s loud what with phone calls, huddles, no meeting rooms, etc. I think it’s going to stress a lot of folks out because it’s so quiet at 300. (9)

    Thank you sharing your concerns. We definitely see where you’re coming from, though we firmly believe the new space will have a similar feel as our current layout (but with more natural sunlight!) and that it follows our WR trend. The new space will have a similar amount of meeting space as our current office: 1 Large Conference Room, 1 Small Conference Room, 2 Collaboration Rooms, and 1 Private/Phone Room. We are planning to have video conferencing capability in both conference and collaboration rooms. We will have 47 open workstations on the 25th floor. At the time of move-in, around 18 will be unaccounted for, which means that people should be able to space out a little bit. Each open workstation will have a tower separating it from the next workstation, in addition to a privacy panel giving a visual and acoustic barrier from the adjacent workstation. Each workstation will be about 6 ft. apart from one another. We realize that the workstations are smaller than the current ones, but with the privacy panels, sit/stand ability, meeting and collaboration spaces and WR, everyone should have the flexibility to work according to their own needs. Additionally, the 30th floor of L&C is an open amenities floor which is open to everyone in the building. People can take their laptops, connect to the building’s Wi-Fi, and work from the 30th floor as needed. The amenities space also has a conference room and several partitioned areas so that people can work collaboratively or individually. The most up-to-date layouts can be viewed on the war hall and on Sharepoint here and here. Please continue to reach out with any L&C questions and concerns to Greg Howell or here in the morale surveys.

February 2018

Morale Average 8.39* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 44 – (77% participation rate)

Comment # 2069
Great Valentine’s breakfast and beer cart! (10)

Big shout out to FiSH for organizing!

Comment # 2070
It’s so nice to work with the best people! Things are changing, but cj rocks?? (9)

cj most definitely ROCKS!

Comment # 2071
Love the super private bathroom time! Also, thank you for providing lunch for us on Mondays and Wednesdays! (9)

‘Tis our pleasure!

Comment # 2072
Thanks for the free lunches! (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 2073
The building’s newfound emptiness is really nice. It’s so great to have more peace and quiet, plus the ability to get top lot parking spots. Wishing LIP the best of luck in their new space. (9)

Top lot parking spots ARE pretty great… Definitely missing our LIP friends and wishing them the best!

Comment # 2074
The building really feels different without our LIP friends.I wish them the best in their new space! (9)

Much love to our friends at LIP!

Comment # 2075
Lots of exciting stuff coming up for cj! (8)

Sure is…We’re pumped!

Comment # 2076
We’re working to make sure we’re copying new team members on necessary communications with or about clients and want to make sure they are doing the same. (8)

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are actively working to make sure all new team members are up-to-speed on our client-related communication processes.

Comment # 2077
Great! But, can we get macs for everyone? (7)

Ah…Ye olde Mac vs PC debate. ☺ It all really depends on what’s best suited for the needs of a given role. While realistically we don’t have a need for everyone at cj to use a Mac, if you believe one will help you work better in your role, talk to your department head, and we’ll see what we can do!

Comment # 2078
thank you for the thorough response to my comment last morale survey! up one notch on the morale scale since last month. Good to know that “awesome” is still the expectation from Leadership! (6)

Great! Thank you for your feedback. We’re listening, and your input helps cj continue to be awesome!

January 2018

Morale Average 8.40* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 48 – (84% participation rate)

Comment # 2059
Awesome team and culture (10)

Agreed. cj ROCKS!

Comment # 2060
This place is awesome. The people here are amazing. I never had any doubts, but sometimes you see it more clearly than others. (10)


Comment # 2061
Seriously pumped about the future of cj! (10)

Sweet! Us too!

Comment # 2062
Can’t it be higher than 10? (10)

I know, right?? But alas, we’ve gotta cap it somewhere. Though we have heard word of some that go all the way up to 11… ☺

Comment # 2063
Loving the rush right now! (10)

Love it!

Comment # 2064
Being able to work from home on snowy days continues to rock! Thank you! (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 2065
Really starting to miss our in-house IT department. Acumen is trying hard but they just don’t know us yet. (8)

We understand, and it’s true that Acumen is still getting to know us. It’s different, and there will be growing pains along the way, but we have complete faith that they’re going to get us to a great spot at L&C that will fit our current needs.

Comment # 2066
With the new corporate tax structure, we’ve already seen money back on our paychecks, how does this affect the company as a whole? Will we save money in 2018, will we pay more? If we do save, what are the plans for that money? Thanks (8)

Good question! It appears to only be impacting employee payroll and not the employer side of the payroll tax. However, if it DID benefit the company, then it would increase the net income which would then increase the annual bonuses for the year.

Comment # 2067
Still best place to work with awesome perks but just been exhausting this month with new transition. (7)

We hear ya and appreciate your hard work through this transition! Hang in there and let us know how we can help.

Comment # 2068
As MLG has dissolved, we are short on staff and tenure in the former MLG areas in my opinion. I am very excited about the growth opportunities for the agency as Chad Dudley and Co. take over! My concern is that our internal operations are not in a good place right now – and as we grow it will only get worse. I’ve spoken to several people about my concerns over the past few months, and am now using this platform to elevate my concerns. This is not meant to single anyone out or point fingers! I just want us to be awesome again, providing high-level customer service – if that is what the agency still wants. Or, maybe I just need to learn to scale back my expectations? Would love to hear feedback from Leadership on this. (5)

Thank you for your honest feedback. We’re happy you’re excited about the growth opportunities, and we definitely want team members to continue working in an awesome environment. It is a bit of an awkward time right now, though, as many of our operational needs are changing. (LIP is moving, we’re moving, more people WR, etc) And as needs change, we will adjust. Keep in mind that all of the former MLG areas had a much larger customer base. All included it was around 200 people that were being served. Now, we’re 62. We are planning to grow the agency and will ramp up support areas as needed for that growth. For a little context, see below for customer-to support ratio for each former MLG area then and now, as well as a note on the plan for each area. If you have specific concerns about an area, please continue to bring them to us. We appreciate your patience during this transitional time!

December 2017

Morale Average 8.36* – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 47 – (82% participation rate)

Comment # 2047
because I couldn’t put 20 (10)

20/10 do love this comment!

Comment # 2048
December was a wonderful! I’m grateful for the holiday party, the generous gifts from cj, and the time off to spend with my family. (10)


Comment # 2049
Thank you for the Christmas party and our profit sharing bonus. (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 2050
The party was amazing! Thank you! Looking forward to the future of cj, but sad all at the same time. (9)

You’re welcome! It’s definitely a little bittersweet, but exciting all the same.

Comment # 2051
Lots of questions about cj’s future. These changes can bring about excitement and job insecurity, in equal parts. But it’s time to push forward and do this! (9)

Let’s rock!

Comment # 2052
Looking forward to hearing any updates on the move / new ownership. (9)

Sweet! We’ll continue to share as we know more.

Comment # 2053
Are those of us with old cj tenure jackets still able to get new custom cj jackets? What’s the future of tenure gifts? (9)

Great questions! There are no plans to change our current tenure gifts. Though we may refine and enhance them in the future, that would happen naturally whether with our same or new ownership. Yes, we still plan to offer new custom jackets to those who have older versions. We’re currently on the hunt for a new jacket vendor as well as transitioning ordering responsibilities from Alli Durfee to Jordan Harris. Once we have both of these ready to go, it will be an option!

Comment # 2054
Great new work coming out of Digital like a bomb. Can I say bomb? Well it is…like a BOMB. Good stuff. (9)

You sure can, and we most definitely agree!

Comment # 2055
We have a lot on our plates transitioning to the new platforms for Interactive; I’m concerned about getting it all done by our goal, but everyone is moving forward and working hard. (8)

Thanks for all you do! Hang in there and keep on rocking forward!

Comment # 2056
Super excited for the new building. Curious to see what the space looks like, what our amenities are, and how we plan to decorate/set up our floors. (8)

We’re working on a communication that will be going out in the next week containing these details. Be on the lookout!

Comment # 2057
Acumen is really slow to respond to issues in the building. How will this affect us in the new building when they aren’t there? (7)

Thank you for letting us know! We are working hard with Acumen to make sure that we’re fully onboarded with them. Two big pieces in the onboarding process is making sure all team members are set up with remote software for quicker assistance and that a confirmation email is sent for all helpdesk tickets. Once this is fully up and running, here’s what should happen when you need IT assistance:

  1. Submit an IT ticket to or 615-744-2001. (We highly recommend the phone number if it is an emergency.)

  2. If a ticket is submitted via email, you will receive a confirmation email that your ticket has been received. (Make sure to check your junk and/or clutter folders!)

  3. Estimated help time for a non-emergency request is within 24 hours, which may vary depending on priority level and complexity of request.

  4. If you have not received a confirmation email or had your issue resolved within a reasonable time, please escalate the ticket by sending another email to and cc Greg Howell.

This IT process is different from what we’re used to, but we have complete faith that Acumen will do a great job, and that we’ll adapt as we get more comfortable with it.

Comment # 2058
Welcome DDB! (7)


November 2017

Morale Average 8.32* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 47 – (85% participation rate)

Comment # 2036
I have never been more thankful to work at cj with THE BEST people around. Every single person here impacts me personally in such a positive way daily & I am so grateful to be a part of the team. Today and every day! Thank you for the Charmin, office supplies we always have access to, and for the other amenities we are very lucky to have. (10)

This is EVERYTHING! Awesome to hear. Thanks for being a part of our herd!

Comment # 2037
Thanks for the transparency! (10)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 2038
Looking forward to the holiday party! (10)

That party sure was epic… One of the best ones yet!

Comment # 2039
cj rocks! Can’t believe I get paid to come here everyday. Love all y’all! (10)

We love YOU!

Comment # 2040
Change is constant, and change can be great. Looking forward to an awesome 2018 at cj. (10)

Well said. So are we!

Comment # 2041
Change is a good thing–excited for what’s to come in 2018. (9)

Fantastic. We are, too!

Comment # 2042
In an effort to encourage recycling 1st instead of disposal here at 300, can we design some recycle signs and put them above each trash container in the kitchen? They could show common items that can be recycled instead of thrown away. Things such as paper, plastic bottles, metal cans, plastic bags or show a picture of where your trash really goes and how long it takes to decompose. (9)

Great idea! We’ll check out the infographics you shared and see what we can do. Also, we’d love your help planning for our next space to be as green as we can be. If interested, please reach out to Greg Howell or another Leadership team member to get the conversation rolling.

Comment # 2043
If perception of reality is reality and reality creates its own perception then existence is just a game of ping pong. Next month we discuss The Badminton Principle. (9)


Comment # 2044
One thing I wish I had here as an employee is a 401k. Is there any chance of having this in the near future? (9)

Great question for the new year! We’ll talk it through with the new regime.

Comment # 2045
My morale is the most terrific, most amazing, and most incredible morale that this country has ever seen… for an 8. (8)

Challenge accepted…

Comment # 2046
Excited for Jimmy’s Party this weekend, grateful to everyone who put in work to make it happen. Last month there were a lot of comments about distracting loudness that occurs in the office. An email went out about Alexa, but the person the survey comments talked about is still being unnecessarily noisy. <Removed due to personal nature of comment.> But something needs to be done, especially since we now know they’ll be moving with us. (7)

Thank you for letting us know. Your concerns about noise from said person have been heard, and Arnie will be approaching them directly. As mentioned in the December staff meeting, we do want to clarify that Acumen will not be moving with us to L&C Tower. They have a different plan to move elsewhere, though they will continue as our IT Support vendor offsite. We hope you had a blast at Jimmy’s Holiday Party last week!

October 2017

Morale Average 8.26* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 42 – (76% participation rate)

Comment # 2023
So many cool things this month- cjX presentation, Halloween videos, Halloween contest and Breast Cancer Awareness campaign! (10)

All awesome stuff! Y’all ROCK!

Comment # 2024
Everything is great! I appreciate our Halloween celebration and all of the perks that come with being a cj employee. I don’t usually leave comments that even resemble complaints, but I’m going to this time. Most of us work in cubicles, which means at any given moment, our attention on our work is competing with everyday noise. That’s okay. It comes with the territory, and most of the time it’s cool. But recently, a man who works upstairs (not a cj employee), walked down the stairs, stopped at Alexa, and directed her to play music…loud music. I saw him do it as I was walking down the stairs. When I got back to my desk, I couldn’t concentrate. I had to get up and talk to the machine (which really is not my style), and ask Alexa to turn the volume down. I had to ask twice, which took time. This isn’t the first time this has happened. I’ve even heard groups come down the stairs and yell at Alexa to play something, laughing and carrying on. Then…they leave. Could we please ask folks (Stericycle and other organizations) to not do this? Unless they’re planning to stand in front of Alexa and groove to the song they’ve requested and then instruct her to lower the volume as they get back upstairs, it’s just not respectful. I’m a music lover, so I love the ambience that Alexa provides, but what I don’t like is when someone deliberately and thoughtlessly disrupts our environment and then heads back to a quiet space that all of us at cj carefully respect. (10)

Thank you for bringing this to our attention! We love the ambience that Alexa provides as well, and we’re working on a building reminder about best practices and volume levels. In the meantime, if you ever need to turn Alexa down quickly, you can simply turn the dial on top of the machine to save time.

Comment # 2025
Despite the banging keyboard in media and open air loud meetings by the new guys…everything is great. Like loud. But’s fine. (9)

Thank you for your honest feedback, and we’re glad that overall, everything’s great! We did receive several comments about increased noise on this month’s survey and have shared them with Acumen as well. It’s a good reminder to respect everyone and be cognizant of volume. Our general philosophy is that if you’re in an open work area and need to take a long personal call (or have a non-work-related conversation), we encourage moving to a less disruptive area. However, if it IS work-related conversation, appropriate noise is acceptable. While our office is generally on the quiet side, it’s still a work space, and telephone calls are an important part of business. Some calls can be planned for and scheduled, but others can be unpredictable especially when playing phone tag. As we move towards working in a more open, multi-tenant environment, noise will become more normal, and we’ll need to adapt. In particular, we recommend headphones or earbuds to help block outside noise.

Comment # 2026
cj Rocks, Arnie is awesome, and I love my job! (9)


Comment # 2027
Shout out to FiSH for just being really, really awesome (9)

FiSH most definitely ROCKS!

Comment # 2028
Staff meeting was awesome and Halloween was a blast! Thank you! (9)

Sweet! You’re welcome!

Comment # 2029
The last Halloween at 300 was such a blast!!! Thanks to all that made it possible cj ROCKS (9)

Rock on!

Comment # 2030
Halloween was awesome, thanks to everyone who made it happen. (8)


Comment # 2031
Halloween was great. It was wonderful seeing the building bustling to celebrate. I love coming to the office! Except…sometimes, desk phone calls and conversations across common areas make it pretty hard to focus. I’m not saying we need library noise rules, but it’s been louder than usual lately. (8)

Halloween was definitely TOP-NOTCH this year! Thanks to all for making it happen! Please see comment #2025 above regarding noise.

Comment # 2032
Halloween was a blast. Thanks for treating us to Cinco afterwards! I love working for a company that works hard and plays hard. However, it’s been pretty chatty down here lately with some loud and distracting phone conversations that make it hard to concentrate. (8)

Awesome. You’re welcome! Please see comment #2025 regarding noise levels.

Comment # 2033
Halloween is always a great time at cj, but a little distracting since it’s so busy right now. (8)

Glad you enjoyed Halloween! We understand that varying workloads can limit level of participation, and we’ll definitely keep this in mind as we plan for Halloween 2018 in our next space!

Comment # 2034
I love how everyone really brought it for Halloween. I had a lot of people on my social media asking if we’re hiring. (7)

Love it! Send ‘em our way:

Comment # 2035
Thanks for the cinco celebration! (5)

You’re welcome! How can we help boost that morale up from a 5?

October 2017

Morale Average 8.26* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 42 – (76% participation rate)

Comment # 2023
So many cool things this month- cjX presentation, Halloween videos, Halloween contest and Breast Cancer Awareness campaign! (10)

All awesome stuff! Y’all ROCK!

Comment # 2024
Everything is great! I appreciate our Halloween celebration and all of the perks that come with being a cj employee. I don’t usually leave comments that even resemble complaints, but I’m going to this time. Most of us work in cubicles, which means at any given moment, our attention on our work is competing with everyday noise. That’s okay. It comes with the territory, and most of the time it’s cool. But recently, a man who works upstairs (not a cj employee), walked down the stairs, stopped at Alexa, and directed her to play music…loud music. I saw him do it as I was walking down the stairs. When I got back to my desk, I couldn’t concentrate. I had to get up and talk to the machine (which really is not my style), and ask Alexa to turn the volume down. I had to ask twice, which took time. This isn’t the first time this has happened. I’ve even heard groups come down the stairs and yell at Alexa to play something, laughing and carrying on. Then…they leave. Could we please ask folks (Stericycle and other organizations) to not do this? Unless they’re planning to stand in front of Alexa and groove to the song they’ve requested and then instruct her to lower the volume as they get back upstairs, it’s just not respectful. I’m a music lover, so I love the ambience that Alexa provides, but what I don’t like is when someone deliberately and thoughtlessly disrupts our environment and then heads back to a quiet space that all of us at cj carefully respect. (10)

Thank you for bringing this to our attention! We love the ambience that Alexa provides as well, and we’re working on a building reminder about best practices and volume levels. In the meantime, if you ever need to turn Alexa down quickly, you can simply turn the dial on top of the machine to save time.

Comment # 2025
Despite the banging keyboard in media and open air loud meetings by the new guys…everything is great. Like loud. But’s fine. (9)

Thank you for your honest feedback, and we’re glad that overall, everything’s great! We did receive several comments about increased noise on this month’s survey and have shared them with Acumen as well. It’s a good reminder to respect everyone and be cognizant of volume. Our general philosophy is that if you’re in an open work area and need to take a long personal call (or have a non-work-related conversation), we encourage moving to a less disruptive area. However, if it IS work-related conversation, appropriate noise is acceptable. While our office is generally on the quiet side, it’s still a work space, and telephone calls are an important part of business. Some calls can be planned for and scheduled, but others can be unpredictable especially when playing phone tag. As we move towards working in a more open, multi-tenant environment, noise will become more normal, and we’ll need to adapt. In particular, we recommend headphones or earbuds to help block outside noise.

Comment # 2026
cj Rocks, Arnie is awesome, and I love my job! (9)


Comment # 2027
Shout out to FiSH for just being really, really awesome (9)

FiSH most definitely ROCKS!

Comment # 2028
Staff meeting was awesome and Halloween was a blast! Thank you! (9)

Sweet! You’re welcome!

Comment # 2029
The last Halloween at 300 was such a blast!!! Thanks to all that made it possible cj ROCKS (9)

Rock on!

Comment # 2030
Halloween was awesome, thanks to everyone who made it happen. (8)


Comment # 2031
Halloween was great. It was wonderful seeing the building bustling to celebrate. I love coming to the office! Except…sometimes, desk phone calls and conversations across common areas make it pretty hard to focus. I’m not saying we need library noise rules, but it’s been louder than usual lately. (8)

Halloween was definitely TOP-NOTCH this year! Thanks to all for making it happen! Please see comment #2025 above regarding noise.

Comment # 2032
Halloween was a blast. Thanks for treating us to Cinco afterwards! I love working for a company that works hard and plays hard. However, it’s been pretty chatty down here lately with some loud and distracting phone conversations that make it hard to concentrate. (8)

Awesome. You’re welcome! Please see comment #2025 regarding noise levels.

Comment # 2033
Halloween is always a great time at cj, but a little distracting since it’s so busy right now. (8)

Glad you enjoyed Halloween! We understand that varying workloads can limit level of participation, and we’ll definitely keep this in mind as we plan for Halloween 2018 in our next space!

Comment # 2034
I love how everyone really brought it for Halloween. I had a lot of people on my social media asking if we’re hiring. (7)

Love it! Send ‘em our way:

Comment # 2035
Thanks for the cinco celebration! (5)

You’re welcome! How can we help boost that morale up from a 5?

September 2017

Morale Average 8.46* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 37 – (67% participation rate)

Comment # 2012
Would it be possible to put a small recycling bin in the kitchen for cardboard and paper products? I feel like lots of recyclable paper stuff (frozen food boxes, etc.) are thrown in the trash because it’s more convenient than walking over to the cardboard bin by the bathrooms. It’s a small thing, but if we added this bin in the kitchen we could cut down even more on our waste and, like, help save the planet and stuff. :). (10)

Thank you for your feedback! While we would love to, unfortunately, we cannot for two reasons. First, we would need to add several recycling bins as opposed to just one because they would fill up faster than our vendor empties them. Second, and more importantly, our vendor will not accept recycled products with food residue on them. Despite everyone’s best efforts and intentions, there is no way to ensure that food residue will be kept out of the bins. There are cardboard bins located on the first floor outside of the studio and on the 2nd floor near the elevator. Please feel free to use these and encourage others to do the same!

Comment # 2013
Thank you for being transparent! Looking forward to cj/Vista. (9)


Comment # 2014
This says it all. (9)

Keep on spreading those happy feelings!

Comment # 2015
Morale is all good & I am thankful to work at such a great place with wonderful people! Free fruit & almonds are very much appreciated. The noise machines in the bathroom are a cool addition, but I’m not sure how much noise they actually eliminate. (9)

Fantastic! And though we don’t know exactly how much sound the white noise machines eliminate, every little bit certainly helps ☺

Comment # 2016
Currently working remote from a favorite restaurant. I really appreciate the freedom our ROWE environment gives me to work whenever, wherever and be appreciated for my contributions. (9)

Love it!

Comment # 2017
Hi, Kacy here… things are great at cj actually. Thank you for asking. Where I’ve been no one’s ever asked me before. No one has thrown anything at my head, made inappropriate comments or lunges, hopped in my lap to pluck my eyebrows, or told me not to look so angry. It’s brilliant really. The past month has been hairy busy, but that’s a good thing. For if a creative isn’t creating, what’s the point in living? I only have one or two items I think would make things awesomer. #1 a cat day. I feel cats are marginalized, and as they are the guardians of the underworld, I’d suggest we make them feel more welcome on occasion. Your soul depends on it. #2 How do we feel about goat yoga? Just an idea. And I have many…Thanks cj. You’re doing a great job. (9)

Thanks for the sweet feedback, Kacy! Now, where have you been? And why do you look so angry? We kid, we kid!!! Very fun and unique suggestions. We’ll definitely pass along to the FiSH team to see what we can do. Keep those ideas coming, and thank you for all that you do!

Comment # 2018
Lots of change this year! I’m very intrigued by the Vista merger and the growth opportunities it can bring. (For clients, both companies, and individual team members) (8)

Change is the only constant! We’re excited to continue rocking forward with cj-Vista!

Comment # 2019
I love that we are given the opportunity to take off days whenever we need to, but I see a lot of people taking advantage of that. Im not sure I feel comfortable taking off several days every month. I feel as though people are keeping tabs on my “attendance.” (8)

Thank you for your honest feedback. With ROWE, it’s not necessarily about where we are or how many days we take off… It’s about results and what we do. If work is not getting done due to someone abusing ROWE, it will be recognized and addressed by a manager. We strongly believe that ROWE is a huge advantage for the organization, and we want you to feel comfortable taking time off when you need to.

Comment # 2020
New space concerns are cause for lower than usual morale, other than that, all good. (6)

Understandable. Change and uncertainty can be concerning, even when it’s good. We’re still researching our options to find the best fit and will continue to share as we know more.

Comment # 2021
Now that HR is gone, are the free annual flu shots gone too? I really appreciated that perk. (6)

Great minds think alike! The annual flu shots happened this past Monday.

Comment # 2022
cjX is great idea and Media kicked it off in good fashion. It was informative- I would not have guessed how many folks didn’t understand Media’s role and duties- It was also professionally put together yet casual enough that people were comfortable with asking questions. Good stuff! (No score)

Very much agreed! Media did a FANTASTIC job kicking us off, and Jennifer and Renee did a wonderful job organizing! We’re super excited about the series. Stay tuned for the October topic and invite!

August 2017

Morale Average 8.45* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 44 – (80% participation rate)

Comment # 2001
“There’s three things in this world that you need: respect for all kinds of life, a nice bowel movement on a regular basis, and a navy blazer.”-Robin Williams (10)

Wise words from a wise man. RIP Robin.

Comment # 2002
Being able to celebrate the Eclipse the way we wanted by closing the office was fabulous! Going to be one of my best memories with my youngest son. Thank you for allowing that to happen! (10)

That’s so wonderful to hear! Glad you were able to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience together. ☺

Comment # 2003
We use 29.42 rolls of Charmin per day. There’s 142 sheets of Charmin per roll, each square being 15.68 square inches, making a total of 2226.5 square inches of paper per roll. We have about 140 employees per day when everyone is here (busiest case). That means we’re averaging 467.89 square inches per employee per day, which calculates out to 29.84 sheets per employee per day which comes to 119.36 inches per user per day , which is a whopping 9.94 FEET OF TP PER PERSON PER DAY …. and some days there’s hardly anyone here. So, I ask again. Can we please have more cheese in the break room and use the savings for Christmas bonuses or Dyson Airblades? (9)

That’s a lot of TP! These stats should decrease once we’re the only tenants in the building. But for now, the people have spoken, and the Charmin’s sticking around! Avenue C stocks the break room based on sales. We’re happy to request more cheese, though they will only continue to stock what’s selling. (So if you want to keep it, make sure you buy it!) And though we appreciate the suggestion, we’re gonna have to say no on the Dyson Airblades…

Comment # 2004
I feel Good….. (9)

So good… so good… we got you!

Comment # 2005
Any place that gives you the day off to go stare at the sun is ok by me! (9)

Sweet! We hope your vision was well protected by those eclipse glasses provided by the fabulous FiSH team! (FiSH ROCKS!

Comment # 2006
Everything is going pretty well. Love the new work we’re doing in Interactive, and we’ll get the workflow down when we start getting more help. Where are the beer camels? I miss seeing their tortured faces 😀 (9)

Fantastic! Though beer camels ARE often accompanied by beer, sometimes they like to take a month of sobriety to clear their heads. We actually just saw them a couple of weeks ago handing out Capri Suns and eclipse glasses. They were hiding their faces behind masks, but it’s safe to say they were “tortured” all the same. ☺

Comment # 2007
Thanks again for giving us the day off for the eclipse! That was ‘out of this world’ cool. 😉 (9)

It sure was!

Comment # 2008
Thanks again for the great day at the Sounds, and for giving us the day off for the eclipse. This company is more than awesome, and it is much appreciated! (9)


Comment # 2009
Nekos here, Now as most of you may know or have seen, I love to eat crappy stuff from time to time. From the bi-monthly (sometimes tri-monthly) trips to eat hot chicken, grabbing multiple blow pop’s from Jennifer’s office or eating what was billed as a Jack In The Box Taco by Jon Ray but after consuming it, felt more like eating depression, I enjoy eating things that are inherently bad for me. But yesterday I was faced with a snack so saturated with fat, so full of sodium, so packed with sugar and carbs that even my sausage gut could not consume it for fear that I would upgrade to type 2 diabetes. The item in question is the Double Decker Oatmeal Cream Pie. Clocking in at 480 calories (1/4 or your average caloric intake) this sucker has 41 g of sugar, 440mg of sodium (a large order of fries at McDonalds has less sodium) and 79g of carbohydrates. I am quite sure that if I had eaten this without looking at the nutritional facts (I love how they call this ‘nutrition’ btw) I would have died. I don’t go up to Avenue C very much anymore because more and more I am faced with less healthy options and more sugar (I love sugar and I am a diabetic so the two don’t really go hand and hand). When Avenue C first set up shop, it was promoted as a vendor that would offer healthy and your regular run-of-the-mill convenience store items. As time has passed I seem more junk than substantial items. Hell, our top seller was double cheese cheetos last time I looked. Now I am not saying get rid of these things, hell I know that people love junk food. I LOVE JUNK FOOD! But every April when we see our health insurance rates go up and the providers tell us that we could help by not going to the doctor so much to restart our hearts cause of too much crap food, I think we should set an example and try to limit how much junk is available. And if a junk food connoisseur like myself can come to this epiphany, maybe other can as well. (8)

You are quite the wordsmith, Nekos! Always a pleasure to hear from ya, and thank you for your feedback. ☺ Though Avenue C DOES take requests, they continually stock based on what sells. We can’t control their inventory, but we CAN provide free fruit and free almonds to give a constant alternative. Not only is it healthy, but it’s FREE!

Comment # 2010
A lot of people in the company have dietary restrictions either because of allergies, health reasons, or personal choice. I’m not saying food trucks or staff meeting bagels should try to cater to everyone– those are perks, and we’re grateful to have them! But if we could consider options when choosing these things, that would be extra thoughtful. We have lactose intolerant, vegan, gluten free, and paleo people, and more. You can’t hit everyone all the time, but most people can find something that will work for them on most trucks or with most catering. But a truck like the mac n cheese truck (or the bagels) leave all of those people out. Thanks for considering! (8)

Thank you for your very thoughtful feedback! While it IS tricky to accommodate all, we can definitely be more aware of inclusive or alternative trucks. If you have any recommendations, we’d love to hear from you! Just email Alli Durfee or Renee Brank.

Comment # 2011
Counting down the days until LIP moves out. (6)

LIP was a huge part of our success for a long time, and we’re thrilled for their next steps. Their move will likely take place in January 2018.

August 2017

Morale Average 8.45* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 44 – (80% participation rate)

Comment # 2001
“There’s three things in this world that you need: respect for all kinds of life, a nice bowel movement on a regular basis, and a navy blazer.”-Robin Williams (10)

Wise words from a wise man. RIP Robin.

Comment # 2002
Being able to celebrate the Eclipse the way we wanted by closing the office was fabulous! Going to be one of my best memories with my youngest son. Thank you for allowing that to happen! (10)

That’s so wonderful to hear! Glad you were able to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience together. ☺

Comment # 2003
We use 29.42 rolls of Charmin per day. There’s 142 sheets of Charmin per roll, each square being 15.68 square inches, making a total of 2226.5 square inches of paper per roll. We have about 140 employees per day when everyone is here (busiest case). That means we’re averaging 467.89 square inches per employee per day, which calculates out to 29.84 sheets per employee per day which comes to 119.36 inches per user per day , which is a whopping 9.94 FEET OF TP PER PERSON PER DAY …. and some days there’s hardly anyone here. So, I ask again. Can we please have more cheese in the break room and use the savings for Christmas bonuses or Dyson Airblades? (9)

That’s a lot of TP! These stats should decrease once we’re the only tenants in the building. But for now, the people have spoken, and the Charmin’s sticking around! Avenue C stocks the break room based on sales. We’re happy to request more cheese, though they will only continue to stock what’s selling. (So if you want to keep it, make sure you buy it!) And though we appreciate the suggestion, we’re gonna have to say no on the Dyson Airblades…

Comment # 2004
I feel Good….. (9)

So good… so good… we got you!

Comment # 2005
Any place that gives you the day off to go stare at the sun is ok by me! (9)

Sweet! We hope your vision was well protected by those eclipse glasses provided by the fabulous FiSH team! (FiSH ROCKS!

Comment # 2006
Everything is going pretty well. Love the new work we’re doing in Interactive, and we’ll get the workflow down when we start getting more help. Where are the beer camels? I miss seeing their tortured faces 😀 (9)

Fantastic! Though beer camels ARE often accompanied by beer, sometimes they like to take a month of sobriety to clear their heads. We actually just saw them a couple of weeks ago handing out Capri Suns and eclipse glasses. They were hiding their faces behind masks, but it’s safe to say they were “tortured” all the same. ☺

Comment # 2007
Thanks again for giving us the day off for the eclipse! That was ‘out of this world’ cool. 😉 (9)

It sure was!

Comment # 2008
Thanks again for the great day at the Sounds, and for giving us the day off for the eclipse. This company is more than awesome, and it is much appreciated! (9)


Comment # 2009
Nekos here, Now as most of you may know or have seen, I love to eat crappy stuff from time to time. From the bi-monthly (sometimes tri-monthly) trips to eat hot chicken, grabbing multiple blow pop’s from Jennifer’s office or eating what was billed as a Jack In The Box Taco by Jon Ray but after consuming it, felt more like eating depression, I enjoy eating things that are inherently bad for me. But yesterday I was faced with a snack so saturated with fat, so full of sodium, so packed with sugar and carbs that even my sausage gut could not consume it for fear that I would upgrade to type 2 diabetes. The item in question is the Double Decker Oatmeal Cream Pie. Clocking in at 480 calories (1/4 or your average caloric intake) this sucker has 41 g of sugar, 440mg of sodium (a large order of fries at McDonalds has less sodium) and 79g of carbohydrates. I am quite sure that if I had eaten this without looking at the nutritional facts (I love how they call this ‘nutrition’ btw) I would have died. I don’t go up to Avenue C very much anymore because more and more I am faced with less healthy options and more sugar (I love sugar and I am a diabetic so the two don’t really go hand and hand). When Avenue C first set up shop, it was promoted as a vendor that would offer healthy and your regular run-of-the-mill convenience store items. As time has passed I seem more junk than substantial items. Hell, our top seller was double cheese cheetos last time I looked. Now I am not saying get rid of these things, hell I know that people love junk food. I LOVE JUNK FOOD! But every April when we see our health insurance rates go up and the providers tell us that we could help by not going to the doctor so much to restart our hearts cause of too much crap food, I think we should set an example and try to limit how much junk is available. And if a junk food connoisseur like myself can come to this epiphany, maybe other can as well. (8)

You are quite the wordsmith, Nekos! Always a pleasure to hear from ya, and thank you for your feedback. ☺ Though Avenue C DOES take requests, they continually stock based on what sells. We can’t control their inventory, but we CAN provide free fruit and free almonds to give a constant alternative. Not only is it healthy, but it’s FREE!

Comment # 2010
A lot of people in the company have dietary restrictions either because of allergies, health reasons, or personal choice. I’m not saying food trucks or staff meeting bagels should try to cater to everyone– those are perks, and we’re grateful to have them! But if we could consider options when choosing these things, that would be extra thoughtful. We have lactose intolerant, vegan, gluten free, and paleo people, and more. You can’t hit everyone all the time, but most people can find something that will work for them on most trucks or with most catering. But a truck like the mac n cheese truck (or the bagels) leave all of those people out. Thanks for considering! (8)

Thank you for your very thoughtful feedback! While it IS tricky to accommodate all, we can definitely be more aware of inclusive or alternative trucks. If you have any recommendations, we’d love to hear from you! Just email Alli Durfee or Renee Brank.

Comment # 2011
Counting down the days until LIP moves out. (6)

LIP was a huge part of our success for a long time, and we’re thrilled for their next steps. Their move will likely take place in January 2018.

July 2017

Morale Average 8.61* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 51 – (91% participation rate)

Comment # 1985
Collaboration between teams is great. (10)

Very much agreed!

Comment # 1986
Blessed. (10)


Comment # 1987
Thanks so much for treating us to a day at the Sounds game! (10)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1988
Thank you for the Sounds game! Awesome job organizing. It was a really fun time! (10)

It sure was! Many thanks to FiSH for organizing and making everybody’s day!

Comment # 1989
The Sounds game was so much fun:) (9)

Heck yeah it was!

Comment # 1990
Great time at the Sounds game! Thank you. (9)


Comment # 1991
All good things to say! Thank you all so much for coordinating and allowing us to go to a Sounds game! (9)

Love it! You’re welcome.

Comment # 1992
Pretty damn good morale if I do say so my damn self. That Sound game was simpatico. Thank you Ali, Arnie, Jimmy and all who made it possible. (9)

Pretty damn good to hear!

Comment # 1993
Thank you for sending us to the Sounds game! I’m looking forward to Halloween. 🙂 FiSH! rocks! (9)

FiSH most DEFINITELY rocks!

Comment # 1994
Nekos here, Shout out to Ali and the entire FiSH! team for a great day out at the ballpark. But on a serious note, how does ROWE work again? Getting real tired of people I work with not being where I need them to be when I need them. How am I supposed to get a crew to go to lunch with me if they aren’t even at their desks? I’ve been eating hot chicken by myself recently the last few paydays. #UH-ROWE #DARRONISTERRIBLEATBEINGDIZZY #NOTSURPISED (9)

UH-ROWE! We can’t have you eating hot chicken by yourself! Communication and scheduling is key to a successful ROWE… #IFYOUBOOKTHEMTHEYWILLCOME #COMPETITIVESPEEDWALKINGISMOREDARRONSSPEED #300OLYMPICS4LYFE

Comment # 1995
cj Rocks! It always has and always will. I really appreciate the flexibility that ROWE allows, as well as Arnie’s constant effort to be as transparent as possible with his employees. Also, the baseball game was a greatly- welcomed break from the routine. (9)

All awesome stuff!

Comment # 1996
Loving life and living large here at 300 10th Ave South. (9)


Comment # 1997
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine…. (9)

SWEET cover. Thanks for sharing!

Comment # 1998
The Sounds game was fun. Thanks for a great day! (8)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1999
The baseball game was great! Thank you. (7)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 2000
The wifi still sucks. (5)

When Comcast is out, the Wi-Fi DOES suck… We know internet issues can be frustrating, and IT has been working hard to stay on top of it. Anytime you have a problem with Wi- Fi, be sure to submit an IT helpdesk ticket so we can help resolve. We can’t fix what we don’t know.

June 2017

Morale Average 8.16* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 44 – (80% participation rate)

Comment # 1975
I’m wondering if we could possibly get some kind of noise maker in the bathrooms, like music or a noise machine? Sometimes the silence can get really awkward really fast… (10)

Yeah… now that you mention it, it CAN get pretty awkward in there… Facilities is looking into this. Excellent suggestion!

Comment # 1976
I am not sure how it gets any better! (10)


Comment # 1977
Were you aware that Flammable and Inflammable mean the same thing? NOW, the Oxford comma changed the outcome of a lawsuit! We live in a complex world. (10)

<Renee was unable to type a response because she just self imploded.>

Comment # 1978
Ooh that dress so scandalous And you know another #*$#@ can’t handle it So you shakin that thang like who’s the ish With a look in yer eyes so devilish Uh You like to dance on the hip hop spots And you cruise to crews to connect the dots Not just urban she like the pop ‘Cause she was ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ She had dumps like a truck, truck, truck Thighs like what, what, what Baby move your butt, butt, butt I think I’ll sing it again That’s how good my mood is. (10)

What a great thong! Err…SONG. What a great SONG. Great, now it’s gonna be stuck in our heads all day thong. Err…all day long. DANG IT!

Comment # 1979
Loving the stand up desk. Thanks! (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1980
The consistent comments about people taking advantage of ROWE is starting to become annoying. People, if there is a coworker that you feel isn’t getting their shit done, then grow a pair and talk to them. Or talk to them AND your superior. We are all adults here. Don’t ruin it for those that are using ROWE and enjoying it, while they get their shit done. Rant over. Thanks. (9)


Comment # 1981
Love the new visual set up in the Ryman. It’s such a huge improvement when we need to show off our work to clients/potential clients. (9)

Agreed! Special shout out to Tim Vincent for setting it up. It works fantastic and more people know how to use it than ever before!

Comment # 1982
Everything is pretty great. Love the folks I work with, and the work we’re doing. 🙂 (8)

Love it!

Comment # 1983
Can we PLEASE get the cigarette stank issue handled? It’s been a huge problem lately all over the cj area – especially in the Interactive area. Not sure where it’s coming from – slowhand side of the building or the back but it’s definitely coming through the vents and making the whole place smell. Thank you!!!! (8)

Thank you for your feedback! As we talked about in this month’s staff meeting, we’ve pinpointed the culprit. Some of the Marriott construction workers have been taking smoke breaks near our loading dock, which is, unfortunately, right next to our air ducts. Facilities has been working to resolve with “No Smoking” signs, and we also now have a main contact at their construction office. Anytime you notice a smoke smell in the office, please email Facilities, and they’ll report it. We are also ordering unscented spray to help combat the smell while we battle this issue. Once in house, it will be placed around the affected areas so that anyone can spray as needed.

Comment # 1984
Hey guys, Nekos here. Are there any plans on doing anything around the solar eclipse taking place Tuesday, August 22nd…………. HA! just kidding it is Monday, August 21st! But really, we should get some cj themed eclipse glasses (I hear that looking straight into the sun is still a no-no even if the moon is covering it up!) eat some moon pies and have some “path to totality” punch. (8)

We like the way you think, Nekos… Which is why we’re giving everybody the day off on August 21! Now, who knows where we can get some of that “path to totality” punch which you speak of…?

May 2017

Morale Average 8.05* – 1 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 43 – (79% participation rate)

Comment # 1965
Mother’s Day recognition was outstanding! Creative and Personalized- nice work from FISH! (10)

A lot of thought went into these, and FiSH did an AMAZING job. (For those who did not see, they wrote personalized Mother’s Day poems for all mothers in the agency.)

Comment # 1966
Graye here – I’ll miss y’all lots! I wish you the best of luck in all your personal and professional hopes and dreams! I loved being a camel! (10)

We loved having you as a camel and wish you the absolute best on your next adventure, Graye!

Comment # 1967
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the flexibility to work remotely. Less time commuting and more time working is a nice option to have. Nashville traffic is no joke these days. (10)

You’re welcome. Agreed that Nashville traffic ain’t playin’ around!

Comment # 1968
Thanks for all you guys do to make this a great place to work! (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1969
I’m loving my job & the people I work for more and more as each day passes! (9)

Love it!

Comment # 1970
Hey, it’s all good! (9)

Uh huh!

Comment # 1971
Are there plans to roll out more standing desks? (8)

We’d like to continue with them, and we’ll be announcing our game plan at the next staff meeting.

Comment # 1972
How do we feel about flushable wet wipes in the bathroom stalls? I mean, you wouldn’t clean the mud off your boots with a dry towel, am I right? (8)

We’re gonna stick with Charmin, but we appreciate the suggestion.

Comment # 1973
Interactive getting its footing has been tough. Now that Kathy is here I think it’s helping us out though. Wading through a ton of work without a full staff is stressful on everyone. (7)

Thank you for your feedback. There’s a lot momentum with a lot of client wants right now. We agree that we feel understaffed and are exploring both short and long-term options. It definitely feels better when you have the right people in the right seats!

Comment # 1974
Giving any feedback right now creates arguments and labels you as a problem (3)

Sometimes giving feedback DOES lead to arguments. And that’s okay! Change happens because you think, dream, and speak up. We want your passion and would rather you voice your opinions than hold them in. We all may be misfits and troublemakers here, but we are not problems.

April 2017

Morale Average 8.11* – 1 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 45 – (79% participation rate)

Comment # 1952
I can’t speak enough to the schedule flexibility cj affords its employees. Thank you again. #Trust (9)

We heart you 🙂

Comment # 1953
Looking forward to the Sounds game! Also, THANK YOU for sticking with Blue Cross for another year. (9)

We are, too! You’re welcome.

Comment # 1954
Let’s Go Predators!!! (9)


Comment # 1955
cj Conference was awesome! (9)

It most definitely was! Great teamwork all around.

Comment # 1956
Thank you for the free almonds! It’s a nice little afternoon snack. Have we ever considered getting some that are ‘lightly salted?’ Also, what’s the latest with the stand-up desks? (9)

You’re welcome! We’ve actually tried salted almonds before, but the salt can get a little messy. (And we like that the unsalted ones are a healthier option.) 21 standing desks are currently in use, and we’ve got 17 people on the “interested list.” We’re currently defining some summer goals that will help purchase additional desks. Stay tuned for more details!

Comment # 1957
I love pretty much everything about working here and appreciate all the hard work and consideration that goes into creating such a wonderful work environment! There is, however, one area I feel we can improve upon and that’s our computer system flexibility. I would love the option to work on a Macbook rather than a Thinkpad. I’ve heard of several companies who allow their employees to choose, and I wonder if this is something we could consider doing? I work more efficiently on a Mac, and honestly cutting out the daily annoyances of working on PC would make me happier than almost anything. 🙂 I understand that there are some cases where working on a PC is required, but where that isn’t required it would great to have the option. I’ve always heard ‘if there’s anything we can do to help you work better, we’ll try to make it happen if it’s possible’ and I think this definitely falls into that category. 🙂 Thanks again for everything y’all do to make this such an awesome place to work! (8)

Great stuff! We definitely want you to be comfortable and not have roadblocks. This may be a possibility, though we’ll need to look into specifics. Please talk with your manager to see if it works for your role!

Comment # 1958
Would it be possible to have a “Fun Zone” in our new space? I’m thinking a ping pong/pool table, comfy chairs, flat screen tvs. Maybe a company paid food truck each week… (8)

We are very open to new ideas. Before we move, we’ll send a separate survey to gather feedback for the new space. Be sure to include these in there as well!

Comment # 1959
Content with my job, especially with ROWE and how more people seem to be using it effectively. Bringing Kathy into Interactive was a big win as well. (8)

Fantastic to hear. We couldn’t agree more. Kathy ROCKS!

Comment # 1960
Look around…I’d say we’ve got it pretty good around here. Let go of the petty complaints and enjoy what you have! (8)


Comment # 1961
1) Doorbell. Has become increasingly annoying….shouldn’t everyone who works here have a key card to get in? This happens a lot of time after the front desk closes and us who have to stay late to wrap things up are having to constantly listen to the doorbell ring. 2) The fridges….y’all they SMELL. I hesitated even putting my food in there because I didn’t want to re-open the fridge for lunch! Anything we can do to improve this (maybe some baking soda to help even more??) (7)

Thank you for your feedback. 1) We understand that the doorbell can be annoying. However, all employees who need access to the building have been provided with access cards. Typically, it’s vendors or guests who are using the doorbell. Though if employees have misplaced their access cards, we ask that they contact Facilities to get a new one. 2) We do have baking soda in the fridges, which are replaced once a month. Also, all refrigerators are cleaned out every Friday, and items are thrown out if they contain mold, are older than two weeks, or have no name or date listed. Moving forward, we’ll deep clean each fridge once a month to help eliminate any funky smells.

Comment # 1962
i’m good but many in the office seem down lately and department divides seem to be increasing too. gossip and passive aggressive comments are poison. in the end, we have to remember that we’re on the same team. if you have a problem address it. if you’re unhappy hold yourself accountable for fixing it or fake it until you make it. conference was cool. (6)

Agreed. Excellent reminder to choose your attitude.

Comment # 1963
Can those with PC computers request to be switched to Macbooks? I work better and more efficiently on a Macbook. (5)

Thank you for your feedback! Please see Comment #1957 above.

Comment # 1964
Many employees are locked into their positions with nowhere to go. (3)

This is not what we want. Have you had growth conversations with your manager? Are there positions here that you want to obtain or see a need for? Tell us where you want to go, and we’ll help you get there.

March 2017

Morale Average 8.09* – 1 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 44 – (76% participation rate)

Comment # 1942
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, No escape from reality. Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see, I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy, Because I’m easy come, easy go, Little high, little low, Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me. (10)

Comment # 1943
Looking forward to conference! (9)

It was a rockin’ one!

Comment # 1944
I’m good. (9)

Keep pushin’ on and on!

Comment # 1945
I know there’s lots going on these days so I appreciate all the transparency Arnie has been able to provide. (9)

Good to hear.

Comment # 1946
Can someone please fix the clock in the kitchen? Seeing the wrong day is making me a little crazy! Thanks! (8)

Thanks! We’ll get this fixed asap.

Comment # 1947
Guys, we need to make a change. The k-cups have been great, but I’m tired of paying for coffee here. And the free, toxic-waste, synthetic coffee is simply awful. Can we seriously not have a pot of free, strong, black, spit-in-yer-eye, no-frills java the way God and the Founding Fathers intended? I repeat: the free dispenser coffee is muy terrible. (8)

Thank you for your feedback! We’ve actually tried pot-brewed coffee before. While it had its perks, it also came with its own series of problems. Based on this, we have no plans to switch from our current setup. That said, if are not feeling the coffee that is available for free or to purchase, you are welcome to bring in your own k-cups. Several people around the office already do this.

Comment # 1948
Can we get a paper/cardboard recycling bin in the kitchen? A lot of food packaging is made of cardboard and it is being wasted instead of recycled. (8)

While we would love to, we cannot do this for two reasons. First, we would need to add several recycling bins as opposed to just one because they would fill up faster than our vendor empties them. Second, and more importantly, our vendor will not accept recycled products with food residue on them. Despite everyone’s best efforts and intentions, there is no way to ensure that food residue will be kept out of the bins. There are cardboard bins located on the first floor outside of the studio and on the 2nd floor near the elevator. Please feel free to use these as needed!

Comment # 1949
The Sounds game was super fun last year. We should do it again (or something similar)! (8)

Sounds like a great idea! As announced in the April staff meeting, FiSH is planning a baseball outing for later this summer.

Comment # 1950
There is a vendor that consistently reeks of cigarette smoke. It also seems that this person my be smoking out on the loading dock and leaving the door partly open. This causes the smell of cigarette smoke to permeate through at least the first floor. I know we have strict rules about smoking for employees but I’m really hoping someone can say something in a non-confrontational way to this vendor because it’s really unbearable when they are here. (7)

Thank you for making us aware! As this situation is probably broader than one vendor, we’re going to address on a couple of fronts. First, we’re posting “No Smoking” signs on the loading dock and areas of the building near the loading dock (since these areas also attract construction workers taking a smoke break.) Second, we’re talking with all of our vendors who use the loading dock about keeping the door completely shut unless it’s being used in that moment and reminding them of the appropriate smoking area where necessary.

Comment # 1951
Removed due to personal nature of comment. (2)

February 2017

Morale Average 8.22* – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 36 – (73% participation rate)

Comment # 1931
Lots of changes. Thank you for keeping the communication open. (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1932
Toilet paper is just too soft. I know, I know…you can’t please everyone. But, it’s overly fluffy! (9)

BYOTP as you feel necessary!

Comment # 1933
Looking forward to cj conference! (9)

So are we!

Comment # 1934
All is well. But there seems to be an ongoing disconnect with IT and our wireless. I’ll send in more tickets but there’s still a problem. (9)

Thank you for your feedback. This is a frustration we’d like to resolve. We’ll be sending a survey soon to try to get to the root of the issue. Please stay tuned for further communication!

Comment # 1935
Everything is shibby on my end. (9)

Shibby! (We may or may not have had to google that…Thanks for keeping us hip!)

Comment # 1936
Blessed in the morning, blessed in the noonday, blessed in the evening. (9)

“Let me hear you say!”

Comment # 1937
I am grateful for the forward communication and transparency concerning the 2 big transactions. I’m curious and excited to see what other changes will stem from this time of transition. cj is great, cj is good, please don’t move the cj to the hood. (9)

You’re welcome! And ya know…this part of town was technically considered the hood at one point… Just sayin’…

Comment # 1938
Lots going on, but I appreciate how it’s been communicated and handled. I feel for our brethren in MLG who are facing the most uncertainty, and I hope that we can keep as many as possible. For those we cannot, I hope we can really help them make the next step. I know we are trying. (8)

Well said. We will do everything we can to help our amazing MLG team who have supported us so much through the years.

Comment # 1939
Hey, Nekos here. So I have been working really hard to get into the ‘Scrub Club’ with no luck. I wash my hands ferociously after every pee and poo and have yet to receive an invite (and yes I have checked my clutter). Feeling a little disheartened by it and am thinking about going to HR. In the future, don’t start a club if you are not going to be inclusive! Finally, we might need to have a parking club because some of these mofo’s around here park like full on jerkstores. That is my word btw and it is copyrighted, (thank you Jimmy!). People, just look back at your car before you leave it. If there is not enough room to place a piece of paper between your car and the vehicle next to it, you might want to consider parking it again. (8)

Hey Nekos. We’ll get right on that “Scrub Club” invite… Our sincerest apologies for the oversight! We absolutely agree that parking can be improved. We’ve got more people trained on monitoring our lots than ever, and we’ve been more proactive on communicating parking issues directly with employees as well as their managers as appropriate. Please continue to let Facilities know of any issues as you see them, and we’ll get on it!

Comment # 1940
Valentine’s Day was great – thank you for making that day really nice. Would be fun to do something similar for St. Patrick’s Day. (8)

FiSH ROCKS! And we hear that St. Patrick’s Day is one of their favorite holidays…

Comment # 1941
My morale is a little low just because there is so much uncertainty right now. It’s hard to figure out how I will fit in the future of the company. I don’t think there’s anything anyone can do about it though, since we have to figure these things out. I feel like leadership has been as transparent as possible. It’s just demotivating. (5)

Thank you for your feedback. We are saddened to hear you’re feeling this way. Transparency is definitely the goal here, and we encourage you to continue having conversations with your manager as questions and thoughts arise.

January 2017

Morale Average 7.82* – 1 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 33 – (69% participation rate)

Comment # 1920
As evidenced by my score, my morale is great! I love it here, and I love my teammates. I never comment unless it’s to say something positive. But having just left the women’s restroom, I have to share a few concerns and encouraging thoughts. Ladies, our downstairs restroom is disgusting. I encourage (and beg) everyone to clean up after you do your lady business. Osvaldo does an amazing job of cleaning the restrooms, but I’m honestly embarrassed for him to go in there!! Just in the past two days, I’ve attempted to enter a stall that had a toilet full of unfortunate things. Flush! It’s easy. A few minutes ago, I went in there and the girl in front of me (not a person I know) left a tampon in the toilet! Now she’ll forever be known in my mind as “the tampon girl.” That’s gross and a no-no! No wonder the toilets need repair so often. Anyway, I encourage all my lady friends to dispose of the toilet covers and place their tampons in the trash bin next to the toilet. I’d love to use the restroom and not feel like I need a shower afterwards. Thanks for hearing me out. If you’re upset by the comments, you’re guilty. If you are giving me an amen or an awomen, this is for you. (10)

Thank you for maintaining a 10 in spite of this! EXCELLENT reminder. You get an amen AND an awomen on this one. Based on your feedback and conversations with the group, we’re initiating additional bathroom checks and a global awareness campaign to help eliminate this problem. Stay tuned!

Comment # 1921
i heart cj 🙂 (9)

We heart you 🙂

Comment # 1922
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” (9)


Comment # 1923
Like Morris Day, I’m C-O-O-L! (9)

“What’s that spell? COOL!”

Comment # 1924
Doing some fun work that’s really creative lately. Everyone is always in a good mood. Good times. (9)

Awesome stuff!

Comment # 1925
Thank you for keeping us informed of possible changes. The transparency is much appreciated. (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1926
Hey guys Nekos here, Although change is inevitable at 300 10th Avenue, I really hope that the people who take over the building that holds our moniker will not level it. The Brandu Dickenson building has a long rich history that I just learned about 5 minutes ago when I went over to the wall to read about it. It was completed in 1926, which I think is the year Dave Rumsey was born. It pains me to know that another piece of Nashville’s illustrious history will be turned into a pile of debris and in its place will be another swanky hotel or condo. I understand that money talks and bullshit takes the bus, but I hope the new proprietors keep their balls (of wrecking) away from this great building. (9)

Hey Nekos, Dave Rumsey here, “Bite me.“ We kid, we kid… Though Dave may or may not have been in the room and may or may not have said that…☺ We agree that we’d like them to keep the building intact, but at current we don’t know what they are going to do. If we find out, we will certainly pass along the information.

Comment # 1927
Can we have some parking lot etiquette reminders? I see folks going the wrong way (maybe they are new hires or tourists) but I also see cars that don’t pull up far enough in the upper lot. It makes it really difficult for those of us with larger vehicles to navigate. (8)

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’ll launch initiatives and communications to help correct this.

Comment # 1928
The world is a rainbow That’s filled with many colors, Yellow, black, and white, and brown, You see them all around. The world is a rainbow With many kinds of people; It takes all kinds of people To make the world go round. Now you be you And I’ll be me. That’s the way we were meant to be. But the world is a mixing cup. Just look what happens when you stir it up! The world is a rainbow With many kinds of people, And when we work together It’s such a sight to see. The world is beautiful when we live in harmony! (8)

That it is…Sing it!

Comment # 1929
Can we get tea in the break room? (If so, anything but Lipton, please). (7)

Avenue C sells tea for $1 in the K-Cup section. Flavors include Green Tea, English Breakfast Black Tea, and India Spice Chai. (Celestial Seasonings is the brand!)

Comment # 1930
More and more cj’ers are walking away. Morale is low. December’s news about 2017 being the worst financial year for employees was a major downer for me and probably a lot of others. Not a great way to start the year. (3)

We understand that it can be upsetting when people leave. Anytime someone makes a change in life, though, it creates opportunities. Both for that person and for cj. We are committed to growth and filling all open positions. We shared a peek into the 2017 forecast in an effort to be transparent. Please know that each year, we forecast conservatively, and then we all work together to grow this number. This could turn out to be a HUGE profit year for us or it could be less than last year. Either way, the company is certainly not crumbling, and we are as focused as ever on growing our brands and people. Let’s rock forward together!

December 2016

Morale Average 7.87* – 1 scores rated 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 38 – (81% participation rate)

Comment # 1905
I’m thankful for my job and all of the good people I get to encounter here every day. (10)


Comment # 1906
Lisa here…. Might I suggest a year-long parking space in the upper lot for “team member of the year” winners. (10)

Hmmm….we’re not entirely sure if this is Lisa or not, but it never hurts to ask! 😉

Comment # 1907
Sad to hear that BBC gift cards will no longer be Amex cards to be used on whatever we want. I use to use mine as a second form of income on things like gas, groceries, and toiletries…and of course, the bar! It will be interesting to see the list of restaurants and retail outlets we will be able to choose from. (9)

We appreciate your feedback. Stay tuned for a full list of restaurants and retail outlets coming soon!

Comment # 1908
It’s All Good! – MC Hammer. (9)

You’re the Best – Joe “Bean” Esposito

Comment # 1909
Keurig cups aren’t recyclable – we go through tons of them. This is highly ‘meh’. Otherwise, ALL GOOD 🙂 (9)

Thank you for your feedback! K-Cups are sold through Avenue C market, which is an outside vendor that we do not profit from. We understand your concern and even offer free coffee as an eco-friendly alternative. Also, there’s Slow Hand Coffee next door! FYI, Avenue C reports 1,624 K-Cups sold in 2016.

Comment # 1910
Great month! Thank you for all that you do. The Christmas Party, Cracker Barrel breakfast, and decorating the ornaments are all appreciated. (9)

You’re welcome! Thank YOU for all you do!

Comment # 1911
Christmas at 300 was so great. I loved the tree and ornament decorating table. Jimmy’s party did not disappoint! Thank you again for all of your continuous hard efforts to make our office fun. Also, shout out to Renee for all of her hard-work with FiSH. You’re an amazing leader and we’re so lucky to have you! (8)

You are very welcome! It’s easy to make work fun when we’ve got such a vibrant, creative group working together. FiSH ROCKS! ☺

Comment # 1912
Jimmy’s Holiday Party was fun. Thanks for a great night! (8)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1913
Thank you for the holiday party. I liked the vibe this year more than the past couple. (8)

Glad to hear it! ☺

Comment # 1914
I love our 300 10th Ave. t-shirts. With colder days almost here, any chance we can get a cj/300 hoodie or sweatshirt? (8)

Good suggestions! We’re trying to mix it up going forward and will definitely take this into consideration.

Comment # 1915
The whining brings me down. What’s that old saying? “Be the change…” (8)


Comment # 1916
Not into the BBC gift card changes. Amex gift cards aren’t exactly cash, but I could use them for practical things (utilities, groceries, coffee shops, etc.). (7)

We greatly appreciate your feedback. Target, Home Depot, and Walmart will be in the mix of gift card options which can definitely be used for practical items. We’ll be communicating the full list of retail and restaurant choices soon. BetterBookClub is an incredibly beneficial work perk, and we’re excited that you and so many at 300 actively participate in it! We absolutely love rewarding employees for reading and will continue experimenting to keep the program successful and sustainable.

Comment # 1917
Very disappointed in the changes coming to BBC. The cool thing about it was that we got Amex gift cards that we could use for anything. I used mine for groceries and gas because I needed a little extra for those things. Replacing them with gift cards to retailers (that aren’t walmart, target, kroger) seems pointless and just a way for cj to save money (let’s be honest, the majority of people don’t really need or want a gift card to P.F. Changs). I understood when we went back down from $200 payout back to $100 but this seems like an even more drastic step back, one that the majority of the company seems to be in disagreement with. Also, everyone please wash your hands after using the bathroom. It’s disgusting the amount of people I’ve seen/heard not do it. (6)

Fear not! Target, Walmart, and Home Depot will be a part of the gift card options for more practical items. As will P.F. Chang’s. (For those lettuce wrap cravings we get every now and then.) We hope Comment #1916 helps address the BetterBookClub changes further, and AGREED on the washing your hands part!

Comment # 1918
Why is betterbookclub being changed again? I thought the whole point of the program was to incentivize reading and boost morale? It seems like you are just changing it to benefit yourselves. (5)

We greatly appreciate your honest feedback. Please see Comment #1916 which further addresses the BetterBookClub changes.

Comment # 1919
Everything is good. (4)

This is the 2nd month in a row we’ve received this comment with a low score. Clearly, there is an issue that requires further conversation. Please speak to a manager or a member of Leadership so we can work together to resolve.

November 2016

Morale Average 8.05* – 1 scores rated 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 40 – (82% participation rate)

Comment # 1894
What do you call a kid who doesn’t believe in Santa? A rebel without a Claus! (10)

Nice! What’s a camel’s favorite Christmas song? “O camel, ye faithful!”

Comment # 1895
Two words – Cracker Barrel

Two more words – Hashbrown casserole!!!

Comment # 1896
It’s All Good! (9)


Comment # 1897
Is the beer cart a perk? because its never around. Like ever. Like once every three months. I mean come on, the Camels are cute. 😀 (9)

They ARE cute! But did you know that a camel only needs to drink beer once every three months? They store it in their humps the rest of the year! 😀

Comment # 1898
I really like that we’ve had the same head of FiSH for as long as we have, but are there any plans on offering up that position to someone new? The current head of FiSH has done some great things, but switching it up may not be a bad thing as it gives opportunity for others to succeed in that position too. (9)

Renee here: I completely agree! I have absolutely LOVED being FiSH Head, and I want someone else to experience this incredibly fulfilling role. We’ve discussed it in recent FiSH meetings, and the current team will be voting on a new FiSH Head soon. We’ll announce once we have chosen our new lead. From my personal experience, it’s been fantastic working with so many creative, innovative, and hilarious FiSHies. There is so much talent on this team, and though I will miss working with them dearly, I can’t wait to see them take it to the next level in 2017!

Comment # 1899
2016 was a crazy year in the real world and that makes me appreciate the stability we have at cj even more. (8)

Definitely been an interesting year… Happy to be able to provide comfort and stability!

Comment # 1900
I can never remember if I have already taken the morale survey or not…wish there was a way to only notify the people who haven’t taken it (while being able to maintain the anonymous aspect of it) (8)

We wish there was a way, too! We just haven’t found one yet that keeps the survey anonymous as well. Open to suggestions! For the time being, the survey won’t let you take it multiple times from the same computer. You’ll get a message that you already filled it out if you try to complete it more than once.

Comment # 1901
Thank you cj for the stuff you do including these surveys. Warning for everyone to be alert when walking to and from the lower lot because some guy walking opposite of me was cussing at me and making angry sound effects the other day. Also would appreciate if people respected a closed bathroom stall door. i think someone was trying to pick the lock while I contemplated dialing 911 or kicking my shoe at the perpetrator. (7)

Both are great reminders to be aware of your surroundings… for completely different reasons!

Comment # 1902
everything is great because when i bring up problems they get ignored, defended or made to make me feel like i am wrong for bringing it up. (5)

This is certainly not our intention for you to feel this way. Please continue to speak up. Your feedback is incredibly valuable, and the more we know, the more we can help.

Comment # 1903
Everything is good. (5)

How can we help get that score above a 5? :/

Comment # 1904
Last month I commented on an issue regarding ROWE. The response to that comment was to address any problems directly with that co-worker. However, I don’t feel like it is my place to approach a co-worker and comment on the schedule they keep. That seems like something a manager seems more fit to address. It is discouraging that every time a problem or concern is raised in these surveys it’s met with defensiveness and no real answers or solutions. I feel like the only acceptable response to morale surveys and 15fives at this point is “Everything is great” because voicing my concerns has only resulted in me looking like the bad guy. (4)

We greatly appreciate your feedback and hope we were able to address your concerns in the December staff meeting. As Arnie noted, the question should be “What do I need?” as opposed to “Where is so-and-so?” If expectations have been communicated, and you haven’t received what you need to do your job, a follow-up with that team member via email, text, phone, etc is the first step. If you’ve already done this and are still not receiving what you need, you can either address it directly with that person (as comfortable) or speak to your manager or any member of Leadership about it. Every comment on these surveys is taken very seriously, and please know that we spent a lot of time discussing this one in particular. Some comments have clear, quick, and easy solutions. Others warrant further conversations with specific details to better address them. These surveys are amazing for a lot of things, but not always for very specific problems. If our responses here and in the staff meeting are still not helping, please start a conversation with someone in management who can help.

October 2016

Morale Average 8.23* – 0 scores rated 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 43 – (86% participation rate)

Comment # 1876
Thank you for the lovely Halloween celebration. The Bota Box is such a nice addition to the already generous beer/snack cart. You’d have to try really hard to be sad around here. (10)

You are very welcome! Life is fine when you have wine.

Comment # 1877
Halloween was awesome! (10)

It’s awesome because y’all make it that way!

Comment # 1878
Keeping in the Spirit of Halloween, here’s a funny… How do ghosts fly from one place to another? By Scareplane! (insert rimshot here) (10)

So bad, it’s good. 🙂

Comment # 1879
Nekos Here, Love the new paper towels in the bathroom. It’s like Charmin for my hands! One goes a loooooooonnnngggg way! (10)

Thanks Nekos! At least we THINK it’s Nekos? Not really sure anymore… 😉

Comment # 1880
Soft toilet paper is great, but my handtowels do not need to be. (9)

10-4! We were experimenting and have decided to discontinue the soft hand towels. By the time this comes out, you should be seeing new topgrade multi-fold towels!

Comment # 1881
We’re running out of toilet paper frequently. Perhaps we should enforce the 1 tear-off sheet rule? #firstworldproblems (9)

We hear ya! Toilet paper is currently checked and restocked twice a day by our cleaning crew—once at lunch and once in the evening. We are adding another check to the morning shift so you won’t be asking, “Can you spare a square?”

Comment # 1882
Would be a 10 if Sonic Ice machine wasn’t broken! (9)

We definitely feel ya. We thought we’d fixed it a couple of weeks ago, and unfortunately, it broke again. If this repair does not work, we are purchasing a new one.

Comment # 1883
Thanks for the awesome Halloween celebration! (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1884
If you consider yourself to be a mature, educated, well-rounded adult then clean up after yourselves! Spill sugar or creamer – clean the countertops! Spill food – wipe the microwave out! Clean your dishes and use a paper towel to dry them off immediately, don’t leave them on the countertop! Let dishes soak at your home, not at work! You are not too busy or important to do your part! Your Mother doesn’t work here, YOU DO! Please repeat this comment in all moral surveys, as needed, forever! That is all……for now. (9)

TRUTH. Leaving a mess is completely contrary to our core value of respect and will not be tolerated at any level. Great reminder!

Comment # 1885
The water level in the first stall of the downstairs women’s restroom is much lower than the other stalls and it sometimes spits water up when you flush. Also the seat in the second stall slants to one side. Can these things be fixed? Thank you, Facilities! (8)

Thank you for letting us know! Facilities is on it.

Comment # 1886
I haven’t been here too long, but am very impressed with all that cj does to boost morale with its employees. I absolutely believe it makes a big difference in coming into work each day. (8)

Welcome to cj! Awesome feedback!

Comment # 1887
We have so many great workers here, that’s one of the biggest perks of the company. But sometimes it feels as though the same people are getting rocked over and over again while others are working just as hard but don’t get equal appreciation. Food for thought. (8)

Thank you for bringing this to our attention! We wholeheartedly agree that we have some amazing rockstars working here. As leaders and managers, we’ll be more mindful of spreading the love. We also encourage your input. Have a rocker nomination for Tuesday/Thursday huddle? Let your manager know! Also, all 15Five rockers are displayed on the side entrance wall and used for staff meeting envelope drawings. You can rock as many people as you want in these reports, and they will be shared for all to see!

Comment # 1888
Personally I’m feeling pretty great. However I have noticed that some of the responses to the moral survey feel defensive (maybe even snarky). We only critique cause we care! (8)

Thank you for your feedback! We greatly appreciate that you care, and we ask because we genuinely want to know. It has not been our intention to be snarky or defensive, and we’ll be more aware of tone moving forward.

Comment # 1889
A Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine in the kitchen would be the greatest thing since Sonic ice. (7)

100% agreed!!! That price tag, though… ouch. 🙁

Comment # 1890
Halloween was fun and came at a good time. It seems like many people have seemed stressed like morale has been down a bit lately. i could be wrong but that rarely happens. haha, jk. Remember we’re all on the same team here. (7)

Glad you enjoyed Halloween. Great reminder!

Comment # 1891
ROWE is great, but when team members come in after 10:30 4-5 times a week, it makes it hard on the rest of us to get our work done. Having to wait to get clarification or direction on a client request until the afternoon is not an efficient way to get work done well. This has been brought up multiple times in previous morale surveys and 15Fives, and the response always seems to be that it’s fine as long as work is getting done, but it really hurts the rest of the teams work flow, which to me doesn’t seem acceptable. (6)

Thank you for your feedback. We believe ROWE is a huge advantage for the organization that allows employees the freedom to take responsibility for their work. Communication is key. If you have a response time issue involving a coworker, address it directly with that person first. If that doesn’t work, then bring it to your manager. We’re all on the same team here. Let’s talk to each other and make it work!

Comment # 1892
While I love ROWE, it feels like people take advantage way too often for unnecessary things. Never working a full week in the office or having WR on calendar but still being unreachable tends to hurt the work flow of other people on the team. I know this has been addressed numerous times and I agree it shouldn’t matter where you get your work done, but what about getting your work done well and making things more efficient for the team? I think some things can wait until after work or the weekend to take care of, as opposed to during work hours when people need you. (6)

Thank you for your feedback. Please see Comment #1891 above.

Comment # 1893
Why is the year-end bonus not growing year over year? How exactly is it calculated? Does it factor in salaries of the team as a negative cost? We hear that National is bringing in tons of money, and with the agency is getting smaller and smaller (fewer salaries) it seems like the result would be a large bonus. (5)

Thank you for your question! We recently sent an email explaining our profit-sharing. Essentially, all cj staff receives 1/10 of 1% of cj’s annual net profit at the end of each year. (Net profit is the actual profit after working expenses have been factored in, such as salary, rent, equipment, etc.) Our total amount distributed has increased every year for the past five years, and this year will continue that trend! The current projected profit can be seen on the War Hall where it is updated monthly.

September 2016

Morale Average 8.17* – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 42 – (84% participation rate)

Comment # 1861
I feel very connected with my team as communication across the agency has been impressive. (9)


Comment # 1862
Popcorn Wednesdays are awesome! (9)

Heck yeah, they are!!

Comment # 1863
Hey everyone, I read a lot of the comments from last month’s survey and there seems to be some angst over the dominance Cameltoenia held during the 300 Tenth Avenue Olympics. There was also a comment made in my name that was not actually me regarding our win. Well I would like to send my utmost apologies to you for suppressing your ability to win by being so awesome. There is always 2020. Sincerely, Nekos “Put some spect’ on it” Barnes (9)

New phone. Who dis?

Comment # 1864
Things are fantastic around here. One thought: it feels like we (the whole MLG family) is growing quickly. There seems to be many new faces all the time. Are we at a point where we should have id badges around our necks/clipped to us whenever we are in the building? Many businesses do this and while it may seem like a hassle, it’s really not that big of a deal once you get used to it. With so many people coming and going 24/7, is this worth considering? (9)

Awesome to hear! Though we appreciate the suggestion, we don’t think we need ID badges at this time. If you have safety concerns, we definitely recommend discussing further with your manager. Otherwise, it’s a great opportunity to connect and meet new people. Also, for employee familiarity, each hire has a welcome email that goes out on their first day or upon graduation, and all org charts and Outlook email addresses are accompanied by photos.

Comment # 1865
Whistle while you work! (9)

When hearts are high, the time will fly!

Comment # 1866
1) TP is fantastic 2) Alexa not so much – it’s a neat toy but it creates a lot of noise over by the writers 3) All in all it’s pretty groovy! (9)

Thank you for your feedback! We agree. Alexa IS a neat toy that we’re experimenting with to create some more ambience in the building. We do ask that everyone be respectful of the volume when choosing music. If she’s too loud, simply say “Alexa, volume 3” or use the knob on the top of the device to decrease. If volume continues to be an issue, please talk to your manager, and we’ll go from there.

Comment # 1867
I would choose $200 BBC payouts over soft tp any day. (9)

We are always going to try new things here, and the goal of the payout increase was to boost awareness and increase engagement. We’re going to evaluate the full results over time, and maybe one day, we’ll have both… or possibly something different and even better.

Comment # 1868
I wish book club money was still $200. I’d rather have $200 than soft tp! (8)

Thanks for your feedback! Please see comment #1867 above.

Comment # 1869
I always wanted heated toilet seats, but thanks to the new toilet paper, the seats are always warm. Win- Win! (8)

When our BHAG says 100% Win-Win Relationships…we mean 100% Win-Win for everything!

Comment # 1870
Ironically, the signs on the microwaves that tell you not to let your food spill over are so big that you can’t see if your food is spilling over because they cover the whole window. Can we trim them down? 🙂 Do we have an update on the ice machine being fixed? (8)

We can definitely trim the signs. Thank you for bringing it to our attention! The ice machine has processed our favorite Sonic ice for over 6 years now. Unfortunately, it’s not doing so hot, and we may need to fully replace with a new machine. Stay tuned for further updates!

Comment # 1871
“Alexa, volume down!” – A phrase you must know in order to survive at cj! Great idea in theory, but really annoying if your desk is close to the stairs! (8)

Thank you for letting us know! Please see comment #1866 above.

Comment # 1872
I like Alexa, but I can also sympathize with people who find it too distracting because it’s right next to their cubicles. Maybe the front lobby would be a good place for it? You can put it in my office if you want… I also thought it would be neat to have employee-curated playlists. For example, you could say “Alexa, play Jimmy’s mix” and it would go to a playlist Jimmy put together. Or, “Alexa, play Drew’s mix” and it plays 10 different covers of Rocky Top. (8)

Thank you for your feedback! We’re going to leave Alexa where she is for now, and if the volume issue continues, we’ll revisit our options. Cool idea on the playlists. We’ll look into this!

Comment # 1873
Can we move Alexa to a different spot? She’s a bit annoying sometimes for the people who have cubes near the stairs. (7)

We appreciate your feedback. Please see comment #1872 above.

Comment # 1874
Things are good. With the increased number of new hires in LIP, noise has also increased significantly…lots of people talking very loudly upstairs, tours, thundering (aka walking) etc. Although I know some of these things are unavoidable, it is an open work space and noise does echo/travel and makes things very loud. (7)

We work in an active environment and things do happen occasionally that increase noise from all companies. Sometimes it will be louder than other times in the office, but this is a good reminder to be respectful of other people in the building.

Comment # 1875
Why is it so difficult to keep front desk staff? (7)

Because we continue to find great people who move on to do other great things in the organization! Did you know that the following people started their tenure here at the front desk? Laura Hudson, Kim Johnson, Renee Brank, Caitlin Zarrella, Kelsey Nuttall, Lindsey Kizziah, and Carly Daniels. That’s a pretty good track record!

Recently, we had two temps working at the front desk while we tried to find the right fit for the job. First impressions are hard to recreate, and the receptionist role is usually the first one for clients and guests. We’re very excited to have Shannon Cunningham in this role now, and she’s doing great!

August 2016

Morale Average 8.60* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 48 – (94% participation rate)

Comment # 1841
Hey guys, Nekos here. jk. Matt Davis here. I’m using my last morale survey to reflect on some things I’ll remember, miss, and just want to remark on over my past 5 years here at cj. Thanks for the memories and enjoy the list!

  1. making fun of Nekos
  2. Billy Block’s necklaces (RIP. he was a great man)
  3. editing attorney photos at an uncomfortably close distance. i know their faces. they are my friends.
  4. when Arnie called me Matt for the first time instead of Sir
  5. beer carts
  6. never wearing a camel suit
  7. Jonathan Barker’s shirts
  8. the day that Jon Ray started and I didn’t have to code anymore
  9. Tony Tanoos’s gold watch
  10. that time that Nekos drafted Niko Koutouvides (4th string Pats LB) w/ the #1 pick in the Fantasy Football Draft
  11. switching out the Earl Grey Flavia insert w/ Helen Mirren’s Bathwater
  12. finding a top lot spot after lunch
  13. forgetting that i parked up top and walking all the way down to the lower lot
  14. Mike Hoffman’s old man mask
  15. Coffee, Lunch. breakfast biscuit (RIP)
  16. Dave Rumsey’s choice of footwear
  17. that time that Arnie said ‘Pipe and Circumstance’ at the staff meeting in reference to building repairs
  18. Greg Howell’s car
  19. going to Cinco after work
  20. taking shots with Lowell Stanley at conference
  21. morale surveys
  22. Andy Baggett’s well-timed Slack comments
  23. petting dogs at work
  24. Nekos walking into Drew’s bay only to pass gas and close the door
  25. Fish meetings
  26. softly talking about football w/ Lee Sparrow when media was upstairs and you couldn’t be rowdy up there
  27. never winning a prize at Jimmy’s Holiday Party 🙁
  28. rocking Shawn Dones every week cus he kills it and made my job really easy

I could go on, but I’ll stop there in keeping with the integrity of the morale survey. Thanks everyone! (10)

LOLOLOLOL. ☺ Thank you for five solid years and one heck of a national anthem, Matt. Best of luck in your new job and new city!

Comment # 1842
We had a fair and Olympics. We worked hard and kept our clients happy. We got Charmin. What a time. (10)


Comment # 1843
My morale is always a 10, but I have one complaint that may suggest otherwise. As everyone knows, there was an ass ton of cheating during our 300 Olympic Games. There was so much cheating that I had to break out the ass metrics. I’m not going to call anyone out specifically, but if a certain team whose name screams “HUNGRY,HUNGRY CAMEL CROTCH” can sleep at night, then so can I. AND…I love you all anyway. (10)

We may need to break out the sass metrics on this comment! Love you, too. ☺

Comment # 1844
Hey Dudes and Dudettes, Nekos here. First, I’d like to say that I’m really diggin the Charmin in the bathrooms. That single-ply stuff just wasn’t cutting it and was leaving behind far too many butt-nuggets. This new double-ply TP is heaaaaaaven! My cheeks can now be incredibly soft and squeaky clean after a hard days’ work. Secondly, Cameltoenia rocks! A huge shout-out to my mom, God, my boys Drew and Adam and my gal Amber Rooooose! Best. Olympics. Ever. We may or may not have chea- generated an unfair advantage by practicing for hours while everyone else was hard at work, but hey – ROWE baby! So while everyone else is crying tears of defeat, I’ma just drown out the noise with my new iTunes gift card. I just love my job. Really, I do. – Nekos (9)

Hey Nekos. First, we’d like to say it’s doubly rewarding to hear your enthusiasm for the new toilet paper. Second, congratulations on winning! Though you may want to watch out for the commenter above on #1843. (And probably anybody else who reads this.)

Comment # 1845
New bathroom TP is awesome! Popcorn Wednesday is awesome! Camel County Fair was awesome! Olympics were awesome!!! CJ IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (9)


Comment # 1846
Thanks for the upgrade in toilet paper, cj Olympics, Camel County Fair, Popcorn Wednesdays, and all the other things you do that make this an incredible place to work! (9)

You are very welcome!

Comment # 1847
The new toilet paper in the bathrooms is the BEST ever. (9)

Facilities ROCKS!

Comment # 1848
The new toilet paper is heavenly! People have taken notice and let me say, we’re all grateful. (9)

If we’d known we’d get this kind of response, we’d have done this years ago!

Comment # 1849
The new toilet paper in the bathroom has improved my quality of life immensely! (9)

Like music to our ears…

Comment # 1850
So whoever made the decision about the super soft TP in the bathroom rocks. It is the little things. 🙂 (9)

Many thanks to Facilities!

Comment # 1851
I wasn’t sure if the new Charmin was an ordering faux pas or a supply issue with our normal brand, but let’s stick with the Charmin my bum thanks you. (9)

Here’s to more Charmin!

Comment # 1852
The olympics were a lot of fun, and although I didn’t want a standing desk, I think it’s really great that cj offered it to the people who do. (9)


Comment # 1853
Children…… love the we have an office environment that allows kids during the work day, but here lately, we’ve had kiddos running around the office who are being very, very loud. (9)

We LOVE having children in the office and this is a good reminder. If your kids are here, always make sure they are supervised, occupied, and do not cause noise or distractions. Please have an exit strategy if they are disruptive.

Comment # 1854
Loved coming home to find the new employee dinner package on my doorstep! The food was great 🙂 (9)

Awesome! We love welcoming new team members.

Comment # 1855
Things are a little slow but its a great time to be reading and learning! I was wondering if there is anyway we could add skim milk in the break room instead of just whole milk and 2%. That would be great if we could, thanks. (9)

Great suggestion! Sadly, we checked with Avenue C, and they can only provide whole milk and 2% options at this time.

Comment # 1856
The Camel County Fair was great. Thanks for a wonderful afternoon. (8)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1857
Great camel county fair! (8)


Comment # 1858
Thank you for the cj Olympics even if it was a week of emotional turbulence of epic proportions. Thanks for the new and improved toilet paper. It’s not the cj bidet that I’ve hoped and dreamed for but it is the Jaguar of tp. In fact, a little birdie perched upon my shoulder to say that she heard that the tp was so soft that some were using it to manufacture makeshift work pillows with it. Now that is soft. Thanks for everything, cj. (8)

My, my…that IS some soft TP! Great song. Thanks for sharing!

Comment # 1859
It’s news to me, but why do we have two different chat systems within the building? Adium, which it looks like mostly cj uses, then some people use Slack. Can we settle on one system and all get on the same page or is there a reason for the multiple systems that I don’t know? I think it would save time. Thanks for taking the time to hear these suggestions. (8)

Good question! Adium/Pidgin is the default instant messenger that all of 300 10th Ave South has installed on their computer. However, teams have flexibility to use additional systems that best suit their communication needs. For some, Slack is an extremely beneficial tool for sharing files and having group project discussions. The majority of people using this service (Interactive, BBC) feel that it saves time for the type of work they do. As long as teams are in agreement and communicating in a way that best works for them, we are completely supportive of it.

Comment # 1860
Things are good, baby. (8)

Good to hear, baby.

July 2016

Morale Average 8.29* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 35 – (69% participation rate)

Comment # 1836
What about allowing non-profit organizations (501c3) use Better Book Club at no charge? (10)

Great minds think alike! BBC accounts are currently free for any company, non-profit, or club up to 12 users.

Comment # 1837
So happy to be part of the cj family! Special s/o to the media department 🙂 (10)

Happy to have ya here!

Comment # 1838
Work has been great! (9)


Comment # 1839
Thanks for all the fun things you have going on for us lately! (9)

You got it, dude! ☺

Comment # 1840
It’s nice to read the 15 Five rocker comments to see how your work affects others. Why does it take so long for the next month’s comments to be posted? (8)

Apologies for the delay! We got a little behind on our Communications process with the team down a man. Now that we’re fully staffed, these will be up within 24 hours after staff meetings.

June 2016

Morale Average 8.19* – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 37 – (73% participation rate)

Comment # 1829
cj really is the best place to work!!! (10)


Comment # 1830
Thank you for listening to former suggestions about getting a new bench for the back smoking area. It’s so great to have a much safer and sturdy seating option. Now I know this request might be getting a little out of hand so please know I don’t expect this to happen, but I just want to throw it out there: anyway we can get a form of shade back there over the table? Similar to the one on the side of the building near the parking lot? Again I am aware this is sort of a bratty question to ask, we smokers are very grateful for the table! It’s just the sun can be very unforgiving. (9)

You are very welcome, though this request is completely out of hand. (We kid… We kid. ☺) We’re looking into some options to see what we can do! Great suggestion!

Comment # 1831
Was reflecting this week on my time at the agency and I don’t know if I ever remember this level of interdepartmental camaraderie. Even on client calls, I hear people building up other departments and speaking on their behalf. We seem to know more about each other’s worlds and have more respect for what each other does. Hope I’m not the only one that feels that way. (9)

This is awesome to hear! Great teamwork all around.

Comment # 1832
Appreciate the golf cart transportation from Brick, and the popcorn Wednesday event. Love working here as always! (9)


Comment # 1833
Booyah Baby, all good here! (9)

Aww yeah!

Comment # 1834
Summer is hot, but cj is cool! (9)

And so are you!

Comment # 1835
Things are fine, but could be much better. Feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated. (6)

We greatly appreciate all that you and everybody in the building do. How can we help?

May 2016

Morale Average 8.14* – 1 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 42 – (82% participation rate)

Comment #1817
Hey Guys, Nekos Here. It has been a while since I have been on here so I have quite a few things to get off my mind. First company is going in a great direction. Love to see that Interactive is expanding and Production is producing and Creative Service is servicing our clients creatively. With all that, we have a couple of problems to attend to. First, our walls. We are inundated with new posters, pictures and frames every few months. I am starting to worry about how highly we think of ourselves. I worry about the next five years and what will happen when we run out of wall. So I propose this, before we get a new poster or picture or framed thingy, we must remove a poster or picture or framed thingy. We are starting to look a little hoarder-ish. I am a big fan of the quotes in the bathroom stalls! It is good to know that when I go to the bathroom and have forgotten my phone, there is a inspirational quote to get me thru the motions. Have we thought about reaching out to employees to see if they could UNLOAD some words of wisdom in our stalls? Here’s one: “Your best idea hasn’t come out yet.” Finally, The trash can at the bottom parking lot is a great idea but I think it’s location is less than ideal. We should move it to the walk way leading out. That way employees can collect their trash and throw it out on the way to work. (10)

We’ve been missing your flavorful comments, Nekos. It’s great to have you back! 1. Love the feedback and that you’re loving the direction! 2. We’re feeling pretty good about our poster representation, but appreciate your comment and will take this into consideration if additional ones are added. 3. Great idea! Any employee can submit communications ideas and quotes to, and we’ll work together to bring them to life. 4. You’re right. We’re working with our vendor to make sure the trashcans are continually placed in the right spots.

Comment # 1818
We should get a new projector for the conference room, or a large high-quality monitor in place of the projector. The screen is faded and colors are muted, indecipherable when presenting web comps or other presentations. I know we’ve been saving up for Dyson Airblades for like 5 years now, but I feel like this would better benefit the company. (9)

We agree! IT is working on a long term solution. We should have this taken care of by the end of the year.

Comment # 1819
Happy we’re switching back to Blue Cross (9)

Great to hear!

Comment # 1820
Everything is great! Only one small complaint – noise from the front desk areas seems to carry throughout the building, and it seems to be getting louder and louder lately. (9)

Thank you for letting us know. We will be more conscious of noise levels particularly in this area of the building.

Comment # 1821
Where did the salted almonds go? It seems like we haven’t had them in forever? Another note…if we can be more conscious of the level of noise at the front desk that would be great. If I can hear you from back in the cubicles, it may be a little too loud – sound travels easily in this building. (8)

We recently switched almond vendors, and unfortunately, they do not offer salted almonds. On the bright side, we still provide almonds and these ones are even healthier! See above comment #1820 regarding the noise level.

Comment # 1822
I prefer Little Earthquakes the Tori Amos album to little earthquakes the daily office reality, but both kind of stress me out. Who will volunteer to tie themselves to something at the construction site in protest? We need a hero. (8)

We prefer it, too. After having been “Silent All These Years”, it really makes us cherish the “Precious Things” (like peace and quiet). As discussed in the June staff meeting, the good news is that they are done blasting on our side of the construction site. The bad news is that they have run into some issues (hitting water, rocks, etc) which has delayed the timeline. They are estimating that it will be 3-4 weeks more of blasting, but at least it’s on the other side now!

Comment # 1823
It was great to network some with the marketing workshoppers, and I’ve really appreciated the trust initiatives that have been ongoing here. cj is great but i must vent for the readers of this for a moment. I make a conscious effort to be empathetic when it comes to work but I feel that the empathy lacks from certain folks at times. The list of priorities will vary from individual to individual and it would be appreciated if everyone remembered that direct clear communication from an empathetic mindset will: build trust, promote respect, enhance results. I’ll do my best to keep this mindset too. (7)

Thank you for the positive feedback, and great reminder. PREACH!

Comment # 1824
Can we get a new projector in the Ryman? The current projector does not accurately show colors or details. It’s an issue–you have to pull up things separately on a laptop to show how they really look. (7)

See above response to comment #1818

Comment # 1825
What’s the plan for our workspace once it makes more sense to sell the office than to keep it? (7)

As Arnie discussed in the June staff meeting, we are extremely happy where we are right now. Our building is not on the market nor do we have any plans to put it up anytime soon. We do receive offers regularly, but for us to even entertain one, it would have to be an inordinate amount of money and require 18-24 months in move time.

Comment # 1826
Meetings constantly rescheduled or postponed. Important roles missing from meetings. Poor project management. (5)

Though sometimes things beyond control can cause meetings to get rescheduled or postponed, all attendees play a part in a meeting’s success. It is everyone’s responsibility to be there and be prepared. If you are not able to attend, ALWAYS let the meeting organizer know. The more you can let them know ahead of time, the better. And ALWAYS keep your outlook calendar up-todate. If you know you’re going to be unavailable during a certain time, blocking it off will steer a meeting organizer from booking during that time. If everyone communicates clearly and is respectful of others’ time, this will not be an issue.

Comment # 1827
My morale is just fine, but I think it’s time for a yearly reminder – We Win As A Team We Lose As A Team. At the end of the day our clients are going to judge our work on a collective basis and not as individual performances. (5)

This is an excellent reminder. And how can we improve your morale from fine to great?

Comment # 1828
No comment. (4)

Please tell us more. Your feedback is vital to our improvement.

April 2016

Morale Average 8.50* – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 38 – (76% participation rate)

Comment # 1803
I’m happy like that Pharrell Williams song. (10)

enthusiastically clapping along!!!

Comment # 1804
Things are going really well! (9)


Comment # 1805
Go Preds! (9)

“I like it… I love it!”

Comment # 1806
The baseball game was so much fun! Thank you for putting this event together. (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1807
Does the ice scoop ever get washed? I hope the answer is yes. If not, a daily or weekly trip through the dishwasher would be nice. Have a back up scoop so when one is being washed, a fresh one can be used. (9)

Yup! Facilities washes the ice scoop every morning.

Comment # 1808
Happy that we are going back to BCBS for health insurance! Also, thank you for upping the company contribution for health insurance, I for one am thankful! (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1809
Everything is really groovy. All I can think of is I’d like to see a beer camel now and again. I miss the camels. (9)

Like the deserts miss the rain…the beer camels miss you, too. There may be a sighting or two this month…

Comment # 1810
We could use a paper/cardboard recycling bin *in* the kitchen. I constantly see boxes from people’s lunches in the garbage because they don’t want to make the “long walk” (9)

Great idea! We will make this happen.

Comment # 1811
This is something I noticed the other day that I’d like to bring up: the wooden picnic table in the smoking section is becoming a little wonky. It’s prone to giving splinters and pinching skin when you sit on it. I know it’s a low priority, but if possible it’d be nice to have more comfortable seating, like the one on the side of the building under the overhang. Just a thought. (9)

We hear ya! This is on the list to purchase before July 1. Stay tuned.

Comment # 1812
The medicine dispenser is the greatest thing we’ve ever done. Not really, but it’s pretty awesome. I had a sudden bout of hay fever. That little coin-op box literally saved my week. (9)

That is great to hear! (Not the part where you were sick, but the part where you got better and the dispenser helped. ☺)

Comment # 1813
I love the restorative yoga! Can we keep that going? (8)

Thank you for your feedback! We have 2 more classes on May 18 and May 25 and are looking into options for continuing.

Comment # 1814
Morale would be better if everyone tried to have a more positive attitude. It’s not very encouraging to be surrounded by coworkers who are always complaining or speaking negatively about clients. Let’s all appreciate how awesome cj and our clients are and be a little happier! (7)

This is a great reminder.

Comment # 1815
Work is going well, but I feel like the office is very quiet now. Kinda miss the craziness. (7)

There are ebbs and flows to any environment. Lead the pack and be the craziness you wish to see!

Comment # 1816
Experiencing 4 tiny earthquakes every day (when they blast) is kind of stressful. That and the junk that falls out of the ceiling all over my desk every time they blast. I know there’s probably not a lot you can do about this, but it *is* disruptive and stressful. (7)

We’re right there with ya, and the blasting will hopefully be wrapped up in about 4 weeks. Thank you for your patience.

March 2016

Morale Average 8.34* – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 35 – (69% participation rate)

Comment # 1793
I love my job! Don’t all of you?! We should all take a deep breath and count our blessings instead of counting our first world problems. (10)


Comment # 1794
Since my morale is high, I’ll pass off a funny. “After Tuesday, even the calendar goes W T F.” (10)

The ol’ Working Together Factor… Classic!

Comment # 1795


Comment # 1796
Morale is great. I do have one question though. Is it possible to make the 5 year jacket gift customizable like the 10 year gift has become? I understand the symbolism of the letterman jacket and am not suggesting the 5 year gift stray from this format. I would, however, like to suggest that the recipient be involved in the jacket selection process. I envision it being similar to the conference wear options. The recipient chooses a jacket type (classic polyester bomber style would be great for all seasons). Then they select the logos to be included (new cj, new camel, or even 300 10th Ave South on front, back, or arms). Choosing jacket color would be nice as well. I think going this route would encourage more people to wear their jackets year-round and more often—a la the 300 10th Ave shirts. Not only does this create more brand awareness around town for cj, but also gives the 5 year recipient more pride in their accomplishment. Here’s a link to suggested jacket alternatives: (9)

Though you’ve ripped out a piece of Arnie’s soul, you do bring up a valid point. As mentioned in the staff meeting last week, we’re researching jacket options to see what we can come up with. Stay tuned!

Comment # 1797
PSA to everyone in the building to please use the proper receptacles for recycling. As an avid recycler, I’m very appreciative of having access to paper, plastic, can and now glass recycling. However, I notice trash and food thrown into the glass bin all the time, and it makes my blood boil. I find myself cleaning it out constantly. It makes my green heart very sad. Maybe we can make some funny/passive aggressive notes to put next to the bins as we do for the fridge and the sink? Or we can publicly shame anyone caught doing it? I think a good flogging should do. (8)

Agreed! We’re reviewing the bin placement around the building to ensure they are not mistaken for trash cans. It’s our absolute pleasure to accompany with a sassy note, and who doesn’t love a good flogging? ☺

Comment # 1798
It’s freezing in here! (8)

We can’t have any tundra camels up in here! As reminded in last week’s staff meeting, all thermostats in the building are unlocked and adjustable. Just make sure you consult the thermostat map to ensure you are adjusting your own area… and be mindful of your neighbors’ comfort! Also, as this has been a recurring theme, we are raising the default temperature on the downstairs thermostats up 1 degree warmer.

Comment # 1799
If there’s a problem with a co-worker, talk to them directly about it instead of talking to everyone else about it. (8)


Comment # 1800
Thank you for Good Friday off. (7)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1801
I really appreciate my job and feel lucky to work here. (7)

Awesome to hear!

Comment # 1802
My bracket was a disaster. (7)

In the ever-wise words of Michael Jackson, “You Are Not Alone.”

February 2016

Morale Average 8.27* – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 45 – (85% participation rate)

Comment # 1785
I can’t think of anything witty, so… I’ll leave you with this: “Someone else is happy with less than what you have.” (10)

Wonderful quote!

Comment # 1786
Things are pretty chill. Also, the domain ‘’ is available if we need to move the company to Canada at the end of the year in case a certain candidate (he who shall not be named) wins the election. (9)


Comment # 1787
Do we have a plan to relocate if Trump becomes President? (9)

It’s at the top of the agenda for our next Leadership lunch! 😉

Comment # 1788
*thumbs up* (9)

Comment # 1789
I like the brighter lighting! I really helps for those of us who aren’t close to windows. (8)


Comment # 1790
Love that we have the bright new lights! Going off of that, while it is great that we have such wonderful vendors who help keep this place running, in the future could we remind them that there is also a full office of people working while they are doing their installations? It felt like they were being unnecessarily loud – almost shouting at each other when they were working downstairs. (8)

Love it! We do not have any other installations planned at this time, but will continue to remind vendors to be mindful of noise volume on future ones.

Comment # 1791
I love the flexibility and work environment around here! It is wonderful to have the ability to schedule appointments during the day and leave early occasionally. However, it is discouraging to see certain people abusing the freedom. There are certain people who come in late and leave early multiple times a week every single week. It makes me wonder if there is enough work to go around? I only bring this up because I don’t want to see the people who respect the freedom to lose their privileges because of the handful of people who abuse it. (8)

As Arnie discussed in this month’s staff meeting, it’s not necessarily about where we are, it’s what we do. A ROWE is performance-based, and if work is not getting done, it will be seen and addressed by a manager. Our goal is to continue to make sure that workload is balanced appropriately and that we are all working together towards win-win relationships.

Comment # 1792
Everything is gravy here! (8)

January 2016

Morale Average 8.36* – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 39 – (75% participation rate)

Comment # 1780
I love coming to work and seeing all of you every day. Because you’re all so great, I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom: “Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.”- Dave Barry. (10)

Truer words have never been spoken…

Comment # 1781
Check this out… Last week, I was bragging to people about where I work. Bam! (10)

Bam! That’s awesome!

Comment # 1782
Excited about the Sounds Game! (9)

Aw yeah!

Comment # 1783
Thanks for the surveys, bagels on meeting day, the clean building, ability to WR, and other things that I’m failing to mention right now. It’s a bit frustrating to see the kitchen in disarray (dishes soaking in the sink, trash on the floor, empty containers on the counter) so quickly after it’s been diligently cleaned, and my car has been dinged up a couple of times in the past month-ish due to carelessness in the parking lots. So it would be peachy if individuals would hold themselves more accountable with these things, but I realize that this is not the fault of the agency. Sound…off. (9)

You are very welcome, and this is a solid reminder. PREACH!

Comment # 1784
Starting the new SAL site will be a welcome project for the team to start on! (7)

Can’t wait to see it!

December 2015

Morale Average 8.67* – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 39 – (78% participation rate)

Comment # 1771
Hey guys, Nekos here. Great Xmas Party! Great food! Thanks for the great gifts! If anyone has a picture of Arnie’s visit at the Wilburn Street Tavern during the Unofficial MLG Xmas After Party, I will buy it from you! (10)

Oh… you mean like this one? Don’t worry. It’s on the house. ☺

Comment # 1772
Morale Survey Haiku: Hi guys! Nekos Here. I suck at fantasy sports. Yet, my morale RocKs! (This is really Matt Davis. Happy New Year to all!) (10)

That’s beautiful, Matt. Nekos is always rooting for the underdog with players like Niko Koutouvides. Maybe 2016 will be his year!

Comment # 1773
Really Great!!!!!!! (10)


Comment # 1774
Great company, great leadership, good golly-o-mighty a great place to work. (10)

That’s good golly-o- mighty great to hear!

Comment # 1775
Thank you for the fantastic party and the gift card. It was beyond generous! (10)

You’re very welcome!

Comment # 1776
Great holiday party! Thank you! (9)

Jimmy definitely knows how to throw a party!

Comment # 1777
Loved the Christmas Party. Very much appreciated and thank you kindly for the Red Bull, Renee! Kicking the New Year off right by being challenged to our first head to head national media test for 2016 against a new competitor in January and well up for the challenge. We’re going to kick some butt, further making cj a name that you don’t mess with. We are Mass Tort, baby! Thanks for everything and can’t wait for another awesome year! Cheers to all of our wonderful people that make this a great place to be! (9)

Cheers to you! Kick that Mass Tort butt!

Comment # 1778
Happy Holidays and all that jazz. Thanks to Jimmy & Co for an awesome Holiday party. I’m looking forward to a productive 2016. I have noticed that on certain days we run out of parking spots in both lots. Pretty much only leaving the handicap spots available. (9)

Happy Holidays! Facilities currently checks parking twice a day, which is in addition to our parking vendor monitoring. It’s rare that we run out of parking, but there is always a chance it could happen. If you ever can’t find a space, let the front desk know, and we will work out a solution.

Comment # 1779
Enjoyed the Holiday party! Looking forward to 2016! (7)

Here’s to 2016! Let’s make this a great one!

November 2015

Morale Average 8.48 – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 40 – (80% participation rate)

Comment # 1760
I’m a 10 😉 (10)


Comment # 1761
Morale super high! But things get low when people don’t wash their hands after doing b-room biz. Come on, we’re adults, nobody likes that kind of sharing. (10)

Thank you for the reminder! Sharing germs is most definitely NEVER cool.

Comment # 1762
I’m happy to work with remarkable leadership and team members! (10)


Comment # 1763 (9)

That’s Gr-r-reat!!!

Comment # 1764
Morale is good! Morale is good! Morale is good! I love to go to work! (9)

The verdict is in… Morale is good!

Comment # 1765
Thank you for Thursday & Friday off and for the delicious breakfast on Tuesday. I’m thankful to work here, thankful for awesome teammates, & thankful for opposable thumbs which among other things make it easier to add spaces into this very sentence. (9)

You’re welcome. Thumbs up!

Comment # 1766
Hi. Nekos here. I’m really worried about the well-being of our fearless FISH leader, Renee Brank. She has been forced upstairs to the loneliest office in the building and I can see her starting to lose her mind. If you go upstairs you will see strands of blond hair, obviously pulled out, all round the room. It smells of Chef Boyardee canned ravioli (a sad cry for help). Yesterday I saw her writing strange numbers and symbols on the white board upstairs (that might have been the numbers for this survey, but it is still weird never-the-less). I really think it would help the company to get her back downstairs so she doesn’t start a kill list. (9)

Hi. Renee here. While I appreciate your genuine concern for my wellbeing, I’m actually doing great and very excited about my new role. My new office just means you’ll have to come visit me more! But seriously, you’re gonna have to deal with the smell because THANK GOODNESS FOR CHEF BOYARDEE. Loveyoumeanit, Nekos!

Comment # 1767
It’s always a good day when the beer cart comes around. Have you ever thought about adding a Bota Box to the mix for the vino lovers of the group? Just a thought. Thank you for the Thanksgiving feast! (9)

Say (vi)no more. This is definitely something we can do. Great idea!

Comment # 1768
Work is really busy. I just wish my car wasn’t always so filthy! (8)

Hang in there! And we know of a place you can go. “Let me tell you, it’s always cool…”

Comment # 1769
I’m good, but I want to say this. For those of you learning BaseCamp, please remember: everyone here is trying their best to simultaneously learn and use this new tool. People are trying to figure out how best to make it work for THEM. If you’re a manager, keep in mind, that your team may have hiccups by trying to straddle email and project software. If you’re a team member, please keep in mind that your managers are working hard to stay ahead of you and keep us on track. Right now, many of us have vastly different levels of understanding about this product. That will create bumps in the road. The road will be smoother. Until then, Choose Optimism (and if you can’t do that, Project Confidence). (7)

This is a great comment and reminder. We are definitely all learning together, and while transitions can be difficult, we’ll get there!

Comment # 1770
Extremely slow. Do we seek out new clients? (6)

Our agency goal right now is to continue growing and doing more for our current client base. If work is slow for you, please let your manager know as there are others who are at full or over-capacity. Let’s work together to get you a fuller workload and help others in the process.

October 2015

Morale Average 8.15 – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 39 – (80% participation rate)

Comment # 1750
My personal morale is a 10 and work morale is a 10 too. (10)


Comment # 1751
Tinamarie here – just when you thought you wouldn’t hear from me again! 🙂 I just want to thank each and every one of you for such an incredible experience at cj Advertising over the past three years. You’re a bunch of wild, crazy, talented and caring people who made coming into work more than worth it. I will never forget how much I’ve learned from each of you and how working alongside of you has prepared me for my next step. I’m sure you’ll miss my obnoxious singing of Taylor Swift songs in the bathroom, you’re welcome. 🙂 (10)

Thank you for the kind words!

Comment # 1752
In case it hasn’t been stated enough, the flexibility of our schedules is a game changer. Thank you. (9)

You’re very welcome!

Comment # 1753
Workin’ Day & Night – MJ (9)

And I’ll be workin’ from sun up to midnight ♫

Comment # 1754
I’ve noticed that Arnie’s Palm painting is slightly higher than Jimmy’s. Has it always been that way (I don’t think it has been) and if so why? I feel they should be equal #GetJimmyHigher (9)

Facilities will look into this injustice…☺

Comment # 1755
I’m glad we provide free flu shots.
I’m sad I was out of town and missed it.
Now I’m sick. Boo.
But it’s the thought that counts. My morale is a nine with a bullet. (9)

We agree and hope you feel better ASAP!

Comment # 1756
Let the record show, my thoughts toward cj are in much higher regard than my thoughts toward Cee Lo. Keepin’ it real up in Club 300 10th Ave. S. (9)

Good to know…

Comment # 1757
Looking forward to Halloween! (8)

Nothing beats Halloween at 300 10th South.

Comment # 1758
Turnover is always hard but I am optimistic. Looking forward to Jimmy’s holiday party! (8)

We appreciate your positive attitude, and we can’t wait to see what Jimmy’s got up his sleeve this year!

Comment # 1759
Very slow in the office, but that’s great for personal development. (5)

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss

September 2015

Morale Average 8.08 – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 38 – (78% participation rate)

Comment # 1738
Going to my happy place means 300 Tenth Ave South! (10)

That’s awesome! T-shirts are on the way.

Comment # 1739
I just freakin’ love my job, dudes. (10)

Far out, man.

Comment # 1740
Only my second day but love the atmosphere here and how warm and welcoming everyone has been to me so far. (10)

Always great to hear ☺

Comment # 1741
I’ve got work to do!
so much work to do! (9)

We see you taking care of business over there…

Comment # 1742
Been a rough few weeks, but my morale is still high riding into conference. (9)

We appreciate you!

Comment # 1743
Looking forward to conference. (9)


Comment # 1744
Win/Win Idea: After Slowhand closes at 3pm, ask them to set unused coffee in a carafe outside of their door in our lobby so we can drink it. I assume they just pour it out. Instead of the coffee traveling down the drain, it could travel down my mouth hole. (9)

Great suggestion!

Comment # 1745
Let me start off by saying I’ve never put a negative comment on this morale survey, so I’m sorry about this. Today I overheard someone say “well we know that on Friday we’ll all be hung over” when talking about the Friday after cj conference. This conference is a big deal to those of us who communicate daily with our clients and have built great relationships with them over time. Because they’re all over the country and Canada, we rarely get to see them in person and I would hope that we can handle ourselves in a respectable way in front of them. How about your attitude is more like “the Friday after conference, we’re probably going to be exhausted from learning so much from the guest speakers, our clients and our coworkers who put a ton of work into the conference.” Grow up and maybe keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum so YOU’RE not hung over on Friday. (9)

We are a diverse group, and we all relieve stress in different ways… we urge everyone to “respect” yourself, our clients, and each other in everything you do.

Comment # 1746
Very frustrating to come back from a late lunch and not be able to get a parking spot in either lot. (8)

We hear you. The surrounding construction (and the accompanying workers) will continue to pose a challenge as this area grows, but the Facilities team is doing everything they can to find the best possible solutions.

Comment # 1747
No comment at this time – excited about conference. (7)

Only a few days to go!

Comment # 1748
Morale’s good, just busy. (7)

Thank you for taking the time to let us know how you’re doing this month ☺

Comment # 1749
Show me that it’s real. (6)

Care to elaborate?

August 2015

Morale Average 8.45 – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 38 – (79% participation rate)

Comment # 1727
Happiest I’ve ever been! (10)


Comment # 1728
Thank you, thank you very much. (10)

You’re welcome, Elvis.

Comment # 1729
I rate my morale a 10 for many reasons. I work with great people, enjoy the company culture, and I know how lucky I am to have a job. However, I must point out that some people are falling short of the “Respect Everyone” core value. You all don’t have to be constant rays of sunshine, but when someone makes a point to say hello or good morning to you, it might be nice to say it back once in a while. Part of respecting everyone means considering their feelings. I respect that because I’m having a bad day that it isn’t fair to make sure everyone around me does. Remember that your smile or hello may be the only warmth a person experiences in their day. Besides, it takes a lot more energy to be an asshole than to be nice. (10)

Great reminder.

Comment # 1730
Doing well, I really enjoy the new clock in the breakroom. (9)

Yea… it’s pretty legit!

Comment # 1731
I would love to sit outside in the sun and work on my laptop. Could we possibly get tables and chairs out front? (9)

Logistically speaking, it’s a no-go, but you are more than welcome to bring in a lawn chair from home!

Comment # 1732
I’m excited about the opening of Slow Hand. While the coffee is delicious, $3 seems a little steep for a regular cup of joe. I’m sure they’re not looking for my opinion, but I would support them a lot more if they made the regular brew a little less expensive. Perhaps they could give us cj folks a neighborly discount? Just a thought. (9)

All “300 10th Avenue South” companies currently receive a 10% discount. Slow Hand is an independent business though, so we encourage you to tell them what you think!

Comment # 1733
I love fun and I love cj culture, but can we have a week where we get left alone and get to work “activity free”? It could make the theme weeks/days more special when they come around. (9)

Yes, we’ll definitely work on having less fun… ☺

Comment # 1734
We’re very busy in Creative Services, but not too busy to exhibit all of our core values. Lots of teamwork, lots of people stepping up in very constructive ways. People are going the extra mile to make our clients happy and to take pressure off of fellow team members. Projecting Confidence, Choosing Optimism, Embracing Growth, Respecting Everyone. It’s all happening right now and it’s a beautiful thing to behold (if you can stop for a moment to smell the roses). P.S. The new emoticon scale for the morale ratings is cute and all, but we may need to re-calibrate it. Any entry rated a zero thru six represents “cantankerous screaming.” A seven or eight is “stoned.” And both nine and ten are apparently “laughing-gas-leak nirvana.” I chose nine, though I’m probably more of an unbaked eight. A simple smiley face would do. (9)

Hi, Kelsey here. The graphic was added in an effort to spice up the morale survey emails… but who knew an emoticon scale would cause such controversy! Lesson learned, and I’ll be sure to save the spice for my food in the future 😉

Comment # 1735
Summer is coming to an end. Tans are fading. It’s been a great season, looking forward to conference and Jimmy’s Christmas party! (8)


Comment # 1736
Excited for conference! (8)

Only five weeks to go…

Comment # 1737
Very busy, but things seem to be going well. (8)

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback!

July 2015

Morale Average 8.37 – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 38 – (84% participation rate)

Comment # 1719
Peachy. (10)


Comment # 1720
Change is inevitable! Change can be pleasant or unpleasant, it just depends what’s inside your heart. Which one do you choose? (9)

Great question…

Comment # 1721
I’ve had some personal sadness recently, and I’m especially thankful for my cj family and their concern. It’s wonderful to work with such caring people. (9)

It’s incredibly heartwarming to hear that your coworkers rallied around you during a difficult time. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Comment # 1722
Hey guys, Nekos here. First I want to say thanks for the animated lady telling me to flush the toilet. She really inspires me to give it my all! Now to business (see what I did there!) Kelsey, when using the bathroom I take the ‘John Merrick approach’. Anyone who wants to know who John Merrick is, ask a past or present Interactive member who has been here since 2011. (9)

We’re just going to subscribe to the “ignorance is bliss” philosophy for this one…

Comment # 1723
Already looking forward to Jimmy’s holiday party. WOOT. (8)

Let the countdown begin ☺

Comment # 1724
Biscuits! (8)

And sausage! And bacon! And fried chicken!

Comment # 1725
Do we really struggle this much with knowing how to use the bathroom? Let’s get it together people. (8)

For real, folks.

Comment # 1726
While I love the idea of recycling coffee grounds, there are maggots and fruit flies in that container, and I don’t love the idea of that. I’ve also noticed an increase in the office’s annoying fruit fly population, and I wonder if the coffee ground recycling bucket is responsible for producing a mutant breed of caffeinated super flies. (7)

Interestingly enough, maggots are part of the composting process. Click here to learn more.

June 2015

Morale Average 8.3 – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 44 – (88% participation rate)

Comment # 1707
Love it! Happy, happy, happy. Sometimes I wonder if this place is for real or just a social experiment that we’ll see played out on prime-time. (10)

We can assure you it’s for real for real… ☺

Comment # 1708
Jennifer is a great boss and Arnie is a great CEO. I’m very grateful for the opportunities provided by cj and look forward to the second half of 2015! (9)

Onward and upward!

Comment # 1709
I thought all of the prizes centered around the core values were great and also thank you for throwing the 4th of July shindig in the parking lot, both boost morale and are appreciated. (9)

We’re glad you enjoyed the festivities!

Comment # 1710
Thank you for BBQ 4th of July party! (9)

You’re very welcome.

Comment # 1711
1776 plus likes = one full tummy of bbq. Thank You. (9)

Jimmy always delivers on his promises ☺

Comment # 1712
So much momentum right now! (9)

Keep rocking forward!

Comment # 1713
I remember a few years back reading a morale survey comment about a break room pool table. Anymore thought going into making this a reality? I understand the balls would probably be covered in buttery popcorn/salty almond residue and go missing and Baja Mountain Dew would get spilt on the felt. But it would be cool to have. (9)

How do you feel about ping pong?

Comment # 1714
Hey, Nekos here. So the vacant/non-vacant sign outside the toilet? Is that really necessary? And if so I would like to suggest a hand sanitizer dispenser because if a person flips it back to non-vacant then they are definitely doing it with poop-finger. And I don’t wanna have any part of that. (9)

Hey Nekos, Kelsey here. We were just wondering how you open the bathroom door (from the inside)?

Comment # 1715
Cool to see a new intern – we haven’t had much growth in the company in a long time! (8)

We are thrilled to have a strong history of interns that continued to be rock stars as full-time team members. The list of current former interns includes Joe Hayden, Sarah Stanley, Alli Durfee, Claire Beadle, and Alison Hendrickson.

Comment # 1716
It’s a great summer so far, things are going well. (7)

Good to hear.

Comment # 1717
Super busy, but this is still the best place to work! (7)

We agree!

Comment # 1718
On 2 separate occasions the Interactive team has had meetings booked in advance for conference rooms. The FairShare/CW Firm has gone over their allotted time for their meetings, and ignoring those who have the room reserved at their time in advance. We’ve even had to find different rooms to conduct our meetings. Don’t they have their own meeting rooms upstairs in their new area?

I think it’s REALLY**REALLY**RUDE that they as “tenants” in our building, do not RESPECT others and our schedules/meetings/etc… just sayin’. If the tables were turned, I think they’d be fit to be tied! Can someone please let them know that we need the meeting rooms too? Maybe they don’t know the policy for scheduling….????? ~Hence my score of only 5. (5)

As a tenant, CW/FSL have the same conference room rights and usage guidelines as the rest of us. Any meeting that involves a client will take precedence over those that come before or after its occurrence. Outside of client visits, those conducting meetings are responsible for adhering to their scheduled time slot and cleaning up after their group. As backup, the front desk team is now monitoring the schedules and will step into meetings with a time reminder if needed.

May 2015

Morale Average 8.11 – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 52 – (74% participation rate)

Comment # 1695
Love the fruit and nuts. The new PTO policy appears to be working – there is less stress about taking time off and people seem to still be getting their work done. The fusion of Interactive and Production feels good and I’m excited to see where it goes. Rock on! (10)

Awesome feedback. Thank you!

Comment # 1696
Mama like! (10)


Comment # 1697
The salted almonds are a nice touch. (9)

Monthly almond orders will begin alternating between salted and unsalted, but don’t you worry! June will be salted ☺

Comment # 1698
I just hit the 5 year mark – feeling accomplished ☺ (9)

10,000 hours of hard work and contributions… Congratulations and thank you for being part of our cj family!

Comment # 1699
My morale would jump a point if people wouldn’t jiggle the handle when I’m in the bathroom stall. It makes me nervous. If the door’s locked, then someone’s in there. #dontlearntopicklocks #nomeansno #peacefulpoop (8)

Looks like Facilities is making your #peacefulpoop dreams come true! In use/vacant signs have officially been installed on the downstairs bathroom stall doors.

Comment # 1700
Thank you for such an amazing work environment! I ♥ cj!
I’m with Matt/Nekos about getting a keg. Can we have it set to where we need to use our badges to get a beer? That way) if possible) so there’s no worries about minors sneaking brews. 😉
I’d like to work from home one day a week…Things have been slow lately. (8)

Potentially innovative way to approach the keg idea… but working from home is a topic for you and your manager.

Comment # 1701
Can we get the squeaky chair(s) in the Ryman fixed? Hate having to sit in a squeaky chair for a long meeting! (8)

Consider it done.

Comment # 1702
Bring on the summer. Bring on the 401k. (7)

Summer has arrived!

Comment # 1703
Morale is pretty good. Just got a nice big project out of my way so that feels satisfying. Here’s one thing that is driving me crazy that unfortunately, ya’ll can probably do NOTHING about: construction. I’m not talking about the new building going in behind us. I’m talking about all of the buildings, all of the sewage replacement, all of the sidewalk repair, going on everywhere at the SAME FREAKING TIME. I feel like my morning commute is a gauntlet of orange cones, single lanes, and flag-waving bubbas that we have to run through, just to get in and out of this area. It begins three miles from here and doesn’t stop until I’m at my desk. Is this city incapable of coordinating multiple projects so this kind of gridlock doesn’t occur? I’m all for progress, but it looks like we’re reconstructing our city after a war or something. OK end of rant. I feel better. Thanks. (7)

Welcome to Atlanta.

Comment # 1650
I was a little disappointed with the online health plan enrollment this year. It seemed much more confusing. I had to reach out to Gallagher multiple times for assistance. On another note, I really enjoyed the News Channel 5 segment on Cj. It reminded me that the things we do here are pretty unique and made me appreciate everything we have to offer (especially when I think back to former jobs I’ve had!) Oh and unlimited paid time off definitely rocks! (7)

Overall, enrollment went pretty smoothly. We’re sorry to hear you had difficulty, but we’re glad Gallagher was able to help direct you through the process.

Comment # 1705
Loving you is complicated. (6)

And you think you’re a walk in the park? ☺ Camels sometimes stink and occasionally spit… but they’ll walk through a desert for you. Embrace the camel!

Comment # 1706
I feel weird about my 15five comments being posted on the wall with my name attached. Even though they’re positive “rocking” comments, I don’t like people knowing it was me that said it. (6)

And loving us is complicated ☺… Hey, this is an optional field in your 15five report… use it at your own discretion.

April 2015

Morale Average 8.18 – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 39 – (74% participation rate)

Comment # 1683
I have a job. I have a roof over my head. My kid is happy and healthy. If I look at all of the many people who can’t say the same, and I still choose to complain, what’s that say about my character? I love that we have a morale survey. Being heard by your employer in such a way is a gift. For all of the reasons that I mentioned and more, my morale will remain a solid 10. (10)

A little positivity goes a long way… thank you for your feedback ☺

Comment # 1684
We should all feel pretty good about seeing our company featured on the news this week! We have some pretty unique perks around here, I can’t complain. Oh and I overheard that one of cj’s Outdoor Media Buyers wants to be challenged to a push up contest? (10)

Joe Hayden, it’s time to show us what you’re made of!

Comment # 1685
Great morale with a little more humor…
Q: What do you get when you cross a librarian with a lawyer?
A: All the information you need, but you can’t understand a word of it. (10)

You’re funny 😉

Comment # 1686
Doing great! Thank you for your awesome sauce. It rocks my chicken nuggets. (9)


Comment # 1687
Things are good. Love working here. (9)


Comment # 1688
Things are pretty good! Appreciate all of the perks available to us! (8)

Great to know.

Comment # 1689
All around awesome! The conference was great, not only for the clients but the cj staff as well. It really helped solidify, in my mind, the challenges our clients deal with on a daily basis. Onward! (10)

Office 365 was the biggest software migration the IT team has ever done. On hindsight, more communication would’ve reduced frustrations… but you live and you learn. IT has been working nonstop to iron out the kinks, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the change.

Comment # 1690
I miss our team outings! 🙁 (7)

New team, new dream. Although monthly outings won’t be a part of the agency culture going forward, Creative Services will talk as a team about what is possible. Stay tuned!

Comment # 1691
Overall, cj is killing it. Really happy here. However, insurance…ouch. I don’t understand why we even have a family plan. It is just not affordable, and management even has said, “go the open market”. Here is the issue. Healthcare Reform has driven up prices, to help with this the government offers subsidies to offset the huge prices, BUT, if your company even offers ANY type of family plan, guess what…phhhh…you don’t qualify. Based on my research, this subsidy would be about 200 dollars a month for my family.

So to summarize. Cj offers an unaffordable family plan that sends us to the open market, but also disqualifies us from saving money on the open market. I know there are lot of things going on in the background I don’t know about, but I have also done my homework. I was really hoping that cj would just do away with the family plan and we could just go onto the open market for a better price and help. What am I missing here? (7)

Last year, MLG contributed close to $410,000 towards premiums… now MLG has increased its contribution towards family premiums by $125 per month in order to make family plans more affordable. If our company chose to not offer affordable coverage, we would have to pay a $2,000 government penalty per employee. For us, that’s roughly $220,000 after the first 30 employees.

Please note that there are people standing by who can do 1 on 1 meetings to help you find your perfect insurance fit outside the provided services… contact Carmen if you’d like to utilize this resource.

Comment # 1692
I appreciate the things that cj does to contribute to the awesome culture here and I frequently and specifically voice all the greatness of cj in these surveys, but it’s kind of demoralizing to think that if I have to ensure my family I’ll have to give up nearly half of my check. I know that cj can’t do much to affect health care industry costs, but it would be game-changing if 401K match, HSA match or gym allowance were possibilities. 2 of the 3 were benefits that cj’ers used to value. Thanks for listening, commenting and being pretty cool. (6)

The money that had been allotted for the things you listed is now part of the whole amount going towards our medical costs. Please see the above response for more information.

Comment # 1693
Interactive is very very quiet lately and has no direction. Wondering what the future holds for them. (6)

It may seem that way from an outsider’s perspective, but Interactive has never had more direction, more focus, or more collaboration. The team now has the time and resources to reach their goals, and quiet just means they are busy achieving them ☺

Comment # 1694
Let’s get a keg for the office, but limit it to Thursday, Friday use. That way it will be more special and we can conserve beer. We’d need a cooler, too — a Camel Keg Cooler®! (5)

A keg on tap would be more efficient, but it would also take away from the social aspect of the beer camels. Although we can’t make any promises, we will take this suggestion under advisement.

March 2015

Morale Average 7.98 – 1 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 41 – (71% participation rate)

Comment # 1666
Love cj! I am SO grateful and thankful for the unlimited (unrestricted) PTO! How amazing! Thank you to leadership! (10)

You’re welcome ☺

Comment # 1667
Really excited about the new PTO policy. I have always hoarded my vacation time so it was not an issue for me, but it really takes needed to take time off less stressful. I know that our work will reflect our appreciation! Thank you! (10)

We appreciate your feedback!

Comment # 1668
I’m rating my morale a 10 because not only am I happy to have work, but I genuinely enjoy the people around me. Although I’m freelance, the weekly structure and consistency that this job provides really makes a difference in my life. Thanks! (10)

Thank YOU for being here!

Comment # 1669
Um, yeah. (10)


Comment # 1670
Nekos here, I put a 9 because there is an obvious need for a 4-square weekly meet up in the parking lot. A place where people can meet to discuss work and slam balls. That would push me to a 10. (9)

Well, what are you waiting for? Break out some chalk and make it happen.

Comment # 1671
Keep on a rockin’ me baby!! (9)

Steve Miller Band? Nice.

Comment # 1672
While my morale is quite high, I am disappointed that nobody shares tasteful lawyer jokes. I’m CONFIDENT that you’ll roll your eyes at this one: Did you hear about the new sushi bar that exclusively caters to lawyers? It’s called, Sosumi. (9)

Ha! Keep ’em coming.

Comment # 1673
Excited by the new time off policy. Thanks for the change to the PTO program (8)

We’re glad you approve ☺

Comment # 1674
Thank you for the unlimited PTO. I’m very interested to see how the potential path to a ROWE goes. (8)

ROWE is a journey, and we’re excited about the direction we’re heading in… we encourage you to check out “Why Managing Sucks and How to Fix It” and “Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It” by Jody Thompson to gain more insight into this concept, and don’t forget to reference Greg’s recent emails for more details on the changes to our guidelines.

Comment # 1675
St. Patrick’s Day was fun! Thank you. 🙂 (8)

We’re glad you enjoyed it ☺

Comment # 1676
It’s good to be back, I’m super busy. I think I speak for everyone when I say thanks for the Good Friday vacation day. (8)

Hope you had a great break!

Comment # 1677
Ain’t got nothing to say no how really now. (8)


Comment # 1678
Poor Ozvaldo is going to have to start wearing a hazmat suit to clean the upstairs ladies bathroom. Seriously, is this how you take care of your own home?! Pro tip: if you just use a seat cover in the first place, you don’t have to pee all over the seat. TOGETHER we can prevent disgusting bathrooms. (8)

Yes we can!

Comment # 1679
Happy Summer! (7)

A little sunshine goes a long way…

Comment # 1680
Infinite/Unlimited/Unrestricted PTO = Awesome. Thanks for the trust. Results-driven outlook could lead to working remotely as meetings allow? Thank you for Good Friday off, and I appreciate the good times ahead. (7)

Yes, but it’s up to a discussion between you and your manager to determine the best solution for you.

Comment # 1681
The toilet paper in the restrooms shred quite easily when being pulled by user. (7)

Just a friendly brain teaser, courtesy of Facilities ☺

Comment # 1682
It’s pretty good (4)

A score of 4 doesn’t necessarily say “pretty good”… Please tell us more or raise the score.

February 2015

Morale Average 7.85 – 0 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 40 – (71% participation rate)

Comment # 1650
Really appreciate the flexibility with the ice and snow days. I know in the past we’ve had a more strict policy on taking PTO for these situations, but this really allowed everyone to stay home and be safe. We should never have to risk our lives for fear of losing personal days, so thank you! (9)

Everyone’s response to the critical weather confirmed that trust and respect is a much better path to the working environment we are targeting. Thank you for being a great, innovative, and resourceful team.

Comment # 1651
Thank you for keeping us safe during the ice storm. We appreciate the capability to work from home. (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1652
Thank you for letting us work from home during the snow/ice storm! It was actually a nice change of pace working from my house. (9)

Thank you for helping prove that “Work’s not where you are, it’s what you do.”

Comment # 1653
I like it, I love it, I want some more of it… It’s always nice to see so much participation in events such as Preds Pride Day and Gnash coming in was just icing on the cake. I think everyone around here is pretty amazing too, so that helps keep my morale at a healthy 9.99999 or so. ☺ (9)


Comment # 1654
Thanks for being so flexible with all the snow/ice last week! Also loved hearing that we are able to adjust the thermostats now if we get too cold. (8)

No more tundra camels ☺

Comment # 1655
Appreciate the flexibility when the roads were icy. (8)

Certainly. We appreciate yours as well!

Comment # 1656
If you want to affect change you have to take a leap of faith and do what does not make sense. Change is the polar opposite of the status quo. (8)

Keep the faith!

Comment # 1657
Thankful to be able to work from home during this crazy Nashville winter. Just wish the systems worked better (and quicker) when off-site. (8)

Our current system is being investigated, and there are initiatives under way to improve technology before the next winter event.

Comment # 1658
Thanks to cj leadership for being flexible on the snow policy. It was the right thing to do to relieve the pressure of getting out on dangerous streets or getting stuck on the way home. I was able to get some work done and keep safe. Thanks. (8)

Again, thank you for helping prove that “Work’s not where you are, it’s what you do.”

Comment # 1659
Noice. (8)

Thanks, bro.

Comment # 1660
Don’t leave your dirty dishes in the sink for Osvaldo to clean up. That makes me sad. That’s all! (8)

We agree. One of our new core values is to respect everyone, and cleaning up after yourself is a basic practice in this.

Comment # 1661
Why is the water in both bathrooms so extremely cold? Why did the water pressure in the kitchen faucets decrease? (8)

The water in the bathrooms is cold because of the extreme cold temperatures outside, and the kitchen faucets were replaced last week ☺

Comment # 1662
RIP rounded, beveled “Build Report” button from cjtrack. You always reminded me of a simpler time. (8)

“Rock Forward” my friend!

Comment # 1663
It is STILL FREEZING downstairs. Do we have a gas leak?????? lol Speaking of gas…can we get some “poo pourri” in the individual potties? > I love working at cj, and I’m *SO* thankful to be blessed to work with an amazing group of talented rockstars! For the first time in my life I am PROUD to say where I work, and what I do. ☺ The new core values are awesome! I love that everyone now has the same values. Looking forward to working closer with other teams, and talking with others I may not get the chance to talk with. ☺ AGAIN, thank you to Arnie for keeping Interactive as part of cj, and having Jennifer F as our leader. I’ve not had the chance to talk with her much, but I can see she will be so amazing for Interactive too! Keep on, keepin’ on!!!!!!!!!! Let’s ROCK 2015! 😀 (8)

As announced in this month’s staff meeting, thermostats across the building have been unlocked. Team members are free to adjust each thermostat to his or her comfort, but make sure you consult the map at each thermostat to ensure you are adjusting your own area… and please be mindful of your neighbors as well! Also, we encourage you to bring your own “poo pourri” since the company now makes a pocket sized spray

Comment # 1664
With new projects coming up, things seem to start picking up for Interactive. Hate to see JenG leave – wonder what that means for the future of the team. (7)

What we CAN tell you about the future is there will be change and there will be success… so please help us foster an environment that embraces one and creates the other!

Comment # 1665
I’m sure I’m not the only one to say this, but it is still very, very cold inside the building. If we can’t fix the heat, I’d like to second whoever made last month’s suggestion of cj-branded snuggies. (7)

Please see the response to Comment #1663.

January 2015

Morale Average 7.5 – 0 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 46 – (81% participation rate)

Comment # 1635
I feel trusted and respected in my role. You can’t beat that! (10)

We agree!

Comment # 1636
cj is a rad place to work. (10)


Comment # 1637
I just looked over cj’s 2015 Strategic Plan and had a great conversation with my department (Arnie included) about it. Simply put, this makes perfect sense. It’ll take a minute to get to where we’re going, but I’m confident we’ll get there. (10)

Excellent outlook.

Comment # 1638
I love how clean the office has been lately and that is all due to Osvaldo, but could we get him to clean the bathrooms not between 12-2? I think I speak for most people when I say that that is “Prime-time” if ya know what I mean! Maybe bump that up to 11-11:30. Peace and Duces!!! (9)

We hear you, and Facilities will discuss altering the cleaning schedule with Osvaldo… stay tuned!

Comment # 1639
Things are good! Busy, but good.. Is there any way we could bring back the honey packs that used to be in the condiment assortment? Coffee + Honey = Pure Deliciousness.. Thanks! (9)

Honey packets should always be in stock… should you run into a honey-less condiment organizer, please submit a ticket to so the team can respond accordingly.

Comment # 1640
People need to put their cell phones on vibrate during the workday. It’s a big, open space and the dinging is very distracting. In the words of one of the new core values: Respect (and be considerate of) Everyone. LOVE the new core values, by the way. (9)

Great reminder, and we LOVE your incorporation of the new core values 🙂

Comment # 1641
Kudos for promoting from within and having Jennifer Floyd take on Interactive! (8)

We are confident that Jennifer’s leadership and Interactive’s talent will be a winning combination.

Comment # 1642
Don’t look to others for encouragement. Encourage yourself! Do the best YOU can do. Choose happiness not happyMESS! (8)

Wise words!

Comment # 1643
All good. (8)


Comment # 1644
It’s too cold downstairs. But I’m happy media is down here freezing with us! I’m glad that Interactive is staying at cj and interested to see how things shake out. Side note: I enjoyed the personal anecdotes Arnie shared when he presented the new core values. Hearing those stories attached a much greater meaning to the values than any buzztastic guru-speak ever could. It was a great presentation. (8)

The last thing we want is for people to be uncomfortable, but we are wrestling a very old building to maintain ideal temperatures. Facilities has made further thermostat adjustments in hopes of combating this issue, but if you find yourself freezing again, please don’t hesitate to submit a ticket to

Comment # 1645
You guys remember that Afraid of the Dark episode “The Frozen Ghost”? If not, this link should explain my feelings: I wasn’t aware that camels could prosper in the Tundra! Might I suggest branded cj Snuggies for frostbite prevention? (8)

cj snuggies sound legit… but please see the response to comment # 1644 for temperature information.

Comment # 1646
Interactive’s team is getting smaller, and smaller… I’m sad to see their leaders (Jill and Justin) have left. 🙁 On a more positive note, their team is kickin’ a$$’s, and now they have Jennifer F to lead. For facilities….It is ****FREEZING**** downstairs EVERY SINGLE DAY! Please help! We hope to thaw before Spring… Keep on, keepin’ on! cj ROCKS as usual! 😉 (7)

Thank you for your feedback, and please see the response to comment # 1644 for temperature information.

Comment # 1647
It is always so cold downstairs. Is there anything that can be done to raise the temperature a little bit? (7)

Please see the response to comment # 1644.

Comment # 1648
Enjoying January overall. Wish Interactive had a little bit more to go on – looking forward to Jennifer’s arrival, hope she can start to steer this ship in the right direction. (6)

As stated in comment # 1641, we are confident that Jennifer’s leadership and Interactive’s talent will be a winning combination.

Comment # 1649
Remember the Golden Rule, please, and give a little grace to coworkers. You have no idea the workload of others, especially those in different departments. Before you judge or criticize just take a moment. Is that person pulling the load of three others, or maybe you don’t even know what they do besides “your stuff?” If a mistake is made, address it but show some mercy. Good people may leave just because they’re having a stressful season and coworkers/leadership aren’t understanding. Thanks. I feel better having that off my chest. (5)

We wholeheartedly agree, and this comment sparked a great conversation regarding the potential disconnect between co-workers. There are gaps in knowledge of other departments and understanding of each other’s workload, and as a small organization, we need to make a collective effort to close it. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

December 2014

Morale Average 7.49 – 5 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 41 – (72% participation rate)

Comment # 1615
Thank you for the Holiday Party! (10)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1616
Thank you, thank you very much. (10)

Elvis, is that you?

Comment # 1617
Happy! Excited about the desk reassignments. (10)

Good to know.

Comment # 1618
The extra day off last week was great! thanks for treating us like a family instead of just an employee! (9)

It was our pleasure 🙂

Comment # 1619
All gravy baby. That X Mas party was good. (9)


Comment # 1620
Even though we’ve all been extra busy the past few months and I’m sure this will continue into 2015, I think it’s awesome that we still find ways to have fun at cj. Let’s recap just this past month: the holiday party, ugly sweater day, departmental gift exchanges, gifts & goodies from our clients & stations, raising money & buying toys for families in need this holiday season, an extra day off around Christmas. Work smart, play hard, have fun. cj Rocks! Cheers to a prosperous 2015! (9)

Our culture is one of a kind!

Comment # 1621
I *LOVE* working in Interactive at cj. Hopefully the integration with our new team will be smooth. We will all miss Justin more than words can say! 🙁 My mind is open and knowing change IS a good thing, I pray our new suitor will have good leadership. We miss you Jill, and we already miss you Justin!!!!!!!

Thank you Arnie for keeping our Interactive department in our best interest. It really means a lot because I love working for cj, yet we know a move is inevitable. It helps relieve some stress knowing you’re not going to make a move unless it fits everyone! Thank you again for keeping us in mind for the long haul. 🙂 (8)

We love your positive attitude. Thank you for your feedback!

Comment # 1622
Thanks so much for the extra day off to make a long holiday weekend! (8)

Of course! A little extra R&R is good for the soul 🙂

Comment # 1623
Fun holiday party! Bringing back the photo booth was a nice touch. Now, only 9 months to Conference! 🙂 (8)

Let the countdown begin!

Comment # 1624
When are all of the moves happening? Is it just Interactive, Media & FSL moving or will Creative Services be rearranged as well? (8)

There are no plans to rearrange Creative Services, and all office moves will be wrapped up by the end of January.

Comment # 1625
From time to time, I contemplate looking for other jobs that might pay me more.

One thing I don’t want to sacrifice though is the joy I get from our culture.

I cannot imagine a work environment being too much better than this. (8)

We appreciate your honesty.

Comment # 1626
“Have you made any New Year’s resolutions Chuck?” -Peppermint Patty “You know how I always dread the whole year? Well, this time I’m only going to dread one day at a time.” -Charlie Brown (8)

We should award “Most Like Peanuts Characters” in the office… who’s our Charlie Brown?

Comment # 1627
The Christmas party was amazing. Thanks for the great food, free drinks, and opportunity to have a great time hanging out with our co-workers and their better halves. (7)

Glad you enjoyed it!

Comment # 1628
What’s happening with Interactive? What’s the status for the space formerly known as Coffee Lunch? Thank you for the holiday party. (7)

Interactive is being folded into Creative Services under Jennifer Floyd’s leadership, and the Coffee Lunch spot will most likely become additional meeting space next summer.

Comment # 1629
I still feel that the move toward consolidation with snapshot is the right direction but it is unsettling when the senior most team member is leaving at such a time. (6)

Change can often be unsettling, but we are excited for Justin and his new opportunity as well as the new direction for Interactive.

Comment # 1630
I am overloaded. My manager can see this, I’m sure, but there’s little they can do when cj policy is to pretty much do whatever the client or leadership says. Sorry to be the grinch and I’m thankful for job security in a sense… but I need SOME breathing room! (5)

It’s not our policy for our employees to be under so much stress they can’t breathe… and no one should be under stress for long periods of time. If the overload is year round rather than seasonal, we encourage you to take control of the situation. You can’t assume your manager is fully aware of the stress you’re enduring, but starting a conversation will bring him or her up to speed, and it will ultimately lead to a win-win solution.

Comment # 1631
Not there yet, but I have high hopes for the Snapshot Acquisition helping things out for Interactive. (3)

Hang in there! It’s certainly been a journey, but we’ll get to a great win-win spot soon.

Comment #

Comment # 1632
We have been told “With a few key hires, which we are currently working on, the team will be well positioned to accomplish its objectives”, but key members of the interactive department continue to leave and there have been no hiring efforts made. There has been no communication regarding which positions are a priority or a timeline of when these hires will take place. We were told the plan was to grow and build interactive to be successful before pursuing a new opportunity, but that did not happen. What is going to happen now if this new opportunity falls through like they have in the past? I’m concerned the interactive department doesn’t have the resources that are necessary to be successful. (3)

We’re committed to making these new hires, but for the short term, we have been focused on stabilizing and reorganizing the department. By the time this survey is published, more clarifying moves will have already been announced. Thank you for your patience while we worked towards the right solution.

Comment # 1633
The title (Unexpected Turns) of Arnie’s email announcing Justin’s departure, was hilarious. I’m surprised that Justin lasted as long as he did with the shit he has been dragged through face first over the past months. There is no way this should have come as a surprise to Arnie. I think we all need to high five Justin as he walks out the door for dealing with that for as long as he did. I’m going to speak for the entire Interactive department and say that Justin will truly be missed. He was an extremely valuable asset to this company and was the one constant that has held the interactive department tougher over the past years. He was smart, caring, witty, and knew how to make this ship run. If you ask me, Arnie has had the next Interactive Director sitting right in front of his face for years, and just let him walk out the door. I have been taken back when pervious employees have left, but Justin leaving has me totally distraught and I’m worried about the future of the interactive department without him. Justin, if you see this before you leave thank you so much for your support and everything you did for the web team! You kicked so much ass while you were here and I will miss you greatly. (2)

We agree Justin deserves a high five, and there is no doubt we will miss him… but we’re excited for him and his new opportunity! His departure is a big change, but it’s one that creates new opportunities and new growth for both Justin and the department.

Comment # 1634
Here’s to a better and more stable 2015. (1)

It’s a new year with endless possibilities…

November 2014

Morale Average 7.48 – 2 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 46 – (84% participation rate)

Comment # 1598
All I Want for 2015 is:

  1. Employee of the Month/Quarter Parking Spot. Or a monthly drawing? It’s getting cold and that would raise morale perhaps.

    It’s a good idea in theory, but in reality, it would create inefficient parking. Unfortunately, it’s a no go.

  2. A way to make change into dollars into change for use in the vending machine. If not automated, perhaps some simple petty cash at front desk?

    As a reminder, the micro market charges you the exact amount you owe if you use your debit or credit card. Otherwise, Avenue Bank is just down the way and several team members are happy to spot you a quarter from time to time.

  3. Steamvac the rugs – including offices/edit bays.

    This we CAN do! In fact, the entire office is steamvac-ed twice a year, in January and July. Stay tuned for a fresh rug 🙂

  4. A better way for recognizing people who don’t have a lot of facetime with other employees/clients, like editors, programmers, etc. I rarely see these people get the recognition they deserve for the work they do.

    If you know someone who has not received the recognition they deserve, step up and nominate them for next month’s staff meeting… the power is in YOUR hands!

  5. Keep it up! cj does indeed rock. (10)

    As do you… keep rocking forward.

Comment # 1599
Positive environment! Great management! Happy worker! (10)


Comment # 1600
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving; 2014 sure did fly by! I’m looking forward to Jimmy’s Holiday Party and our bonus of course. It’s still refreshing to see all the collaboration that happens here at cj, I’m fortunate to work with a bunch of A players. (9)


Comment # 1601
Thank you for the extra day off at Christmas and thank you for bringing back the Thanksgiving feast! Much appreciated. (9)

And a big thank you to the cj and LIP FiSH teams for organizing the feast!

Comment # 1602
Feeling happy and thankful that Arnie hasn’t gone through with the second deal to sell Interactive. (9)

Good to know.

Comment # 1603
Everything is going well! Still a bit confused on how Interactive is going to work out, but time will tell. On to something that has been on my mind, and that is insurance. I have insurance with cj but then I have outside insurance for my family. Our rates are going to be going up significantly at the start of the year. Like way, way up. Leaving feelings on political matters aside for the moment, but according to my research, families can get help with the Affordable Care Act with a subsidy from the government. HOWEVER, we are not eligible because there is technically a “family plan” at cj. The family plan at cj is insanely expensive and management even advised us to find an outside insurance. So my question is this, why does cj offer the family plan if it isn’t really affordable and prohibits us from getting help from the Affordable Care Act? Any rate, something I have been thinking about. Keep on keeping on. (9)

Given a variety of insurance offerings, we chose the one that would benefit the most people in our company… We do, however, evaluate our insurance plan every April, and we will evaluate in April 2015 to determine if we should discontinue offering the family plan, with the ACA subsidy in mind. If you are looking for a better option outside our company, we encourage you to consult with Bernard Health. Everyone is encouraged to use this resource, and they can help you find the best option for you and your family.

Comment # 1604
All is well, Avid Editor #1 (8)

Good to hear.

Comment # 1605
Excited about the christmas party, thanks again for doing things like this that other companies don’t. (8)

It’s our pleasure 🙂

Comment # 1606
We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us!!! Thanks for the extra day off so we could digest our Thanksgiving feast. (8)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1607
Which of you ladies is chewing tobacco anyways?? (8)


Comment # 1608
Suggestion: Fair Share Lawyers deserve their own printer. They have docs with privileged info, and they often have a lot to print. I’m sure these documents are critical. I would hate for some important papers to get picked up by mistake or go missing. (8)

We appreciate your concern, but each CW / FSL employee has a private user box set up on the printer. This enables them to manage the distribution of confidential documents while eliminating the loss of “forgotten” papers.

Comment # 1609
It has been so cold down in interactive this past month! Although I love my winter jacket, I’d love to be able to feel my toes! Is there any way we can have the temp set higher every day so we don’t have to bug facilities? 🙂 (7)

Facilities just resolved the thermostat scheduling issue, so you should be able to feel your toes again! As always, please submit a helpdesk ticket to facilities if you run into any more cold fronts.

Comment # 1610
Just when I forget our benefit situation, I talk with a friend whose company offers a matching 401k, stock options, great healthcare, better maternity/paternity leave, paid for professional development, etc. I try to look at the positives (thanks for the things you DO offer), but sometimes I just want better benefits! It occasionally feels like you just want people here for a few years instead of long term or you’d offer these things. I love it here, but this is my observation and that of anyone I speak with. (7)

We appreciate your honesty, but as a whole, our benefits are robust… what we offer may not be the perfect fit for everyone, but it’s great for many and more than comparable to companies across the nation.

Comment # 1611
I’m worried about the lack of leadership & direction in Interactive. So many people have left, and no one has been hired to fill their roles. Are the recent changes in staffing supposed to serve as a permanent solution, or just a temporary fix to the problem? (6)

With a few key hires, which we are currently working on, the team will be well positioned to accomplish its objectives. The permanency of the recent changes that has Bill and Mike working in Interactive has not yet been determined, but they jumped in and have done a great job right out of the gate. Thank you to Bill, Mike, and everyone who has worked their ass off to keep Interactive rocking… for Interactive’s statement of direction, please see the response to comment # 1614.

Comment # 1612
Lowest morale score I’ve given, but I’ll take my issues to my superior if necessary. Thank you for the Friday off. (5)

We are listening, so please let us know if there is anything we can do to raise your morale…

Comment # 1613
Excited about year end bonus! (2)

Your comment says “excited,” but your score says “not so much.” Be the change you seek!

Comment # 1614
As an Interactive team member I feel like I am on a ship that is sinking, slowly. There is no clear direction or goals for our team. I feel like “sustainability” is not a goal but a necessity for a business and it sure isn’t an aspiring reason to come into work everyday. I’m not sure if our leadership (whoever that may be) is waiting for this to blow over or slowly sink. Whichever it is makes me sad because we are team full of talented, awesome people that need a change for the better. (2)

Interactive is indeed a team full of rockstars. Our number one priority is creating stabilization for the department that will allow everyone to focus on building well designed, strongly architected, rich content websites that feature solid SEO, extraordinary brand confirmation, and unparalleled visitor conversion for our firms. This approach fully supports the agency’s and our firm’s objectives, and it creates great value for our clients. With your help and support, Interactive will emerge stronger than ever and better positioned for growth.

October 2014

Morale Average 7.27 – 5 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 45 – (82% participation rate)

Comment # 1579
I love working in such a positive and encouraging environment! Thanks for making the transition into the “real world” a great one! (10)

Looks like the “real world” ain’t so bad after all ☺

Comment # 1580
Everything continues to move in the right direction. I was so happy to read all the positive feedback from our clients in the cj performance survey. We must be doing a lot of things right! WIN-WIN!

We have such an awesome culture around here, I often brag about it to outsiders. 🙂 It’s not any one thing in particular. It’s the combination of everything: the relaxed dress code, FiSH team, CWAC, Halloween, beer, free coffee, etc. Even more than all of that, it’s the people that work here. Everyone is so positive and we all work so well together. That’s rare.

Also, I’m still riding the high of Taylor Swift’s album release. 🙂 (10)

Thank you for sharing!

Comment # 1581
I want to stay forever! : ) (10)


Comment # 1582
Really excited about the Interactive deal finally going through. After meeting with the new owners, I feel our team is in good hands. The future is bright. (10)

“Your future is only as bright as your mind is open.” – Rich Wilkins

Comment # 1583
All good. Can we take the Nerf guns from Interactive? (9)

We don’t know… can you? ☺

Comment # 1584
Happy with cj when I was hired…still happy years later. Thanks. (9)

Good to hear!

Comment # 1585
Excited for the Halloween festivities today and the changes within Interactive. I’ll miss Jill a lot but I’m excited for both her and her new adventure and us as we continue to grow as a team! 🙂 (9)


Comment # 1586
Things are great! Are there any businesses wanting to move in next door? Food or coffee? Side note: How often does someone go check on that empty space? The abandon kitchen area makes me afraid of little unwanted critters – especially since it’s been getting cold. (9)

The Coffee, Lunch. lease is being honored through June 30, 2015. If we can identify a suitable tenant before that date, we will definitely try to woo them in. In the meantime, the space is on a monthly cleaning schedule and we are researching ideas for its future.

Comment # 1587
Busy….actually really busy, but everything is good. (8)

Thank you for all your hard work!

Comment # 1588
Good and steady! (8)


Comment # 1589
I appreciate the transparency with all of the changes happening in the company. I wish some people would try to be more positive, though. Negative attitudes towards change make it hard to stay positive. (8)

“Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to success.” – Charles Glassman

Comment # 1590
I’m good enough 🙂 (8)

Now let’s transform that good enough into a great!

Comment # 1591
Very excited to see positive movement in the interactive department. Each time we meet with Eric I feel he has a better idea of what he wants the new company to look like and he’s clearly working hard to make it so. We really need some certainty and also a few new hires to backfill missing people. I’m looking forward for that to happen soon. Things are moving in the right direction! (8)

Eric remains excited about the transaction, but unfortunately, we were not able to come to an acceptable alignment on the deal. Our priority is now to stabilize, refocus, and reinforce the Interactive team within the agency. It will not be easy, but we will give the team all the resources it needs to be successful.

Comment # 1592
Everyone is really busy, and the negative attitudes are spreading through the team. Hoping for relief soon. (5)

If we know you need help, help is coming. If we don’t, please communicate specifics to management.

Comment # 1593
Feeling end of the year burnout. It has been a busy year for me and I want to take on new challenges, but get the feeling that I have reached my ceiling with this company. My current position has been relegated not in name, but in responsibility over the past year. I want to grow within the company but am getting frustrated. Don’t want to move on but feeling like a change might be necessary. Love the people, love the culture, hate being pigeon-holed. (5)

It sounds like you need to have a one-on-one conversation with your manager. If you have strengths that aren’t being taken advantage of, speak up! Tell your manager the responsibilities you’d like to take on, and explain your desire to grow within the company. This specific dialogue can give you the answers you’re looking for and help you determine which path will be your win-win.

Comment # 1594
I’m not in Interactive, but the impending sale causes me some concern. It seems strange to be selling a unit in which we’re so heavily invested as the future of the agency. Question, is this the beginning of a slow shut down of cj? I realize I probably can’t get an straight answer to this here in this forum, but I don’t really know who else to ask. (5)

The straight answer is it’s NOT the beginning of a shut down for the agency. Interactive needs a specific environment to be successful and profitable, and the sale is an attempt to get them to a place where they can reach their full potential.

Comment # 1595
I’m so busy I barely have time to think about how sad I am that we’re leaving cj. (4)


Comment # 1596
Since joining my department, every person in leadership above me has left, and no one has taken their place. Every team within the department has lost its manager + more, along with entire teams leaving. Being sold with the explanation that it is good for us and we will grow, appears to be a complete farce. There is no growth, there is only slow death. Happy Halloween. (4)

There is no slow death… we’re adjusting and changing, which is necessary in this industry. We wouldn’t even consider the sale if it wasn’t the best decision for everyone involved, and our people remain the number one priority when finding the right fit. If you truly believe any action by the company or leadership is a farce and will lead to a slow death, then you need to make a decision based on what’s best for you.

Comment # 1597
Where to start? Last month the comment that was removed did not include the name of anyone, yet it was removed? Why? Probably because this person was actually guilty of what they were called out on. If you are removing these comments, how else might you be manipulating the survey? Also, the Associate Director Interactive is resigning, I’m sure that sends a great message to the Interactive team. Jump off the sinking ship friends! (2)

The comment was removed because it clearly identified the person you were unhappy with… and all comments negatively calling out a specific individual are removed and flagged as so. These are the only edits permitted in the morale survey process. Ask the non-leadership and rotating participants in the survey review, and they will attest to this truth as well.

Comment # XXXX
No response – (4)

– Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

Comment # XXXX
No response – (4)

– Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

September 2014

Morale Average 7.76 – 1 score rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 47 – (84% participation rate)

Comment # 1560
All around awesome! The conference was great, not only for the clients but the cj staff as well. It really helped solidify, in my mind, the challenges our clients deal with on a daily basis. Onward! (10)

Great feedback- thank you for sharing!

Comment # 1561
Amazingly awesome team effort on conference 2014! (10)

It’s true! We couldn’t have pulled it off without all the remarkable teamwork.

Comment # 1562
I’m loving this place! (10)


Comment # 1563
All good folks. Conference was good, the open house the next day was great. The new venue was really good and the food was on point.

A couple of things. What is going on with Interactive? [NOTE: Comments deleted due to their personal nature…] End rant, keep up the good work. (9)

As discussed in last week’s staff meeting, Eric Satz and his team are currently taking a look at the leadership role with Interactive. Also, Facilities is aware of the “magic” parking spot, and the team is working to curb both present and future parking violators… As always, if you have any lingering questions regarding Interactive or our clients, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Arnie.

Comment # 1564
Conference was great. Now it’s Cowboy Time! (9)


Comment # 1565
Thank you for conference! It was great! (9)

Good to hear.

Comment # 1566
Thanks for the new coffee option! Much appreciated. (9)

Cheers to K-cups!

Comment # 1567
Just something to make you laugh. Love this place! “A Conference Call in Real Life” : (9)

Love it.

Comment # 1568
Conference was great this year. Shout out to Renee! Cameron Herold was my favorite speaker. Looking forward to hearing about next steps with interactive. (8)


Comment # 1569
Conference went great, I think, but I’m glad it’s over… (8)

Thank you for helping to make conference the great experience it was!

Comment # 1570
Thank you for the opportunity to give my feedback/comments on a monthly basis. (8)

You’re very welcome.

Comment # 1571
Completed my anniversary this month. Just wanted to say that I think our process for annual reviews is really good. We’ve tried several different things since I’ve been here and this is the best balance between constructive evaluation and efficiency. I also think we’ve done a good job of lining up personal goals with departmental goals. (8)

Thanks for the feedback! We appreciate it 🙂

Comment # 1572
I’m very concerned about how lean Interactive is right now. We have so few people and we somehow keep taking over responsibilities for the ones that have left.

Thank you for inviting everyone to the conference this year! I got some great ideas and good information, and the Hutton was gorgeous. The BBQ and hangout day on Friday was also a really nice gesture. I definitely work at a great place with great people!

I have one request: please consider inviting everyone to the conference social event (like the one at the Hard Rock). There are people in non-client facing positions who would really enjoy the once-a-year chance to interact and connect with the clients they work so hard for every day. I know cost is a concern, but is there a way you could make it happen? (8)

In regard to Interactive, we hear you… and we hope to have new leadership in place in the next couple months. Help is on the way, so please hold tight!

We understand your position on the conference social event, but we would like to explain our intentions behind the limitations of the Hard Rock dinner. The purpose of this event is to give our clients the opportunity to have intimate, meaningful conversations with each other… as well as vital discussions with agency members. To maintain this kind of environment, attendees are typically 2/3 clients and 1/3 us.

With that said, we do believe everyone should have a chance to mingle with our clients. Logistics and cost kept us from including this type of social event this year, but we will do our best to find a way to involve everyone next year!

Comment # 1573
Thank you for a wonderful conference. Renee did a great job putting it all together. (7)

Yup, Renee ROCKS!!

Comment # 1574
cj conference was great. Thanks for including the entire team this year. (7)

We’re glad everyone enjoyed it!

Comment # 1575
Conference was really cool – glad to get to be a part of that. I enjoyed the speakers, especially Cameron Herold. I was very disappointed with the stories I heard the day after, however. Hearing about how our clients acted and how they mistreated/abused my fellow employees is embarrassing and upsetting. (7)

Please know that every incident has been taken seriously and either has been or will be addressed accordingly.

Comment # 1576
Ok…let’s start with conference. WHAT an awesome day! I had been looking forward to it for months. 🙂 The speakers were amazing, and I enjoyed every minute. Conference was my first opportunity to meet some of the clients as well. It was so nice to shake their hands, and talk about what we here at cj do for them.

When conference ended, and Arnie said, “Thank you, we’ll see ya at Hard Rock!” That is when my (& some coworkers) feelings were hurt. Maybe I should call it disappointment…? We were NOT invited to Hard Rock. 🙁 I had asked months in advance and even at conference if we (me and a few other people) were “allowed” to attend. Every answer I got was, “The people who deal/speak directly with clients are the only people invited.” My question is this; “Can conference also be an opportunity for those who do NOT get to communicate with clients an opportunity TO communicate with clients?”

Can we make conference dinner invitations open to all those who attend conference? Some of us felt excluded from the most fun part! 🙁

Thanks again for an amazing opportunity to hear such great speakers! 🙂 (6)

Thank you for your honesty. Please see the response to comment # 1572.

Comment # 1577
I really look forward to the direction the interactive department is headed, but feel unsure and hope we’re able to stay on track with whoever ends up buying us. Lots of exciting things happening! (6)

Think positive and positive things will happen 🙂

Comment # 1578
Sad to see quality people leave the interactive team. It’s probably because they have no direction. I would jump ship if I was in their shoes too. Their instability makes me wonder about the rest of the agencies stability. What is the plan for the rest of cj for 2015? Status quo or are you also thinking of downsizing us?

Really enjoyed conference from the presentation to talking to our clients. [NOTE: Comment deleted due to its personal nature…] (3)

As far as we’re concerned, it’s not “jumping ship” if an employee leaves us for a better opportunity. We’re in the business of opening up opportunities for our employees, not closing them down. Furthermore, Jill has done a phenomenal job providing both focus and direction to the Interactive team… and any statement suggesting otherwise is simply untrue.

In 2015 and beyond, cj will focus its efforts on strengthening client relationships to true win-win partnerships by delivering on our brand promise. We are not actively looking to grow, and we are not looking to shrink. Both our employee and our client base are of a size that will allow the agency to be nimble in anticipating, and responding to, industry and market demands.

Comment # XXXX
No response – (3)

– Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

August 2014

Morale Average 7.36 – 3 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 47 – (84% participation rate)

Comment # 1541
I LOVE working here! I am in the Creative Services department. I just can’t imagine a better group of people to see every day. (10)

We LOVE that you love it here!

Comment # 1542
I am appreciative of the gentleman who’s been cleaning in the afternoons. The place looks great, and he’s friendly. Thank you for the mints. Thank you for 12/26 off…in advance. Thank you for the Conference shirt…in advance. Thank you for the huge raise I’m going to get…in advance. (10)

The gentleman goes by Ozwaldo, and he never fails to make this place sparkle. A simple thank you goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to let him know you appreciate his hard work! Also, you’re welcome… for almost everything 😉

Comment # 1543
First off…Thank you for my employment! I am so thankful and LOVE my job! It’s rewarding and I know when I get to work, the day is going to be enjoyable, awesome, and of course AMAZING. Interactive has a great bunch of people, and pretty cool camaraderie.

Kind of wondering how things are going to go for Interactive and Atiba in the first week of Sept. We’ve been told the process will be (hopefully) seamless. Does that mean we can continue to do things like we always have? For example, our monthly meeting (w beverages), and meetings outside the office (w cardgames), and monthly team building outings (always super fun)? It might be a bit premature to have an answer, as things are still to be determined…What do y’all think?

It’s great to know we’re in good hands with Justin and Jill! They ROCK! 🙂 Everyone at Atiba seem’s great too. “Keep on, keepin’ on!” 🙂 (9)

Change of plans… We are putting the Atiba-Interactive deal on hold for up to 60 days. The due diligence and ramp up took a little longer than expected, and we want to turn all of our energy towards conference in the immediate short term. During this pause, we will likely re-examine the best possible option to achieve Arnie’s three objectives:

  1. Create a solid future for the team,
  2. create a solid future for our clients’ sites, and
  3. create a financial win-win for both cj and the acquirer.

Comment # 1544
Any updates on the coffee situation? Have we ever thought about a good ’ol coffee pot that we could make ourselves? (9)

As easy as bringing back a good ‘ole coffee pot sounds, we’ve learned from experience (and many burnt pots) that we just don’t have the culture mentality to support it… or a person to manage it 24/7. However, after some diligent research, there IS a coffee solution in the works. Stay tuned as Facilities works out the details 🙂

Comment # 1545
Only knocked a point because of pre-conference stress. cj rocks as usual. (9)

Thank you for all you do!

Comment # 1546
Still getting into the swing of things but I love working here so far! (9)


Comment # 1547
Can we instate a “no talking on your cell phones” while in the bathroom rule? It’s uncomfortable aaaand pretty gross for all parties involved. (9)

Nasty. Although we can’t actually instate a “no phone rule” in the restrooms, we would like to remind everyone that there is such a thing as bathroom etiquette

Comment # 1548
As usual, my morale is a strong 9.

I’m going to brag on my department for a minute because we tend to not speak up and do that for one another as often as we should. We often think that everything we do is just “part of our job” and so we don’t expect much recognition from anyone. I think sometimes what we do as a department might go unnoticed, unrecognized and/or misunderstood by people outside our department. Despite the many changes of our department and our agency (we really do embrace change & always roll with it) and having fewer people to handle about the same workload (I’m not complaining, hello opportunity), what remains is a small group of smart-working and highly dedicated people who don’t shy away from a challenge or anything that gets thrown our way. Even if it’s not our fault, it becomes our problem and we accept this. We exemplify cj’s core values on a daily basis and we’re proud of our agency. Our department is made up of rockers and I can’t think of a better group of people for cj Advertising’s Client Services team.

I understand that all departments have experienced change and we have fewer people with more responsibilities than we did a year ago and everyone still bust their humps, but I just wanted to give a special shout out on the morale survey to the whole Client Services team. And because it would be unfair if we all got $10 at the staff meeting. Y’all rock and you keep my morale teetering between a 9 and 10. Yes, I’m tootin’ our horns. 🙂

Also, it’s football season (let’s go G-Men!) and we have an extra day off around Christmas, at the very least, we should all be happy about that. Life is good! (9)

Thank you for viewing change as an opportunity. Life IS good, and we appreciate you taking the time to share your positive outlook.

Comment # 1549
Thanks for the extra day off this year! Looking forward to conference! (8)/p>


Comment # 1550
I can’t think of anything snarky to say. Keep on keeping on (8)

Hallelujah 🙂

Comment # 1551
What do all of the initials stand for in Arnie’s signature? BHS UM EO / CJA LIP MVS MLG BBC / HB BM SM KM / SSC RRR (7)

(It’s a great conversation starter… Arnie’s happy to explain- just ask next time you see him!)

Comment # 1552
We used to get notes after the company staff meetings. It would be nice to receive those again, especially if you missed the monthly meeting. (7)

Thank you for your comment! We will discuss this further with the communications team.

Comment # 1553
The initial shock of the buy-out has worn off and I’m now just riding the wave into Atiba land. Looking forward to this change, really. (7)

Please see the response to comment # 1543.

Comment # 1554
I’m feeling really unsure of the future, there have been no answers to questions that have been asked for the whole month. (7)

Please see the response to comment # 1543.

Comment # 1555
Ok (7)


Comment # 1556
Things are a little weird with all the changes going on in Interactive. Change is scary – but it can be good! Just seems like there are still a lot of uncertainties and unanswered questions. (6)

Please see the response to comment # 1543.

Comment # 1557
Usually, I rate my morale higher. With us scaling back and interactive leaving, the overall culture here seems kind of paralyzed. I have done zilch to improve this on my own, but am pretty busy at the moment. (6)

We believe conference, teamwork, and a little bit of time will help us get back on track with both our culture and morale.

Comment # 1558
Once again, they’re trying to do too much in too short a time period. Thanks for Friday after Christmas off! (5)

Who are they, what are they trying to do, and what is their timeline?

Comment # 1559
Frustrated. I get that Arnie didn’t want to deal with the Interactive department anymore, but I’m not sure selling us to Atiba was the best move. We are constantly told that Atiba has no idea what their plan is. Really? You are acquiring a company and you don’t have a plan? Give me a break! The only reason that this is not a 1 is because I really like all of the people I work with in the Interactive department. (2)

Thank you for your feedback. Please see the response to comment # 1543 for more information.

Comment # XXXX
No response – (4)

– Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

Comment # XXXX
No response – (3)

– Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

July 2014

Morale Average 7.37 – 3 scores rated a 4 or below

Total Number of Participants 46 – (79% participation rate)

Comment # 1523
No need for a fancy coffee machine, just happy to be here. (10)

Glad to hear it!

Comment # 1524
Creative Services just plain rocks these days… (10)

It’s true!

Comment # 1525
Recognition goes a long way – thank you! (9)


Comment # 1526
Parking lot looks great! Now can we have Terry Tate Office Linebacker work parking lot duty to ensure people stay between the very apparent lines? Thanks for free coffee and free outbound mail! (9)

If only! Terry Tate would be the ultimate enforcer… 🙂

Comment # 1527
Thanks for everything you do to make this a great place to work! (9)

You’re welcome!

Comment # 1528
“As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.” And what an adventure it is 🙂 (9)


Comment # 1529
I ∗LOVE∗ cj and our culture here! Coming to work everyday is enjoyable, and we have a great team! 🙂 It’s a bit scary treading waters of the somewhat “unknown” new/possible purchase of the Interactive department. Change is inevitable and for Interactive to grow independently, the news is good. Hopefully we can ALL keep our jobs!!!!!!!! That’s where the stress lies… Hopefully the new owner will be open to our culture and we can bring that with us as well! 🙂 ~Cheers to change and growth! (8)

We love your attitude and applaud your positive perspective in a time of immense change. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Comment # 1530
The morale is so good that someone has been singing in full voice in women’s restroom. I’ve never been so entertained while peeing. (8)


Comment # 1531
Rock and roll! Couple of things, can we get those latches to open the door with your feet so we don’t have to the touch the handles. Also, there has been some really gross pans, trash and other things in the kitchen in the morning. I don’t mean to point fingers at anyone…but I am pointing my finger at LIP overnight crew. Keep on keeping on. (8)

There are currently foot door openers in the upstairs restrooms. The downstairs restroom doors swing from the opposite direction, so you can open both doors with your elbow or your back. Unfortunately, the back stairwell doors can’t support these openers due to the weight and swing of the door. We do, however, have an open front staircase that doesn’t require the use of handles 🙂

Also, thank you for pointing out the kitchen conditions. As a reminder, all employees agree to comply with ‘Break Room Expectations’ upon signing the company handbook. Please be respectful of the kitchen area and your co-workers, and clean up after yourself!

Comment # 1532
Things are still slowly getting better. Thank you all for what you do. (7)

Thanks for hanging in there… and thank YOU for all you do!

Comment # 1533
It would be great if we could get a better projector/screen in the Ryman. Every time we try to project something up there, the colors are off and you can’t see what you would actually see on a computer. It makes it hard to put color in any presentation. (7)

IT has ordered a new projector lamp, which will be installed upon delivery. As a technical note, please keep in mind that a projected screen does have limitations and will never be a perfect reproduction of what’s seen on your computer screen.

Comment # 1534
Can we get some mints upstairs? (7)

Although this is a radical idea, we’ve decided to experiment with it… check out the new mint supply located on the kitchen counter!

Comment # 1535
I realize this is no longer an issue at the agency but wanted to make sure it’s not a cause for future concern in other departments. If company policy says that spouses and people in relationships can’t work as direct reports, then why was an exception made? Has this policy changed? (6)

Our company policies act as guidelines, and we take ample time to asses each situation that strays from the norm. The employee in question was initially hired on a temporary basis, but when the position became permanent, he reported to someone other than his spouse. The policy remains the same, but we will continue to evaluate it on a case-by-case basis.

Comment # 1536
A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke (6)

Powerful song.

Comment # 1537
Super busy. (6)

Thank you for taking the time to participate!

Comment # 1538
With numerous people in the dept. leaving and very few joining us – it feels like the Interactive Dept. has lost all semblance of being a ‘team’. Each day I feel more confident that Interactive independence is not going to go through. After the director, 1/2 of our client relations, and nearly every team manager has left it feels as if the dream is dead. We’re a skeleton crew pretending that we’re not. Our flexible work environment seems to be getting less and less flexible and more focused on minutes and hours than the final deliverable. (5)

We hear you, and we believe we’ve found a win-win solution with Atiba’s partnership. Please see the response below for more information.

[NOTE: The following comments will be addressed in one response below]

Comment # 1539
Getting sold to an IT company is a pretty crappy feeling. I feel like there is a red-headed step-child joke that could be added here, but I’m not really in a joking mood. Really wish leadership would have trusted Jill and Justin to make this thing work, instead of just selling us off. Maybe you should provide us with more free beer more often where we don’t totally feel unwanted. (3)

Comment # 1540
Weird time for interactive, man. (This is specifically in reference to the selling of us to Atiba. I know it might be for the better, but it’s still weird thus the low score. Also, would be cooler if Abita.) (2)

We understand your concerns, but we urge you to not create fear out of uncertainty. We have worked diligently to create an opportunity that we believe will give this department the best possible chance of success as an independent entity. This change is about giving Interactive the chance to do what it does best without barriers… Atiba can provide the resources and focus Interactive needs to move towards the ultimate win-win situation. As we get closer to the transaction stage (September 1), please know that each of you remain our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Interactive’s course, don’t hesitate to reach out to Arnie directly.

Comment # XXXX
No response – (3)

– Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

June 2014

Morale Average – 7.76

Total Number of Participants – 54

Comment # 1500
I love cj. The new coffee machine…not so much. (10)

The Facilities Department is evaluating alternative coffee solutions. In the meantime, you can help Facilities diagnose the frequency and type of current machine issues by leaving a quick comment on the coffee station log when you receive a less than awesome cup of coffee…

Comment # 1501
Bath. Tub. – Nekos (10)

Dyson. Airblade.

Comment # 1502
Pee on the toilet seat (and floor, I think) less than 10 minutes after the midday cleaning? C’MON LADIES, WE’RE BETTER THAN THIS! …Also, I love Jimmy. (9)

We love Jimmy too! And ladies, toilet seat covers are you friend 🙂

Comment # 1503
Unreasonable wishlist of things that would make an already awesome workplace more awesome:

  • Adjustable desks (stand/sit)
  • More natural light
  • More casual workspaces. (Window seats? comfy chairs?)
  • Lower cube walls. Or no cube walls.
  • Plants
  • Massages
  • An extra half second longer before the entry door re-locks after you scan your card
  • Company retreat in New Orleans. Has nothing to do with Bourbon Street, we all just really really want to hang out with Chad Dudley.
  • Work from home Wednesdays
  • Pneumatic tubes that deliver your order from coffee lunch.
  • Shade over the picnic tables outside

Just a few recent/new things I love:

  • Getting vacation time up front. It’s great!
  • World Cup Soccer on the TVs
  • Sending us home before bad weather. Very considerate and makes me feel valued.
  • Basement cleanout. Got some great stuff!
  • Renee’s Huddle notes
  • the new vending area/system. Has lots of great choices, it’s convenient, I love it!

Although your unreasonable wish list is… well, (mostly) unreasonable… adding shade to the outside picnic tables is on Arnie’s own wish list. We can’t guarantee an installment, but it’s definitely in line to be researched!

Comment # 1504
It’s wonderful to enjoy coming to work! The environment, culture, and people, help to make work FUN! 🙂 I’m especially looking forward to developments pick for our department outing this month! Trampoline DodgeBall?! WHAT?! Ohhhhhh yeah! (9)

Culture Rocks! Glad you’re here ☺

Comment # 1505
It’s great to know that I can go on vacation and my team has my back and doesn’t let anything fall through the cracks…I’m looking at you Media Department! You guys ROCK!! (9)

It’s true- Media ROCKS!!

Comment # 1506
“Always laugh when you can, it’s cheap medicine.” -Lord Byron (9)

It’s not just cheap, it’s FREE!

Comment # 1507
Heels Kickin’ Happy!!! (9)

Be careful with those feet, we don’t want a liability on our hands ☺

Comment # 1508
GO USA! Beat Germany like we did in WWI and WWII! (9)

Did you jinx us?

Comment # 1509
All’s good right meow! Thanks for July 4th, and happy b’day America!

‘MURICA only turns 238 once! Hope everyone enjoyed the break… meow back to work!

Comment # 1510
All these babies make me happy happy. (8)

Comment # 1511
I love free coffee but the coffee from this vendor seems to taste like chemicals. I’m not reassured when I see them open the machine and it’s all fine powder in there. Can we get something with real coffee grounds so I don’t have to worry that it’s poisoning us? (8)

We hear you. Please see comment # 1500 for an update on the coffee machines.

Comment # 1512
All good here! However…I am sure you have already heard, but unfortunately the coffee is just really bad. Far be it from me to complain about free coffee, but I just can’t drink it. Once I found out it came from a weird bag like a fountain drink, I had to tap out. I don’t know what the solution is, because I am very grateful that you found a way to get free coffee, but it’s just not for me. Also, the World Cup games on the TV’s have been awesome. USA! USA! USA! (8)

Thank you for the feedback. Please see comment # 1500 for an update on the coffee machines.

Comment # 1513
I really love having the empty offices downstairs that us cube farmers can use as-needed. It might not have been planned, but they’re a great addition to the workspace—flexible, shared office space that provides an office-on-demand for those of us who don’t need an office *all* of the time, but could really use one *some* of the time.

They’re just right for informal, small meetings on-the-fly without booking a meeting room. And sometimes you need a quiet place to focus on something without being interrupted, so it’s great to go in there and close the door for an hour! They’re also great if you need a change of scenery to jumpstart creativity, or shake off that icky “I haven’t moved from my desk all day” feeling by working next to a window.

Anyway, they’re awesome, and I’d really like to keep them as a flexible space. Is that possible/practical? (8)

We actually love the idea of flex office space. Interactive recently created a departmental meeting space in Office 139, but we agree that ALL cube farmers should have access to a shared workspace for those *some* of the time moments. This comment sparked our interest, so you can rest assured that this is on our radar for further discussion…

Comment # 1514
Good things are happening. (8)

Glad to hear it!

Comment # 1515
I’ve been meaning to say this for a while, but I really appreciate the change in format to the staff meetings. I feel like there is now time to really dig in and ask questions regarding cj and have meaningful discussions. I think it’s a win-win. Thank you! (8)

We are in total agreement. And thank you for letting us know… win-win’s on the home front are just as important as the wins with our clients.

Comment # 1516
I love how everyone is coming together and pushing projects forward and seeking wins for our clients. There is a renewed sense of energy and ownership in Interactive. (8)

Interactive has undoubtedly Rocked through the recent transitions. Thank you ALL for your patience and perseverance.

Comment # 1517
As Christmas in July approaches, let’s talk Christmas vacation this year. Are we going to have the week off? (7)

The wheels are turnin’ in that brain of Arnie’s…

Comment # 1518
Definitely appreciate the support from Arnie as we go through different transitions in the organization. (7)

Change is constant, but so is Arnie’s support ☺

Comment # 1519
Taking a bath in the men’s bathroom seems unnecessary. Maybe we could get some showers??? (7)

There’s a hose outside?

Comment # 1520
stop asking me to take the survey – if I have something to say I will. (6)

Really? It’s one question once a month, and the monthly morale survey has been a core element of our culture since 2007. If we don’t ask, how will we improve? How will your voice be heard when you DO have something to say? Please note the comment section is optional, but we always strive for 100% score participation.

Comment # 1521
It looked like things were going to get better, but instead they’ve gotten a lot worse. There’s more work being added, and less people to do the work. I understand they’re trying to be efficient, but when we’re already barely keeping up it just adds to the stress and hours. Please get us a leader and some help. (5)

As far as we know, we have resolved the remaining workload distribution and transitional issues. However, if you feel you‘ve been overlooked, please reach out to your manager immediately. We agree that no one should have to work under these conditions, but we can’t help you if you don’t speak up!

Comment # 1522
Communication is often weak, so it is hard to feel connected. (5)

Strong, consistent communication is the key to success within each team, department, and company—and it’s crucial across companies. If there’s a weak spot we’re not aware of, please let us know! We’re open to suggestions, but unfortunately, we can’t mend this communication gap without more specific information.

May 2014

Morale Average – 7.63

Total Number of Participants – 51

Comment # 1475
My morale is the best it’s been in a while. I’m really excited for the future direction of interactive! (10)

Good to hear!

Comment # 1476
The turtle continues to move forward! Hail the power of progress! (10)

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. – Confucius

Comment # 1477
All is good. Only one way to celebrate…meatloaf (the food, not the singer.) (10)

Great! Enjoy your loaf of meat 🙂

Comment # 1478
Dyson airblade, squatting toilet, bathtub. And the girl from 4E. (10)

Click here to read a comparative study of three different hand drying methods: paper towel, warm air dryer, jet air dryer. Hint: Paper towels schooled the Dyson Airblade in hygiene.

As for the squatting toilet, you can purchase a squatty potty toilet stool for $24.99 at your local Bed Bath & Beyond. The bathtub remains a solid no, and Holly Lynch wouldn’t return our calls…

Comment # 1479
Extremely glad about Jennifer Floyd’s new title! Well deserved. Client Services is better than ever thanks to her creativity and strong leadership skills. It’s a privilege to work with her. (9)

We couldn’t agree more! Jennifer Floyd is a true leader, and her new title accurately reflects our confidence in her abilities

Comment # 1480
Fantastic company to work for. cj has a great culture and recognizes its employees for their hard work. In my experience, pay & raises have been generous, especially in this day and age, and I’m truly grateful for that. I was wondering, though, if cj has planned some kind of salary cap in the future. (9)

Thank you for the kind words! To answer your question, there are no plans to limit the earning potential of our team members.

Comment # 1481
Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. Not enough love in the world for Jimmy. He’s just the best. He deserves recognition all the time, ’cause he is nice and wonderful. Sincerely, Nekos Barnes (haha, jk). (9)

And thanks to you, Jimmy is now up to speed on his chat acronyms 🙂

Comment # 1482
Jimmy is the best. And really, isn’t that all that matters? (9)

Jimmy Bewley for President 2016!

Comment # 1483
“If you don’t like something, change it, if you can’t change it, change your attitude.” and “Don’t bring negative to my door.” – Maya Angelou
Everything is pretty great. (9)

Excellent quote.

Comment # 1484
Happy, Happy. 🙂 (9)

Pharrell called, he wants his emotion back. (But don’t give it to him!)

Comment # 1485
Lots of change in Interactive, but I’m excited about the future! Speaking of the future, the new Dyson Airblade is 50% quieter. It’s been acoustically re-engineered to reduce noise. (9)

Paper towels are still 100% quieter 😉

Comment # 1486
A lot of changes in Interactive and things are crazy, but I’m really happy with the way everyone has stepped up and psyched about the opportunity to take on new responsibilities. (8)

Positive attitudes are infectious… we appreciate you!

Comment # 1487
Busy (as hell). (8)

Work hard, play hard 🙂

Comment # 1488
My morale is still high, but I am starting to feel the effects of being over worked while not being compensated for it. I know there are several of us that have taken on more responsibilities and I wish that it was recognized monetarily. We have lost several people with no intentions of rehiring for those positions. Why can’t some of the money saved be given to those who have taken on more?

I love working for cj, but I just wish there was more of a work/pay balance. (8)

We can confidently tell you that we don’t want you to feel overworked, undercompensated, or taken advantage of… but this is probably not the best venue to affect the change you seek. Try this instead… go to your manager and say, “Hey… I am feeling overworked, undercompensated, and much put upon.” Then ask for a plan to correct the problem. If unsuccessful, repeat as often as necessary for your voice to be heard.

Comment # 1489
“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” –Patrick Overton (8)

Great perspective.

Comment # 1490
Arnie still doesn’t know my name after several years. (8)
Sincerely, “Sir”

Actually, Arnie probably does know your name… He just has trouble linking your name and your face when he sees you. He has struggled with this issue all his life, and he freely admits that this facial recognition problem can create an awkward moment (or three) from time to time. Please know this… it’s not you, it’s him. He’s often embarrassed by this shortcoming, because he definitely does not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Try to give him a break (or three), but if you must, speak up! Say something like, “Hey man, my name is Jimmy, and I’m gonna tell you that every time I see you until you say ‘Hey Jimmy!’ when you see me.” It’s either that or nametags for everyone… forever 🙂

Comment # 1491
I’m busier than usual, but less stressed thanks to support from my department and constant communication! (8)

That’s what we like to hear!

Comment # 1492
Doing good 🙂 (8)


Comment # 1493
I would marked an eight but I went into the ladies restroom the other day and Arnie was hanging out in there. Too creepy! Please don’t do that again. (7)

Consider yourself lucky. Arnie’s face has been hanging out in the 2nd floor men’s bathroom for 4 years…

Comment # 1494
With all the recent staffing changes things seem a little uncertain. Does the rate of turnover concern everyone on leadership? (7)

As previously mentioned, 500+ employees have come in and out of our doors since 1994, and more will continue to do the same. It’s important to note that the vast majority of departures in the past 6-12 months are due to life and career path changes, as well as great opportunities with other companies…

We believe everyone is on their way somewhere, and we are thrilled for everyone to get where they are going. We are proud to be a part of each employee’s journey, and we believe in celebrating a person’s achievements and emerging opportunities rather than fearing the resulting change. Yes, change can be difficult, but change is good. Change is great! Change is new opportunities, new challenges, and new growth. Only those that face change can conquer it 🙂

Comment # 1495
Disappointing that our Director left on such short notice and without saying goodbye to his team of almost two years. I guess maybe it was the right decision for everyone. Excited to see what the future holds. (7)

We understand how you feel. Unfortunately, we can’t speak for Neil or his decision to not say goodbye prior to his departure. We can, however, encourage you to hold onto that excitement and continue to guide Interactive towards a bright future!

Comment # 1496
Middle of the road. Not completely crappy, but not amazing either. Cant prevent people from leaving, but maybe if we had better benefits, more competitive compensation, unlimited PTO, more portability, this would not be such a huge problem. Other companies that are our size do it, not sure why we can’t. Hoping that things get better from here on out. (5)

Thank you for the feedback. It sounds like you might be describing a ROW workplace, which has been discussed in the past and is high on our radar for the future.

Comment # 1497
I wish we had the amazing facilities department we use to have. Front desk closing early, squeaky falling apart conference room chairs, unregulated temperatures, bathrooms closed, water fountain that wont shut off. The list could go on. (5)

We still do have an amazing Facilities Team! Although names and faces will change over time, the department is committed to continuing their mission: Keeping the Property Safe, Clean, Comfortable, Informed and Well-equipped, 24-7-365. Regarding the issues listed in the comment:

  • The front desk has closed early twice in 2014, due to circumstances beyond the department’s control. As mentioned in the notification email that is sent out regarding the early closings, please contact Margaret Lantz ( if the early closing will cause you any issues.
  • We “literally” hear you! New conference chairs are on the horizon, and the project is expected to take place during the 3rd or 4th quarter. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, we’ve purchased stock in WD-40 🙂
  • Although it might seem that temperatures are not regulated, they are. Each thermostat requires a passcode to access, which allows temperatures to follow a regulated schedule. Facilities even has a spreadsheet dedicated to tracking individual temperature settings by the hour and day of the week. Please email if you need a temperature adjustment in your work area.
  • We aren’t aware of any restroom closings (other than the mid-day, Mon-Fri cleaning), except the first floor men’s restroom, which has been closed twice to both repair and replace a toilet. Don’t forget: there is a second men’s restroom upstairs, conveniently located next to the elevator.
  • Facilities is not aware of a water fountain that won’t shut off, but for that and any other items on the “list that goes on and on,” we encourage you to email so the list can be taken care of ASAP!

Comment # 1498
With so many leaving (Neil) and job offers coming in from different angles it is hard to keep your head in the game :/ (5)

We appreciate your honesty. Although we don’t want to lose you (or anybody for that matter!), we encourage you to do what’s best for you.

Comment # 1499
The boat seems to be leaking worse than the Titanic. Should I swim for it now or hang on and hope for salvation? (3)

Our best advice is to hang in there. Better opportunities await those that forgo jumping ship during challenging intervals… so channel your inner Rose and cling tight to that little wooden board while Leadership evaluates efficiencies and devises more profitable, long-term solutions. Given a little time and some TLC, our boat will be leak free and better than ever! (4)

Comment # XXXX
– No response

Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

April 2014

Morale Average – 7.22

Total Number of Participants – 58

Comment # 1452
Still a great place to work, going on 4yrs, thank you. (9)

We’re lucky to have you!

Comment # 1453
Good job on the breakroom change. Facilities is always doing it right! (9)

Thank you!

Comment # 1454
Nekos again.
Thank you for solving the fruit situation. The apples are delicious and I even spotted a orange or two last Wednesday. I am also a big fan of the new Avenue C vending system. It has every candy I love. Bow Wow Wow! (9)

♫ We know a guy who’s tough, but sweet…

Comment # 1455
Hey guys, Nekos here again. First off I just wanted to say thanks to MLG for diversifying the front desk fruit bowl. As a proud black man and a diabetic I appreciate the apples—their still no oranges, but the crisp sugary exterior is funner to crunch into than those flaccid bananas. But there’s a new beef I got this time around. We need a bath tub! or some place to hose off. As a daily biker I feel like a quick hose down would do my body right. Ya feel me? You could set up cameras around it too to cut down on the hanky panky. Cus #tublife is a legit need and I want it to be done proper. (9)

Using false identification is a Class C misdemeanor in Tennessee… JUS’ SAYIN!

Comment # 1456
I appreciate the concern of our safety by letting us leave early when bad weather happens. Y’all are so sweet. 🙂 (9)

We have our moments ☺

Comment # 1457
I love Jimmy. He is the best of all time. (9)


Comment # 1458
In honor of National Poetry Month: The Real Work by Wendell Berry
It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings. (9)


Comment # 1459
The thing that chips away at my morale are the petty complaints that people bring to this survey. Not the big issues, the complaints about the perks not being perky enough. C’mon people, we have it good!(8)


Comment # 1460
Things are going well, but there seem to be a lot of personnel changes, both coming and going. (8)

The only constant in life is change… might as well embrace it!

Comment # 1461
cj has had it’s ups and downs but overall you guys are great! (8)

Stop it, you’re making us blush ☺

Comment # 1462
Enjoy the agency. Enjoy the culture. Kinda concerned with so many folks leaving and so few people replacing them. Appreciate this forum & the honesty. Thanks. (8)

We understand your concern, but we remain excited for the internal opportunities these departures have created. However, in the interest of not burning out our employees, we encourage you to start a discussion with your manager if your workload becomes unmanageable.

Comment # 1463
I love the new kitchen. It’s nice to know we have more options. The speed of having free coffee is great, but is there any way to increase the strength of the coffee? I use the “bold’ option exclusively, but it’s still very bland and weak. The mild and medium options are way too watery. (8)

Thank you for the feedback! Facilities has contacted our coffee vendor about increasing the strength of the bold option. If it’s still not up to par, please reach out to Margaret Lantz.

Comment # 1464
Good call on the coffee! Can we make it a little stronger? Don’t bring that weak coffee round’ here! Kinda meh on Avenue C. It is more choices, but pricey. I went from using the vending machines to not using any Ave C. Little disappointed that cj isn’t contributing to HSA anymore, so it goes.
Other than that, all good. What’s up with the Hiller guys? Have they just moved in? (8)

Please refer to the response above for a coffee update. We’re also sorry to hear you don’t like the new market.
As for HSA contributions, we decided to put all healthcare expenditures into one single amount that is paid towards each employee’s coverage, which is $300/month. Last year the company contributed roughly $278 per employee per month on healthcare benefits, which included any contributions towards funding HSA plans. By increasing the benefit from $278 to $300, overall plan costs will be lower for employees, the savings from which can be used towards funding an employee’s HSA account should he/she choose.
Hiller hasn’t officially moved in, but they are in talks with Jimmy to acquire office space in the building. Kidding! Hiller has been essential in getting Facilities back on track during a significant transitional period. You haven’t seen the last of them either, since they are now the first call for all our plumbing needs.

Comment # 1465
All of this he said, she said blah blah blah. How about shuttin the hell up and going back to work? (7)

Where’s Ke$ha when you need her…

Comment # 1466
What be up with the NSA crap going on in the kitchen? Infrared cameras? Thumbprint scanners? What’s next? Metal detectors? All to protect a some boxes of Snickers and a few lonely packs of Twinkies? I can read – I be smart. Don’t try to fool me with that “Cameras are installed for your protection” PSA hanging up – them cameras were installed for the protection of the food! It’s a sad state of affairs when your company cares more about a pack of Skittles than us hard working homies!
Also, I’d like a tub. Rub a dub dub, can a get a tub up in hurr? If I’m going to be spied upon by the all-powerful snack agency, I’d at least like to look my bestest and feel refreshed.
Oh yeah… and where are we at on squatting toilets? (7)

All food, beverages, product displays, and security measures in the kitchen are provided by our new vendor, Five Star. MLG makes ZERO profit from sales in this market, nor did we purchase any items for it. We just provided the space and enthusiasm ☺

Comment # 1467
Love the new food options in the break room! (7)

We love that you love it!

Comment # 1468
Still busy, thats always a good thing. (7)

Keep up the hard work!

Comment # 1469
Bathtub. (7)

Dyson Airblade.

Comment # 1470
Love the new break room area, but so disappointed that 25 cent sodas have gone away. Free coffee is great, except for those people that don’t drink coffee. (7)

You forgot water! It’s free, too ☺

Comment # 1471
I really appreciate cj letting us go home early on Monday for the storms. I know that’s not the traditional cj way, but it shows employees that there’s a human element behind the wheel that cares about safety and smart choices. Thank you. (6)

Contrary to popular belief, we are human! Well, most of us…

Comment # 1472
I’m feeling micromanaged by my “manager.” If we were hired for our specialty, please trust we know what we’re doing. Picking apart our work, especially parts that don’t particularly matter or are very subjective, is really exhausting. (5)

We agree that’s no way to work, but after some debate, we wonder if this “manager” is micromanaging on a conscious level. Will this person even know the comment is about them when they read it? If not, we encourage you to take a direct approach. Help them help you! But if you don’t feel comfortable speaking with your manager or a director, please reach out to someone you can communicate with.

Comment # 1473
Why do we still insist on putting these moral surveys on our website and in the lobby? Some of the comments are good, but I’ve heard that potential new hires have asked about some of the more negative comments. I understand you want to convey transparency, but airing our dirty laundry just does not seem right. This is private information that should only be shared internally. More people might be willing to provide feedback if they know its not going to be published on our website. (5)

There are definite pros and cons of posting the morale survey comments on these forums, and we agree that this may be worth discussing further.

Comment # 1474
Meh (5)


Comment # XXXX
No response – (4)

– Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

Comment # XXXX
No response – (4)

– Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

March 2014

Morale Average 7.40

Total Number of Participants – 47

Comment # 1441
9…Because I’m happy, clap along if you feel like a room without a roof, because I’m happy… This song will make you feel, you guessed it, happy. 🙂 (9)

Yes, we feel happy! Thanks. ☺

Comment # 1442
Thank you! (9) ☺

Comment # 1443
Hey guys, Nekos here. I love the fact that MLG provides fruit for all the employees, but in the last 4 months the fruit situation has become dire (i.e. the lack of fruit choices.) We used to have a variety of different fruits and now we just have bananas. I thought this was cj, not Donkey Kong Country. I have heard that the reason is that bananas are easy to open and are not as challenging as apples and oranges. To that I say, are you f***in serious! It’s an orange. Don’t let your lack of dexterity lead to others having hyperkalemia. I need citrus, I need vitamin D. We can still have bananas just throw in an orange or two. Let not one monkey stop the show (of fruits). (9)

As you probably know, according to, the banana is “quite possibly, the world’s most perfect food”. AND… there were other practical reasons we narrowed our offering to just bananas. However, because of your comment we will reevaluate our banana fruit plan to see if we can’t add some variety. Thanks for the feedback!

Comment # 1444
BUSY! so back to it! (8)

We appreciate your participation.

Comment # 1445
PSA Announcement: Please note that the parking lots are ONE WAY! For the safety of everyone, please follow the directional flow of the traffic and parking spaces! (8)

It is on our radar to restripe the parking lots. Thanks for the PSA – great reminder!

Comment # 1446
Things are slowly improving. Very slowly. (8)

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Comment # 1447
Life is good. Hey did you hear what the bird had to say about cj charging their employees for meds? He said…”cheap, cheap, cheap.” (8)

Yes…. that’s it. We installed the med dispenser… it’s because we are cheap. It’s obvious by how we manage the entire facility and all the training and cultural programs we have in place. Shame on us. But please consider the upside of our frugality. All team members now have 24/7 Access to medications rather than the limited 8am-5pm distribution via the front desk. Hey, Band Aids are still free – get ’em while supplies last (blood required)! ☺

Comment # 1448
I’m alright. I feel like good/experienced people are leaving (or thinking about it) because of a lack of benefits. I’m sure your response will list all the pros you offer, and thanks, but people with families would like better insurance and everyone would love a better retirement situation. Other perks are nice and we’re appreciative, but I’m only stating the obvious. (7)

As we approach Open Enrollment, the Leadership Team is committed to working with Bernard Health to provide a wide selection of benefit packages so you may choose one that best suits you and your family’s needs. Expect to see up to five or six packages available during the 2014/2015 Benefits Renewal period. More details coming soon.

Comment # 1449
A lot of people are leaving the company…. Makes me nervous, especially with the independence of Interactive coming soon. (6)

Over the years, 500+ people have joined and left this organization, and more will continue to do the same. Change is constant – it is our job to manage through the change and keep our clients and the organization moving forward.

Comment # 1450
Lotta ups, lotta downs. It’s a roller coaster. (5)

There will always be ups and downs; it’s up to you to decide whether or not you enjoy the ride.

Comment # 1451
We should have nap time for 30 minutes every day—not all at once, but staggered. It works in Japan. (5)

Naps Rock! Do what you gotta do to be great at what you do!

February 2014

Morale Average – 7.70

Total Number of Participants – 57

My morale has consistently been pretty good (above a six), but this is the first perfect 10 I’ve ever entered. The Camel-ympics were two tons of fun and a very welcome diversion to the afternoon grind. All the events were all well-planned and well-executed, and I had to chuckle at how seriously we all took the competition. I mean, seriously, a rock-paper-scissors tournament? That’s so stupid, it’s awesome. Anyway, kudos to Nekos, Drew, Renee, Lauren Head, the entire FiSH! team, and whoever else had a hand in this. Looking forward to this summer’s World Cup. Rock on! (10)

We agree – kudos to all involved in making the inaugural Camel Olympics a huge success!

I’m grateful for cj and for the fact I have a job. Of course there are certain things about the job that get on my nerves, but that comes with any job. I would dare anyone to find a job where everything is perfect and there is nothing to complain about. We have a great work environment, fun colleagues, and a great FiSH team (the cj olympics were flat-out fantastic!). Keep it in perspective, guys! (10)

Thanks for enjoying the culture and work environment.

The FISH Olympics were cool. I appreciate working for an agency that encourages some friendly competition and some fun. From my humble view, happy employees tend to be productive employees. Prayers & sympathies to LIP. (10)

Thank you.

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” V. Lombardi Always be committed to this group effort and this team will work, this company will work… (9)

Well said.

I really appreciate the leniency with leaving the office when severe weather was predicted to come through. It allowed me to not worry about the commute and weather, but to just get home when I needed to and get back on my computer without much interruption. We also enjoyed Camel Olympics! (9)

You’re welcome on both fronts. Realizing many are not able to work from home, we’ll continue to evaluate and modify our weather policy to create as much of a win/win for everyone as possible.

my morale has improved significantly over the past month thanks to management (seemingly) working harder to trust our expertise and allow us room to be creative and test our theories without too much micromanagement. (9)


A room with beanbag chairs and laptops. Sometimes you just have to get away from the desk to keep your mind fresh. (9)

Interesting idea. Not sure we can make it a reality, but we’ll have our Facilities team add alternative workspace/seating to the wish list (along with a pool table, roof top garden, and kegerator). ☺ Now that spring is upon us maybe a short walk or eating lunch outside will keep the mind fresh.

Would love to see more caffeine free diet soda options in the vending machine again. (8)

Stay tuned for a vending makeover mid-April!!

Things are great. I say this in jest, but after going into the men’s bathroom after lunch, I am seriously concerned about the health of my co-workers. Can we please get something in there to cover the smell? Something that isn’t completely chemically smelling? I am not sure what that is, but it is really bad. Also, I am not sure why the smokers think that the back step is there personal ash tray, but there are butts everywhere. Maybe we can get them a bigger place to put their butts….or maybe we could sponsor a “quit smoking campaign” at work. Seriously, are you still smoking as an adult? Really? (8)

Another comment was made regarding a foul odor near the restrooms (see below). We take steps to ensure our restrooms are clean and fresh on a daily basis. The day porter is here between the hours of 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. every day and all restrooms receive a detailed clean during that time. Auto-release air fresheners are installed in each bathroom and the cleaning crew uses a bleach and water cleaning solution. Other than investigating whether or not the smell is a plumbing issue, there is not much else we can do (see response below). As for the cigarettes, we’ve placed two smokers’ poles and a trash can in the designated smoking area. The only other thing we can do is hope people would have the decency to dispose of their trash and cigarettes in the proper receptacles.

I’m not sure if it’s a plumbing issue or what, but there is a constant, foul smell in the area around the downstairs restrooms and water fountain. Walking into the restroom is a relief. No joke. At first, I wanted to blame it on the men’s room, but there’s no way that it’s constantly that disgusting. Is there? Oh God, is there?? (8)

Please inform a member of Facilities immediately the next time you smell the foul odor so we can look into it and rule out whether or not it is a plumbing issue. Thank you.

I don’t really have much to say besides, after the loss of a very loved LIP member, I encourage everyone to meet, chat and get to know the people that work at LIP. I just think we need a bit more interaction between CJ & LIP….I’m glad that I have gotten to know so many sweet people that work right across the break room from me. I hope you all do the same. I know it’s hard because we all do different jobs, have different schedules, we are in different parts of the building and our jobs don’t really cause us to interact daily (work wise). But interaction personally, inside the building, is really easy. The break room & the kitchen. Let’s just all get to know each other a bit more….say hello, smile, ask how a day is going… (8)

Great suggestion!

Thank you for taking seriously the “we’re cold” feedback. Raising the temp has helped! (8)

You’re welcome!

Even with all the sites launching and long hours I’m still loving the job. (7)

Thanks for pouring time and energy into the projects! We appreciate all you do…and, we’re glad you’re enjoying the work.

Having a weekly workload meeting to run through a list of tasks that is easily viewable in function point seems like a waste of time. (7)

Although the tasks are viewable in Function Point, the weekly meeting is still a valuable opportunity to review projects/timelines, exchange ideas, and ensure the team is on the same page.

I A-M P-A-R-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-N-G (6)

T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U!

Please clarify how interactive employees will benefit from going independent. I get how the change benefits the agency. I still don’t know if I’m clear on how my career and job satisfaction will change though. I hear there’s going to be more work and changes to benefits but not sure what good that will do for me and other people who don’t have a leadership role. (6)

Much like LIP and MVS, the decision to move Interactive down a path towards independence does not change many of the benefits available to staff (medical, cultural perks, etc.), but more so allows the department to operate autonomously. Interactive is given the freedom to make choices that best suit the business needs without being held to the same principles the agency adheres to, for example, market exclusivity. Yes, there are still many questions to answer within this transition, but we do know Interactive Independence is the right path to improved success for the department, the agency and our clients.

Two words: treadmill desk! Seriously though, having some in-house space/equipment/yoga session to get off our butts and move around a bit would make my day (and my health) better. (6)

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide gym space in the building. If you take advantage of our health plan, we recently rolled out a new program, Fitness Blue, where you can obtain a gym membership for only $29 a month. Also, as the weather improves a walk around town is a great option – breathe fresh air, soak in the Vitamin D and get the blood flowing. If you’d like more info about Fitness Blue, see Carmen.

Thank you for rolling out practical severe weather plans. (5)

You’re welcome. See response to comment #1472.

So I’ve talked to my manager. I go to them first. They are sympathetic and understand. There is only so much my manager can do when they’re being told to get everyone on board with a policy. There must be a better way to bill client time and manage allocation than asking people in interactive to account for every single minute of their day in Function Point. We even have to report time we spend going to the bathroom. We label it as something like “personal time,” but we still have to track it. It’s humiliating. Function Point should be used to track time spent on projects so you can bill clients, not to scrutinize every minute of your employees day. You have to believe the people you hired can do their jobs, use their time efficiently, and are telling the truth when they say they are over allocated or under allocated. My manager does this, but leadership only seems to look at numbers. There must be a better way and I encourage you to think about alternatives, because the current way, where we have to account for every minute, is a big morale killer for me, and very dehumanizing. Also, someone mentioned this last time, but powdery black stuff continues to fall from the ceiling onto our heads and into cups/food. This is one days’ worth: (3)

Coupled with Interactive’s move towards independence, we implemented Function Point as a way to accurately track and bill client projects. It is not meant as a tool to scrutinize every minute within the day. Frankly, there have been opportunities to discuss Function Point openly and express concerns, but we have not heard from those opposed to it. If you are unhappy with the system, speak up – let’s have an open discussion and come to a solution that works for the team as a whole. As for the sediment/debris from the rafters, we’re sorry but it is an old building.

January 2014

Morale Average – 7.45

Total Number of Participants – 53

It’s open, it’s honest, it pays the bills, too; 300 S.10th I daily commute. Oh so happy with my cj morale That I’ll celebrate tonight at Golden Corral. (10)

☺ Thank you!

Feels like it’s going to be a great 2014. (10)

We feel the same.

Sorry about all my singing. 🙂 (10)

No need for apologies…you have a great singing voice!

My morale remains strong and Creative Services continues to be a fantastic department to work in. JF has done a great job not only with keeping the dept. running smoothly but also with the overall morale. High five! (9)


I am so excited about black history month and valentine’s day. (9)


Rock and roll (9)

Ok! ☺

The water that comes from the sinks in the upstairs bathroom is freezing! Any way we could get some warmer water? Thanks! (9)

The best solution at this time is to install an additional water heater under the sink; we are taking this option under consideration but not until next fall. If too brutal, consider using the first floor bathrooms for now.

Please don’t eat other people’s food out of the fridge! It’s labeled for a reason, y’all. (9)


Would it be possible to add a recycling bin next to the trash can in the Ryman conference room? Lots of recyclables are thrown away in there after lunches or meetings. I’m hoping that a recycling bin would help. (8)

Yes – we can do it!

More work for production, like stacked to the sky: type work! Go get’em salesperson. (8)

Creative Services is going to have a great year…we can feel it!

Thanks for explaining the 401k in the last staff meeting. Knowing the reasons why really helped me. (8)

You’re welcome – glad it helped clarify the reasons behind our decision.

It would be so nice when new employees start at the agency, they are walked around and introduced to everyone. I know this was done when I first started, but I don’t think it happens anymore. (7)

We are currently evaluating changes to our orientation process. We will reconsider adding this back into all tours. Thank you.

Let’s talk 401K…Hang on, here me out. I am personally glad that cj does not offer a 401K program. This allows me to do whatever I want with MY money! I have personally been investing with Edward Jones for over 5 years. Just this past year I saw a 20% increase in my retirement fund and a 17% increase in my child’s college fund. Stop complaining people and make it happen for yourself! Remember, one of our core values is “Think” and another one is “Learn.” Please apply those values to your personal finances as well! (7)

Thank you!

I’ve been reading up on the benefits of squatting lately. I feel like the restrooms should be optimized to allow for squatting. The current setup is a standard commode, which is nice, but only allows for a 90 degree approach. If squat blocks were placed on either side of the throne, a desired angle of 45 degrees could be achieved. What I’m getting at here is bowel alignment. A forward thinking company such as cj advertising should consider adding squat blocks in an effort to further the mayor’s health challenge goals. I’m not sure if squatting is actually a health challenge goal, but I feel Mayor Dean would be quite impressed if we included it in our facilities here. (7)

Thank you for this recommendation. We contacted the Mayor’s office to inquire if this is recognized as part of the workplace challenge. They are not familiar with squatting and its health benefits, but they are interested in learning more. Would you consider leading a presentation for the mayor and his team?

Why is it so damn cold in here? People walk around in coats and gloves INSIDE! Could we please do something about this? Love all of the cool stuff happening in Interactive, seems like they are coming up with some good plans. Love the new cj site! Nice job Interactive. We need some Beer Camels STAT! (7)

All thermostats should be set in the range of 68° – 74°, which we felt was an appropriate setting. Being that this is an old building and the temperatures have been extremely cold lately, we are happy to make adjustments. Facilities will turn up each thermostat a couple degrees over the next several weeks. If at any time you are extremely uncomfortable please submit a Facilities help desk ticket. Thank you.

Communication has been a real problem lately. Too many decisions are being made without anyone else knowing about it until the last minute. It makes it really difficult to do our jobs and do them well. Moreover it degrades the quality of our work. For those of us who take pride in the quality of our work it is disheartening to see this sort of thing happen. Hope to see improvements in the future 🙂 (6)

Sorry, there’s not enough specific information in this comment to respond appropriately, other than to say we hope to see improvements as well.

What’s with the ceiling falling apart? Every day I see pretty big chunks of wood from the ceiling on the ground. Is the roof about to cave in? (6)

No, the roof is not about to cave in; the exterior portion is new and the interior is definitely structurally sound. You are probably seeing bits of wood from the roof’s rafters which are original to the building and were not replaced when we renovated the building. There is nothing to be alarmed about, it is an old building and it’s going to have its quirks…falling debris is just one of them. ☺

Stress at work has hit a maximum. (2)

Is it because you’re cold? No 401k? No squat blocks? Unfortunately, we can’t help much with vague comments.

December 2013

Morale Average – 7.42

Total Number of Participants – 55

Thank you for a lovely holiday party & gift card party favor, the two-day holiday, profit-sharing bonus, and beer camels! I’m also glad that Pandion has returned, and give props to the IT folks for pouncing on the computer and printer issues that have arisen. Happy 20th B-Day, cj! Next year you can drink…legally. (10)

You’re welcome…so glad you’re happy. We appreciate you recognizing the big and small perks.

December has been great. Thanks for everything you are doing. (9)

You’re welcome…thanks for everything you are doing. ☺

Truly looking forward to the year ahead. (9)

We feel the same.

cj is a fantastic place to work. I have been to four cj Christmas so far. The company never fails to make its employees feel appreciated at a cool location with delicious food and generous prizes. This past party had one significant thing wrong with it, though. Many people, especially in the back, we’re so loud I couldn’t hear a thing. It was a real bummer finishing up a great year with people talking VERY loudly while Arnie and Jimmy addressed the room. Can this please be brought up – across ALL departments? Thanks! (9)

Unfortunately, much of the noise was attributed to an audio problem, which only then made it difficult for many to hear what was going on. We’ll all work to make it better at the next holiday party. Thanks for your feedback.

Thanks for the holiday party it was a blast and the great bonuses. I felt this was a good motivator in 2013 and turned out in our favor, got my vote for a repeat in 2014. (8)

Good to know.

Morale’s good. A few days off around the Holidays was just what the doctor ordered. Not just racing around to holiday events and family obligations, but rather I was able to spend several days of quality time with my family. (8)


Things are moving along pretty nicely right now. (8)


Life is good. Party was great, and in general no complaints. Little irritated that leadership just stuck their fingers in their ears about the 401k. If you aren’t going to do it, please at least give us the rational and not just “because”. (8)

As mentioned in last week’s staff meeting, the company chooses to offer a profit-share plan versus a 401k for both professional and personal reasons. Offering a 401k plan comes with a set of challenges that we feel do not make the best business sense. Our profit-share plan allows our employees flexibility to invest the money as they so choose. We understand this is an important topic for many and we are currently looking for a Financial Planner (or financial planners), or as we like to say, “The Bernard Health of Finances”, to come in and educate individuals about available retirement options. If you know of anyone in particular that could help, please submit name and contact information directly to Felicity Carr and she will work to get that person the opportunity to work with our team.

Next year, I would love to see the office closed or hours reduced from Christmas to New Years. It’s the time of year for everyone to recharge their batteries and come back refreshed. We can be available for clients as needed. (8)

For some departments, the end of the year is the busiest and we recognize that for others, it is not. Additionally, every year creates a slightly different challenge depending on the actual day of week Christmas and New Year’s falls on.

We may be in a position in 2014 to look at this opportunity department by department, but until then, keep in mind that generally speaking, we do offer an abundance of PTO that can be used to fit your particular need.

I would give it a 9 but my hands were so numb from the cold I couldn’t reach it. Please turn up the heat we are freezing!! (8)

We are sorry you are so cold, but there are particular reasons why we keep the thermostats set at a certain temperature range. If you consider a section of the building to be exceptionally cold, please submit an Office Operations help desk ticket or see Margaret with any further concerns.

Pretty chilly downstairs and in the conference rooms. I’m pretty sure the majority of people are wearing jackets at their desks and in meetings, so kicking it up a few degrees wouldn’t be too much of a disruption to people?? Thank you (Jimmy!) for the holiday party this year! It is a special occasion that shows the employees how much their hard work and time is valued by the company. I’m so glad we have continued this tradition. Please don’t cut it ever! Though everyone seemed to have a really great time, the holiday party seemed a little rushed and segregated. I feel like we jumped right into prizes and shut down the barn pretty quickly after. Not sure the tables really promoted interaction. Awesome that there were prizes for everyone though! And GREAT venue choice!! Food could have been better. (7)

See above response regarding office temperatures. As for the Holiday Party, sounds like you have many suggestions…maybe you should consider volunteering for the 2014 Holiday Party Planning Committee. See Jimmy – he’ll take these suggestions into consideration.

I know you guys are tired of this subject and would love for it to die away, but A LOT of folks would appreciate hearing your reasoning behind no 401k plan. If it’s too expensive or if it would eat into the owners’ profits too much, just say so. Any legitimate explanation is better than “it doesn’t look like a 401k program will be a benefit available at MLG.” For the size of this company (150+) and our self-proclaimed progressive culture, we are PAINFULLY on the wrong side of the spectrum when it comes to retirement benefits. I think providing an explanation as to why might go a long way toward dislodging this proverbial thorn from your paw. (7)

Great company, culture and co-workers. I really mean that and if all things were equal I could see myself having a very lengthy career here. But all things aren’t equal. Leadership is probably tired of hearing it, but not having a 401k or some sort of retirement savings could eventually impact my decision to stay with the company. (7)

I feel like communication has gotten sloppy, especially with new hires. Maybe there has not been enough time to train these great new additions on just basic cj flow. People no longer know what the “normal” process looks like, especially between departments and clients. I’ve heard a lot of “why are they…?” from the veterans. I’m afraid this could read as incompetent to our clients. (7)

As we continue to make Interactive more independent there will likely be some communication gaps. We’ll work to tighten processes, especially when it comes to client communications. Thanks for your feedback.

Have we ever considered closing the agency the week of Christmas? Is this something we will consider in the future? Why or why not? (7)

I’m good. Still very very busy and just cruising on through. (7)

Keep your head up…we appreciate all you’re doing!

Thank you for the awesome holiday party plus the end of year profit share. I’m looking forward to an exciting 2014 with cj! (7)

Thank you…we are just as excited as you are!

Busy. Very Busy. (6)

Thank you for your hard work. If at any point the workload is unmanageable, please speak with your manager.

Thanks for the awesome holiday party, Jimmy! It was a bright spot in an otherwise difficult month and really boosted my morale. (5)

We’re glad to hear the party helped elevate your morale, but the fact it only jumped to a 5 is concerning. Please consider speaking with someone who can help boost your morale even higher.

Morale is pretty low this month. I feel like I’m being scrutinized over tiny details and being treated like a child. Some people need room to make mistakes on their own without being watched under a microscope. Not feeling very appreciated lately. (3)

We agree that individuals need room to be creative and have the freedom to make mistakes. We do however, need to make sure mistakes are not made that can negatively impact the department or agency as a whole. We do not want anyone to feel they are over-scrutinized. We encourage you to have a conversation with the individuals that can help alleviate the problem.

Looking back this might be the year that blew it all up (3)

We survived Y2K, the Mayan prophecy, and we will survive this. A lot of change took place in 2013, but we are on the right track. Hang in there.

The way things are being managed right now are unacceptable. I wish I could be more specific, but to do so would “sound” like a personal attack when in fact it is purely a professional matter. (3)

Thanks for the feedback unfortunately, we have no idea what you are referring to.

November 2013

Morale Average – 7.87

Total Number of Participants – 60

My morale is ZOOMING! Especially since I don’t have to come in on Friday! (10)

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!!


Yeah Boy!

I’m so busy I can’t think of anything else to say…okay, back to work (10)

Thanks for your hard work and positive energy!

I’m feeling very good. There is a lot of promise and direction within my department, and everyone on my team has a passion and deep-knowledge of their craft. I have a tendency to feel trapped when advancement or continued education isn’t an option, and that’s not the case here at cj. If I were forced to choose one inconvenience, I think that the lack of mobility in terms of hardware could be an issue. I’ve never been limited by a desktop’s immobility in prior agencies, and I think that an increase in productivity can be a result of providing laptops to those who rely on web-based programs for 100% of their job. Thanks for listening and being such a fun & productive place to work! I love coming in every day. (10)

In order to perform your best, you need to have the right tools. We are in the process of distributing laptops to those individuals that would benefit the most. If you are unclear as to whether or not you will receive a laptop in the near future, ask your manager.

The people of Interactive are awesome. (9)


I am thankful for my family, friends and the many wonderful people that I work with every day. (9)


I am in production and I have heard that in order to get new equipment for us to work with, our end of year bonuses will take a hit. Please explain? (9)

That statement is not true – new equipment purchases are based on need and have no effect on your year-end bonus. At this time, we either have the equipment or have plans to purchase all the equipment necessary for our team to be successful.

My only request this month is that all computers get admin access. It’s been really tough trying to be efficient and get things done when I keep getting denied access because I don’t have admin privileges. My personal viewpoint is that we’re all adults here and that we should all be trusted with admin access. I’ve never worked anywhere else with such tight admin access and it was never a problem. It just seems sort of like we’re children that aren’t trusted to have full access to their computers. Thanks! (9)

We understand your frustration but these limitations are in place for multiple reasons. If you need access to something specific, just ask.

Looking forward to having Adium back. Thanks for taking our feedback into consideration. (8)

It’s back, hope you’re enjoying the change! Thanks for providing the feedback.

I work with a great group of people, the Avid/EXP Editors really rock! (8)

We agree!

I’m feeling positive today! (8)

We like positivity!

401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k 401k ps. Saba is bad. Things are good otherwise! (8)

See Saba notes below. On the topic of the 401k…yes, we have no bananas. Although right for some companies, it does not look like a 401k program will be a benefit available at MLG. We are looking for some ways that we can help everyone in the organization financially… more on that to come. Stay tuned…

Excited about the Christmas Party and Holiday bonuses. Thank you for still doing these things to show your appreciation. Still sitting at a 7 awaiting news on potential retirement plans. (7)

The best rewards are always hard earned. Thank you for all you have done… especially in 2013! On the topic of retirement plans, see the response to comment #1416 above.

Communication between departments could use some improvements again to increase work flow and productivity. (7)

Improved productivity and communication is one of the goals behind the Function Point implementation.

Being threatened to respond to a morale survey doesn’t increase my satisfaction with the company. 🙂 (7)

For calling Arnie out, you (and you know who you are) will have to work next year on the Friday after thanksgiving… but, thank you for participating!

Love my job – just a quick note about Employee of the Year, which appears to be a popularity contest. Some people’s jobs require very little daily interaction with the other departments. Even if they truly deserve this honor, the chance of getting the votes needed is slim. Perhaps in the future the agency can rethink how they go about determining the Employee of the Year. (6)

While there may be elements of the current process that are not perfect, the system has served us well in the past and each Employee of the Year was deserving of the recognition for reasons outside of just “popularity”. The system will not change this year, but we’d be happy to re-evaluate for next year. We welcome your ideas.

Workloads have still been crazy, deadlines a little too tight, and we’ve had a lot of last minute things we didn’t have time to plan for. I can’t do my best when I don’t have enough time, and I hate that. Overall though, the work atmosphere seems to be improving and I’ve noticed a more friendly, respectful, appreciative environment between my coworkers, so I’m glad for that. I’m worried about function point timekeeping and how stringent it’s going to be. I’m probably worrying too much, but I’m having a hard time trusting that we’re not going to be held accountable for hitting at least 8 hours every day, and I don’t want to feel like an hourly wage slave who has to account for time spent going to the bathroom, talking to coworkers, or taking a mental break (or filling out this survey). Plus, I can forgive the 12 hour days when I know I’m not going to be scrutinized for a 7 hour day as long as I do good work and meet deadlines. Can you assure us that we’re not going to be de facto hourly employees? (6)

Function Point is a tool we will use to understand client billables. The stringent tracking is to ensure we are billing our clients appropriately for the work our teams are investing in each project.

Really appreciate the agency being humble about the Saba chat situation. When can we expect restoration of Pandion and Adium? I’m no IT person, but I feel like this is taking a really long time. The longer the delay, the lower potential for productivity through open communication. Also, are there any more plans to help integrate Saba? I don’t really feel like people are utilizing the program’s offerings. How can we get the agency on board with Saba and make this investment a success? (6)

Pandion/Adium are back – thanks for your patience! To clarify, Saba was installed for two primary reasons:
1) As a Performance Management tool. Saba Performance Management should launch early January, if not sooner.
2) As a replacement of MLG Central. Our goal is to have Saba act as our intranet and be the resource tool you would use to find company information (policies, procedures, cultural programs, etc.). There are other aspects within Saba that can improve communications and productivity across companies. Over time we plan to utilize those components, but currently our focus is on building the intranet pages and launching the performance management system.

Things are fair. Looking forward to that chrimbus bonus. (6)

Bonus is on its way.

Hope you get your 67%, Arnie! (5)

Yes, participation is the highest it’s been in years – thank you. We hope you appreciate having a platform to voice your concerns!

October 2013

Morale Average – 7.27

Total Number of Participants – 59

love my job. thank you. (10)

Rock On!

I’ve been in a few agencies that didn’t care about the happiness of employees as much as the tasks at hand. I think that cj does an incredible job at balancing both sides. (10)

Thank you!

Halloween this year was AMAZING! (8)

YES it was! Thanks for bringing your game face!

I like turtles. (8)

Ninja turtles? ☺

I see this getting better as things are changing – I look forward to giving a better score next month. (7)

We’ll look forward to an 8, 9, or maybe a 10 from you next month!!

People are constantly out to get other people – They want to bring you down and make themselves look good – CYA on everything (4)

We’re interested in creating a culture where people are constantly out to help other people. Based on your comment, you’ve got a few choices:
1. Talk to someone you are comfortable with, preferably someone who can do something about this
2. Provide more specifics next morale survey so we can better understand and respond.
3. Live with it (not recommended) or reconsider option 1 or 2.


What are the results of the 401k research? Details on what was decided and why would be wonderful. (6)

doing good things people. Couple of issues. 1. Can we please reopen talks about 401k. One of the reasons I don’t consider cj a realistic place to have a long term career. (8)

Based on previous morale comments, we committed to an analysis and re-evaluation of potentially adopting a 401k or equivalent plan. We are still working through the various options and we will communicate the results in the coming weeks.

Saba Chat

cont’d: 2. Saba. Ugh. So terrible. I can’t use this thing, and I really need to have a Instant Messager. No one uses it, it constantly closes and you never know when you have a message. For the day in and day out stuff it appears to work, but can we bring back Pandium? (8)

Really miss using Pandion for IM. Although Saba has an IM feature it is not as effective. If you are not wearing your headphones or have the internet open you miss the notification and then have no idea a message is waiting for you. (8)

Morale is great! Lots of team collaboration and positive spirits! My score would be a 10, however Saba has bumped down my score a bit. I think Saba is working great as a replacement for mlgcentral, but why OH WHY does it need to replace chat? It won’t allow you to stay logged in and does not alert you to when someone is trying to chat with you…you just have to notice. Saba is suppose to replace the majority of the emails, but since I can not efficiently chat with someone it has actually increased the amount of emails in my inbox. Can we please stop making Saba everything and just turn the chat server back on? (8)

Saba chat is killing me. I would really like Pandion back. There are many other benefits to Saba, and I am on board with those, but the chat system is hurting a lot of people’s morale. Pretty happy elsewhere 🙂 (8)

Not having a real IM program makes it hard to get in touch with other people. Saba chat frequently doesn’t work or isn’t timely at getting messages to others. I have missed messages from others, and now just resort to walking to other desks just to ask a simple yes or no question. (7)

Morale is good lately, but something needs to be done regarding our in office chat. I know saba is used for a lot but a chat system it is not. Please turn our old one back on and use saba for everything else. Thank you. (7)

Using Saba to replace our previous chat service has been a disaster. It has brought smooth workflow to a slow crawl. Having to use a tab in a browser and having it log back in ever so often is a huge distraction. Users aren’t easily alerted to new messages and in turn do not respond as quickly. The easiest way to communicate with someone now is by email. And that is sad. We have gone backwards in my opinion. Saba is an incomplete, poorly built piece of software. Frankly, I am shocked that our intelligent leaders chose this software. Everything else is peachy. Thanks for reading my opinion. (6)

Saba is the worst. Can we at least have Pandium back? I miss the little duck staring at me from my desktop. (6)

As Arnie always says, do it wrong before you get it right. Saba is the embodiment of this quote. We tried something new with all of the best intentions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit the needs of our company. Now let’s chock it up to a learning experience and an exercise is experimentation. It’s time to be honest about the endeavor by admitting our fault and move forward with a new chat program. Whether we go back to Adium or we start a new program, cj employees need a functional chat system. It promotes productivity and open communication through the agency. I’ll let all the other employees tell you why Saba’s chat doesn’t meet the agency’s needs. I hope Leadership will consider immediate replacement of the Saba chat program. Employees will respect you more for being honest and addressing the error than attempting to promote a dysfunctional program that employees do not and cannot use reliably. (5)

Saba chat is terrible. Workload is crazy. Management seems to be making an effort to improve how they interact with people, and I appreciate that. I really hope it sticks and is more than skin deep. Please stop responding to everything on this survey with “talk to your manager.” An anonymous survey is a great place to say things you don’t feel comfortable saying in person OR pass on things you’ve already brought up that haven’t been addressed. Saying “talk to your manager” doesn’t address anyone’s concerns and feels like a brush off. I think you can rest assured that if we feel comfortable talking to our managers about something we will. (4)

Saba chat? Really? Did anyone really think this thing out completely? Desktop notification don’t work, logs you out even when you check ‘keep me logged in,’ cannot transfer files, no way to view chat history, and no one is ever logged in. Can we not revert back to our old chat system? Now people are just going off and using other services for chat. This was a pretty bad move. Also, what’s going on with the MLG IT department? Seems like they are constantly at someones desk in Interactive and nothing is every solved. I want to know more about this “Mac Guy” and know what his qualifications are? Have we thought about using another vendor? For a technology standpoint, we just keep digressing. (4)

Saba is horrible as a chat client. I think the entire concept is unnecessary, but purely focussing on the chat feature: it’s a waste. If you were to ignore the fact that it forces you to have a browser window open, logs you out, requires you to add co-workers twice, and poorly notifies you of incoming chats, it’s biggest short coming is LACK OF FILE TRANSFER SUPPORT! Since our jabber client was disabled it’s been a huge pain for me to send large sized files to coworkers. Please, for the love of all things good left in this world kill Saba and bring back a company-wide chat app that allows for file transfers, doesn’t require a browser window to be open, and properly notifies the user of incoming chats. The fact that we were stripped of these basic services and forced into a poorly designed twilight zone interface full of completely unnecessary features is baffling and borderline insulting. Sorry for being so crass, but this is what Saba (the carrier pigeon of the internets) has reduced me to. (3)

Wow – we hear you! As you’ve probably heard during the recent staff meeting, we are planning to cease use of Saba Chat as our IM client. We are coordinating a plan with IT to move to another platform that will meet everyone’s needs. Stay tuned for more details as we know them.

In response to comment 1403’s dissatisfaction with the IT department and recent Mac issues, Jim Thornton (CIO) sent a detailed email to the Interactive team on Friday, November 1st updating everyone on the progress and network changes being made for the Mac environment. Below is the full email:

CJ – Interactive Team,

I want to update you on the progress and changes being made related to the MACs on the network. Much work has been happening behind the scenes, which has been largely invisible to you. Through this process we have been actively coordinating and communicating with Justin and Neil while various solutions have been evaluated. We are currently in the middle of testing and rolling out changes to alleviate the random login and connectivity issues that are being experienced. We expect these to be fully complete by early to mid-December.

As we have been evaluating and testing solutions, we take into account the “S” criteria: Stability, Security, Supportability, and Scalability. The solution being implemented has been put through the “S” criteria for our environment, although a little heavier on the support side.

Unfortunately, the issue that we are working to solve is more towards the “worst case scenario” resulting from changes Apple made to its MAC OS and the particular nuances of our network. In the research we have done with other companies that have an integrated Windows & MAC environment some have experienced no issues, some small issues and a small percentage more severe and nagging issues like us.

We are on a good path to having this resolved by early to mid-December. As part of the ongoing effort to improve support for mixed MAC and Windows environment, we also change our staff mix and hired Jeff Balturshot who has experience in a mixed environment.

For those interested in more nuts and bolts details, more detail has been provided below.

More detail:

When our network was originally designed and implemented we did not have MACs on our network. When the business decided that MACs were needed after thorough evaluation we implemented AdmitMac as the preferred product to provide seamless integration to our Windows network resources. At that time the issues that we have been lately working to resolve, did not exist. Apple made some changes to their operating system that affected how the MAC operating system registered on and interacted with a Windows network. AdmitMac has been working to make changes to their product but has been unsuccessful in providing a reliable solution to date. Although our original implementation of our network was common, these OS changes are the root cause of the issues that we have been experiencing. You may have come from an environment or know of other environments with no issues and that would be accurate. Our network though had the right ingredients along with the MAC OS changes to cause these issues. (There is a larger debate out there between MAC and Windows enthusiasts that continues to rage on about how the two should work together better, but that obviously does nothing to solve our situation)

We have worked to alleviate the situation based upon the known factors at the time, which included updating to the latest MAC OS and latest Admit MAC versions. We would experience success, but over time it became evident the issue was very complicated, inconsistent, and hard to replicate on demand. AdmitMac who specializes in this type of solution has also been unable to address the situation satisfactorily.

During this time we also began reviewing other options with outside help. We have looked at many options including these extreme examples: redesigning our entire network, creating a 2nd network, replacing all Macs, or having to making major compromises to the “S” criteria mentioned above. I mention these to illustrate that the issue is at the core of both the MAC OS design and our network architecture thus requiring significant problems solving and not simple desktop troubleshooting.

The plan is to implement a new Mac server environment that we will use to provide management of systems and trusted user access to our Windows network resources. The solution has been designed base on our partnership with multiple technology vendors. They have been a great help and resource.

As you, we look forward to the issue being resolved. We appreciate your help and feedback during this process.

Thank you for participating and sharing your thoughts in the morale survey – it’s a powerful tool to use to inform Leadership, and all employees, of the successes, achievements, and challenges that are most important to you! ☺

September 2013

Morale Average – 7.10

Total Number of Participants – 41

Thank you for the breakfast & the opportunity to participate in Friday’s festivities. KK was great! Also, I’m grateful for the flu shot opportunity. (10)

You’re welcome. Glad you enjoyed the conference keynote speaker.

If I could sum up my morale with two words after the cj Conference they would be accomplished and motivated. The conference made for a good break in the everyday work life to inspire and refocus my strategic/creative thinking. (8)

Fantastic – that’s exactly what we like to hear!

Conference was much more manageable this year. Well done. My only complaint was that there wasn’t bacon both days and…c’mon…no beer on Friday? I know the company is trying to save money, but these people just busted their butt. Where is the love? (8)

Our decision to provide a lighter breakfast Thursday and beer the following week during our Annual Spirit Week celebration was by design and not due to monetary reasons. Hopefully you enjoyed the bacon Friday morning and the keg of beer the following Friday.

You can never be assured that the ladies’ downstairs toilets are going to flush. Sometimes you pull the handle and…nothing. This hasn’t always been a problem. Is there anything we can do about this? It’s pretty gross. (8)

Working bathrooms is a MUST! Thanks to this comment and a few others that popped up on our morale surveys, we have looked into the problem and found a solution. This issue should be resolved now. Thanks for the notification and be sure to submit a help desk ticket to Facilities if you notice any further complications.

good things are happening. keep it up. (7)


Very great and organized conference. Clients seem happier then ever, hopefully this momentum we have roles into 2014. Only reason for the 7 is the concern for the Interactive department, with everyone jumping ship i hope the remaining people can keep their heads above water. (7)

With change comes opportunity. We appreciate your concern. Thankfully, we have a strong team of hardworking, dedicated team members willing to do their part to keep the ship moving in this time of transition!

cj conference is clearly a big deal for the agency so it’s very disheartening that not all employees were invited to participate in most elements of the conference. One of our core values is “learn”. This would have been the perfect opportunity to learn what is of interest and what is important to our clients so we can produce the most effective work on their behalf. (7)

We’re sorry. We dropped the ball and recognize we did not do a good job communicating why we chose to open attendance to select individuals this year. First, we want to clarify that the decision was not due to monetary reasons; the decision was based off several factors such as the subject matter presented and the space available at the Hilton. Invitations were given to those individuals listed as session presenters and to individuals we felt needed to be present to support presentations with his/her subject matter expertise. Also, not only were we limited on space within each meeting room, but we also felt if we had more staff than clients in each room the conversation would change and potentially be less productive. This was the first time we altered the setup and we walked away from this conference with many positives and many areas to refine. We’ll be sure to improve communication all around next year. Thanks for your feedback!

Can you please do something about the downstairs toilets not flushing? The ratio of a toilet actually flushing is seriously like 1:4 flushes. (7)


I enjoy working at cj and I work with a great team. But, there seems to be little trust across the company. People are worried about “covering their butt” and are pointing fingers, which is frustrating because it forces me into that mindset, feeling like they’ll throw me under the bus at any moment. I think we’d be much more successful if we stopped worrying about assigning blame for trivial things, and focused on supporting each other and working as a team to move forward. (6)

Thank you. This comment helps remind us that in the eyes of a client, if one fails, we all fail! Let’s all strive to focus on the cj team as a whole and replace “you” or “they” with “we” as much as possible.

There was poor communication around why certain individuals were not invited to conference this year. The people left at the office were feeling pretty low that day. Like they aren’t important. Yes pizza was a nice gesture, but unfortunately, it was communicated too late and many of the stragglers left at the office were already out to lunch. When they got back, the pizza was gone. Also, the cj employees who spoke at conference deserved some special recognition at the staff meeting. yes it’s important for everyone to be an expert and feel confident speaking to a group of our clients, but that’s just not the case. Not everyone is as comfortable as Arnie speaking to people. this took a ton of courage and hard work for cj speakers. They deserve a round of applause! (5)

We agree – we did not do our best communicating all facets during Conference. Please see response to comment 1379. And, YES – all presenters deserve recognition for their efforts. As far as we could tell, the presenters received compliments throughout the day from clients and peers for an outstanding job. The presentations were sharp, thought-provoking, and reconfirmed our client’s confidence in this agency. Thank you to everyone that played a part in making the day a success.

Discouraged. I’m seeing poor treatment and thoughtlessness. Most of Interactive has fled. When you lose most of a department and they all have the same story about poor treatment from certain individuals, that’s not an anomaly– that’s a strong indicator something is broken. I’m very worried. Every week we lose another good person, and I’m always wondering who’s going to be next. When is this going to be addressed? Finally, it’s thoughtless to invite all but a handful of employees to conference. Maybe the original intention was that most of cj would be working a normal day and only certain people would be at conference, but that’s not what happened. While most of the company was at conference, a handful of employees were left behind to man a cubicle ghost town, which made them feel very undervalued, I’m sure. There was not a workload to justify this. It seems like a thoughtless oversight. Give them the day off if they have no reason to be there. (3)

We realize we did not properly communicate our intentions and expectations during conference and we are sorry. We will be more intentional with our communications next time. As for the recent turnover within Interactive, we appreciate your concern, however, we are confident those individuals still here (there are many) will continue to provide the best possible service to our clients and will keep the engine moving as we recruit new talent. Unfortunately, without specifics it is hard to address your concern regarding poor treatment and thoughtlessness. Please consider having a direct conversation with any member of Leadership.

Something needs to be done about the amount of people leaving the agency. (3)

Change brings opportunity!

No Response (3)

Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

It seems like a lot of good people are voluntarily leaving interactive for better opportunities in town. I hope we’re taking the right steps to continue to hire positive, dedicated replacements and appropriately incentivize our current hard-working, understaffed team. (2)

We encourage people to move on to a better opportunity if one becomes available. We want you to succeed and we support personal and career growth. What we are not supportive of is great people leaving because of poor treatment. If you know or suspect this is happening, please come forward and speak to any member of management you feel comfortable talking to.

August 2013

Morale Average – 7.53

Total Number of Participants – 43

Thank you! (10)

Don’t need money. Don’t take fame. Don’t need no credit card to ride this train. It’s strong and it’s sudden and it’s cruel sometimes. But it might just save your life…(10)

That is the power of love…

Things have been pretty solid in “The Creative Services” dept. I think J-flo has been doing a great job in her new role, which is now more appropriately named. Overall, the company as a whole seems to feel a bit more stable. We’ve seen a lot of staffing cuts the past 12 months; I hope we have a brighter 12 months in our future. (9)

The future’s so bright…we gotta wear shades!

Thank you so much for the extra day during the 4th of July holiday! (9)

You’re welcome…glad it’s having a lasting effect on your morale!

Happy as always! I have a PSA I need to state to my fellow employees, though: please don’t put the ice scoops back into the ice handle-first. Also, to the person putting boogers on the back of the women’s stalls and on the wall, PLEASE stop. There’s toilet paper RIGHT THERE. Use… The more you knoooooooooooooooow! (9)

A booger bandit, really? Our Facilities Team is motivated to do all they can to provide a clean and comfortable workplace, but we need everyone’s help – please be considerate. In response to this issue, the cleaning crews have been asked to thoroughly check and clean all bathroom stalls.

My wireless mouse/keyboard batteries die every other week. Have we considered rechargeables? (8)

Facilities is currently researching if/what rechargeable batteries are a cost-effective alternative. Have you considered whether it’s actually the mouse and not just the batteries? You may want to submit an I.T. help desk ticket first so they can troubleshoot the issue.

first time in a long time, I am feeling better about this place. Things seemed to have calmed down and we are busy again. (8)

Glad you’re spirits are lifting. Keep up the positivity!

Still holding strong at a solid “8,” but the whole HR transition has me a little worried. I’ve always had (and still continue to have) full confidence in our leadership team, but I was really surprised to hear that we weren’t replacing Rachel. While I’m all about promoting from within, this position is one of the most important ones in the agency. I know we are realigning some things in that area, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little concerned. Thanks for listening! (8)

We appreciate your confidence and your concern, and agree that a solid HR function is critical to our success—too critical, in fact, to be the responsibility of a single person. That’s why we’ve taken Rachel’s departure as an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate and improve our unique HR services and how they are delivered, which now will involve a highly-skilled team that brings considerably more expertise and efficiencies to HR than ever before.

I really enjoy working here, but things are a little stressful right now!! (7)

Keep up the great work…this too shall pass!

I’ve been in a slump for a couple months now. While I choose to keep all negative energy to myself, it’s difficult to hear so many employees are feeling the same way. The little tasks and little projects keep piling on employee’s plates with no consideration of what additions they have recently taken on. I feel it’s just a matter of time before the hard-working, dedicated employees are going to get burnt out and leave. What’s the solution? Managers need to listen to their employees. I (and I’m sure many others) have communicated their frustration and ways to solve that, but no changes have been made. We are exhausted and I’m wondering when things will improve. If a larger workload is placed on an employee, why aren’t we being rewarded for picking up the slack to keep all projects moving forward? It’s time away from our family, our personal life; the things that keep us all sane. (6)

Unfortunately, without specifics it is difficult to properly address this situation, but one thing we do know, it’s very unsettling to hear you are not being listened to. Please keep your head up and continue to communicate with your manager. If you feel your suggestions or pleas are going unnoticed, please speak with another manager/department head.

Morale is a little low because of lack of communication lately. Not to get into specifics but when we don’t know who is doing what it makes us look bad in front of our clients when they have to correct us. Please don’t take this as a plea for a mass email about every little thing. On a bright note, excited about conference this year. (5)

We agree, a scenario such as this reflects poorly on our company, but unfortunately, no matter how many emails we send, it’s still going to happen every once in a while. Hopefully, this comment will serve as a reminder to all to strive for clearer communication.

The lack of communication about this year’s cj conference is really disappointing. (5)

Wait, we’re having Conference this year? ☺ In all seriousness, we agree – we’ve done a poor job and we intend to make everyone more aware of the expectations over the coming weeks.

Fragmented and skitzoid top-down communication right now. There’s no other way to put it. My trust in the team is breaking apart because I don’t feel like we’re being trusted like we used to. Routine decisions and minute details are getting overly scrutinized, even criticized from on-high and it’s alarming. We can be our own worst blackhole client sometimes. (5)

Micromanagement of any routine process is not the goal; however, certain projects warrant extra scrutiny to ensure we are on track to meet client expectations. If you feel the line between constructive criticism and micromanagement is being crossed, bring attention to it and have a direct conversation with your manager.

Let’s see if cj can get back some integrity that has been missing. (3)

We’d love to know what this is specifically referring to. Unfortunately, it is difficult for us to provide a response to a comment this vague.

July 2013

Morale Average – 7.41

Total Number of Participants – 32

All good! (10)


Thank you for providing a clean & safe environment, F!SH, & for considering feedback of employees in moving forward. Too much gets taken for granted sometimes, but not on my watch. (9)

Thank you!

Can we get pipe cleaners or something else in the kitchen to clean out the straws on our reusable cups? (8)

Great idea! Facilities ordered small cleaning brushes for our tumbler straws and they are stored in the kitchen cupboard. Thank you for the awesome suggestion.

It’s obvious that cj lives our non-discrimination policy, just look around! 🙂 Is it possible to update the handbook language to add the fact that we don’t discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity? We’re already living it and I’d like to see the handbook reflect it. Thanks for considering! (8)

We agree and we will be making this change in an upcoming revision to the handbook.

Very busy right now, but busy is a good thing. Love the Daily Huddle, but it would be very helpful if it actually listed all the people out for the day. (8)

The “Who’s Out Today” list is pulled directly from the cj Calendar and announcements made in the cj and MLG huddles. Unfortunately, this listing is only going to be as accurate as the information provided. The Communications Manager is working on an improved process to ensure all notifications are listed on the cj Calendar and are correctly documented in The Daily Huddle. Thanks for the feedback, and thanks for reading the huddle notes!

Sad to see Steve go. (7)

Losing a talented team member is never easy. We’ve recently realigned Creative Services to better meet the needs of our clients, improve profitability, and keep the team secure.

I am concerned that cj/mlg/lip will no longer have a dedicated HR person. Is this actually the case? The email was vague. It would have been great to have heard the new plan/system at the same time we learn that Rachel will no longer be here. (I would hope that for an organization this large, we do not overlook the important role of HR.) Also-love the new mug and cup system, but with it could we please make keeping actual dishwashing liquid in stock a priority? We should not have to wash out our mugs in Dial soap. (7)

Ideally, we would have been able to communicate the long-term HR plan at the same time as the announcement of Rachel’s departure, however, we took this opportunity to look at the HR function and assess how we would provide improved services going forward. We hope that Chris’ recent communication on the new HR vision has helped to clarify this topic. Dish soap remains a kitchen supply priority, and Facilities has made the necessary adjustments to ensure employees have access to it at all times. Thank you.

People be trippin sometimes, but I’m like idk they just gonna do them and imma do me. The atmosphere can be trifling, but I try not to trifle. John 3:16. (6)

That 6 is pretty trifling, just saying.

I wish IT could get it together! Coming to work and not being able to work because your machine is having constant problems is SO frustrating! (6)

[From IT Management] If your situation is one we are aware of, we agree that is very frustrating and shouldn’t be the case. We are working closely with the Ops Managers to make sure we get it right for you. Please communicate with your designated Ops Manager that our service and your tools are working as you need them. If it isn’t, please have your Ops Manager let the Director of IT know right away to get it resolved.

Job security. (5)

Do your best every day and focus on what you can control. As leaders, we’ll do the same, and we’ll do our best with all the things that are out of your hands.

June 2013

Morale Average – 7.67

Total Number of Participants – 45


I love cj – it’s a good job with great people. I don’t feel like I’m going to work, I feel like I’m doing something I enjoy. Regarding things that need to be addressed, there seems to a female (or two) who routinely uses the men’s restrooms. While I’m just as happy as the next guy to see a smiling female, especially in the restroom, is this really work safe? I understand dares and such, I’d just hate for one of them to injure themselves whilst learning how to use the stand-up urinal. (10)

While we are pretty progressive in a lot of the things we do, we’re not quite ready for gender-neutral restrooms. As a reminder, please make sure that you’re in the right place before heading into the bathroom.

A CJ/MLG office bike pump next to the rack would be a super cool way to go green(er) (9)

Yes it would — great suggestion! Facilities already has a bike pump on the wish list.

While MY morale is high, I see where this bus is going and I’m excited, it seems like some of my co-workers have a constant bad attitude. Every time there is some kind of change they have some negative comment about how it’s never going to work. In my opinion, if you don’t trust the leaders of the company, why are you here? I’m extremely excited to see where the future takes us! (9)

Thank you for your confidence and support!

Thanks for the extended holiday! (9)

You’re welcome! Hope you enjoyed the extra day.

Thanks so much for the extra day off for the July 4th weekend – Much appreciated! (9)

You are welcome!

Thank you for the additional holiday. Very much appreciated! (9)

Glad to hear the extra day off was such a welcomed surprise.

Thank you for the extra day off. (8)

You’re welcome — enjoy!

-I love the new cj cups! This was a great idea! -Could we find a place to have a First Aid Room? We could possibly use the Studio, back in one of the dressing room spaces that is currently just a storage area. -YAY to an extra day off for July 4th! (8)

There are no immediate plans to convert the studio or any other space into a First Aid room.

I really appreciated Arnie taking the time to speak with all of us and being very specific about changes and vision even if it made me nervous for production. It has always bothered me that we seem to spend money on things that don’t really matter or are more “for show” while good people are let go. So, I fully support the scaled back conference. I hope we will continue to be responsible in other areas too so we can keep more of our great people. The cups and mugs were a great idea along those lines also. So, THANK YOU. (8)

Our annual financial review is geared toward just that — finding areas that can be scaled back to lower company expenses. Thanks for being supportive of several recent changes such as cj Conference Unplugged and the new cups and tumblers. If you have any suggestions, please speak up — we’re all ears!

Thank you for looking back into the 401k/Retirement plan for employees. Shows the true power of the morale surveys. I look forward to seeing what comes of this, morale riding high this month. (8)

Thank you. The Accounting team plans to present their findings to the Leadership and Executive team during third quarter. Our intention is to make the best decision for the company. We’ll keep you informed.

SUPER excited about the extended holiday for July 5th! Thank you so much! The morale boost employees get from this surprise holiday will pay off. With certain teams feeling a little unsteady with the new vision for the company and pressure on employees (instead of just leadership) for upcoming cj conference, this is a much appreciated break. I’m not sure about everyone, but I know that I’ll work extra hard the days leading up to July 5th so all my work is done and I can enjoy the holiday. Again, please clean your nasty pans out of the sink. Show respect to the building and the company. Pretty disgusting and disappointing. Excited to see Camels with a Cause making a resurgence! Vote for the animals! (7)

Glad to hear the surprise day off has boosted your spirits. Keep up the hard work and thanks for your feedback.

+2 for July 5 (7)

☺ ☺

Leaving used dishes and cooking pans in the sinks is nasty. Clean up your crap. (7)

The break room expectations are posted in the kitchen, in addition to being explained upon hire. If you have any questions about these guidelines, please speak with a member of the Facilities team or Chris Stovall. Any dishes left in the sink will be thrown away after a 24-hour period. Our cleaning vendor is not responsible to clean dirty dishes so do not assume they will take care of it. Please do your part to keep our office clean.

I feel as if I’m being ridden pretty hard lately. I often find myself feeling low and sometimes physically deflated. After all, I’m under a lot of pressure and the demands of my job are such that I need a daily boost or I’ll just go flat. I am your bike tires. It would be nice to have a decent floor pump next to the bike rack to help me feel full and confident. If you do this for me, I’ll keep your employees rolling in the right direction. Success! (6)

A bike pump is already on the Facilities Team wish list…be patient, it’s coming soon!

There’s a lot of talk about where this company is going and what type of company it is to be. However, there is very little action. If anything is decided it takes months and months of meetings before any action is taken. The cj vision meeting we had recently seemed largely retroactive to demands of the market and a crumbling internal infrastructure. In the past, we’ve put bandaids on the situation by laying off lower level people and not the decision makers. Oddly enough that didn’t solve the problem. The changes that need to be made are obvious, but are presented as revolutionary within cj. Why does it take so long for change to be made here? Clients don’t just leave for no reason and we’ve lost a few lately. There must be a reason. Also, thank you for the extra day off. (6)

Thank you for your comment — it sparked a good discussion! We encourage you to speak up and share your ideas. Maybe we’ll include a bonus question in next month’s morale survey so you can list the “obvious changes” that need to be made and any other suggestions.

Very sad to lose a talented team member. This seems to be a very unstable environment. (2)

The decision to eliminate a position is not one that is made lightly. We believe that we are positioning the company for stability and future growth.

May 2013

Morale Average – 7.26

Total Number of Participants – 46


Thank you for the Cinco celebration! (10)

You’re welcome, it was fun!

I love this place…always happy to be here. And thrilled I get to work with all of these awesome folks. (10)

Thanks — we feel the same.

Things are good! Busy, but good. I’m a big fan of the Donut Shop coffee. Could that become a regular selection? Also, with it being summertime, more kids are in the office. On multiple occasions, you can hear them running around upstairs. For the folks downstairs, it sounds like a herd of elephants! We all love the kiddos, but perhaps a simple reminder to use their ‘indoor feet’ would be nice. 🙂 Thank you! (9)

Glad to hear you enjoy the new coffee blend. Facilities will be adding the new flavor to the daily selection as soon as it’s available through Aramark (it’s still in the test-market phase). Thank you for the reminder about our young visitors. Please remember to check your kids in at the front desk and look after them throughout the day to ensure they are not causing any disruption. Thanks.

Great place to work – thanks! (9)

Thank you!

I’m at an 8 with all these new hires! Woohoo! Things are about to get good around here. My only complaint, and I’m sure I’m not the only one… is the gate being locked at the Landport parking lot. I hate ducking under the chain to get to and from my car. :/ Bummer! (8)

We do not have any control over the lot, it’s owned by DZL Management. The best thing to do is either to continue perfecting your limbo skills or to walk toward Demonbreun and down 10th Avenue. As space becomes available, we are moving parkers back to MLG/Lea lot!

Even with the recent shifts in Client Services, things seem to be good. I’m interested to see where we are headed as a company. Any ideas of how we might continue to grow? (8)

Glad to hear your spirits remain high and your outlook is positive. We plan to communicate the strategic plans more effectively over the next several weeks. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask your Department Head.

Feeling a little nervous. What kind of impact do we expect the departure of MLF to have on the agency? (8)

We were all shocked by the recent departure, and we don’t have all the answers right now. We do know we’ll need to adjust and move forward.

Everything is pretty good. But I must say: An optional weekly schedule of 4 10-hour days would shoot my morale up into the stratosphere where it would permanently remain. I’m talking about straight 10s on the Morale Surveys for years to come. It would also save a lot of money on commuting costs AND it’s better for the environment too. (7)

Sounds like a conversation you should have with your manager or department head. A multitude of factors goes into the decision and a (4) 10-hour schedule does not apply for all positions. Speak with your manager to determine whether or not the adjustment would make sense for your team and your department.

Is there any thought to replacing the microwave that was in the kitchen so we have 4 instead of 3? I’m sure everyone would appreciate taking less time to get to their lunch. Hungry peeps need sustenance! (7)

There is no immediate plan to replace, but Facilities will take it under consideration. Once we review the 6-month forecast, if the budget allows, we will consider purchasing a fourth microwave.

A bigger bike rack would be nice. During the summer months, it seems to get pretty full. (7)

We will relocate the current rack so that bikes can be stored on both sides. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

The paternity leave rocks! Now if we could just work on that 401k…. (7)

It has been a while since we’ve looked into a 401k plan. Per this and other requests, we have committed to an analysis and re-evaluation by third quarter 2013.

I’m feeling rather ambivalent lately. Is it just me? I’m not worried about the company’s future but I can’t say I’m confident about my own job security. One request- can Mac users get a “Mac guy” in IT? That would be helpful and save a lot of time. (7)

We don’t want anyone to come to work every day fearful of what lies ahead, but we also don’t want people to become complacent and feel they are always entitled to a job. There are no guarantees; each one of us needs to work our hardest and bring our best every single day. As for your request, I.T. has brought a “MAC guy” in who will be here every Wednesday to help resolve any outstanding issues. Please make sure to have any un-submitted requests in by Tuesday so they can be added to the list.

I suggest we rename our conference rooms. I’ve been here for 2 years and still get confused on which meeting room I should be going to. Tootsies, Pancake Pantry, etc. these names are arbitrary and make me think of the actual landmark instead of where my meeting is located. Solution: Relabel the conference rooms with letters and colors; the way parking garages do it. Instead of Union Station use a red colored A. So, it would be A, B, C, etc. each a different color. The color allows for an added visual association, thus creating clearer communication. Also, using letters and colors won’t interfere with hearing the time associated with your meeting. (5)

Interesting suggestion. How about we just add a description to each conference name in Outlook? Example: The Ryman (1st Floor, Main Conference Room).

Will there be more positions eliminated due to our financial situation? Was it a cj financial situation or an MLG one? Also, what is our financial situation as a whole, i only know about my own department. (6)

The marketplace will continue to dictate that we never stop evaluating our business structure and positions throughout the agency. You can learn more about the agency’s financial outlook by checking out the “War-Hall” and by being very inquisitive with any member of Leadership.

Due to the loss of a few clients over the past few months as well as the elimination of the Director of Client Services position, I am concerned about the financial state of our agency. I understand that companies have their ups and downs, but these changes are especially unsettling to me, and my morale has dropped. (5)

Your reaction is certainly understandable. Keep in mind that while some clients have departed, others have joined or expanded their operations. Our best and most sustaining strategy is to continue to deliver for our clients.

I’m wondering what the plan is to improve client retention? …Sales team? Waiting list? I’m curious to know what the plan is to help keep from having to continue laying people off due to financial difficulty. (5)

Our plan is to come to work every day and do our very best work for our clients, continue to prospect for new opportunities, and maintain our positive culture of individual and collective growth.

Was at a 7 now a 4. Two reasons: Incentive program is just a revamped scorecard system. There really isn’t anything about employee incentives in the whole thing. The revised performance and incentive program satisfies two employee-desired goals: flexibility and manager discretion. While the most powerful incentives are intrinsic, if you’re not feeling incentivized, your manager now has the power to address that more effectively.

Second, firing. We are all pretty smart and don’t need another corporate response about business fluctuations and the need to be financially nimble. Be blunt and honest, should we all be looking over our shoulder when a client changes their mind? Why isn’t there more discussion about how we can handle these changes as a team without cutting rock stars? I would be more open to taking a pay cut for a period of time versus firing people we hired to help us succeed. If you hire someone, you probably need them, if not then why the heck did you hire them?! If you want to grow, you don’t cut the feet that will get you there. When things go bad, you re-evaluate either the path you’re on or the head making the choices. (4)

Yes, when we lose a client, we may be forced to reevaluate positions. No, losing a client isn’t the only determining factor that’s considered when a person is let go. The decision is made by Leadership and discussed on multiple occasions, but as cutting positions is a private matter (for the employee’s sake too), the discussions don’t extend past the Leadership level, hence why it can seem like a sudden decision versus a plan. As Leadership makes the decision, it is our job, as best as we can, to separate personal decisions from professional decisions.

1. Very disappointed to lose Julia. 2. Please explain the new business strategy. (4)

There is no “new business strategy” to explain. Our primary goal remains to grow our clients to their maximum potential while maintaining a positive and progressive culture of growth within our organization.

In regards to the recent “elimination of position” in Client Services and the loss of McDivitt Law Firm: Why do we not have a sales team/person in place to seek out new clients in markets that are not currently occupied? Also, I feel like our work is good enough to where we can have a “waiting list” of clients in markets that are already occupied. If this were the case then we would not have to make reactive financial decisions; such as letting go someone with such talent and experience, like Julia. Also, if someone is filling in this position in the interim…that is not eliminating a position, it’s just cutting overhead costs by eliminating a salary :/ (4)

You are correct that our work is good and that we could step up our aggressiveness in pursuing new clients. You are also correct that this was a position and salary elimination and with this, a person is now managing two positions. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve had to ask someone to do this, and realistically, it won’t be the last time that someone is asked to step up in the interim while we see where our business continues to go.

April 2013

Morale Average – 7.67

Total Number of Participants – 33


I appreciate that cj takes the time to recognize when an employee goes above and beyond. Thank you for that! It means a lot. (10)

You’re welcome!

Thank you all for being so open and receptive to our feedback about incentive plans! This is probably close to unheard of in the business world, and so very appreciated. (10)

We agree the “Rethinking Incentives” planning sessions were very unique and effective. Kudos to all involved in the process and a huge thanks to Chris for leading the charge!

I am most grateful for my job, team and the company overall. It’s nice to know that morale is even considered by management, as many companies/corporations don’t care where their employees’ morale ranks. It’s refreshing to know that some time and energy is spent tending to the concerns of all who care to comment. Thank you! (10)

Since the program began in September of 2007, we have received 1,313 comments from team members. Without your participation, the morale program would not be as successful as it is today thank you for participating!

There’s always little things that can be focused on and complained about, but I’m just glad to have a good job working with good people. I am curious, though, how do office supplies and personal belongings keep ending up inside of the new vending machine? (10)

There was one incident where a stapler and tape dispenser were placed into the vending machine as a practical joke. Since no one was willing to pay the money required to retrieve the office supplies, we had to wait until the next visit from our vendor, at which point he removed the items. Thanks for keeping work fun!

Things are great, grand, and fantastic! It’s great to have Levi in Client Services now and to be able to work with Autumn and Richmond and their clients now. (10)

Yay thanks for the positivity! Our Client Services team is full of rock stars!

It was great to see Production promote an employee from within. It would be awesome if Interactive could look at a few internal team members for their new position. cj needs more internal promotion to hold on to good people! (9)

We agree! Have you applied or expressed interest? If it’s a good match, we are always in favor of promoting from within it’s a win/win for everyone. If there is an open position that you would like to apply for, please reach out to the Department Head or Ops Manager.

My morale is a good 8 regardless, but I did want to applaud the efforts of Rachel C and the admin team for being proactive about this year’s benefit enrollment. In the past, I felt rushed to make decisions. Apparently, others felt the same way. Rachel heard that criticism and reacted–especially important since health care is such a moving target right now. I’m very pleased with the communication and the offering of the healthcare consultations through Bernard. And finally, to the person who rides the Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. Can I take it for a spin? (8)

We couldn’t agree more. Rachel and the HR team have done a phenomenal job with this year’s benefits enrollment. The improvements were actually in response to several morale comments and suggestions made after last year’s enrollment period. And, in response to the sweet ride in our parking lot, you’ll have to speak with the guys over at Coffee,Lunch. in order to fulfill that request.

I just want to thank cj for absorbing some of the impact of Obamacare and keeping our healthcare costs reasonable. I am very grateful there were no major increases and you are still contributing to our HSA’s. Rachel has rocked in HR with all the questions coming her way and her always helpful smiling attitude. With no “staff changes” or departures this month [that I know of] I think everyone is breathing a little easier too. (8)

You’re welcome glad to hear you are pleased with the benefits package. Kudos to Rachel and her team for coordinating what has been the BEST health benefits renewal process in company history!

When are we going to get involved in the community again? (7)

You’re right – it has been quite a while. What we need is a champion. If you are particularly interested in supporting a specific charitable organization and are willing to lead the project, please see Jimmy.

I would like to know the difference between a Brand Strategist, Brand Manager, and Brand Coordinator. (7)

Thank you for your patience as we’ve realigned the CS team to better serve our clients and the agency. Very soon, we’ll be rolling out our new structure to the departments so stay tuned!

To tide you over until then, here are topline responsibilities for your CS team members: Brand Analytics (Richmond) analyzes data, trends that guide client strategic recommendations; Brand Strategists (Suzanne, Jennifer) are responsible for overall strategic planning and daily account leadership; Sr. Brand Managers (Autumn, Krissy) are the day-to-day client contacts and guide execution of client strategy, and our Brand Coordinators (Tinamarie, Levi) support all advertising activities and account maintenance functions.

What happened to the food trucks? Where’s the beer cart? And who moved my cheese?! (6)

Not sure about your cheese, but we just received a visit from the beer camels and the Retro Sno truck last week. Hope you enjoyed it!

Seriously…Arnie still doesn’t know my name? (5)

Arnie does struggle with face-name recognition…he took the test on 60 minutes and he failed. Best thing you can do is confront him. If you make a really awkward scene about it, maybe then he’ll remember your name. ☺

The beer cart would bring my morale up. (4)

Woo hoo…beer camels were out and about last Friday. Did they help improve your morale?

March 2013

Morale Average – 7.41

Total Number of Participants – 37


I am very blessed and grateful to be a member of a cohesive team, and an awesome agency. Thank you! (10)

Thank you, the feeling is mutual!

I still feel incredibly fortunate to work at a place like cj. I truly enjoy what I do (I feel like I’m always learning) and I think everyone is pretty great around here! (10)

Glad to hear it!

I often see crusty and gross pans, utensils, etc. left in the kitchen sinks, just to sit there all day abandoned. Wash your belongings and take them with you, people! This isn’t your house! One day I will snap and simply throw your stuff way. You’ve been warned. (9)

Thank you for this reminder. Our kitchen and break room guidelines, or rather our expectations, are posted in the kitchen. If you are unfamiliar with these expectations, please take a minute to read the list. Our cleaning vendor is not responsible for washing dirty utensils and dishes, so please remember to clean up after yourself. Also, don’t forget, any Tupperware containers left behind will be thrown away after 24 hours.

I really love working here. I’m going on 3 years and I still look forward to coming to work. My only gripe lately is the continued layoffs, which is always unsettling. In response to the most recent layoffs, our dept heads have opened their doors to us to help answer questions we may have and have even offered to discuss/explain our department’s financial situation. This has helped my peace of mind tremendously. I encourage other departments to do the same if they aren’t already. (9)

Open communication among the team is always important, particularly when dealing with change. Your manager is available to answer questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out. And, in the coming weeks there will be even more financial transparency so continue to speak with your manager if anything is unclear. Thanks for the feedback and we’re glad you’re happy here!

Overall moral has been great lately. What happened to the scorecard survey feedback? Are you every going to share the results with us or was that just for your information? Maybe we should just get rid of scorecards. 🙂 And for everyone that constantly asks for the Dyson Airblade, there is a solution! The Dyson Airblade tap! With the cost of each paper towel, maybe we should look into these. (8)

The scorecard survey comments were thoroughly reviewed by management and informed the decision to bring a group of non-managers together to explore better ways to create incentive and reward accomplishments. And, a Dyson dryer and faucet all-in-one, wow! Although it sounds great, our concern with the Dyson is more with the noise, not the cost. We applaud your persistence and we’re beginning to wonder if someone in your family works for Dyson. 🙂

Holding at a steady 7. (7)

Hang in there!

what’s up with the clocks on everyone’s computer? They’re consistantly 2-3 minutes slow. People are late to meetings all the time now because of it. Can IT fix that please? thanks! (7)

You can actually adjust the setting on your computer by viewing the ‘Control Panel’ on your PC or the ‘System Preferences’ on your Mac. If you have any questions, please submit a help desk ticket to

The more people that get laid off/leave the more unstable my job feels. I’m starting to wonder if the laying off will ever slow down. Also feeling a little disposable; I’m starting to believe that if my job could be outsourced for a cost less than my salary that the company wouldn’t hesitate to do so. (7)

The company is not built on an outsource model, that’s never been our goal and it doesn’t make sense for the agency. We’ve always felt it’s the people that bring value and contribute to our unique culture, which in turn, makes us a better, more efficient workplace. We can appreciate that recent changes may contribute to feelings of uncertainty, but we don’t want you to come to work every day dreading what may or may not happen. The best advice we have is to come in every day and do your best work.

The following is a restatement of a comment to eliminate a disallowed personal reference. Please note that although we do welcome your honest feedback, we will not publish any that make reference to a specific individual in a negative manner. Therefore, the original comment has been changed to: Please restate the reserved parking rules/guidelines for ALL to know and observe. The reserved parking is for 1) Women in their 3rd Trimester; 2) Injured Employees with a Doctor’s note; and 3) Occasional use (meaning once or twice a week) by CEO, COO, CIO, VP and GM. To read our complete MLG Parking Instructions, please visit MLG Central.

The “voluntary” scorecard group is not actually voluntary. I never received an opportunity to volunteer. Did I miss something? We have already offered our feedback. Now a group of people is going to offer more feedback and talk about it more and more? Where is the solution? I look to my manager and leadership to provide my performance measurements. If scorecards have failed, let them die. Start over and please stop beating this dead horse. It doesn’t look good on leadership that you guys can’t figure this out. (7)

Participation in the scorecard group (Rethinking Incentives group) was voluntary in that those invited had a choice whether to participate. A couple of others that asked to participate were also included. The purpose of the gathering was solutions–not feedback, and the idea to facilitate recommendations from this talented group of people proved extremely beneficial. You suggest this request for help shows some sort of weakness by leadership. Others might feel that it shows a belief in our people to solve our most challenging of problems.

I’ve heard that outside cj, we’re considered a pretty volatile place to work (no job security, mass firings, etc). I of course want to improve that reputation if I’m able. What is our turnover rate (percentage) for the last 12 months (voluntary and involuntary combined) and how does that stack up to industry standards? (7)

The agency’s historical and current turnover rates are (and have been) posted in the War Hall for easy and consistent reference (along with all LIP and MLG). As far as we can tell, the industry average for agency turnover tends to be in the low 30’s. Here’s how cj compares: Rolling 12-Month Turnover: 38% (27 people) Voluntary: 11% (8 people) Involuntary: 26% (19 people)

For the past couple of months, my most demanding client has been cj advertising. I know we’re trying to market ourselves more, but the multitude of internal projects–and revisions–can make it difficult to get my actual work done. (7)

Yes, we acknowledge there have been a lot of internal projects lately as we expand our offerings through cj Express. If you feel the workload is overwhelming and affecting other client projects, please communicate with your manager.

I’m doing alright but ready for warm weather. Maybe that’s why my moral is not great. I’d be curious to know the current turnover rate if that is available. Thanks! Also, may I suggest something to boost morale as overall it seems like there is a little bit of bitterness going around regarding the culture cuts and lower raises/promotion opportunities. More time off in general, but especially around holidays when our clients are gone anyways would be very nice and painless. Many of us are twiddling our thumbs anyways and this could be more time with our families. Just a thought before the holidays are upon us. Giving a few extra days would go a long way with boosting morale. (6)

The turnover rate is listed above in comment #1281 and in our War Hall, which is updated on a monthly basis. Thank you for your suggestion regarding personal time, however, we feel a minimum of 3 weeks PTO plus 9 paid holidays is a generous amount. If you’d prefer more time off around the holidays then please plan your time accordingly. And, while some may be “twiddling their thumbs” others may have a full project list, so reaching out and helping others could go a long way with boosting morale as well.

Can we get a higher quality pen around here? I hear so many people complaining about our writing utensils. Maybe a Uniball or something? I know you don’t want people to abuse a good pen privilege so maybe keep them locked up and only allow one per person per quarter or something. (6)

Now that each department manages its own P&L the approval needs to come from your Ops Manager or Department Head. You are welcome to submit an Office Supply help desk ticket and the Facilities team will gladly order extra pens if your department approves the expense.

I am really confused about the Scorecard process now. It was a convoluted, time consuming and frustrating method of determining raises. Now that Tami is no longer here, what does that mean for the future? It is a really annoying process, one in which I could judged for completely different criteria on 6 month review than when my year review rolls around. The whole thing makes no sense to me. The entire time I have been here, I have never heard a very good explanation of the logic behind it. Finally, how can we really be sure these things are anonymous? (6)

Based on the scorecard survey feedback, you are not alone in your frustration. That’s why we are working toward a solution that motivates instead of frustrates our talented people. All morale surveys sent via Survey Monkey are anonymous. There are two ways to gather respondents’ personal information: 1) by asking you for your name, or 2) by configuring the survey to automatically capture your IP address, neither of which are used for our morale surveys.

It seems like people keep getting let go because of the mistakes of their managers. One would think that if the people or person who created a program and saddled that person with the burden would be the one held responsible, not the person who had to take it on. It’s ironic that the scorecard is such a big part of our “culture” and then cj lets that person go a month after a culture tour. I’ve said it for a long time and I keep getting reasons to say it again, but I think there’s no accountability with people “upstairs.” Things get delegated, their mindset changes, and then people get let go with little accountability. This translates to little job security and low morale. (6)

Yes, totally agree that job security and morale are directly related to trust and confidence in management. And it’s a reasonable expectation that management should take full responsibility for their decisions. It’s also reasonable that management sometimes has to make difficult staffing decisions without fully disclosing all the factors that went into the decision. It’s out of respect for the privacy of the person that this is kept confidential.

overmanaged (5)

Have you spoken to your manager? It may be worth a conversation.

Fewer surveys please. (5)

We realize we’ve sent out a lot of surveys this past quarter, but we feel it’s important. If we don’t ask, then we’re just left guessing. And, isn’t it better to ask you for your feedback then to not ask at all?

Not enough hours in the day to complete the internal demands AND please clients here. Severely understaffed. I worry about the high turnover rate here, too. How is management creating incentive to get people who aren’t being fired (sorry, but it’s a regular thing these days) to STAY? (4)

We appreciate the time and energy many are putting forth to complete internal requests and client projects, both of which contribute to the agency’s overall growth. We encourage you to consult with your manager and work on an appropriate priority list that allows for ample time to do your best with each and every project. As for incentives to stay, ultimately, all we can do is create the opportunity; it’s up to you to decide if it is the best choice for you.

Tired, burnt out, and generally unhappy right now. It’s not been a good start to the new year. (3)

We’re sorry you feel this way we don’t want anyone to feel tired and burnt out. Please start a discussion with your manager so that we can finds ways to help lighten the load and make some improvements.

To avoid being an interactive ‘novelist’, I’ll give you my cliff notes: Tenured employees terminations/resignations, less emphasis on empowerment, ‘clear’ uncertainty, management-employee divisions, and a general sense of angst throughout the agency. What happened to cj? Ready for some joy in the place I spend 75% of my day busting my butt. Just being honest. I appreciate my employment but feel like, at any point Greg is going to materialize at my or a co-workers desk for ‘the walk.’ Even if we’re a rock star. (3)

No one has ever said change is easy and we recognize that many are experiencing more stress and uncertainty lately. We don’t want you to spend the majority of your time in a place that brings you no joy, nor should you dread what may or may not lie ahead. Righting the ship is tough, but to get there you have to make some difficult decisions along the way and have faith that you’ll be on the right course. As we mentioned earlier, we can merely create the opportunity, but you have to decide what’s best for you.

February 2013

Morale Average – 7.17

Total Number of Participants – 41


I love cj. Thanks for the opportunity to work here! (No score provided)

– Thanks for your comment we’ll assume you meant to mark a 10! ☺

holla! (10)

Back at cha’!

With the upcoming 2014 Obamacare implementation, increased costs to employers, etc., can you let us in on the plan going forward? Even hint? Will our BCBS benefits/plan change much? I’m not sure if we’re all on the same plan cycle, but I’d like to know what to expect before mine changes in a few months. Our overall fiscal benefits here are poor already and HSA contributions have already reduced, so I’d like to make plans if more healthcare benefits will be cut (or if more jobs will be cut!). We have families to care for so I’m concerned with the company’s future plans and intentions. Thank you. (7)

Preparation for Open Enrollment is already underway. HR is meeting with our broker over the next several weeks to finalize the details for our new health insurance plans. Many employees and family members are on our benefits package, including Arnie and Jimmy, and we want to ensure everyone has ample time to review the plans and make an appropriate decision to suit their needs. We intend to share information as early as possible and hope to maximize the enrollment time period, which is currently slated for the end of April. Speak with Rachel if you have any questions or concerns along the way.

Getting better. Any plan for a future retirement plan and/or a lunch and learn with a local investor? (7)

Neither of these options is currently under consideration. If interested, Jimmy can refer you to a local financial advisor.

A bodacious 7. (7)

Bodacious? We’ll take it. ☺

Is it really necessary to pull Employees of the Year and Month into these moral surveys feedback sessions? I feel that only leadership should be involved where they can be more candid with their responses to the entire company. I know if I was sitting on leadership and there was an Employee of the Month in the session, I would be extremely careful of how I worded my responses. You have no idea if these outside employees can be trusted not to say anything to their peers. You can only hope they will respect the privilege and not say anything, but you can never be sure. Now that these people are involved I feel as though the responses are not going to be as honest as they once were. I guess we will find out. Also, whats the final word on the scorecard replacement program? (7)

1. The intention is to bring another level of opportunity, balance, and transparency to our Morale Survey program. We welcome the additional members to the feedback sessions, and we think it will strengthen the process. 2. Be on the lookout for continued communication around the new incentive program.

1. It seems that the agency is not interested in supporting P&D. First, we don’t have a director (no offense, Jimmy), and now we don’t have an Operations Manager either. I’d love for someone to explain the reason why, because the message I’m getting is that Leadership REALLY doesn’t want to hear from us because the 2 positions that interact most with Leadership and MLG are gone. 2. I’m not surprised that the March Madness offsite party that we usually have each year got cut in 2013. Money is tight, I get it. No issue there. But I figured we’d at least have a Beer Friday for March Madness instead of the party. Nothing? It seems Leadership has lunch meetings in the conference room on a weekly basis. Couldn’t you guys brown-bag it once or twice for lunch to save some money so that “the little people” can get a Beer Friday? (5)

1. Just because P&D is not set up traditionally as the other departments are, does not mean that we do not value or support them. Jimmy meets with the Executive Producers on a regular basis and is supportive of their leadership. Although he is not as visible in the day-to-day operations, he is very aware of what’s happening within the department and he serves as the link between Production & Design and cj’s Leadership team. In our eyes, we feel P&D is on a great path, and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come. 2. Many of the fun activities and events offered are planned by the FiSH team and the celebrations are not going to be the same every year. FiSH has many new ideas and plans in the works, so just hang tight.

When deadlines rule, creativity suffers. I think we do great work, but I wish we could take our time with websites and make the most kick ass product possible instead of just knocking them out ASAP so we can move on to the next one. The treadmill/assembly line approach makes for weary minds, which is not what you want in a creative department. (5)

Our goal is to find a balance between productivity and creativity, however, keep in mind that our goal in producing websites is ultimately to create conversions. Creativity is always welcomed, but we also must remain competitive and profitable. In order to do that, results and deadlines must be met. It’s all about balance.

January 2013

Morale Average – 7.42

Total Number of Participants – 45


I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given, and I’m looking forward to more. (10)

That’s awesome! Thanks for your enthusiasm and ambition.

While I understand there is no more room in the parking lot and some people needed to move to the Landport Lot, it would be nice to have an MLG parking pass that could be used when we want to work late at night or come in over the weekend. (10)

Great suggestion! Although we do currently have a temporary parking pass available, your comment sparked an idea to make it even easier for those that park in the Landport to have access to our MLG lots on evenings and weekends. Stay tuned for more details from Facilities and thanks for your feedback!

Constant changes to policies can wear on you a little, bringing my usual 10 down a bit. Still happy though. (8)

Unfortunately change is constant, even when it comes to company policies. We are confident that the policies we implement are in the company’s best interest and contribute to our continued success and growth. We’re glad recent changes haven’t drastically affected your morale – thanks for your support.

Other than the fact that Tennessee weather is completely manic, my morale is humming along at a solid 8. I would like to discuss the following issue. As we all know, we’re going through a period of contraction– aka layoffs. Consequently, some of us are being asked to bear more responsibility because of the reduced man power. I am truly grateful to be one those fortunate to still have a job here and am excited about my new responsibilities. What I would ask, though, is for department managers (and actually everyone on staff) to be judicious about the explortatory tasks they request or the more speculative assigments they hand out. Innovating better systems and developing new creative concepts is part of the job here. I get it. But now, some of us are serving multiple masters. We don’t have all the time in the world to chase down every new idea or develope every process just to “see if it works.” Again, my morale is an 8. So far, so good. But this year is just getting started, know what I mean? (8)

Thank you for this feedback. We will be more cognizant of the assignments we hand out and we ask that you challenge us if you feel you’ve been given an inappropriate task. You do have a voice here and we will not fault you for speaking up. We appreciate your efforts thus far, now get back to work! 🙂

Still no transparencies with financials? I would also love more transparency with leadership. Do they get real profit sharing? I heard a rumor that they have unlimited vacation days. Is that true? (8)

Additional financial transparency is on the horizon as part of our 2013 plan. We are still working out the details to ensure it is rolled out correctly – we appreciate your patience. And, the rumor you heard is true. You can read more about Leadership PTO (cj, MLG and LIP) in our Uwritten Writtens located on MLGCentral.

Things are for sure moving in the right direction around the agency, and I love it. I know a survey was sent out recently about the Scorecard program, and I hope the comments are taken seriously. I think this program needs to be looked at closely and determined if all the work is making us more or less productive. I’m assuming that its the latter. It was a great idea, but I really think we need to consider a different type of goal setting program. (7)

The best way to learn is to ask questions, hence the survey. The best way to improve is to listen and act from an informed perspective. And that’s what we intend to do here, with the goal of making the scorecard program true to its vision of defining, supporting and rewarding success. Chris

Thank you for asking about the Scorecards! (7)

See Chris Stovall’s response above. We have Chris to thank for suggesting and taking the lead on this one.

7 out of 10. Not a great stat when referring to an airline’s percentage of safe landings, but it ain’t a bad morale score considering all the layoffs. (7)

We appreciate your continued trust and support. On behalf of all cj Leaders, thank you for flying with us.

Personally, I’m thankful to have a job and it’s a bonus that it’s at a place like CJ, where we enjoy many liberties other jobs don’t afford. While I don’t believe having fun is the first and foremost reason to come to work, I think that we should do more to promote morale and comradery among co-workers, not just in-office events, but in actual activities that bring us closer together. Things like department outings, events, etc. do a lot of make people feel like they’re part of a team. It doesn’t even have to be something that is payed for by CJ; the point is to promote events that are relative to the culture of the department (in this case, Interactive). If we put as much effort into having a “fun” culture as we did trying to promote the idea of it, I think overall morale would skyrocket. (7)

We agree and we encourage you and your team members to take an active role in planning such events.

A pet peeve of mine that’s been developing over the past few months is the emergence of the phrase ’Let’s get it wrong, then get it right’. I thought this was just an easy-to-remember line encouraging risk taking while reducing fear of the unknown. However, it seems to be used more and more as a misguided substitute for a lack of any real creative direction when starting new projects. This way of thinking causes projects to start faster, be hastily completed, then later regurgitated for changes during the start of the next project. We are knowingly making work harder on our future selves while delivering an incomplete product to our clients. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about taking chances and embracing new ideas. But if there are things that we can get right in the beginning, then let’s solve those problems on the front-end. In other words, ’Let’s get it right, then make it better’. (7)

“Get it wrong, make it better, get it right” is meant to be a liberating encouragement, not an excuse to produce poor quality work. The use of this phrase is intended to give each one of us the creative freedom to move forward with ideas and projects. If we’re to always wait until the project is perfect, then that ship will never sail. We want everyone to continue operating at the best of their ability and we are merely suggesting that we do not get bogged down because we are too focused on it being perfect. We are not asking anyone to lower the bar or skip corners, but rather, have the gumption to test the waters. If you ever feel this phrase is being misused and is not appropriate in a specific situation, please speak up immediately – if we feel you’re wrong, don’t worry, you’ll have the opportunity to get it right next time!

There seems to be this perception of management vs. employees lately. I don’t know if management is even aware of it. I just hear a lot of “I don’t think those guys upstairs understand…” or a lot of “them” and “us” talk. I don’t know if it comes from the changes in perks, raise amounts, scorecard troubles, or what. But it’s not the cj I know and love. It’s troubling. (6)

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We were not aware many people felt this way and it’s not the cj we want to be. Just know that we are always striving for management and employees to engage more as a team and you should hear a lot of “we” talk. If you ever feel otherwise, please speak up in ways other than just this survey. Thanks for the feedback.

Too many surveys. What’s next? A survey about surveys? Wait, don’t answer that. (6)

We realize we do send out a lot of surveys, but we feel it’s important. If we don’t ask, then we’re just left guessing.

Sad about the culture cutbacks, but understand we have to have them. It was a little odd having people here for a Culture Tour right after it’d just been announced that culture things were being cut… (6)

We understand how hosting a culture tour shortly after announcing changes in cultural programs could be seen as inappropriate and it was our fault for not providing better communication on the front-end. The purpose of our Camel Culture Tour was to celebrate the programs and unique culture we have here. We focused on aspects that have not changed such as morale surveys, staff meetings, camel mascots, scorecards, birthday recognition, training, book club, and creating a dog and kid friendly environment. These are all very unique parts of our culture that we’re proud to share with others.

Gradually moving back up the ladder. I’m very impressed with the way Interactive has stepped up over the past few months and made things more efficient, so kudos there. I do have a big concern, however. I keep hearing a phrase similar to, “We’ll get it wrong, then we’ll get it right,” coming from parts of leadership. This phrase really rubs me the wrong way because this thinking is what got us into trouble in 2012. Why can’t we emphasize striving to get things right the first time, then improving on it? I fear that the “oops, we’ll get it next time” mentality can make people believe that cutting corners and not paying attention to details can be acceptable as long as they fix it later. It’s also not fair to our clients. I understand that we won’t get every single thing right the first time, but we should never assume falling short and correcting is an ok strategy. If we want to be the best legal marketing agency in America, we need to strive to get it right from the beginning. I don’t ever want to start with the bar lowered. (6)

Thank you for the feedback. See the response to comment #1267.

This last round of lay offs has been really frustrating. Some of those people had been at cj for less than 6 months. It is hard to see people brought in, only to be let go a short time later because of change in direction from upstairs. For a company that stresses solid hiring practices and culture, we sure spend a lot of time saying goodbye to co-workers and deleting termination emails from our inbox. It is a good job, but I don’t feel that I have any security at all and constantly on edge. (5)

Regardless of where one sits in the organization, whether it’s upstairs or downstairs, the decision to eliminate a position is always difficult and it is not made without serious consideration to the individual, the team, and the company as a whole.

December 2012

Morale Average – 7.88

Total Number of Participants – 49


Fish just came by and gave me hot chocolate. My heart is soaring with holiday cheer! Thank you, Fish, and thank you, cj, for doing the little things that can really make someone’s day. (10)

Those Hot Chocolate Camels were awesome, weren’t they? The simplest things can brighten someone’s day – glad you enjoyed it.

I love the busy time of year! The Holiday Party was a blast. I’m very grateful to be part of such a progressive group of people. Onward & Upward! (10)

Up, Up and Away!

I just wanted to take time to say Thank You for running this survey and thanks to people who actually use it. While some might see the comments as “whining” I see honest feedback that ultimately leads to open communication. Bravo. (10)


HO HO Happy!!! Looking forward to a fantastic 2013 in P&D!!!!!!! (10)

Great enthusiasm!

Even though we’re cutting back on some of the cultural programs offered, I still think we’re all very fortunate to have what we have, so I can’t complain about this at all. Also, the holiday party was so much fun, thanks for having it! I’m happy to be a part of cj and look forward to 2013! (10)

Thank you – we completely agree with you.

I saw a sign in the bathroom that said to avoid sugar to help you from getting the flu. Well, you can guarantee I’m getting the flu this year. Have you walked around the building lately? My sugar intake has increased exponentially due to all the goodies sent to us by clients and vendors during the holiday season! 🙂 Free cookies & candies rock, and cj rocks! (9)

Forget cookies and milk – holiday season at cj calls for cookies and o.j. (vitamin C)!

My morale jumped a few points UPWARDS this month. This is due to a number of things, but most notably the combined effort of the Production team to weather the storm, stay on course, and most importantly – take action to find ways to create spots with more of a WIN/WIN mindset – much like that which Arnie described in his 2013 strategic plan. Great things are happening in Production and it should have a very positive impact on the agency as a whole, as well as our clients. (9)

Glad to hear your morale is on the rise and we look forward to seeing what Production has in store for 2013!

The “vitriol” comment from last month’s MLG survey was full of juvenile attacks directed at the Interactive team, but Leadership’s (lack of) response was even more disappointing. We’re down. Please stop kicking us. Love, thy co-worker. (9)

We’re sorry you feel this way – that was not the MLG Board’s intention. As mentioned in comment #1235 (above), these surveys are here to solicit honest feedback and keep an open line of communication – that includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. The employee comments and leadership’s responses may not always be agreed upon by all, but they are important nonetheless. Thanks for providing your feedback. Now, let’s move on…

High on the holidays and high on the possibilities in 2013! (9)


I think 2013 is going to kick 2012’s butt! My boots are ON. (8)

Now that’s the spirit – Yee Haw!

Appreciated the Christmas party. (8)

Glad to hear.

It often feels like, in an effort to be more efficient, we continually trip over ourselves dealing with some of our self induced bureaucracy. Score cards area a great example. It doesn’t appear as if the amount of man hours invested into them creates that much more efficiency in our productivity or ability to achieve goals; especially knowing how much our positions evolve throughout the year. If anything they have an adverse affect on moral more than positive. Just one person’s perspective. (7)

Efficiency was never a goal of the scorecard. Our scorecard program is a way to define, reward and support success – think of it more as a roadmap. And, if your job evolves throughout the year so should your scorecard. If you are not happy with your scorecard or the process, please speak up. Talk directly to your manager or to Tami. Our intention is for the scorecard to work in your favor, not against you.

There’s a big disconnect in overall fairness between management and “the rest of us.” Always feeling expendable is not a feeling I enjoy. (7)

Without specifics it’s hard to know exactly what you are referring to. We can tell you that while we don’t want anyone to feel “expendable”, we also don’t want anyone to feel they are “irreplaceable”. One of our Brand Promises is “Sustainable Execution” and that should mean a solid, efficient, and effective business platform for all.

The holiday party was the best one yet! The location was spacious, the atmosphere was fun, and I really had a great time. I did get a little down sometimes that night, thinking about the people who were recently laid off, while we were raffling off thousands of dollars in prizes. The amount we spent on all of those prizes had to be close, if not more than, an average employee’s yearly salary. Is that right? While I firmly believe that having the holiday party was a necessity for cj’s culture, I also feel that having the extreme gifts this year seemed a little wrong. If we’re cutting cultural programs like the YMCA, why did we still have the mass gifting? Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful to work for a company that showers their employees with amazing gifts during the holidays. That is a unique experience that I know friends at other companies do not enjoy. But ultimately, I care more about camaraderie and job security than material incentives. cj, you are so generous, and I respect you and my job very deeply, but the door prizes just seemed a little misaligned with the messages we’ve been hearing about shoring up the budgets and making changes. I still love it here, I just had to say this. Please offer a specific and unique response. Thank you. (7)

We appreciate where you’re coming from and we took all this into consideration when deciding whether or not to have a holiday party. In the end, we felt it was important to show our appreciation for all the hard work put forth over the past year. And just to clarify, we do not spend cash on the holiday gifts; we use Amex points that accumulate throughout the year. Rather than redeem company Amex points for personal use, management decides year after year to trade the points in for awesome gifts to give away.

Is it nap time yet? (7)

Nope, but sounds like it’s time to visit Coffee, Lunch.!

Thanks for the awesome holiday party, with us losing so many perks it was good to have one. My morale is going back up from the low-point a few weeks ago. (7)

Yay – so glad to hear your morale is improving.

Thanks for another wonderful holiday party! Coffee Lunch rocked the food- as usual. (7)

We agree – this year’s holiday party was a hit and the food was fantastic!

I felt that the employee of the year awards were really rushed this year. That is an honor that we should really take the time and acknowledge during the party. (7)

Thank you for pointing that out. In addition to the recognition and reward given at the holiday party, employees of the year (and runner ups) from each company are being featured in additional recognition emails this month and winners are being permanently added to the recognition posters in the common area downstairs for all to hail for years to come. Please be sure to personally let these and all the organization’s rock stars know how much their contributions are appreciated.

Morale is improving. I’m gonna hold on loosely, but I won’t let go. Because if I cling too tightly, I’m gonna lose control. (6)

You need something to believe in, and a whole lot of space to breathe in, don’t let it slip away. Sentimental fool, don’t let your heart get in the way, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Neil is doing a great job of moving the Interactive department in the right direction. (6)

We agree – thanks for the support.

I’m approaching my annual review without an approved scorecard in place. By the new guidelines, I’ll only be eligible for half of whatever raise I earn. When an employee has done everything in their power to get their scorecard approved, why should they be penalized because the scorecard machine is backed up? We hear everything from, “it was approved by me, but someone else kicked it back” to “we’re just really backed up right now” to “now you need at least 5 outcomes” to “I’m not sure what will pass” and on and on. I know you’re probably sick of hearing about scorecards, but the machine is still broken and employees are scratching their heads and wasting a lot of work time trying to figure out how to get an approved scorecard before they’re penalized. (6)

While your specific situation is a minority event, it is seriously regrettable. This failure is in fact a direct reflection on Arnie, the leadership team, and/or your direct manager’s ability to execute correctly on this program. Your review may or may not go as you prefer and we can only ask for your continued patience with a process that we are working hard to improve. Please continue to keep us aware of this gap until filled.

This is a huge step in the right direction as compared to last month. Still working at total capacity pushing some (maybe overzealous) holiday deadlines, but much happier. (5)

So happy to hear – hopefully next month your morale will jump even higher.

Christmas party was swell. Thank you for holding it even with the recent events, keep moving forward and such. Hard to celebrate with so much to do and less rock stars to do it, but looking forward to seeing what 2013 has in store for cj, MLG and LIP. For cj Interactive, two words: itemized billing. ;0) (5)

2013 is looking bright – thanks for your support and confidence! Keep up the great work.

meh (5)

How can we help?

Dreading what’s going to happen to coworkers or myself in 2013. Hopefully morale will go up once the bandaid is ripped off? (4)

Anything is possible and there are no guarantees anywhere, but we don’t want you to come to work every day dreading what could or could not happen. The best advice we have right now is to come in every day and do your best work. If that does not drive your morale in the right direction, the destiny you fear will likely find its path and you won’t have to worry about it anymore.

November 2012

Morale Average – 7.02

Total Number of Participants – 45


Thank you for still having the holiday party. I hope it will be something that brings people together and builds the love! Holding strong at a 10. (10)

Thanks for your enthusiasm!

AWESOME!!! Thank you! (10)

Thank YOU!

Back on board with Neil. I understand what he was facing and why things had to be awkward for a while. Small picture = sad my coworkers aren’t here anymore. Big picture = Interactive being a healthy department that produces top-notch work. (9)

Change is never easy, but we are glad to hear you are supportive of the BIG picture!

Thank you for everything. cj is a great place to work. I hope others see that and are thankful for such a fantastic work environment. (9)

Thanks for your support.

While my department is constantly busy, things are going great! Looking forward to the Christmas party! (9)

Thanks for your positivity – we appreciate your contribution to the agency’s success.

Can we ensure that all the toilet paper goes over the top? I believe my morale would jump from a 9 to a 10 if so. (9)

You’ll jump from a 9 to a 10 if the toilet paper dispenses over rather than under? We accept the challenge! We’ve submitted this request to our janitorial company and they will try their best.

Morale is holding steady at around 7.6. I rounded up. Question: Are the company’s financial statements available to the ordinary workhorse? One of the things I love about cj is the transparency. In that spirit, It would be great to know how we are doing from a financial standpoint. (8)

Thanks for rounding up! One of our initiatives for 2013 is to be more transparent with our financials – for the agency overall and by department. We agree this level of transparency is a key ingredient to running a healthy organization. We are currently working on a plan… stay tuned, and thanks for your feedback!

Change is scary. But I’ve been encouraged by the positive attitudes of those around me through some of the recent adversity. (8)

We agree – change is never easy, but we are positioning the agency for continued growth and success. We appreciate your support and positive attitude.

Last month I was at a 5. As processes continue to improve with interactive, my morale will continue to rise as well. I have full faith in our new director and the positive direction we’re moving toward. (8)

We are delighted to see your morale has risen over the last month. Thanks for your support.

I’m really proud of Interactive for keeping things afloat after losing so many members. I’m proud to work with a team who genuinely cares about each other and who pulls together in crisis. (6)

The attention and care put forth by everyone to not only get the work done, but to also reach out and help others transition to a new career is deserving of recognition – that behavior is the epitome of team-driven culture. Thank you.

[Note: We will reply to the following comments with one answer at the end. Although we are contributing a group response, we do want to thank each person for providing feedback. By taking the time to tell us how you feel, you are helping us continue to improve and grow as an organization.]

The recent layoff has disturbed the entire agency, I’m sure. Hoping that it stopped there and won’t affect anyone else’s positions. (8)

I love my job, but I worry about all the staffing changes lately. (7)

Morale a bit lower than usual because of all the people being let go. Don’t get me wrong I’m very thankful to still be here, just a bit worrysome. When can we expect to know if there will be more layoffs? Which areas of the company are affected financially? On a bright note, looking forward to the christmas party, always a good time. 🙂 (6)

I’m sure this will come up a few times in the morale survey, but I’ll chime in on the recent layoffs anyway. Downsizing is scary to everyone, and even though it’s a reality in business, this recent mass layoff really shook me up, especially since it was stated that it was primarily for financial reasons. I think that cj is very generous in rewarding “A players” with very decent raises, but I don’t think I’m alone in saying I’d rather have better job security than big raises. I love working here at cj and would hate to “rockstar” my way into a salary increase that puts me in jeopardy of losing my job. My heart goes out to those that lost their jobs. If it happened to me, I’d be crushed. (5)

Terminations due to financial issues, general lack of the ‘positive’ atmosphere that once existed, fear of the unknown, these are a few of my least favorite things. I have faith in Neil and our team. I understand we are righting the ship so hopefully the good times will come again, some day. – Chris Turner (5)

The layoffs in Interactive over the past few months have certainly been disturbing. It was very surprising to see some people go, and in turn, I feel like I have no job security whatsoever. The lack of communication also continues to be concerning. We were told (vaguely) that the department is now on solid ground and is building a path to profitability, but how can we know that for sure? It’s like we are an experimental side of the agency and management keeps changing the formula and hoping that something eventually works at the expense of the employees. Not much to be happy about right now. (4)

I dunno guys, it’s a like a horror movie around here these days. Who knows who is going to get axed next? I know upper management has their reasons, but it is sad to see employees let go because of a new book someone read. These are people’s lives. And also to let all those people go before the holidays? I know it’s a business, but you can’t expect much company pride when at any given second the hammer can drop on you. I like working here and morale may improve the months to come, however at the moment there is a black cloud hanging over the place. I have heard several people planning their escape before their time comes to an end. (3)

This shouldn’t come as a shock, as I doubt the rest of the agency has a very high morale this month either. I think the fact that we have let go about 13 people since Conference has many people pretty worried for their job. We get that it’s all part of business, but it still has people wondering “Am I next?” Quite a dark cloud hanging over the agency. (3)

Uhhhhhh. 13 people getting laid off or let go in the last two months and a email that says in no specific terms that more layoffs might come before years end. Yeah. That will make anyone’s morale reach a all-time low. Also, why are we no longer displaying those cumulative morale scores on the big screen anymore? (2)

Layoffs and a questionable future. (1)

We understand the reason many of you feel uncertainty around the agency’s financial well-being and we want to ensure everyone that cj Advertising is successful and will continue to be successful – we are not closing our doors. Yes, several financial factors caused us to take a closer look at our current processes, but by no means was anyone let go based on salary. Each decision was made to better position the agency for continued health and profitability.

Here are the facts:

  • We are profitable in 2012 and we are well positioned for continued health and profitability in 2013

  • No person was let go based on salary

  • Our agency is filled with ROCKSTARS! We did not take our best performers and cut them. We evaluated a list of criteria and made decisions based on skill set, performance, and core values.

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your manager. And remember, Arnie and Jimmy continue to have an open door policy and welcome your feedback.

October 2012

Morale Average – 7.26

Total Number of Participants – 57


I have nothing but great things to say about working at cj. (10)

Thank you!

Neil is awesome! He’s rocking the boat, but once it settles, the Interactive department is going to be awesome! Cant wait to see what happens next. (10)

Couldn’t agree more.

I’m excited to see what the future holds 🙂 (10)

We are too!

Things are better than they’ve been in a long time! Looking forward to EXP & Production merging. Also, thanks for making Halloween fun! cj rocks… (9)

Thanks for your support!

Aside from some unfortunate changes in staffing – many of us miss “her” – the future still looks bright in production. I think that the hours being worked by our broadcast editors need some re-evaluating. I’m sure most people here at cj have noticed that the editors are seemingly ALWAYS here. Kudos to them for giving 125%, but over the long term it’s unhealthy and will eventually catch up to us. I hope we can get them back to working more regular 40-50 hour workweeks and not the 60-70 hrs they have regularly been putting in. Burnout helps no one and we need to find a better way. Most of our editors have spent a period of their life freelancing, and are accustomed to long hours – which usually means more $ and is welcome in the freelance world. I used to work on documentaries and literally slept in the studio at times, but when the project was finished I often had a couple weeks off. This is a full time, year round, gig and it is unsustainable. It leads to poor morale, bad health, and a difficult home life. I know management is currently working on this, but I wanted to bring it up here in the survey. (9)

We recognize that the editors have put in extra time lately and we thank them for their dedication and hard work. In her new role of Post Supervisor, we are confident Gael will help us eliminate any inefficiencies and get the post production team back to a 40-50 hour work week. We do encourage our staff to sustain a balance between work and personal life, so if you’re experiencing a heavy workload, don’t forget to speak with your manager. And we agree, the future does look bright in production!

I love working here!!!! (8)

Yay — we’re glad you’re here!

I understand that there are probably HR reasons that our “Let Go” emails are templates, but is there a way that managers can customize them to be slightly more personal and more sensitive? I know this is a business and people get let go, but the “effective immediately…truly wish them the best…future endeavors” copy and pasted emails, seem so cold and robotic. I feel like our company is very warm and personable; I would love to see our company-wide communication match that feeling! (8)

Yes, there are legal reasons behind the consistency of the termination emails, but we do agree that we can make some improvements. Just know that we will still adhere to some sense of uniformity.

Can we please remind all employees to “wash hands before returning to work”? That means with soap and water. The secret restroom police have noticed multiple offenders lately. I love my co-workers, but I do not want your germs! (8)

Thank you for this reminder. Please keep in mind though that some people are highly sensitive to our bathroom hand soap and need to use hand sanitizer instead. Hand sanitizer is located in several locations around the building. If you ever need any, please speak with Facilities.

Friendly reminder- please wash your hands after using the restroom. We are all sharing the same small space and we need to keep the germs at bay. Plus it’s just nasty not to! 🙂 (8)

See above response.

A couple of things – would it be worth investing in rechargeable batteries? I hate to even guess at how many batteries we go through on a monthly basis. Many of us who use Macs have the Apple Magic mouse and they have awesome energy saving battery chargers. Each person could use two batteries and the other two could be in the charger ready to go when necessary. No need to keep buying batteries! Continuing the efficiency theme: I imagine we spend a lot of money on paper towels for the bathrooms. Have we considered investing in hand dryers? The cost will be up front but in the long run there’ll be no need to buy nearly as many paper towels (7)

Actually we have looked into this and the rechargeable batteries are not cost effective. After receiving several requests, we have explored using hand dryers in the restrooms but we have decided against that option due to the noise. There may be other alternatives that we have not considered yet, so the Facilities team will continue the search for a more eco-friendly and cost-effective solution. Thank you for your feedback.

Pretty good stuff going on here. I have to say, I really appreciate the efforts of Fish and MLG to keep our culture awesome. I’ve been featured on the screen a while back and as corny as it sounds – I dug it and was really proud of the recognition. (7)

The collaboration amongst FiSH and Spirit Teams to “make work fun” has been astounding and we’re glad to hear you’re happy.

We are extremely short staffed at the moment. I’ve been having nightmares about my inbox every night when I go to sleep. Help. (7)

We definitely don’t want you losing sleep over this – please speak with your manager if you are having concerns.

Just curious as to why Interactive got a new Director after just a few months of losing thier previous Director… when Production & Design has been without a Director for 19 of the past 24 months! I’m not aware of any ad being posted for the vacant position. Why? I’m sure there are qualifed candidates both internally and externally out there. I guess Leadership doesn’t want a Director in P&D? This significantly lowers my otherwise high morale for working at cj. (6)

We are very happy with the current leadership in P&D right now and we have no plans to search for a Director at this point. With Jimmy serving as Interim Director and Jennifer, Bryan, Gael and Bill managing their teams, we have full faith and confidence in their ability to keep the department on the path to success.

With so many firings lately my morale has dropped a bit. (5)

We understand — it’s not an easy situation for anyone, but we feel we are positioning the agency for success and we appreciate your continued support.

[Note: The following comments are grouped together and will receive one response at the end.]

  • I have been in charge of small and large groups of professionals over the years so I understand the need for changing things up when inefficiencies are found. I think Neil is doing a good job in leading Interactive thus far. However, there is something to be said with the level and method of communication from our new leader. Just as we should be asking the clients to trust our experience and knowledge, our managers need to do the same. There have been some very dramatic changes that have been implemented with little communication before, during and after their implementation. It isn’t necessary to have everyone included in the discussion of managerial changes, but establishing trust and buy-in will only make the team more cohesive and supportive. There are several of us who have never ‘met’ Neil – some only know him from emails or the few interactions when terminations occurred, neither of which have been positive. After months of being a 9 or 10, I’m at a 7 and dropping. I love cj and want what is best for the agency. Let’s remember that we are an ‘And’ organization and not an ‘Us vs Them’ agency – not only with clients but internally. One client call, interaction or email should not change, good or bad, how we as a ‘team’ handle projects, time frames, clients, or each other – in my ‘expert’ opinion. (7)

  • My morale is slipping a little bit. I can be a bit frustrated with my job at times and how my role will take shape. I feel like things in our department will take a while to get organized and I sometimes wonder if we have the right leader to take our team in the right direction. (6)

  • My morale score is usually always a 10, however a lack of communication coupled with recent changes within interactive have brought it down to a 6. Let me be clear. I’m not concerned with the changes themselves, i.e. timecards, limited morning huddle, etc., but the way with which these changes are being communicated to our department. GROUP INTERACTION and VERBAL COMMUNICATION are two ways to end unnecessary speculation and keep everyone on the same page. I feel that cj is moving in a positive direction and that my best interests are being kept in mind. However, I just ask that communication from the top down be kept in a higher regard. (6)

  • I feel like there is a cloud hanging over Interactive. Work used to be a lot more ‘fun’. (6)

  • In Interactive, we’re still in the process of settling in to new leadership… that being said, there’s a breakdown in communication between the new leadership and the people in the trenches carrying out the work. Leaving people out of the department huddle has severed a main artery of departmental cohesiveness. Most importantly, conversation has gone away and it’s hurting morale. Everyone wants us to succeed, so let’s break down some of these communication barriers that are leaving people in the dark and hurting morale! (5)

  • In a work funk right now due to some recent uncertainties and poor communication. This is the first time I’ve been lower than an 8, so let’s just call it an anomaly for now. (5)

  • Feeling disconnected from the decision making process for policies affecting our team/dept. Its turned very top down and impersonal. Less team interaction than ever before. I’m not sure the department leader knows my name or what I do, feeling pressured to prove myself on paper instead of through the quality of my work (4)

  • In the span of about two months, I went from feeling like I was part of a team to feeling like another cog in the system, or in light of recent events, completely expendable. There’s really no team unity in Interactive at this point, partially because only leadership gets to attend our huddle (isn’t that part of our “culture”?) and partially because most of us have no communication with our director. I understand that changes needed to be made, but it feels like all decisions are made behind closed doors with a few select people in attendance, and then the rest of us hear about it days or even weeks later. And it’s ironic that the new timesheet system is supposed to increase efficiency, because it’s probably the most inefficient daily process in the entire department right now. Surely there’s a better solution? (3)

  • I received an e-mail that said I was no longer needed at the huddle. This really blew my mind in that the huddle was the medium through which we all coordinated our thoughts and activities toward the most efficient and effective completion of our work. I don’t believe this is permanent as this is not the CJ culture, nor is it an improvement in our process. However, the sooner it is fixed, the better for our function and our clients. I am certainly not averse to change. When change is made for the better, its benefits are obvious but when change is made to satisfy ego and create a central power point, no one will respond well. Several changes have been made that only serve to reduce communication. The changes were made, ostensibly, to reduce the time it takes to communicate while increasing production. Unfortunately, it has had the opposite effect as we are now logging our time twice while having less information with which to interact with our coworkers on the objectives. This will not work. Was there was a problem that needed correction? Rarely is the problem with employees in a work environment; it is almost always with leadership. Goals for resolution of a perceived problem need to be clearly defined when bringing in new leadership to address a perceived problem. I doubt that the double-logging solution was one of our new boss’ goals (Neil) from management. I assume it is his way of actually being able to understand what we do and how much we do. If he had problems understanding the result of double-logging, what does that say about his ability as a leader? Since I, as an employee, feel it necessary to write this, what does that say about his leadership? A leader leads from the front while a boss pushes from behind. I could be much more specific and would love the opportunity but the tyrannical style we have in Neil’s method of leadership causes me to shrink away out of fear. I have faith and confidence that this problem will be addressed and corrected as this is not what I have come to expect from CJ. Please take my comments in the spirit they were offered. I care and want CJ to continue to have the high quality of product our clients expect from a company whose employees feel they are a part of a successful result. (2)

  • My morale has gone from a 9 to a 1 in one month. The reason? The new director of interactive. Neil seems to be having a lot of trouble adjusting to our team. He lacks communication skills, is absent from most meetings, frequently leaves early, sometimes doesn’t even show up to work at all, and always manages to make himself unavailable when we need him most. He has been here for 2 months and he has barely said hello to me, or several others on our team. It seems like we only hear from him when something goes wrong, and even then his remarks are emotional, petty, and vague. This is a huge change of pace for us. We frequently saw and dealt with Michelle, and she was great at providing us with clear direction and constructive feedback. She was very involved and active as a leader. Neil seems to expect us to work like we have some loyalty to him, but he has made no efforts to earn respect from anyone (other than Arnie and our clients). I understand that his position is an extremely difficult one to be in, and you often have to make the tough choice of siding with your team or your clients, and sometimes the client is right, and you have to get tough with your team. The thing is, there is a proper way to do that, and waging war on the 40 people you rely on to get things done seems extremely foolish. Having a leader that is visibly stressed and manic does nothing to help productivity or morale. I suggest he start making efforts to get to know us and know why things get done, or dont get done in a certain way. This was the benefit of LAM, Michelle had the chance to understand all of us and we had the chance to understand her position. To many of us, Neil is an absentee boss that tries to make things happen through intimidation and bullying. He makes decisions with no input from the team (like cutting many of us out of morning huddle) Morale is bad for interactive right now…. (1)

We understand that change is not always easy and we appreciate your feedback. Here are some things to keep in mind… Leadership absolutely supports Neil and his decisions to make improvements within the department. What we were doing before was not successful and there are going to continue to be changes to ensure we are providing the best service to our clients. Please know that we do not want double-logging — we’re looking to eliminate inefficiencies, not create them. We will make sure everyone is in a daily huddle, but maybe just not in the way you’ve been accustomed to; and most importantly, we will double our efforts to improve communication.

No response — (4)

Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

September 2012

Morale Average – 8.45

Total Number of Participants – 47


I’ve been here for 2 weeks now and everyone has been super nice, helpful, and patient with me. I feel very welcomed and it’s hard to believe that a work environment like cj’s exists! (10)

Welcome to cj and we’re delighted to hear you are having a great experience.

How awesome would it be if we had a foosball table or pool table? Purple felt. Gold cues. It feels pretty luxurious outside right now, but it’s only gonna get colder. Who wouldn’t want to be in of doors sipping a warm cider, dropping balls in pockets? I know I would. (10)

That does sound nice…Facilities appreciates your suggestion and they’ll look into it.

I was especially inspired by Daniel Stark’s presentation at conference. Because I want to go to Cancun with my family and coworkers. Let’s do that, ok? (10)

Jonathan Stark’s presentation was exciting and it got us thinking about how we can implement a program that enables cj’ers to rally around and work collectively towards achieving specific team goals. cj’s Strategic Retreat will be held in November and we hope to return from the retreat with several ideas and strategies that can be in place by 1Q2013. Stay tuned…

This place is really too good to be true…but I will keep believing! (10)

As Steve Perry used to sing… “Don’t stop believin’ Hold on to that feelin'”

Conference went extremely well in my opinion. Clients were so much more pleasant than last year and seemed excited for the year to come. This translates to my excitement and i look forward to another year at cj. (9)

Agreed — this year’s conference was a HUGE success!

Still not a big fan of the scorecards. I know it’s an ‘objective’ way to base our job performance, but my outcomes have changed twice in the last 6 months. It’s not really affecting my moral right now, but it might come annual review time. I know no system is perfect and we’re constantly working on trying to get something better. I would rather fix the scorecard at the end of the year review instead of the middle of the year. That’s all. (9)

Implementing the Scorecard Program has been a challenging endeavor, but one with a high level of importance. We have seen some wins and some losses over the past year and we have a lot of people working together to drive this thing forward. We are confident that the 2nd year of the program will show improvement in the system’s ability to properly identify, measure and reward success.

This doesn’t affect my morale, but how come Client Services has 2 people on Leadership? Is it because Richmond can dance? If so, then there are other people in the agency with mad dance skillz too. I suggest a dance-off to determine who gets the extra spot on Leadership. (9)

Although we do appreciate Richmond’s killer dance moves, those particular skills are not basis for his inclusion on Leadership. As you hopefully read in today’s Agency Updates email, Richmond helped by bringing the client perspective to Leadership during a time when we were searching for a Director of Client Services. He continued to fill a spot on Leadership even after Julia joined the team to allow enough time for her to become acclimated. Moving forward, Julia will serve in that Leadership position and Richmond will maintain his focus on servicing our clients. Oh, and he may have more time to work on his dance moves so beware!

I’m loving working here, conference was HUGE. Everyone was on point and full of excitement. My one complaint is about the Men’s downstairs toilet. I believe it’s time to get it replaced – it seems to breakdown quite a bit. And by quite a bit, I mean at least once a day, everyday. (9)

Thank you for your feedback and we understand your frustration. The Facilities team will keep a closer eye on this and see if they can pinpoint the problem.

cj Conference was a total blast (I can’t believe I just said that… and meant it). It was great meeting our clients and showing them what we do every day. I felt proud and confident. I thought their reactions and responses were extremely positive. Putting faces with names is so important. Also, Neil Schrum has been wonderful to work with and I am so thankful he’s here. He listens and respects everyone. It’s really great coming to work these days. (9)

We couldn’t agree more.

The conference was absolutely amazing this year. I think it may be the best one we have ever had. It was energetic, thought-provoking, and everyone seemed to be in good spirits. Great work everyone!! (9)


Exceptionally awesome conference this year! So proud of what we do, and what our clients do! Thank you for a fun Spirit week, too–very much appreciated during such a busy time. (9)

The lead up to conference is always very busy and the FiSH team did a fantastic job of lowering stress levels. The hard work paid off — this year’s conference was quite impressive and we appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm.

Conference was awesome! Great job everyone :] (9)


Conference was great. I really enjoyed the format this year. Also, thank you for the $4 bananas. I ate all of mine. 🙂 (8)

Probably the best $4 banana you’ve ever had, huh? Glad you enjoyed it!

Conference was awesome. (8)

Yes it was!

Conference was a fine success! It’s a pain in the buttocks, but it does seem worth it (mostly). (8)

We recognize that a ton of work goes into conference, but we always come out of it proud of what we’ve accomplished. Thank you for contributing your energy and enthusiasm — it helped make this year’s conference a success.

Production rocks. I love that all departments seem to be working together more and collaborating. There are so many talents in this building, so the more collaboration the better. One idea though: less beer/treats, more money or time off? (8)

Less beer…really?

Having Neil on board has been refreshing. I feel like he genuinely cares about the good of the company, our department, and each of us individually. He’s a great addition to our team! (8)

We couldn’t agree more.

Would it be possible for schedulers to be more specific in their studio/ training room requests? For example, the room is often booked all day for a LIP training session, but they actually only use the studio for specific hours within that time frame. If possible, it would be great for people to only schedule what they need so that others can share the space. Thanks! (8)

Thank you for your feedback. Facilities will evaluate this process to ensure all conference rooms are booked properly and that the meeting organizer is mindful of group size and time when booking a particular conference room. All conference room questions and/or issues can be directed to Kelsey Nuttall, at the front desk.

Everything in my department seems like it’s getting a lot more organized, which is great. Now onto another subject, what are we doing about conference rooms? It’s been tricky these days to nail down a room; they’re always taken! Not a huge complaint, just curious (7)

See previous response.

Had a good time at conference, but I felt that there was a very bad lack of communication about the event. Last year, there was a lot of correspondence about when conference was, what the individual day schedules were, what was asked of us, what the plan was post-conference, etc. This year, we received one or two large emails that told us some of this info, but not all of it. Again, the conference itself was great, and kudos to all who helped put it together, but there were too many people questioning, “what are we supposed to do now?” throughout the two days. (7)

We’re sorry we did not communicate as often as we could have. We’re happy to hear you still enjoyed the experience and we’ll be sure to improve communication in next year’s planning, well, that’s if we have conference next year.

Enjoyed the conference experience. Great job by the whole cj team in pulling off such an impressive show. (6)

Agreed — awesome job everyone!

Conference is just a complete moral buster. I know it is an important event for the welfare of the company, but cupcakes and beer doesn’t make up for the insane amount of overtime put in. I feel under appreciated and taken advantage of. Talk to me again in a couple of months. (5)

We know that many team members put in a lot of extra time and energy into making conference the success it was and we assure you that it has not gone unnoticed. Thank you for your time and hard work — it is appreciated!

August 2012

Morale Average – 8.32 – one score below 4

Total Number of Participants – 53


Still Lovin’ It! (10)

Lovin’ you – thanks for your enthusiasm!

Excited to have Neil starting here in interactive! Excited to have Coffee,Lunch open. Good things happening around here. (10)

We share your sentiment – these are some great additions to the agency and the building.

Would like to see some additional caffeine free diet soda options in the vending machines. (10)

At this time, the only caffeine-free diet options available from our vendor include the coke zero and sprite zero. If more options become available to us we will consider expanding the selection. Thanks for the suggestion.

I have never heard of a company that actually cares about morale like cj does. Very refreshing! (10)

Our employee’s morale is very important to us and these surveys allow us to gain a better understanding of the overall temperament throughout the agency. If our employees don’t tell us, we don’t know. Morale surveys give our employees a chance to tell us how they’re feeling and we then have an opportunity to listen and move forward. Thank you for participating and were happy you’re happy!

Been here a little over a year, and still never lower than a 7 =) I’m really happy to be here. (10)

We’re really happy to have you as part of the team and we’re glad to hear your morale is high.

You guys this place is wonderful! I’m having a blast every day. I love the fruits; anyway you could get strawberries while they’re still in season? (10)

Although strawberries would be nice, we need to offer fruit that can easily stay fresh for at least a week due to current delivery schedules.

The Interactive Dashboard rules. (10)


Cj ROCKS! It’s as simple as that! (10)

Yep – cj does ROCK!

Production has undergone some pretty significant changes recently with the loss of the Director of Design and Production. However unfortunate, I believe that the outcome is in the company’s best interest. We have a great team of capable professionals handling all areas of production and I see a bright future ahead. (9)

We couldn’t agree more.

Major props to all of the Interactive crew for keeping the ship afloat over the past couple of months. And thanks to Arnie for taking on the DoI role and helping us out in the interim. That being said, I’m very excited about Neil coming in as the DoI. Looking forward to him taking the reins of the department and helping us serve the clients. Also, Coffee, Lunch.!!!! (9)

We agree – the Interactive team has done a phenomenal job over the last few months and Neil’s arrival will assist us in achieving further success for our clients and the agency.

BUSY BUSY!!! (9)

Thanks for all your hard work – we appreciate it!

Touchdown Tailgating Thursday was so much fun! (9)

It was fun, wasn’t it? Way to go FiSH team!

Ready to ROCK Conference!! (8)

We’re right there with you.

Well, I am excited about football. Fish did a great job kicking things off! (8)

They sure did.

Holding steady at a solid 8 for the month. One nitpick: monetary rewards for things like Book Club, employee recognition, etc., are awesome. However, is there any chance we can switch to Visa/Mastercard gift cards (or even sweet, delicious cash)? The AMEX gift cards can be a pain to use if you don’t spend the exact amount the card is worth on a single purchase, and they aren’t widely accepted online or in stores. In fact, there’s a ton of complaints about them online. I still have a few dollars left on mine, but unless I can find something that costs that exact amount, that money will forever remain trapped in its plastic prison, and that makes me sad. (8)

There are a lot of stores that will run the card to $0 and allow you to pay any remaining balance on your purchase. Plus, the snack vending machine will gladly accept your Amex gift card. If you still feel your money is stuck in a plastic prison, see Arnie – he may be willing to buy your gift card at 50 cents on the dollar.

There are more and more seats on the org chart filling up and that means momentum is on our side. Feels good to have rock stars on board. (8)

Yes it does!

I feel better knowing that we have a new DoI. Welcome Neil! Excited to have him in our department! (8)

We couldn’t agree more – Neil’s arrival to the Interactive team is very exciting and we look forward to the energy he will bring into the agency.

I really appreciate the Facilities Department handout that was in my mailbox. It’s really helpful to see what everyone does, who takes care of what, etc. I don’t know if there are plans to make this an ongoing thing, but would you please consider doing one for HR+? I think it would be really helpful. Thanks! (7)

The HR+ team is currently working on bringing some clarity around the department and each team member’s role. Stay tuned for more details.

It’s frustrating to see some people busting their asses and working 12 hour days, and some people goofing off and complaining about the two things they have to do. I think there needs to be a wake up call, sooner rather than later. Also, how can we read the book of the quarter, if there are never any on the shelves. Read faster people! (6)

Thank you for your comment. We are going to sharpen our focus to ensure the agency as a whole supports our core value of Team-Driven Culture. And remember, teamwork is more than just stepping in to help – it’s also the ability to hold each other accountable to make sure we are all providing our best.

I, at least, am not accustomed to drama in our department but the last few weeks have had plenty. We are so busy with conference and now we’re unsure who to really go to for certain non-creative requests or concerns. I’m hopeful the cause of our uneasiness is gone now but it will take a little while for the vibe to go back to normal. (5)

Arnie and Jimmy have a long history of an open door policy and if you have any concerns at this time please do not hesitate to seek their assistance.

No response – (4)

Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

July 2012

Morale Average – 8.21 – one score below 4

Total Number of Participants – 61


Love working here. Also, it was very encouraging to see the response to my morale survey comment from last month (about helping cj win Best Place to Work next year). There’s really no reason why we shouldn’t be taking home that award every year, and I hope the committee idea comes to fruition to help make that happen! (10)

Glad to hear you’re happy and we agree that cj could sweep the awards every year! Formulating a committee for this purpose is on our radar and we?ll explore this more after cj Conference.

It’s still awesome here!!! (10)

Glad to hear! p.s. — you’re awesome too!

Apparently Big Foot, Paul Bunyan and Cousin It have all decided to use the downstairs men’s urinals. They are obviously shaving their legs in and around the white porcelain fixtures because the amount of hair offset with the contrast in color and texture of the porcelain is uncanny. If these dudes could keep their ferocious follicle frenzy in the privacy of their own homes, I and the rest of the downstairs potty patrons would be much obliged. (10)

Please note the current bathroom/porcelain cleaning schedule is twice a day Mon – Fri and once a day on Sat/Sun. Facilities management is aware and appreciates your attention to detail.

My morale is a 10, but i want to voice my concerns! Where to start? Ok, for starters, people are still getting fired willy-nilly!!!!! Like, one day, LIP is rockin’, then the next – *poof* – two rockstars gone in one day? To put this into perspective, if those two rockers were ui/ux, we wouldn’t have a ui/ux anymore. (Please know that terminations are never willy-nilly. We take time to come to these decisions and determine a plan for the repercussions afterwards.) Which brings me to my next point: the football game. It was completely rigged. That’s all I’m gonna say on the subject. (You’re right – the football game was probably rigged) I’d like to see the super dangerous parking lot situation fixed. (We are not aware of any super dangerous parking situation. Please submit a helpdesk ticket and let the Facilities team know of any activity that you feel jeopardizes employee safety. In the case of an emergency, contact the police?safety numbers are located on the communication board near the side employee exit.) Kony 2012!!! (10)

Thank you for your comments – we are glad to see your morale is still high.

cj, you don’t know you’re beautiful. That’s what makes you beautiful. (10)

Thank you. “It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.” ~Author Unknown

I have a peeve. Or, is it something for ghost hunters? I see cigarette butts ground out under the picnic table on the side entrance. Surely our employees aren’t doing that. I feel that it may be phantom smokers. The ghosts of those who have departed with serious smoker issues…you know, like the smoker in the movie Bettlejuice. Perhaps we need to call in a psychic. This is a spooky and smokey issue. (10)

– The area is policed once a day and throughout the day as needed. We are as spooked as you are.

Thank you for the massage session! (10)

You’re welcome. Thank you for all your hard work!

I love working here! (10)

We’re glad to hear that.

Doing work and feeling great! I’m loving the CS6 upgrade, big thanks to everyone for making it happen. (9)

Thank you for recognizing the opportunity and we’re glad to hear you’re enjoying the upgrade.

The agency as a whole continues to impress me. I’ve been here for nearly a year and my excitement for coming to work has not diminished one bit. The only concern I have is the lack of interdepartmental/agency communication. The huddle notes do a good job of notifying everyone in the agency about changes, successes and work being done, but I think more face-to-face opportunities can only help make the agency more cohesive. Example, I know Ron Bell isn’t on the wall, but they’re still a client? I don’t know what that means, should I? (9)

We do recognize there is room for improvement when it comes to interdepartmental communication and your concern sparked interest in evaluating a better solution going forward. The face-to-face opportunities are certainly a good idea that we think we can build on. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask your Department Head any questions you may have. As for Ron Bell, he is no longer a cj client however we do still assist with his website. Our monthly staff meetings do include a lot of information that you may be missing. Go to MLG Central to review any you may have missed.

Thank you for Staycation Week! It was epic. I have a mountain of work in front of me, but I’m reenergized to take it on now. Employee appreciation around here is amazing! (9)

We feel the employees around here are amazing and deserve to be appreciated! Glad to hear you’re happy.

My morale is as good as it’s ever been. Things are busy but smooth in my dept thanks to a few recent changes. I’d also like to send a huge shout out to FISH. They have been killing it lately with some of the stuff they’ve done. It’s the little things that make a big difference by breaking up the same ol’ same ol’. (9)

Awesome – thanks for the shout out to the FiSH team! We agree – sometimes the smallest efforts make the biggest impact.

Loved Staycation!!! Thank you! (8)

You’re welcome – glad you enjoyed it!

Thanks for making an effort to set up a financial lunch and learn, but is there anything else in the form of a retirement plan being talked about? It seems more than a handful of employees bring it up on the morale survey. Was this financial meeting supposed to advise us on retirement options outside of cj? Thank you for taking the time to address my concerns. (8)

We have no formal plans to provide a 401K plan now or in the near future. However, financial planning is certainly important and we recognize that. We intend to work towards providing more Lunch-N-Learns in the future, specifically to help with your investment planning. Stay tuned.

Is there a way to track staff/department participation in conference related work and activities? I know this is something that was discussed after last year’s conference. There are many here who will happily volunteer for multiple positions, but it can get a little crazy when needs start to overlap. How do we make sure the jobs fall to many and not just a select few? Looking forward to Conference 2012 (really)! (8)

We try our best not to overlap responsibilities leading up to Conference, but it can get a little crazy as we get closer! If you are willing to assist and are looking to volunteer, please see Chasity and/or your Department Head. If you are feeling currently overwhelmed with Conference tasks, please talk to your Department Head. As you say, there are many capable people who will be happy to help you.

Thanks for adding more time to get the survey completed! (7)

You’re welcome – thanks for completing the survey!

Excited for the new DoI to start and for the future of the department. (7)

So are we!

Things weren’t so hot after Michelle left, but with Neil Schrum heading up cj’s Interactive department in the near future (which is GREAT news), I’m interested to see how the agency moves forward. (6)

Are you saying you’re excited to see Arnie step out of the role as Interim DoI? In all seriousness, we agree with you – we too are looking forward to the energy Neil will bring to the department and agency as a whole.

I’m looking forward to working with our new DoI in Interactive. I’m also really happy with how our team has held it together and produced great quality work in the mean time without a DoI. On that note, Justin Rearden deserves a shout out for really helping our team keep it together the past few weeks, offering his time to make sure we have had the support we’ve needed during this time in addition to filling his normal role. (6)

Thanks for the shout out. The whole Interactive team deserves kudos for the energy, enthusiasm and quality of work put forth over the last several weeks. Keep up the good work!

Excited about the changes that will come with the Mayor’s Challenge Health initiative! (6)

The great thing about the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge is that we are getting recognized for many initiatives we already have in place, so we don’t really have to change much unless we want to add more cool features (such as a bike rack)! Thanks for your excitement and support!

Feeling a bit rundown….maybe it’s time for a vacation! (6)

– That’s what PTO is for! Take one!

I love getting a Sonic Diet Coke with cherry or vanilla flavoring. We have the Sonic ice (and hopefully a swipe card on the Coke machine soon) so now all I need is the flavoring. Could we get cherry or vanilla syrup dispensers as well? (6)

We will not be getting a swipe card for the vending machine any time soon unfortunately. We’ll see what we can do about the syrup dispensers! You might want to check with Coffee, Lunch once they open!

I have made suggestions and requests that have been denied so I’m not feeling super cheery at this moment. (6)

– We’re listening, we promise! Turn it into a positive – don’t let several “no’s” stop you from getting to a “yes”. If you don’t say it, we can guarantee it won’t be heard.

What organizations/groups/charities/businesses do cj/MLG/LIP/MedView support/donate to/in any way fund? Thank you for your detailed transparency. (6)

– Beyond private contributions made by the owners, MLG tends to focus on driving our contributions via Camels with a Cause (CWAC), of which all gifts in the form of money and time are noted on the wall in the lobby.

No response – (3)

– Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

June 2012

Morale Average – 8.18

Total Number of Participants – 49


Woooo that means I’ve been here for a month!! This place is amazing! The incredible support of co-workers just blows my mind. Coming from NYC where not always are you appreciated for the work you do in a fast paced, walk all over you to get what I need environment, I find it just amazing how in tune this company, excuse me, family is. Folks here treat each other with respect. I love coming to work, my days fly by because time cruises when you’re having fun…not many people can say they have fun working, I can, I can!! 🙂 (10)

Thank you for this great feedback!

As good as a j.o.b. gets. cj rocks Nashville! (10)


Had a great 1st week at cj Advertising. (10)

We’re glad to hear that.

As a cj advertising “newbie”, I am so impressed by the care and effort taken with onboarding new employees. I’m an ad agency veteran of global holding companies as well as independents, I have never had such a positive or welcoming experience when joining a new company. While I may feel that I have a lot to learn, I certainly feel at home already. Thank you! (10)

You’re so welcome. We’re glad you’re here.

cj is better than the last bite of an ice cream cone…you know what I’m talking about. (10)

Oh yeah? we know!

10! What would make it better than a 10? Well, I would love to see .25 drinks other than soft drinks (like juices, etc). (Maybe not .25, but our Facilities team is going to look into this.) My shoulders and back also get pretty sore from sitting at the desk so much – maybe we could get someone to come in and give massages throughout the week? Yeah, wishful thinking… (Maybe not? You may just have your wish granted.) I wanted to add that during the last morale survey, someone made the comment that we’d rather have Michelle over Arnie. I just want to say that I don’t feel that way, nor do most of the people I’ve talked to. Arnie, thanks for creating the jobs and culture that we have here at CJ. (10)

You’re welcome. Thanks for your support.

BUSY!!! The way I like it! (9)


Great place. Can we fix the toilet wrapper thing in the Men’s upstairs restroom? It’s the one on the right. It no longer dispenses. (9)

Consider it done. As a reminder, please use a Helpdesk ticket to get things like this fixed quickly in future.

I’ve been very happy about the way Interactive has continued to push forward and hold the fort after Michelle’s departure. Glad to be working with such a good group. (9)

Thank you for your feedback.

Just a friendly reminder! Please remember to pull the soda can tabs off and place them in the Ronald McDonald House containers on the counter before recycling. Every little bit goes a long way! (9)

Good reminder. Thank you!

Work overload but otherwise content. But since I need to complain about something, how about we need a retirement fund (or a raise?) and more vacation time?? There, I feel better already. (8)

We see a raise and more vacation time in your future

I enjoy my job here, and the work environment is great. But I would like to see cj become THE leader in Nashville for employee satisfaction and ability to attract top talent. For a small/medium sized business the perks are awesome, but I think the company is only a few small steps away from being a unanimous pick for “Best Place to Work” every year. (8)

So do we! You?ve inspired us to form a committee to campaign for us to get there. It’s a great goal, and one that we can only achieve together.

My morale has improved some because I feel like a wall has been lifted! I see and hear coworkers from Interactive now. They’re all cool people – I’m glad they’re not isolated anymore. I’m also excited to see what all this new blood in Leadership will bring – new Directors in P&D, Client Services, and now Interactive. Team-driven culture! (8)

Thank you for recognizing that change can bring a lot of good energy all around. We?re excited too.

It’s been discussed recently, but I’d like to point it out here in the morale survey…P&D needs to lose the producer/editor grading system per project. It creates unneeded tension and the results are inaccurate because no one wants to sabotage future collaborations by giving a low score. There is a reason some people are more drawn to management/business roles and others are drawn to more creative roles. We don’t ask our dept. head to direct shoots or create motion graphics, why should we be doing management-type work? There is enough tension trying to make our deadlines and keep our clients happy. If you want an accurate account of job performance/collaboration, we need to organize a ONE-ON-ONE meeting with our dept. head, anonymously, after the project wraps, and he can give a grade based on the finished work and job performance working with the editor/producer. The peer feedback scores are a different thing, and I believe they work in cj’s favor… but lose this post-project grading business, please! Plus, everyone gives 4s anyway, so it’s not working as is. Why? Because no one is perfect (5) and no one wants to directly impact a co-workers annual raise (3). (8)

Thank you for bringing this to the forefront. It is on our radar and we will make a concerted effort to improve this.

Thank you for allowing us to volunteer our time (during business hours) to work at the Rescue Mission. I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from everyone who helped. I’ve missed CWAC while it was away, so it’s nice to have it back again! I hope we can continue to make this a priority. (8)

We’re so glad you enjoyed your experience. Stay tuned for more details

Thanks for allowing us to use work hours to volunteer at the Nashville Rescue Mission! We should consider making it a quarterly initiative. (7)

You’re welcome. See above response.

“A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” – Confucius (7)

Well said.

Where are we all going to sit, when all of these people are hired? (6)

Don’t worry where they?re going to sit, worry about where they’re going to park! Seriously? it’s a great question. We know it’s an issue and we are working on it. We have options; we just don’t have any definite decisions right now.

A lot of credit needs to go to the entire Interactive team for stepping up to the plate and keeping things rolling while the hunt for a new DOI is underway. I’m proud to work with such a talented group of people. (6)

Thank you for this great feedback.

May 2012

Morale Average – 7.85

Total Number of Participants – 54


Love the picnic tables! (10)

We love our Facilities team!

Feeling very blessed to be part of the MLG family. Thanks for all that you do for us. (10)

Thank you.

I feel fortunate and blessed, thanks for asking. (10)

Thank you.

Thank you for the 3rd anniversary vacation boost! (10)

You’re welcome – you deserve it.

I absolutely love coming to work at CJ! Everyone here is great, especially the guys and gals in the interactive department. Thank you for making work fun! ( ) 10 ( )

So glad you’re happy!

It’s amazing here. Very happy to be here! (10)


cj Rocks! Hence the 10. One suggestion: Could we consider shortening the employee referral bonus payout structure so folks don’t have to wait five years to reap the benefits of bringing high-quality folks to cj? The current structure doesn’t incentivize me at all to refer someone, as it feels like I’ll be eligible to draw Social Security before I see the big dollar amounts promised (assuming this person and I are still here in five years). I’d be much more apt to scour my rolodex if the financial incentive was paid out over a more reasonable time period, say one year. Just an idea. (10)

This is not a bad idea and certainly inspired some good conversation! We will review the plan and find a way to improve upon it. Thank you for the suggestion.

All good. (9)


Things are great! My only thing is that since we are not offered any form of retirement, like a 401k, maybe it could be arranged for a financial advisor/planner/investor to come to CJ. They could educate us on how we can start planning for our retirement on our own with a Roth IRA or other investment opportunities we may not be aware of. (9)

Yes! We do have something in the works, similar to a lunch and learn. We’ve had to play around with some of the dates, but it is on the radar. Stand by for more details coming to an Inbox near you.

Love working in production and design. David Bennett and Steve Chessor have brought great new energy to our team. My morale is definitely up, although I still wish cj could hold on better to the good people. High turnover affects everyone… but currently our hiring makes me happy.


Thanks for the shout-outs. Few would classify our turnover as high and many would feel that cj does hold on to good people, but we know what you mean.

I’m just curious about receiving mail here. I recently received some personal mail here and when I went to get it from my mailbox it was already opened. I’m just curious if this is done as a courtesy to us or if all the mail coming into the building is checked? It was a little bothersome at first, but then I thought, maybe it’s to help me out and avoid paper cuts. Just curious why that policy is in place. (9)

This is merely a courtesy that we put in place to make things more efficient. The mail is not checked, simply opened.

It would be great to have a water jug downstairs! (9)

No, it wouldn’t. The big jugs are mold-breeders! The drinking water in the fountains and in the kitchen sinks is all filtered.

My morale is 100% good, I see some not so good… (9)

…even if true, let’s accentuate the positive

In regards to the recent health insurance meetings, I felt very rushed in making an important financial decision for my family. I also felt that the meetings were very one-sided with the focus just on the HSA plan. We need to know all of the details no matter what! (8)

The reason that there was more emphasis on the HSA plan is that it is the plan that people tend to know the least about. Rachel has set up another session with our broker to answer any questions after the fact, and to explain things more clearly, if necessary.

Is it just me or are their tons of fruit flies in this building? I feel like Linus sitting at my desk swatting at them. I do not have food or anything at my desk that could be causing this…who knows, maybe I’m just the stinky kid? 🙂 (8)

Margaret is going to look into this ? it does seem that we have more than normal. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  • cj, as usual, remains a great place to work. There are so many workplaces out there that don’t give a flip about their employees, and to have a company go out of its way on a consistent basis and actually listen to people’s complaints and concerns and make things better for everyone is pretty awesome. However, in light of recent news, I’m a bit concerned about the future of my department. We have a great team dynamic, and I hope any changes/hiring decisions in the future are made with the intention of preserving that as much as possible. ? Our intention is to hire the best possible candidate for the job and we are aligning resources to do just that.
  • Also, what’s up with the new coffee cups–have they permanently replaced the old ones? The Flavia machine fills them up almost to the brim, and the flimsy lids don’t do much to keep them from spilling or sloshing around while walking back to my desk (Hot Coffee, anyone)? Any chance we can bring back the old cups? (8) This was just something our Facilities team wanted to try out, but fear not? the traditional cups are back!

I am going to miss some of the people leaving lately but must press on. Does cj have some sort of exit interview/questionnaire? If so, how is it used after completion? (8)

Yes, we do, and the information is used where applicable, We do feel we can improve this process going forward, so thank you for bringing this to our attention.

There has been a lot of change recently, so it’s left me a little worried about how things will go in the next couple of months. (7)

Try to focus on the positive and know that our main focus is to get the right people in place to keep us moving in the right direction.

I miss the fun survey questions that used to be included in the morale survey! It made completing the morale survey feel fun, and less like a chore. I know, it’s nit-picky. But it’s crazy-busy here! Any injection of fun, no matter how small, is appreciated. 🙂 (7)

We?ll bring them back! Suggestions are ALWAYS welcome ? just submit them to the Communications Helpdesk.

Feeling a bit stressed and overworked right now, but otherwise, things are peachy. (7)

Hang in there and talk to your manager if you need help.

ENOUGH with all the GOSSIP!! (6)

“People with the highest intellect talk about ideas. People with average intellect talk about things. People with no intellect talk about other people.” ~ Anon

Thank you for the benefit enrollment information meetings provided this year. The meetings were very helpful. (6)

Glad you feel that way. We agree. Thanks for this feedback.

There seems to be a good deal of churn, but is it in the right places? Only time will tell. (5)

Keep your head up and maintain a positive outlook. Change is constant.

My morale has dropped substantially over the past month. Reality is starting to shine through all the smoke and mirrors. I’m slowly beginning to see that there are a lot of people in the building that are very bitter towards other departments. These bitter people seem to be the ones causing the most problems in their own departments and throughout the entire company, and have no reason being employed here. If you are going to talk badly about people behind their backs, do it somewhere else! (4)

Thank you for your feedback.

The following comments are all concerning changes in the Interactive department:

It will be sad to see Michelle go! I look forward in eager anticipation towards the new DoI and hopefully they can continue the great momentum we’ve built up in Interactive. “The only constant is change.” (7)

Thank you for your great attitude. It?s always hard to see good people go and change can be unsettling, but please know that our intention is to hire the best people we can to fit the DOI and Interactive Strategist positions and continue to move the team in the right direction.

Waiting to see the new direction interactive will go, hence the uncertain score of 5. Think of it as flying my morale flag at half staff because up until now I’ve given only 10s. (5)

See overall response below.

I’m really bummed out that Michelle is leaving cj. I hope we find a replacement for her in Interactive who will mesh with our team the way she does. My work environment is really productive, very positive, fun, and we’re all confident in each other’s abilities. (4)

See overall response below.

I am very saddened at the departure of our fearless leader, Michelle Viar. Michelle has been the greatest boss I have ever worked for and it pains me that she has chosen to leave under reasons that could have been fixed and avoided. A lot of things have been said about her as a leader in this forum and the decisions she has made, but I think I can speak on behalf of all of Interactive in saying that Michelle didn’t let anyone go or make a decision out of spite, it was done because the person was not a good fit, or did not have the work ethic necessary to do their job. She was loved by us all and she will be sorely missed. Personally, I feel like we have lost our leader and no one will be able to replace her. I am scared for the future of interactive now that we have lost our biggest cheerleader. Sincerely, Nekos Barnes (3)

See overall response below.

Maybe another one of us already said this, but we’re all sad over losing Michelle. I’m sure there are people who are happy to lose her because she challenged the norm and overall just had higher standards than anyone in this building, but maybe it’s those people who should be let go for having a lack of effort and standards rather than Michelle leaving because she so detested their lack of, well, everything she held dear. Arnie seems so blasé about this whole thing. He apparently knew for a really long time before he told us. I think I speak for us all when I say “Arnie, we’d rather have her as you.” (1)

Ouch. See overall response below.

To respond to the above comments, we have two open positions: Director of Interactive and Interactive Strategist. We will pull out all the stops to make the best possible decision to fill those positions as soon as possible. Whoever we hire will work hard to achieve success for our clients, the agency, their team, and themselves; in that order. Until then, we need all of you on board and engaged in helping us continue toward our BHAG. We trust that you will be able to overcome your fear and get to that point.

April 2012

Morale Average – 8.33

Total Number of Participants – 39


I love working here. Can’t imagine a better place to be. (10)

Thank you!

I WANT to come to work every morning! (10)

Thank you!

I’m thankful for my job. (10)

Thank you! We’re glad you’re here.

Love working here! (10)

Thank you! That’s great to hear.

heart cj (10)

heart u.

Yo, first off this place is jammin’ on the one! But ya’ll need to quit trippin’ on bagel day and come up off them cinnamon joints! Every time I try to get a cinnamon bagel there’s like one empty box of nothing but cinnamon spice fragments and like twelve boxes of onion bagels! Whaaaat?! But on the real, half boxes of cinnamon bagels and half wack bagels. (10)

Yo dog… we’ll take care of ya!

Everything is great right now except for one thing. Lack of toilet paper in the Men’s downstairs bathroom. For some reason in the last two months this has become a significant issue. I thought we had resolved it by putting extra rolls in the nice little cabinet sitting in there. However nothing is stored in there anymore. I think this is a simple problem to fix. That’s all 🙂 (10)

Consider it done. Don’t forget, a simple helpdesk ticket to the Facilities team is another way to get this resolved faster.

Production & Design finally has a director! Wooohooo…DB rocks! (9)

DB thanks you

Simply put, cj is fully deserving of any positive recognition it receives, whether it’s Best Business or Best Place to Work. The only thing I might suggest is to increase the supply of bananas in the break room (perhaps at the expense of other fruit budgets). There’s a reason all of the bananas disappear within an hour or so, while most of the apples linger for days (no offense to apple lovers). On a more serious note, I read a comment in the LIP survey this morning about parking issues for their afternoon/late night employees, and I agree with it 100%. While it’s nice for the morning employees such as myself to park right next to the building, I think we can all agree that this area of Nashville isn’t exactly Mayberry, and it’s not fair to those who have to trek to their cars after dark. I’ve been approached multiple times by sketchy looking individuals on my lunch break at noon in and around the parking lot area, so I can only imagine what it’s like once the sun goes down. This might seem like a minor issue right now, but all it takes is one incident for this to become a MAJOR issue affecting the entire company. (9)

Thank you for caring. To clarify, all LIP employees are allowed and, in fact, encouraged, to leave the call center and move their cars to the upper MLG lot while it?s still light out and on company time. Their safety is of the utmost importance and we’ve made changes accordingly.

Love the Happy Lights! Thank you! (9)

You’re welcome. We’re so glad they’re working out.

There are a lot of meetings going on these days. It would be nice if each meeting room had a list of the day’s meetings in that room. I think that would help with meetings running longer than the room is booked for, and double bookings of a meeting room. (8)

Great idea! We’ll get that in motion ASAP.

I won’t lie, the beer cart on Fridays makes my week. Also, everyone in Interactive is hilarious and I enjoy coming to work to collaborate with everyone. It’s pretty great. (8)

Thank you!

I’m all for getting Dyson Airblades installed in the bathrooms. Save trees, and lets dry our hands with air! There is a cool site that will do the cost comparison between paper towels and dyson’s.

(The reason for not getting Dyson Airblades is not about the cost – it’s about the noise. If you can find an alternative that’s less noisy, let us know.)

  • The only other comment I have is that I need coffee! What the time frame for getting something opened next door? Besides that everything is going well! (8)

    We are talking to a vendor at the moment and are hopeful for a commitment to be made in either June or July. The point is that we have a plan in the works, so stay tuned. Your java needs will be addressed soon enough. In the meantime, don?t forget? we have 25 cent coffee in the break room and our facilities team just recently added a second machine to alleviate wait time.

Very happy and love the people I work for! (8)

Thank you!

I would like a coffee shop where Fiddlecakes used to be. I also would like a Dyson Airblade in the bathrooms. (7)

See above responses.

I feel like an 8, but my co-worker said I’m more of a 7. In the spirit of team driven culture, I’m going with my peer evaluation. So sorry, if this hurts the average. This month, I’m a 7. (7)

Ok! Any way we can get you closer to a 10?

I was glad to read in the last morale survey that some people are excited about their scorecards. Can we hear more from them? Everyone I talk to is still struggling with theirs. Maybe there’s something we can learn from those who feel empowered by theirs? I know that scorecards are important to the company and I truly want to be on board, but many of us aren’t there yet. Scorecard lovers, speak up! Show us the way! (7)

The quarterly check-ins are designed to identify challenges and support successes, so please take advantage of those. They are there to help you. The scorecards are not as rigid as you may think and talking to your manager during these check-ins will help determine whether changes need to be made. Please also talk to more of your colleagues about their scorecards because we are truly hearing lots of good feedback and we are certain that you too will hear some good things and, in turn, find success.

Why was the Survey Review Team switched up last month? Is this the team going forward? (6)

A few months ago we invited Jacob Blaze, our Employee of the Year, to the review meetings. We’ve since started including each month’s Golden Camel award winner and we will continue to do that going forward. David Bennett has since joined the Leadership team and Margaret has been invited in order to answer any facilities questions that come up. This should be the set team going forward.

Nothing that causes my moral to be a 6 is from my department or direct coworkers… it is because I don’t feel valued by leadership even if I’m great at my job. These silly perks are nice (FISH rocks), but allowing people to be fired willy-nilly (you’ll disagree, but it looks that way) is creating an environment of fear and confusion that effects other departments. I’m not in *that* department, but from the history I’ve heard the whole thing is weird and reeks of suspicion. No one will say anything because we’re scared to get fired on the basis of nothing. (6)

We have never fired anyone, nor will we ever fire anyone, from this organization, ‘willy-nilly’. As has been said on many occasions, we do not, nor will we ever, disclose the reason for letting someone go.

March 2012

Morale Average – 7.83

Total Number of Participants – 48


Below is a list of things that I LOVE right now:

  1. scorecard system
  2. new break room tables and chairs
  3. my great department
  4. march madness party by Fish
  5. new benches outside
  6. fresh fruit

I could keep going on and on, but I don’t want to give you a big head. 🙂 Thanks for all that you do to make all of the companies a GREAT place to work! (10)

A lot of these suggestions (and more) came out of the morale surveys, so keep the ideas coming!

Yay for the parking change! (10)

Thank you.

I appreciate the Thought of the Day emails. They really pierce my soul while taming negative thoughts. (10)

Tami rocks! If you do not receive the Thought of the Day emails and would like to subscribe, just email Tami.

With the summer months quickly approaching (and summer weather already here!), what is the likelihood of more lenient “summer hours”/flex time so that employees can enjoy all that summer has to offer? (9)

Unfortunately, our business rhythm doesn’t allow for summer hours or more flexible times, but the weekends are still free!

What’s the best place to work in Nashville? I’ll tell you where. Someplace warm. A place where the beer (and 25 cent coffee and sodas) flows like wine. Where personal injury lawyers instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little place called c….j….. (9)

Thank you!

It seems like employees here are becoming very self-entitled. Each time I read the survey, more and more comments similar to “I’m not happy because the carpet is not my favorite color” appear. I know this is a bit of an outlandish example, but people need to understand that you’re not going to be 100% happy with everything (but if you are, then kudos). I really appreciate everything this company does for its employees – from bagels on staff meeting days to things like the March Madness party. We should all understand that cj does more for its employees than most others, but we shouldn’t try to take advantage of what’s given to us by whining for more. (9)

So… you’re saying you don’t like the color of the carpet?! In all seriousness, thank you for your feedback. It is much appreciated.

No problems, the March Madness party was awesome! It’s nice to have parties like that, helps everyone. Also the random beer on Friday is nice too (9)


My morale is holding steady at 9.2. Third-grade math taught me to round down in such cases, which you’ll notice I have done. I love the folks I work with and appreciate all the perks of working at cj, such as free fruit, quarter coffee, and the occasional brewsky on a Friday afternoon. These morale-boosting efforts are extraordinary, often bewildering the friends and family I brag to. They make cj stand out, and I’m thankful for them. Although these fringe benefits are golden, they do not entirely eclipse the absence of some fundamental benefits most employers offer, such as retirement contributions and non-accrued vacation time. At the risk of drawing down the wrath of the morale survey review committee, might I inquire as to whether our growing company (nearly 200-strong) will one day offer such benefits? (9)

In all honesty, it’s simply not cost effective for our company to offer non-accrued vacation time to employees. But as our company policy states, you can borrow up to 40 hours of non-accrued PTO time if you need to (see Employee Handbook for specific details). With regard to retirement contributions, we have no current plans to add that option to our benefits package, although we will continue to review our options going forward.

Excited about some new hirings! I also appreciate the flexibility cj allows. A trusting work environment makes a huge difference in morale, at least in my department. (8)

Thank you!

Some great new people are being hired! Thank you! The best is about to get even better. 🙂 (8)

Thank you!

I like the fresh fruit program and everyone I’ve talked to does too – let’s keep it going! You got it! Now that Fiddlecakes is gone, are we courting someone else to move-in to the corner space and make us coffee? Nothing against the Flavia, but there’s a stark difference between the Flavia and a fresh-brewed Americano. Any word on building out the training room for offices? It was mentioned in the staff meeting briefly, then we didn’t hear anything about it since. A status update would be mucho appreciated. Dyson. Airblade. Thanks for the picnic tables outside – they’re in the sun during the afternoon and that’s awesome! Time to get my tan on! Can’t wait for TedX!!! It’s gonna be sweet!!! (8)

Yes, we’re looking at all the options. Do you want to open one?! Did you see the email Margaret sent recently? Check the News & Updates email from March 29.

Not too sure I like the new cafeteria setup but I think the arrangement/modern look is nice and adds color to the area. (8)

Sorry you’re not a fan.

Thank you for the picnic table additions and the March Madness party! Any thoughts on converting the old Fiddlecakes spot into a bar? Coffee Shop? We could name it, “Raising the Bar”! (8)

Nice idea. Are you offering?!

Loved the March Madness Kick-Off Party. I’m so happy we are doing these again! I think it would be a great idea to turn the old Fiddlecakes space into a bar. Maybe title it…”Raising the Bar”….??? (7)

Hmm, we’ve heard that somewhere before.

Well, you want honesty, right? My morale is still pretty good, but it’s slipping. I am growing very wary of the whole scorecard thing. I, and many others, see it as a very flawed system. It feels like the agency is trying too hard to fit a square peg into a round hole. I worry that we are going to lose our best and brightest as an outcome, and unfortunately I believe we’re beginning to see this already. I hate to have to say it, but truly great agency’s have existed before, and will for many, many years without a scorecard system. (7)

You are correct. Great agencies have existed, and do exist, without scorecards. However, we have a strong belief in our scorecard system and have already seen great results and excitement from the program as a whole. If your scorecard is not empowering you and, in fact, demoralizing you, please talk to your manager about it and ask them to talk up the org chart and with Tami until you get it sorted out. Our goal is not to create stress and concern, but to accomplish success together. Help us help you.

I see a great level of discord, not only in my department, but throughout the agency due to the scorecard outcomes. There’s so much tension and anxiety building where before there was none. Many people feel like it’s creating issues from non-issue relationships / situations. (5)

We’re not sure that the way you feel about our scorecard program is the way the majority feels, as we have received lots of great feedback about this program. Certainly, if others feel this way, they should speak up so that we have a more accurate reading of the global response. In the meantime, please read the above response regarding the same issue. Our purpose is empowerment and our goal is for you to feel good about the program and empowered and challenged by your scorecard.

My morale stays pretty consistently high. I’m happy here and I like my job. In truth, though, my morale does take a slight dip each time I read your responses to the morale survey. You ask for this feedback, good or bad. In particular, you ask for the bad (under 4s). The sarcasm of the responses seems uncalled for in most situations. I’m not talking about a sarcastic response given to someone who rates their morale a 2 and says it’s because of Dyson hand dryers. I mean comments more like would you consider moving the staff meeting, etc. The tone doesn’t come across as humorous, it comes across as annoyed and it’s a big topic of conversation amongst the staff each time the cj responses are published. Thanks for listening. (7)

On looking back at what we said, perhaps it was a little sarcastic. We were only trying to be funny and clearly it may have come off the wrong way to some. We will try to cut down on the unfunny sarcasm in an effort to keep everyone’s morale up.

The new picnic tables are a welcome addition as is the new parking rule. Free at last! Also, love the new/more seating in the break room. (7)

Thank you!

Thank you for the picnic tables (and sunshine. Go ahead, take credit for it). (6)

Alright, we will. Thanks!

We all make mistakes but it never constitutes a reason not be courteous. Receiving condescending emails while you are hard at work can really dampen the morale. (6)

Thank you for this reminder. Let this be a reminder to all.

A friendly reminder to not use email indiscriminately. It is morale busting to be on the receiving end of curt and demanding email messages so remember to show courtesy and professionalism. There are times when talking face to face can cut down on unproductive back-and-forth chatter, which saves everyone time and energy. BCC’ing your coworker over office drama is inappropriate. Never assume your message to a coworker will remain only between the intended recipients. (5)

Thank you for your feedback. Email is not a perfect method of communication and, oftentimes, messages can be misconstrued. If you are having issues with communication, nip it in the bud immediately and talk it out, or talk to your manager so that issues can be resolved immediately and not left to fester and become even bigger issues further down the road.

February 2012

Morale Average – 7.82

Total Number of Participants – 45


So I’ve been eating soup lately. Its warmth and deliciousness strangles my sorrows with a variety of flavor options. As I slowly sip, I reflect on past affairs with glowing anticipation of future fruitfulness which will surely leave my regrets forever forgotten in a wash of Low Fat Butternut Squash. However, the lack of bowls in our kitchen makes enjoying soup and other soup-like meals a true tribulation. I’ve tried cups, but it’s hard to spoon that deep. If only we had bowls then my days would be complete. #rickrosslobsterbisque (10)

We have bowls now.

Going up to a 9 this month, things are going good around here. Everyone seems to be in a good mood. Thanks again for the afternoon beverage on fat Tuesday. (9)

You’re welcome.

Thank you for all that you do and for continuing to find ways to make this an even better place to work! cj Rocks! (9)

You’re welcome.

I am excited to see and experience cj commitment to empowering employees through continued education. (9)

Thank you for your feedback.

I always rate cj quite high on these morale surveys because I genuinely like working here. That being said, I’d like to be honest about a growing concern I have about the direction of the company and its score cards. The peer feedback reviews are starting to seem very homogeneous. Having only a 1-5 scale, makes most scores (at least the ones I’ve seen and I’ve seen a lot) very similar. Since the score cards aren’t appearing to go away any time soon, I urge leadership to adopt a 1-10 scale, allowing for more variation and more accurate scoring. I have heard people call the score card system the “matrix” – obviously there is a feeling among workers of not being in control of their destinies. A 1-10 scale just seems more honest and more human. (9)

We’ve actually found this to be the opposite of what you’re saying. The 1-5 scale is very specifically defined with words that qualify the numbers. Studies have shown that the 1-10 scale typically sparks a flawed reaction where “8” really means “5” and “6” really means “2”. The key to the 1-5 /A-F system is to actually associate the score with the written definition. The intention of the scorecard program is to give control back to the employees. We’re already seeing some great progress and feedback on the entire program. If you have concerns about yours, don’t hesitate to communicate that to your manager during your review.

With the weather getting nicer and nicer, it’d be awesome to have some picnic tables available for us to eat lunch outside! How possible is that? (9)

Hey look… a table has appeared! Look for others soon.

Overall, things are good. However, the lack of sunlight in the downstairs creative area is a real downer. Direct access to sunlight, especially during the winter season, is vital for a healthy mood and body. Since 90% of the sunlit hours of our day (at least in the winter) are spent at our desks, the folks in the downstairs creative area have very little exposure to direct or indirect sunlight. Providing that access for your employees would heighten the moods of 25+ people and subsequently increase both productivity and morale. As we all know, experience leads to understanding, and understanding leads to growth. So I’d like to invite members of leadership, especially those who have the luxury of windows in their workspaces, to experience a day at a desk in the downstairs creative area to fully appreciate the difference natural light can have on mood. You might be surprised what effect it has on you. (8)

The good news is: Spring is practically here, so get outside and walk around. Take a break every once in a while and get some fresh air. Get creative with your meetings and huddles… have them outside or in a bright office, if possible. We will continue to look for a solution, but our options are limited. Suggestions are always welcome.

The recycling truck has started pumping us full of exhaust again on Tuesday afternoons. We’re all going to die!

Ok… slooooooooooowww down! No one’s going to die. We have already spoken to Earth Savers, who appear to be the only culprit. Here’s the problem: every Tuesday, they come to pick up the recycling. Their truck has to be idling in order for them to crush all of the paper/cardboard that we accumulate. EarthSavers has been very willing to work with us â€Â“ they’ve started parking further away from the loading dock and walking all of our recycling to the truck. We think this was an isolated incident whereby they had a new driver who didn’t know of those changes. We spend just under $3,000 a year on recycling and so far, we’ve been very happy with the program. Please let us know if you notice any more issues and we will talk to them again. Otherwise, we hope you agree that it’s worthwhile.

I was thinking the other day that if everyone we’re looking for is hired, we won’t have enough desks for them. Any news on plans about our space issues? Or even some general notes, if specifics haven’t been decided? (8)

We have been working on our space planning issues for a while. We haven’t communicated the plans globally because they are a work in progress (read: they keep changing!). Currently, the plan is to build out the training room on the second floor with desk space, and to convert the studio into a studio/ training room so that it can be used much more efficiently. Don’t hold us to that! But know that we’ve been working on this for a while and hope to have a definite plan very soon.

It would be really nice if certain employees didn’t use the upper parking lot as their own personal race track. I have almost been run over twice walking out of this lot in the past month. Maybe they assume that since we work for personal injury attorneys, they don’t have to worry about running people over. Who knows? Other than the fear of being run over that floods my body every morning and afternoon, things are good! (8)

Thanks for this feedback. Margaret will be out there with her radar gun tomorrow.

High turnover = stress. (7)

Our turnover rate has been trending down, which we are encouraged by. Our turnover chart is posted on the wall downstairs and is updated regularly.

I don’t think some people how loud they are talking and how much their voices carry. I realize that during morning huddles and afternoon breaks it’s natural to get carried away, but please show respect to your peers by lowering your voice when engaging in huddles or casual conversation. The noise level on the lower floor can be very loud and distracting.

Thank you for this reminder.

Thank you for continuing daily fruit. It is a major morale booster!

You’re welcome.

I know this has been addressed before, but why did the monthly meetings change to the lunch hour? Can we reconsider the 10 am time slot? (7)

We are soooooooooo sorry we ruined your lunch hour by moving our 30 minute staff meeting time once a month. It’s only once a month! We originally changed the time so that we could incorporate quarterly luncheons into the program. Although we are not doing that anymore, we have no plans to change the time for this meeting.

Something that’s started happening recently is that people are stopping to have conversation right beside other people’s workspace when the person in the workspace is trying to work. Collaboration is great, but standing having a loud conversation next to someone else’s workspace when they’re trying to work isn’t – it’s very distracting. cj is a collaborative environment, but people need to be aware of just how loud they’re being. There are plenty of offices and meeting spaces around here to have a meeting, let’s use ’em. (7)

Thank you for this reminder, but have you mentioned this to them? You are empowered to simply ask them to move somewhere else. Speak up if you need some peace and quiet! Give them your suggestion.

To the person/s who keep “borrowing” the air fresheners from the ladies’ room: It’s obvious that you are experiencing some type of crisis, either mental or financial. Luckily, MLG has programs in place to help you in both areas! Please talk to HR if you need the number for the mental health hotline and/ or an Emergency Salary Advance. Take care of yourself! And let the rest of us enjoy a nice smelling restroom! (7)

Thank you for this feedback.

Top four signs you might be an office bully: 1. You find it useful to glare at, insult and even occasionally shout at some of your coworkers. 2. You sometimes just cannot contain your contempt towards your coworkers. 3. You are quick to point out others’ mistakes because you don’t make mistakes. When something goes wrong, you always find someone else to blame. 4. Your jokes and teasing can get a bit nasty at times, but you have to admit that they are pretty funny. Stop office bullying now! (5)

This is not the best platform for this issue as we take issues of this kind very seriously. You have many resources at your disposal and we encourage you to seek the help you need if you are experiencing this.

January 2012

Morale Average – 8.08

Total Number of Participants – 52


Drinking the Kool-Aid and it tastes good! (10)


My morale is so high, Bill Clinton couldn’t inhale it! If my morale told ghost stories to children, parents would be washing more clothes! My morale makes Tina Turner look like Ted Turner! (10)

Wow. There just isn’t a good enough response for this one.

My morale is so high that I went skyyyydiving, I went rocky mountain climbing, I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fu manchu. (10)

“Someday I hope you get the chance, To live like you were dying.”

Happy to be here! (9)

We’re happy you’re here.

Things are fine (9)


I was working on a Saturday when my mouse batteries died. SOL! Is there a reason we keep batteries locked up? Can we move them to the supply areas? (9)

Unfortunately, batteries have a tendency to vanish if kept in an open area, much like our air fresheners in the bathrooms. Here’s the deal, if you have a battery operated device that is central to your work, go ahead and keep a set of back-up batteries at your desk. We always have plenty of inventory at the front desk and in Dustin’s office, so just get what you need from either Erin or Dustin.

Since LIP has a pet hamster, I think cj should have a pet camel named Kimbo. Other than the missing camel, things around here are great! I love coming to work in the morning! (9)

If you happen to see a stray camel, bring it on in! I’m sure it wouldn’t mind being called Kimbo.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to keep our old computers! (9)

You’re welcome.

The men’s bathroom downstairs smells great – so refreshing. (9)

Jacob agrees.

I’m thankful that people listen to the concerns of the employees! In multiple ways too. I’ve had some concerns lately, and I’ve talked to people on Leadership, HR, and various tenured cj/MLG employees. I don’t always get the answer/resolution I’m looking for, but I’m glad we have people who take the time to listen (and follow up) on my concerns. I’ve worked other places and that is definitely NOT the case elsewhere. Thanks for listening! (9)

You’re welcome and thank you for your feedback. It’s refreshing to know that the system is working exactly the way it was intended.

Things are great, but I would like to ask that people please be considerate of others working. There have been several instances recently where people have stood halfway down the stairs and had shouting conversations to people upstairs in the break area. This is rude, obnoxious, and distracting to all of us trying to work on the bottom floor, as your conversation is broadcasted to the entire 1st floor. Please be polite. Walk up five stairs and have your conversation with inside voices. p.s. – Casual conversation as people walk up and down the stairs is no issue, I’m talking specifically about situations where people literally shout back and forth to others on the 2nd floor. (8)

You’re absolutely right. Thank you for this feedback. Let this be a reminder to all.

I’ve seen notes in the Overheard that the studio space is going to be changed – I guess into office space? If that’s the case, would it be possible to maybe add an extra window or somehow get more light into the center area where the cubicles would likely be? I don’t know how far along any plans might be, but one way could be to use long, horizontal windows at the top of the internal walls between the offices and cubicle area. This may have come up in surveys before, but it’s really dark in the current first floor space. I think the studio would be an even darker place to sit. Could we bring in our own lamps, so long as they’re not visible in the plastic part of the cubicle area? I know people that are on the second floor or have an office on the first floor may not really be aware of how dark it is in the middle here, but it just dampens my wee little spirit after a half day of it. Bringing in our own desk lamps could be good since it wouldn’t change the overall look of the first floor from the stairs (since they wouldn’t be visible above the solid part of the cubicle walls) and wouldn’t bother those who like the current situation. They could always be limited to just black, white, and metal finishes with neutral shades to make sure no one brings in a Hello Kitty lamp (no offense to those who love Hello Kitty). (8)

Lighting is a big concern and will certainly be a major consideration while planning the build-out of the studio space. If you need a lamp please don’t hesitate to submit a Helpdesk the facilities team and Dustin will take care of it for you.

It’s been said before, but all the small things you do for us are awesome. I don’t want to take them for granted… free fruit, free stamps, and a lot of fun. Thanks! Question: Last week, all cj parking spaces were taken one day when I got back from lunch, and apparently this happened to someone else as well. We’ve grown a lot. Is there anything being done about parking going forward as we continue to grow? (8)

We realize that this is more of an issue now than we had at first appreciated. We do need to get this on the radar. Please send an email to Margaret and let her know any time you have trouble parking so that we can wrap our arms around the problem and assess the need going forward. In the meantime, please be assured that we are starting to work on a long term solution.

Great place to work, in general I love it. However, I think it would benefit Arnie to take the time to learn his employees’ names. There are a lot of new employees here but is a running joke that he doesn’t know anyone’s name, no matter how long you have been here. It makes you feel like you are just a face to the owner. Overall, good place to work. (8)

Here’s the deal, Lucile. There is no doubt that Arnie has facial recognition and name issues. It is absolutely a running joke. But if you are holding your breath waiting for this to change, you might be in a tough spot. Embrace this flaw in your fearless leader, laugh a little, and let’s move on.

Can we get some sort of awning or other covering out back in the smoking area, please? I thought this was announced several months ago, but didn’t go anywhere. We’d appreciate it! (7)

This is on the “wish list”. There is currently an awning over the stairs, which will fit a few people in the rain, but a larger awning is definitely on the radar. Stay tuned!

THANK YOU for the daily fruit! Please continue this program – it’s a great way to encourage our employees to make a healthy choice for a snacks. Big morale booster for me! Can we please be sure to keep the dish soap stocked in the kitchen (for both sinks)? A couple of weeks ago, there was no soap for three days. Also, can we please have hand soap at both sinks at all times? I was really sad to see that someone has stolen the air fresheners in the women’s bathrooms. Really? That’s so lame. Please show some respect for our company whoever you are!!! (7)

Our facilities team has already arranged to have permanent soap dispensers installed by the sinks in the kitchen within the month. In the meantime, if we are out of soap please do your part and submit a Helpdesk ticket so that it can be refilled as soon as possible. Also, don’t forget there is always a full stock of Purell in all of the copy areas.

A friend of mine applied for a position with cj in September. She made it to the realistic job preview, which was in mid-October. She hadn’t heard anything by late November. I asked her interview contact if she was still being considered. She was no longer a candidate, but he thought that she had been notified by email. Apparently there was a glitch in the system. I understand that we conduct many interviews, but since email systems don’t always work, shouldn’t we notify finalists by phone call? She had 3 interviews here, including one that required a half day off from her current job. A brief “Thanks for your time, but…” phone call seems appropriate. (7)

You’re absolutely right. We are aware of this issue and are focused on improving the process going forward so that our actions reflect our culture. Thank you for your feedback.

Why is it on especially cold and rainy days some certain department heads park in spots that they should not be parking in? It’s not a one time occasion either, it happens all the time. I could understand instances where you don’t have an umbrella, you need to park wherever and run in for something quickly… but doing it just because isn’t ok. I know you’re saying “Oh no, not another parking complaint” but really… I’m going to stop being considerate and stop parking at the far lot when it’s raining and park in the most convenient place so I don’t get soaked. If Arnie and Jimmy (and even the pregnant ladies) park in the far lot, you can too! (7)

To a certain extent you’re right and we hope any violators are listening. However, you could also be making a big assumption here as to who is allowed to park in the MLG lot. There is a list of people who have special circumstances (including anyone who is pregnant) and have, therefore, been given permission to park there.

Could we possibly schedule a new photo day for employees who don’t like their old pictures? Our employee photos seem to be everywhere lately (on the TVs with our scorecards, on the email headers, etc.) and many of our photos are at least 2 years old. I’m cuter now, I swear! (7)

Your wish is our command! We hope you were able to make the date that Amie scheduled specifically in response to this.

December 2011

Morale Average – 7.91

Total Number of Participants – 47


I love it! We’ve got a great thing going here! I’m glad the Holiday party went so well with all of our companies. (10)

Thank you!

cj continues to impress me. Thanks! (10)

Thank YOU!

As a part of the interactive team I am pleased to stay with my usual morale score of 10. Many of us on interactive came in on days off and put in extra hours after work to meet tight year-end deadlines. Although stressful and time consuming, I feel our efforts brought us closer as a unit and silhouetted the archetype of team-driven culture. (10)

And nothing makes us happier than having a team full of 10s! Your dedication of time and effort has not gone unnoticed and the fact that you found a silver lining to all of the hard work speaks volumes about who you are as a person and how much you value teamwork!

I absolutely love working at cj! Work will always present its challenges, naturally, but the environment here at cj makes it so much easier to overcome. Looking forward to a great new year! (10)

So are we! Thank you for your feedback.

I’ve not been here anywhere near 5 years, but the jackets seem to be a bit bulky and I don’t know that they’re something most people would wear regularly. What about something like a Dyson Airblade? (10)

If you make it to 5 years, we’ll consider getting you your own personal Dyson Airblade.

Thank you so much for the christmas party and our christmas bonuses. I had a good time and really appreciate the way cj treats its employees. (9)

You’re very welcome.

I feel there’s been a miscommunication of sorts between cj, MLG & LIP employees, and it’s caused a little tension. I don’t think we fully grasp what everyone’s true job is, and I feel we all need to understand what everyone does in order to truly appreciate it. I suggest we have a “career” day where employees from different divisions have a 15-20 minute “session” with someone in another department. I think it would bring new light/perspective to each other, and it could show us just how important each and every job is within these companies. (9)

Thank you for this feedback, which opened up a good discussion. We agree with you. There was a time when we offered a more in-depth look at each of our departments – and also Legal Intake – and that has always been valued. We will look into this and get this back on the radar again.

I think that the holiday party could be greatly improved in the future. For the most part it was great. I think the food, venue and parking situation could have been a lot better. But, there’s always next year. The photo flip books were awesome, and so were the prizes! Other than that I love working here! (9)

Thanks for this feedback. We have a meeting scheduled specifically to discuss the party and all the pros and cons. We will continue to look for ways to improve it and we anticipate it getting better and better every year. As always, if you have any suggestions, talk to Billy.

Excited for the new year. I’m also really pumped about the biggest loser competition. I think it’s a great way to help increase a health initiative in the company. Plus a little competition never hurt anyone. (9)

Agreed! Thank you.

The holiday party was great! The food, the prizes, the atmosphere. I really enjoyed having all cj/MLG/LIP together for the party. (8)

We’re glad you enjoyed it!

The holiday party was a blast! Thank you! (8)

You’re welcome.

Holiday party was great, again. Obviously the size presented some logistical challenges, but all that matters is that we got under the same roof and partied together. (8)

As mentioned above, we are having a meeting to discuss the pros and cons. Glad you enjoyed it though.

Feeling some breathing room which is very nice and needed! FiSH! has done some awesome things this holiday season, thanks. Also, thanks to those who did the Christmas decor. Just lovely. (7)

You’re welcome. Thanks for the feedback.

I have a few suggestions for the breakroom: Could we get disposable bowls? Could we add a debit/credit card reader to the Coke machine? (7)

Disposable bowls shouldn’t be a problem. But a card reader for 25 cents? Really?

Thanks for a fantastic holiday party! I appreciate the hard work that went into it, and MLG’s generosity with great prizes. One suggestion: Can we make sure that anything involving the resident hamster (like the cage parts, etc.) be washed off in a bathroom, not in the kitchen (where I saw it happen recently)? That seems like a more appropriate place to take care of such matters. (7)

Yes, absolutely. We’ll take care of it. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Things are going really well. Excited to see where the company goes in 2012! (7)

So are we. Thank you.

I know this has already been mentioned, but the holiday time off schedule this year has made it difficult for me to spend time with my family, and put a big damper on the holiday season for me. Would it be possible to consult us, or take a vote on holiday time off in the future? (6)

What’s up with the days off before X-Mas? I think this has been brought up before and was swept under the rug. It’s a beating to make it the day after X-Mas especially if you are a new employee and don’t have any time off yet accrued. Not the end of the world, just a little peculiar. Other than that, it’s all good. (9)

To respond to both above comments, we realize now that we “zigged” when we should have “zagged”. Quite simply, we made a decision that made sense at the time, but now with the benefit of hindsight, it wasn’t such a great plan. We will be sure to work with the national holiday schedule in future and apologize if this caused problems for you and your families this year.

I have an issue with deadlines, how they come to be, and who is doing the promising to clients. Let me first say that I fully understand that crunch time is to be expected. We all pitch in and deal with it. It’s part of any job. However, it appears to be a yearly occurrence that clients are promised things “by the end of the year”. This is problematic for several reasons. 1) Key people are out this time of year. 2) Crunch time equals working beyond work hours. 3) Having everyone focus on a specific goal in order to please some squeaky wheels pulls people away from what they normally do to keep the machine running. This in turn sets us up for a plethora of unhappy clients after the beginning of the year, as their needs have been ignored while we focus on another deadline. 4) This kind of reactive practice cripples our proven and tested processes that are in place to prevent future disasters and urgencies, creating more headaches for handlers of these impending issues. Addressing this now, after the fact, is futile. We’re not being compensated for sacrificing time with our loved ones. Comp time to make up for our “days off” won’t help. Nothing makes up for missing quality time with our families over the holidays. Those who are not here can’t be blamed for our being overworked, either. They are certainly allowed to take time off this time of year. But it does make me think twice about wanting to take time off next “end of year”. Not team-driven culture, you say? I agree. It trickles down. Let’s be proactive and fix this for next year. (3)

As you rightly pointed out, crunch time is always going to happen, albeit it can be at any time of year. It seems that you are particularly aggrieved that this crunch occurred at year end. However, extra time put in is voluntary and it is not exclusive to any one team. On any given weekend between Thanksgiving and year end, you can find any number of media buyers putting in extra hours to ensure that first of year buys and budgets are placed and in line; when Production has editing deadlines for large scale shoots, you can again find any number of producers and editors in the building toiling away at their craft; every time EXP travels for a shoot, they work most days from 7 am through until 8 or 9 pm – including weekends. In fact every trip EXP has had this year has interfered with a weekend and has drastically cut into personal time. The Design Team worked endless and countless hours on the conference materials for over one month during what is their much prolonged crunch time. This is what loving your job and being dedicated to it and to your clients is all about. If you are not client driven and are not inspired by team-driven work as the person who gave a “10” for working overtime is, then that is unfair to those who are.

November 2011

Morale Average – 8.17

Total Number of Participants – 54


As always, morale remains high in my eyes. However, I have an idea to continue the positive atmosphere: Holiday Haikus! So, the idea is for anyone in the company to write a Haiku about the holiday season and submit it. Once you have several submissions, they could be featured on the screens. This would be a fun exercise and could be utilized throughout other seasons as well. Here is one that I wrote: Hark! Pajama Jeans, Your comfort and style abound, Hairy legs remain. (10)

What a great idea! Here’s one (or two) for you:

Holiday haiku,

Full of sarcasm and joy,

Jingle all the way.

To Billy you go,

And make this contest happen.

Boom shaka laka.

I am glad that our CEO enjoys playing dress-up, but in future, can he please cover his feet? Yes, of course. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. And can we vote on what he dresses up as next? I have soooo many suggestions – most of them either Star Trek or Planet of the Apes. (10)

Sure! Arnie wears an XL shirt and a size 13 shoe for future reference; however, as you have likely observed, he is very discriminating about what he will wear.

I honestly don’t know what more I could possibly ask for from this place. I mean, it’s a job, not a picnic, although sometimes it feels like a picnic (like Thanksgiving Breakfast)! Big thanks to Arnie et al for keeping the boat afloat and creating a GREAT PLACE to WORK. (10)

Thank you. You have all the makings of Employee of the Year!

What happened to the big disposable cups in the kitchen? The new smaller ones don’t hold nearly as much water as the older ones. This camel is thirsty. Also, what’s the possibility of getting Cheery Coke Zero put in the vending machine? That way we can incorporate some healthy fruit into our caffeine addictions. Other than that, life is good! (9)

The larger cups are in the next cabinet over. If you’re talking about a Cherry Coke as opposed to a Cheery coke, probably possible! Talk to our new Office Manager, Margaret.

Love the holiday decorations! They really make it feel like the holidays around here and I like it! (9)

We do too!

Life’s good! A couple of comments. Can we put an “occupied” sign or something on the men’s toilets? There is nothing creepier than trying to do your business and some guy runs full speed with a shoulder charge into the door. That is all. (9)

We’re not sure an “occupied” sign will help with that situation, but you could always try it! Large, colorful post-it notes might work.

I still love my job and think this company is amazing at what they do! My only question is concerning the days we get off for Christmas. We get off the Thursday and Friday before Christmas and Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. My question is, why wouldn’t we get off Friday and Monday? I know a lot of us go out of town for the holiday and since we do not have Monday off we will be driving back to Nashville on Christmas night. Everywhere else that I know of is getting off Friday/Monday. I was just wondering the reasoning for Thursday/Friday vs. Friday/Monday. Thank you! (9)

Is it possible to move Christmas break to Monday the 26th instead of Thursday the 22nd? Those who travel during this time period would have to leave on Christmas day to return home. I understand that this has been scheduled for a while, but your consideration of the change would be appreciated. Other than that, I love working here! (8)

I’m very confused why the Christmas holiday is on a Thursday/Friday, when Christmas Eve/Christmas Day falls on a Saturday/Sunday. Why would we not get Friday through Monday off? The way it is now, many people will have to drive back/fly back on Christmas Day. And I know the given response is to use a personal day for that Monday, but not everyone can afford that luxury, especially those who are new and haven’t accumulated their time off yet. Why not do something that benefits all and instead of having Thursday off, take the Monday off so we can all enjoy time with our families on Christmas Day. (7)

To respond to all three above comments, unless Christmas Day falls on a Friday or Saturday, the office is almost always going to be open the day after creating the problem of either taking a personal day or traveling on Christmas Day itself. We did have a choice this year and made the one that gave everyone more time leading up to the holiday rather than time after. There will be no changes at this late date, however, if you are new and haven’t accrued PTO time yet, talk to Rachel. We are happy to loan you a PTO day and make this work for you.

I like the “holiday” tree. It’s cute! Dyson Airblade. (8)

Thank you.

Reading the recent non-cj morale surveys, it seems like some are upset at cj staff because they believe we receive special treatment or we’re snobby. That’s really not fair because both of those things are very subjective. Somebody could be having a bad day and not feeling talkative to someone they don’t know in the break room or someone’s boss could be rewarding their group for reaching a difficult goal. People shouldn’t be making sweeping judgments about groups of people based on the behavior of someone they don’t really know that well.

Thank you for voicing your opinion, but at this point you’re probably just helping perpetuate the negativity. Why not practice what you preach? BE the change.

Regarding Quiet Time, I’m not certain how well it works. It seems designed for people that work in non-collaborative environments, which isn’t the case for a lot (most?) of the people at cj. Does it actually benefit a significant number of people here? (8)

Yes, the survey says it does. It’s one hour a day. Everyone needs one hour to focus and work on their own projects or reduce the number of emails in their inbox.

Huge props to FiSH! and Leadership for the Thanksgiving surprise. I seriously doubt there are many other CEOs and VPs at other businesses who would get to work at 7:00am dressed as Injun’s and Pilgrims respectively, just to make their employees smile. The uncomfortable welcome at the back door was equal parts corny and hazing. Perfect! ‘A’ for effort. (8)

Thank you!

Thanks for the fresh fruit in the kitchen!

You’re welcome.

Regarding Quiet Time, it seems like we’re still getting used to the new time slot, like either we forget that it happens at 10 now, or we’re so used to going about work as usual during that time that we just disregard it. It seems like things are getting quieter, but I wonder if it’s worth reemphasizing what Quiet Time is? (8)

Thank you. We just did, check your Inbox. In fact, we moved it back to 1pm as that seemed to be the opinion of the majority. We’ll look into finding some fun ways to reinforce it among the masses!

Love the holiday decorations! They really make it feel like the holidays around here and I like it! (8)

Thank you!

I would like to request that quiet time be changed back from 9a-10 to 1-2P. This is a time when people are getting back from lunch and it can become a very social time. I think that Quiet Time redirects everyone back to the tasks at hand for the afternoon. Also, 9a-10a is when our morning huddles take place so those meetings distract from what quiet time is all about. (7)


I love the fun facts about cj employees in the monitors. It would be great if we could make a point to do this for all new employees. Name, picture, title, and some fun fact. I think it would help to get to know their names and faces. (7)

Thank you for this. We love to hear suggestions and we will aim to incorporate this information going forward.

Thank you for the Cracker Barrel! It was a very nice treat. Shout out to Julie and Bryan. They are the best. (7)

You’re welcome! Thank you for your feedback.

Stressed right now. Don’t exactly feel secure in my job. Too much speculation and gossip and not enough facts. Remember how you used to pride yourself in being a transparent company? I don’t think you guys care about that anymore. (5)

Ouch! We’re sorry that you’re feeling so stressed and insecure, however we can’t help but notice that you seem to be in the minority, based on the other comments above. Please feel free to talk to your leadership team to get the answers that you need. If you’re not getting the answers there, don’t stop asking, just move up the chain of command until you get the answers you need. Life is too short to feel stressed and insecure in your job.

October 2011

Morale Average – 8.22

Total Number of Participants – 45


The other day I brought in a delicious pizza to eat for lunch. I like a crispy underside and a melty topside. The best way to achieve this type of “primetime pie” is to utilize our ONE toaster oven. Apparently the toaster oven is a hot commodity because a nice young lady was waiting the whole time my slice was sizzling away. I felt bad that she had to wait and brought to her attention the importance of having another toaster oven. She agreed. All Dyson Airblades aside, another toaster oven in the break room would not only speed up lunch flow, but also further create more opportunities to enjoy “primetime pie” without the harsh realities of radiation brought on by microwaves. (10)

Wow. You’re right! Why has it taken us so long to figure this out?! We’ll get on it. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, and so articulately.

I love the people that I work with and I finally found a job that I love! Things are great! (10)

We’re happy you’re happy.

You guys are doing great! Keep it up! (10)


Loving this place! (10)

Good news!

Couldn’t be happier. I appreciate the way things are evolving and am looking forward to what Scorecards could do for us. (10)

So are we.

Can something be done about the recurring stink on the first floor? I’ve heard that it’s because of a running diesel truck that regularly parks next to our air return. Seems easy to fix and I think we would all enjoy not choking. (10)

See below response.

Everything is great! Love the weekly fruit baskets. Is there anything we can do about trucks parking next to the building’s air intake vents? The diesel fumes make myself and others sick and we often times have to head outside for fresh air, which cuts into our productivity. Thanks! (9)

See below response.

There’s been a couple of times where the EarthSavers truck is parked out back with the engine running, which makes the whole downstairs area smell like exhaust for a while. Could someone ask them to turn off the truck while they’re here? (7)

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We’ll get this issue resolved as soon as possible.

Can’t complain (9)

Then don’t!

cj Rocks. (Dyson Airblades also rock.) (9)

Agreed – on both counts.

The weeks leading up to cj conference = insane. The cj conference = awesome! They pay-off was worth all the hard work. I’m excited for the direction of the agency, and what we all accomplish as a team. Sometimes it’s hard to see that during daily work, but getting the yearly “big picture” view is re-energizing! This is not a complaint, but personally I liked the conference “after party” off-site and a week later (like previous years) better than this year’s version. But the pizza and adult beverages are still definitely appreciated! (9)

Thank you for your feedback.

I really love the fresh fruit upstairs in the break room. I think it’s a great idea to help promote good health and nutrition in the office. Yay! (9)

So do we. Stay healthy!

I think we are heading in a great direction. I love the layout of departments with the creation of “quarterbacks”! We are ready to take it to the next level. (9)

Definitely. We’re glad you feel the same way.

Love the fruit on health snack day! Thanks! (9)

You’re welcome.

Love the fresh fruit every week! (9)


So happy conference is over! It was stressful but rewarding to the team as a whole. I look forward to the year ahead and showing our clients what great things we have to offer. (9)

LOVE your enthusiasm!

I LOVE THE COSTUMES! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to dress up for the day and thank you to all who participated. COSTUMES ROCK! (9)

Costumes DO rock. We think it was a record year for employees dressed up in costume and we loved it!

Is it possible to adjust the paper towels in the men’s room so that they aren’t packed so tight? You either pull little bits of towels out or your end up with 8 of them in your hand. In either case, not very efficient. Also, when we have a slow week, can we do a crappy/awesome concert T-shirt day. It could be any awesome band t-shirt. Finally, is it possible to do an after or late afternoon mixer? It’s so hard to get to know your co-workers from outside your immediate department. Thanks! Life’s good! (8)

Please see Richmond for a tutorial on paper towel retrieving. Yes to the shirts. Just talk to FiSH! I’m sure they’d be happy to help drive that train. The holiday party is right around the corner. Friday, December 16th. Are you going?

THANK YOU for the free fruit! (8)

You’re welcome.

Love the mums outside! (8)

Who doesn’t love mums?

What happened to the “Overheard” emails? They were very helpful. It was great when they were sent out right after the morning huddle. They are not really as useful after lunch. It’s important to know what each department is working on and who is out of the office. (7)

See below response.

I miss Overheard coming out daily. Is this something we plan to continue? (7)

There was a gap in the process recently as responsibilities were being transitioned. However, we’ve filled that gap and you should be seeing these newsletters more consistently now. We’re even looking at ways to make them better and less repetitive. Stay tuned for more! If you have some suggestions, please let us know.

I am really starting to feel what other people have written about the past few months. Leadership is starting to feel like the popular clique from high school. Don’t make them mad or else you will be talked about behind your back. (7)

Leadership’s job is to discuss matters that concern the agency, whether they are operational or personnel-related. If that is seen as “don’t make them mad or else you will be talked about behind your back”, then it is true.

I am very happy with the people I work with directly. Couldn’t be better. However, this is the lowest score I’ve given because I was disheartened to see leaders actually speak up on behalf of the “worker bees” and then be ignored. I am also aware that this isn’t the best time, economically, and we should all be thankful for our jobs. Please don’t take advantage of this. Everyone has a breaking point as far as work load goes. I don’t want to see quality suffer for quantity but that will be an unfortunate side effect. On a lighter note, I love the new flowers outside! Nicely done. As always, thank you for taking comments so publicly. (5)

Our goal is to ensure that the best people are being paid the most for doing the best work. If you don’t feel this is the case in your situation, please raise your voice again and make sure you are heard. If you continue to feel that you are not being treated fairly, please talk to our manager of HR, Rachel Campbell. Rachel is always available to you if ever you have any issues you need to discuss.

September 2011

Morale Average – 8.15

Total Number of Participants – 46


I miss Polo. (10)

Polo’s not going anywhere. He still likes to visit occasionally.

Working here is AWESOME! I’ve never worked for any company that can hold a candle to the work environment here at cj – this is my dream job. (10)

Thank you.

I am just now reaching my 60 day mark, and I absolutely love it here! Plans for the future: stay here, grow and move up within the company! PS: The massages were great, maybe we could incorporate them in on a regular basis. Something where they will be here certain times of the month if employees are willing to pay for time slots, just a thought! (9)

Great idea! We’ll talk to FiSH! about this and see if we can make it happen.

Working in a fast paced environment, where ideas are welcome and the opportunity to make things better exists, makes this a great place to work for me. (9)

Thank you.

Thank you for the chair massages! It was amazing! (9)

We loved them too.

Everything’s peachy. (9)


I’ll be glad when conference is over. It seems everyone is on edge and needs things done “now”. We need to always remember our core values of Integrity First and our mission of not just getting things done to check a box but get things done right the first time, even if it means that something might not get done by a crazy deadline. We have processes and standard turnaround times in place because quality work often just takes a bit longer. Maybe next year we can set far in advance (across all departments) what is required by conference and what isn’t and STICK TO THE PLAN! I say DYSON you say AIRBLADE! DYSON! *clap *clap *clap AIRBLADE! *clap *clap *clap (9)

We hear you, but sometimes “sticking to the plan” means having to be flexible. Conference is a crazy time for all of us, but we just had probably the best conference ever. There were a lot of last minute changes and a lot of hard deadlines but we made it happen, and it was good. Dyson Airblade! Can you hear us clapping?

I am really excited about all of the new cj employees to experience conference this year. I started right before conference one year and I learned so much about our clients in such a short amount of time. It really gets everyone energetic and motivated. Can’t wait! (9)

Thanks for your feedback.

cj is great. Thanks for all of the FiSH! activities lately, especially the beer camels. (8)

You’re welcome.

Massages and Beer Friday, who wouldn’t want to work here? (8)

Thank you.

Super excited for conference, but super disappointed the client-employee mixer on Thursday night has been canceled. I think we all realize that this may be a cost-related decision and that client-facing employee events are the real priority for conference. But, regardless of your role at cj, speaking to a client you’ve worked on a project for or just getting to put a face with the name makes your job more fulfilling and motivates you to do better work for that client. Again, despite the cancellation, I’m still really excited for conference this year!

The client/employee reception was not cancelled in order to keep costs down, it was simply a matter of logistics that forced us to make a change. We love your enthusiasm, but there were multiple opportunities to talk to clients. We’ll try and find a better option next year.

The holiday party, it is still yet to be announced that the holiday party as many veteran cj employees know it is no more. Was the cj/MLG/LIP party sharing going to be announced, or just left for people to realize when a joint email went out or sign up lists were posted in the break room? What is the motive for combining these parties? Are we doing away with employee awards and gifts? How are all the LIP employees going to get off work and be able to attend? I don’t mean to come across as stingy or unwilling to mingle with people from another company, I’m just honestly disenchanted and disappointed that what was once a special time to enjoy with people you work closely with all year is now being packed into something forced and impersonal. Please explain the reasoning for making this change, not communicating it to employees, and how the holiday party will improve as a result of this change.

We never meant to keep anyone in the dark about changes to this year’s holiday party. How about this? We will ensure more than twice as many door prizes and tons of recognition, food, spirits, and good cheer. After all, this is a PARTY, so put on your best festive attire, bring a smile, and be prepared to have a great time!

Thank you for the pre-conference cheer, such as Mas Tacos, ice cream, etc. It was all delicious and brightened the busy days closing in on conference. (8)

You’re welcome.

We should setup a mixer for the employees to get to know each other. I feel like there is a huge divide between departments and it’s very difficult to get to know them. Perhaps an after hour mixer would help bridge that gap. (8)

What a great idea! The holiday party is right around the corner. Billy’s setting the date. Stay tuned.

To leadership, FiSH! and Billy, I was getting (over)whelmed juggling conference with normal work. After conference is going to be crazy too, but I must say that the efforts to relieve stress and show appreciation for our hard work during this run up to our yearly meeting are MUCH appreciated by me and those around me. The massage, the working lunches, the encouragement, all of it. Thanks for keeping your fingers on the pulses. You all made a difference. (8)

FiSH! and Billy ROCK!

With conference in sight, it feels like things are finally going to lighten up. The massages were AWESOME. Thanks. Much better than beer. (8)

Massages ROCK!

I usually give a 10 but it’s been a little tense around here lately. I attribute it to conference related stress. (8)

Did you get a massage?

“Hot Coffee” got me thinking, what all did I sign when I joined cj? I know that I signed a non-compete agreement, but did I also sign anything about “force arbitration?” If MLG is looking to save money why send mail to our house? Why not just send around an email or pass stuff out in our mailboxes? The chair massage was probably my favorite FiSH! event EVER! (7)

No, you did not sign anything that imposes forced arbitration. As far as sending mail to your house, we assume you mean the piece about Medicare? The IRS made us send that out. We had no choice in that matter.

I would like to thank you for several small improvements lately: Better toilet paper. The distribution of Kleenex and hand sanitizer. The new Flavia machine. Fully stocking office supplies at all the various stations. Bagels on staff meeting days. New conference shirts! The chair massages, they were a great idea. Thanks for the pre-conference stress-break. Also, it does not escape my attention that Arnie and Jimmy park in the Lea lot. While they could certainly reserve cushy parking spaces for themselves next to the building, they don’t. I think this shows a lot of integrity, and I respect what is obviously a conscious choice on their part. I just wanted to let them know people notice and appreciate this. (7)

Thank you.

There is A LOT going on right now. I think everyone’s plate is overflowing. Thank you for the massages, they were just what we needed at a time like this! Speaking of, are we going to have any kind of post-conference celebration like we’ve had in the past? I think that’s a great way to let off some steam & celebrate a job well done. (7)

We did it. Friday afternoon (post conference) was great. Now, get back to work!

Thank you FiSH! for everything you’ve done lately to boost morale during the conference craziness! I really appreciate it. FiSH! Rocks!

You said it!

I would like to say I’m disappointed in the Leadership responses to some of the more negative or critical morale survey comments. Yes, we employees should appreciate the fact that we work in one of the best places to work. But, at the same time I hope Leadership doesn’t think, “well, we’re the best so if you don’t like it – leave.” I get that impression from some of the responses. As employees we’re pushed to go above and beyond for our clients and coworkers. I like that the employees are allowed to push Leadership to do the same in the morale survey! Being the best is hard work – so let’s all be on the same team when challenged with an “opportunity”. Thanks! (7)

The point of this survey is to push Leadership toward the outer boundaries of cultural possibilities. This survey allows for a method whereby Leadership can listen intently and effect change for the greater good of the organization. There will be times whereby we do not think a comment or suggestion is for the greater good, and our reaction might in fact be, go away. Rightly or wrongly, we intend to build a culture that attracts the right people to our organization and that simultaneously repels the wrong people. We know we probably can’t be one of the “best places to work” for everyone; and thus, we definitely want to encourage those that don’t find our environment inspiring and opportunistic to push themselves to find the place they can truly consider the “right” place for them.

When someone is let go, please give them time to collect their belongings and leave the building before sending out the company wide email. (7)

Our intention is to always wait until the employee has left the building before the message is delivered. On the rare occasion that this hasn’t happened, it was purely accidental.

What was the deal with everyone’s lunches getting trashed a couple of weeks ago? A lot of us had our stuff thrown out, even though it was labeled with both a name and current date. I don’t know who does the slides on the TV screens, but it was really tacky that there was a “your food will be thrown out if it’s not labeled!” slide on the monitors the next day. So over-the-top and condescending. A lot of us were following the fridge rules and had things thrown out that simply should not have been. One fridge solution I’ve seen work at another company was where each fridge was emptied out on a different day. The fridges on the North side of the kitchen could be emptied every odd Friday and the South fridge could be emptied every even Friday. Or you could do it where one fridge is emptied on Mondays, another on Wednesdays, and the last one on Fridays (every week might be a bit much though). This would save a lot of labeling hassle and keep the fridges from getting too full of junk. (6)

This was an accident and we apologize for that. Additionally, the timing of the TV communication may have seemed insensitive, but it was purely coincidental. Thank you for coming up with an alternative solution, and while that may not be the best plan for us, we appreciate you taking the time to bring it to our attention.

August 2011

Morale Average – 7.8

Total Number of Participants – 50


I think morale could be pushed to 11 if masseuses came around to everyone’s desk one day and gave 30 minute neck and back massages. Reflexology would be legit, too. But the neck deal would be super! (10)

What a great idea! We will mention it to Billy. This is right up the FiSH! alley.

Haven’t been here long, but feeling great! (10)

Great news!

I’m definitely brand spankin’ new, but first impressions can mean so much. I’ve felt nothing but comfortable and welcomed into the cj family, and I look forward to growing as a professional and as an individual. Positivity and warmth exude from the company, and I feel genuinely blessed to be a part of the team. (10)

That’s what we love to hear.

I haven’t been here long, but I love the work environment! (9)

Thanks for the feedback.

Things are great! Any movement on the Dyson Airblade? I know that you scoff at it in the feedback, but this hasn’t detracted from the coolness of the product or the pro-handwashing it’s presence would encourage. (9)

We have established a secret committee to handle this and keep the dream alive.

Love working here! It is a great environment and everyone is always willing to help out when needed. (9)

Thanks for the feedback.

I continue to love working here. My team is wonderful, and I truly appreciate the constant opportunity for training, growth, and all of the other great things cj offers. Thank you! (9)

Thank YOU.

YAY! (9)

Woo hoo!

Things are very busy right now but every day gets better as we inch towards perfection. (9)

Nice attitude.

I love that cj is both a kid-friendly and dog-friendly workplace. I’ve used this benefit myself, but try very hard to use it sparingly and when appropriate. It is not appropriate to bring either a child or a pet to work every day. My morale is not low and I love working at cj this is just a friendly reminder to be courteous and considerate of your co-workers. (8)

Well said. Thanks for the reminder.

Seems like there has been a lot of turnover in the last month, which puts folks on edge. Otherwise, life is good as usual. (8)

We understand.

I’ve heard that the scorecards are a replacement to some old bonus system (I wasn’t here when that system was in place). Does that mean they’re in effect for this year, even though most of them aren’t done? Would scorecard bonuses happen at specific times (annually) or just randomly throughout the year? I definitely understand that bonuses are just that, bonuses, but was just curious how the two are tied together since we’re getting close to the fall and I haven’t seen a lot of info about this aspect of the scorecards. (8)

Yes and no. The period bonuses were eliminated last year in favor of a bonus system that rewarded individual contributions. The scorecard program evolved after that. Your annual increase is now determined by both your achievement of your scorecard outcomes and your peer review. Our goal is that everyone in the agency will have an approved scorecard by the end of the year. The year-end tenure bonus is the only bonus that currently exists. This discretionary bonus is derived from agency profits and is solely based on individual tenure. While not guaranteed, we do have a longstanding history of handing that out at the end of the year and we certainly plan to continue that, if possible. If you have any questions about any of this, please ask any member of the Leadership team.

Pumped for conference! (8)

So are we!

Would love to have a calendar of when we can all get together besides staff meetings for fun and getting to know each other. Does one exist? (8)

There isn’t one, but the holiday party is right around the corner and Billy is working with both FiSH! and Spirit teams to continue finding ways to make work fun.

Trying to think of something constructive to suggest, but honestly there are so many great programs I’ve noticed here, even despite all the converging deadlines, that all I can say is cj rocks! (8)


I would love to see some more books on CD in the library. I have already gone through a lot of them. Maybe more in the self help realm and less in the pure business theory. (8)

Just talk to Lauren about it. She’s always open to suggestions.

I feel like people feel they can voice their opinion. That’s not the case in all companies. I feel like people have some flexibility to take care of an occasional car/kid/cat issue and then make up the time in their job. That’s greatly appreciated. I feel like people are very creative and support the creativity and ideas of other people. That is definitely not a given at all companies. (8)

Thanks for recognizing this and appreciating it.

Could we set up an opt-in email that we can send non-work requests? Perhaps an email like: With as many people as we have here, it would be nice to pull resources for needs outside of work, like: Does anyone know a good, reasonably priced carpet installer? Or, puppies for sale! Or, does anyone have suggestions for easy-to-use online software to build a website? Or, anyone have extra Titans tickets, etc. If it’s an opt-in, then we can avoid using staff email for these type requests and only people interested will receive these types of emails. Thoughts? (7)

This is a great suggestion, which we have a slightly more low-tech solution for right now. The whiteboards have been used a lot lately for “Classifieds” – feel free to add information as you get it. Karen is also planning on putting up another board by the side employee entrance that will be specifically for things like this. This will be much easier and quicker to launch than setting up an online forum space at this time, although we may eventually head in that direction.

I’ve noticed that even the Lea Parking Lot has been getting pretty full lately. With new hires coming aboard soon across all companies, is there a possibility that we may run out of parking? What do we do if there are no spaces? (7)

There will be a day when we run out of parking, but we’re good for right now. If you don’t see a spot and have to park elsewhere, just let Angie know. We continue to evaluate parking needs/issues and will manage any problems as needed.

I feel like people are starting to work more as a team instead of individuals, which I really appreciate. I hope this continues! (6)

So do we!

Could we get a small table to use outside of the 2nd floor bathrooms like the 1st floor has? I don’t want to take my cup or notebook with me into the bathrooms and the floor outside of the restroom isn’t a safe place either.

Yes. We will follow up with Dustin.

I would like to see a “buffer” in between meetings that are scheduled back-to-back. There is nothing more frustrating than for people to be gathered outside a meeting space staring another group down because they are running over. On the flip side to that, there is nothing more frustrating than having to stare down another group in order to get into your reserved meeting spot. I would like to see a 5 to 10 minute buffer added to meeting times when they are being scheduled going forward.

We hear you, but if we put this in place people will just think that they have an extra five/ten minutes for meetings. Ultimately, meeting times simply need to be honored. We ask that everyone is respectful of other people’s time and remind everyone to start and end meetings punctually.

The dog policy might need to be revised to include the word “moderation”. (6)

Thanks for the reminder. We will ensure that those who may be taking advantage of this policy are advised.

Conference makes me crazy. I’ll rebound fine but please understand that being super busy is different from regular busy. For my department, we have cleared time before conference only to back load the month of October with double work. So we’re working fiendishly to get on top of October in a way that results in a 2 point downgrade from my normal morale score of 8. (6)

We understand how you feel, but please don’t forget the importance of the conference to our clients and, therefore, the value it holds. Essentially, we are all working towards one goal: galvanizing our clients’ trust in us.

Lately I’ve seen opportunities for increased involvement from Operations to the departments. As cj grows and grows, I’m surprised that Operations is still just one person and not a department. The departments themselves are so client-focused (as they should be) that I haven’t seen much focus on either keeping operations going, or looking for improvements. This is not a knock on our current Director of Operations, who I think does a great job! It’s just that one person can only do so much, and the departments can’t fully support the clients if they don’t have the operational tools and procedures to accommodate. For example – I hear Interactive is using Brightcove Links. I’m sure other departments could use it, so who do I talk to about that? Or is this being rolled out to the agency, and they were just first? (5)

We are getting the Quarterbacks in place and hope to fill the Director of Design and Production position very soon, which will certainly help reduce the load on our Operations department. As far as tools and resources are concerned, the Department Heads talk to each other frequently and are well aware of what tools their departments have and need access to.

Firing more and more people everyday. Very unsettling. (3)

It is unsettling for us too, which is why we take every decision we make very seriously. A lot of time is spent discussing and deliberating each final decision. In each case consideration for severance and an outplacement package is put in place to give the departing employee a runway and every possible chance at success outside the agency.

July 2011

Morale Average – 7.97

Total Number of Participants – 39


cj rocks. ’nuff said. (10)

Times are good! Have we made headway on the Dyson Airblade? (10)

Hmm, funny. This is the first we’ve heard of this.

Lately, I’ve actually looked forward to coming to work. No, I don’t have an awful home life, there’s just been extra creative enthusiasm in my department lately. Also, big ups to Tami for enlightening us on the scorecards. (10)

Kudos to Lil’ Miss Scorecard!

I am only in Day 4 of my cj experience, but I can already tell that this culture looks upon those that make it up as individuals rather than resources, which is so very refreshing. I am extremely excited to be a part of it. (9)

We’re excited to have you here.

I love working here. It is a great work environment. (9)

Thanks. We agree.

Is there a 50 cent surcharge when you use a credit card on the drink machine? If not I got charged 1.50 for a dollar drink. Do you have to exit out your card once you use it? This might sound dumb, but we might need a tutorial on that. Also, bring the pork rinds back! I never got a chance to eat them! (9)

The credit card reader on the vending machines does put a hold on debit cards for the amount of the most expensive item in the vending machine, which is $1.50. It does this to make sure that your card will actually be able to pay for the total of your purchase. However, once the amount of the item you purchased goes through it will only charge the cost of that item, so you shouldn’t be overcharged for your purchase. If you are overcharged, please see the front desk staff and they will give you a refund from Aramark. There is a sticker on the vending machine with an explanation about this hold.

Love it here! (9)

We love to hear it!

Is there a place where I can read a brief, layman’s-terms summary on some of the cases our clients have done? It seems like it could be inspiring to know more about the quality of work our clients do. (9)

The short answer is, no there isn’t. However, your comment stimulated some great discussion about how we might be able to bring information, or reviews of this type of information, to our team.

I think it’d be nice to have some sort of filtered water system for drinking water. Especially due to the blue/green algae issues going on with the city water right now. The water filters that go on the faucet heads in the kitchen area would be pretty awesome. Just an idea. (9)

Would it be possible to add a water filter to the break room sinks? They’re not too expensive and it would make the tap water not so foul tasting. Even those Brita pitchers could work; just fill one up and wait a minute for it to filter enough for a glass of water. (8)

In response to both above comments, the water that comes out of both the faucets in the kitchen and the water that makes the ice is all filtered. The filter that we have assures consistent high quality water by reducing the harmful effects of cysts, sediment and chlorine. As it turns out, the only water that is not filtered is the water in the lower level drinking fountains, which we will look into further to see if we can make a change there.

Training, training, training. I’ve tried to leverage half the agency as well as the “interweb”, but I honestly can’t find squat. I’m not giving up, but dadgummit, everytime I read an email about some abfab training opp for someone else, it’s like a dagger in my heart. The next time someone requests to attend a seminar in Cyprus, Chicago, or Kalamazoo, could their department head please invite the general cj population to participate? Some of us are really struggling to find good training opportunities (especially in Turkish Cyprus). (8)

Have you looked at the Training Showcase? It has a lot of information that you can sift through. You could also talk to your manager and/or Department Head and see if there’s anything you’re missing out on. If your manager is doing their job, they should be thinking about opportunities that will help each of their team members advance their skills. Tami might also be a great resource to help you find what you’re looking for.

Things this year just keep getting better. Thank you for all the hard work that’s been put into things since the move. I have to say I was a little worried at the beginning of this year about where we were headed, but morale is trending back up (which rings true with my experience as well), and I think we’re doing really well as a company and heading in a great direction! Also, this has been a very busy month, but I’ve felt very supported by those around me. So, thanks. (8)

Thank you for your feedback. This is great news!

Enjoying work! (8)


I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about the “Hot Coffee” documentary. I’m dying to see it but I don’t have HBO! Have we thought about ordering it for a month and having multiple screenings where we serve coffee and doughnuts? I have no idea how much this would cost but it seems like a fun idea and something we could all benefit from! (8)

Yes, we have! We’re going to figure this out because we agree that this would be a great movie to watch for training purposes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this documentary, check out this website:

Been really happy around here lately. Thank you for the opportunities to grow. Bring back the bagels!

Bagels are back! Thanks for making this happen.

I’m happy to have Billy on board. When can we expect to see volunteer opportunities?

Ask Billy about that. His door is always open.

Christmas day falls on a Sunday this year, but our holidays fall on Thursday and Friday of the week before. That means people who travel for Christmas will have to leave family on Christmas day or take a personal day on Monday. Is it too late to change our holiday schedule to better accommodate those employees who travel for Christmas? Perhaps we can observe holidays on Friday and Monday instead of Thursday and Friday? Thank you for your consideration. (7)

It is too late to change the holiday schedule, but feel free to use your PTO time any way you need to.

The handbook I got a few months ago is different from the one that was emailed out, and I have a question about one of the differences. Is sexual orientation covered in our non- discrimination policy? If so, will it be put back in? Also, will cj ever offer spouse benefits to same-sex partners, like health insurance coverage? (7)

While our policy mirrors the federal law, we do endeavor to foster an environment that is based on respect for all employees, regardless of their characteristics, including sexual orientation. If you do not feel that you are being respected as a person, we would encourage you to speak to Rachel Campbell in Human Resources. As for a previous policy that addresses sexual orientation, we are not seeing a change. With regard to domestic partner coverage, please see Rachel to discuss possibilities for your specific situation.

As of the March survey, there were no plans for a 401k. One of the reasons listed was that it may not be the best option for everyone because there are many different ways to save for retirement. I agree with that but pre-tax savings are a good place for most people to start. Is there any chance retirement accounts will be revisited? (7)

No, sorry. We have no plans to revisit this option at this time.

I often times feel as though Leadership responses to comments/concerns on the Morale Survey feedback are lacking in effort or more so, honesty; especially for those controversial negative comments. Example from past Morale Feedback (not me btw): Turnover remains high. The fact that so many have been fired in the last 6 months is making everyone feel uneasy and negative. How can so many losses keep coming from just one department? And how could all of those sub par employees have been hired into just that one area of the agency in the first place? Response: We believe we are on a path to success in hiring the right people for the right positions. To me this response was an easy way out of saying what you really want to say. I guarantee that if someone came to one of you personally, raising this same concern, your response would NOT be what is posted above. I feel like if people can dish out honest, sometimes harsh, comments then they should be able to take a harsh and honest response. If anything, I believe this would drive more participation and positive feedback in knowing that your concern/comment would be answered honestly and thoroughly. BRING ON THE HONESTY. BRING ON THE REAL. (7)

A response that is good for one person may not be good for all. Not everyone appreciates brutally honest feedback. We thank you for your feedback and will endeavor to be as honest as we can without sacrificing integrity.

Could we bring back the free quarter on staff meeting days? I really liked that! Or we could have “free vend” on the coffee machines for a few hours in the mornings on staff meeting days. That would be nice as well! (6)

YES! Done. Might not be every month, but we will endeavor to keep up the fun.

Is there a minimum amount of time someone needs to be here before being on leadership? It would at least be beneficial for new leadership members to know people’s names before leading us. And is it or is it not OK to go to any leadership member with a concern? Because I’ve been scolded for that. (3)

The rules for joining Leadership have changed in the past few months and we realize that we have been remiss at times in communicating consistently to the staff, hence, the reason for Arnie’s explanation at our last staff meeting. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and prompting that. To summarize: Leadership Services is not based on Tenure, but rather on position. Currently, the designated positions are Director of Operations (Greg Howell), Director of Media (Angel Putman), Director of Interactive (Michelle Viar), Director of Design and Production (TBA), and our Brand Strategists (Suzanne Lee and Richmond Williams). Any Leadership member would be more than happy to hear any issues or concerns you may have and help guide you further. You should never be “scolded” for communicating with a member.

June 2011

Morale Average – 7.32

Total Number of Participants – 37


With all the interviews going on, I’m reminded how lucky I am to be a part of this organization. After over 2 years, I’m still so happy to be here. Thank you for always striving to keep us happy and for taking good care of us. I’m giving my first 10. (10)

We love to hear that.

Everything is perfect as far as I’m concerned, but a Dyson Airblade hand dryer would be awesome. I’ve read this request on past surveys. Anyone looked into it yet? Also, will we ever get an awning over the side entrance or will it conflict with the windows? (10)

Angie tells us that the only concern with getting a hand dryer is the noise that most of them make. She will, however, have Dustin look into this to see if he can find any quiet hand dryers! Yes, we are getting an awning soon.

Are we responsible for dusting our work areas? If so, where might one find the dusting supplies?

Yes, you are responsible for dusting your own work space. We will, however, make sure that dusting supplies are more easily accessible, so we are going to make sure there is some stock kept in both the Mail Room and the upstairs Copy Room. We are also going to provide everyone with their own supply of Clorox wipes and a box of Kleenex to help keep germs at bay.

Are we hiring a permanent HR replacement? I’m not sure if it’s a scheduling, personnel, or communications issue, or perhaps a few days a week just aren’t enough for our organization. Either way, I don’t feel that my needs are being met by our current situation and I’m not sure where to turn for help with this problem.

Yes. We are currently looking to hire a permanent HR specialist. There is an open position listed on our MLG website which we hope to fill very soon.

I was told when I was hired that an employee manual was being updated and I would receive it when it was finished, but I’ve heard nothing since. It would be beneficial in many situations to be able to access information about rules, policies, etc. via an employee manual. Is this being worked on? p.s. I love this place! Thank you for creating (and protecting) this incredible environment. Thoughtful attention to employees’ well-being makes it really easy to do good work! (10)

We hope you saw the email about the updated cj/MLG Employee Policy Manual (Version 12). There is a link to the policy on cj Central and you will be receiving your own hard copy in the next couple of weeks.

So excited about the new laptops! Thank you! (9)

You’re welcome.

This is a great place to work! (8)

We agree!

To anyone and everyone involved in fixing the toilet paper dispensers: THANK YOU! Can we please, pretty please, pretty pretty please get new shirts for the conference this year? The women’s shirts don’t seem to fit anyone well. They’re too short on the sides, and they just plain fit weird. I know a lot of us got men’s shirts last year, but those don’t really fit much better. I recognize that the conference team probably has many bigger issues to deal with, so if that’s the case, please open it up to volunteers. This is a big complaint and I know that I or a number of others would be willing to take this on. Thanks! (8)

Some of us agree with you! Krissy is looking into this to see what the options are. We will do what makes sense. Stay tuned.

It seems like conference rooms get double booked a lot. Does everyone share the same conference room calendars (MLG, cj, LIP)? It takes time out of the scheduled meeting to find another space to meet. Can we look into the reason this is happening? (8)

Technically, you can’t double book the conference rooms. When you need to reserve a conference room, simply invite it to the meeting (in the “To” field) just as you would a regular participant. It should then self-populate in the “Location” field. Don’t forget to check the “Scheduling Assistant” to see if it is already booked. If it accepts your meeting request, you are good to go. If it declines or returns a “tentative” response, you have a conflict that needs resolving. You can also look at each conference room calendar to double check that you have reserved the room. If you need the room when someone else has reserved it you will need to follow up with that person specifically and work it out. If you have any issues with any of this, talk to Karen and she will help you.

The Tootsie’s conference room feels like it is cramped. Would it be possible to change out the bigger black chairs with the smaller chairs, like what a lot of people have at their desks? It would also be nice if the TV could be raised up a few feet, since it’s hard to move around along that side of the table without bumping into it. (8)

We agree. Greg and Angie are looking into this. The same problem seems to be happening in the Pancake Pantry. We’ll look at that one too. Thanks for your feedback.

I like it here. You people are cool. I don’t care what they say. (7)

Hmmm. What are they saying?

What happened to the fun question we would have on the morale survey every month? I miss that.

Well, Karen had a baby and it just fell off the radar! If you have a question you’d like to submit, let her know.

When is the next company-wide (cj + MLG) event? Sounds game? Picnic? Anything? Bueller? Is Camels with a Cause dead? Does the agency still participate in things similar to that (Tomato 5k, In Her Shoes, etc)?

Events are no longer under FiSH!’s umbrella. Billy is project lead on this. He’s also working on Camels with a Cause and will be bringing us updates soon. To help increase awareness of the status and priority of these initiatives, we will post information on or near his door.

Parking question: cj-ers are NOT allowed to park in LIP spaces and everyone gets in a tizzy when it happens. So are LIP employees allowed to park in cj spaces? We have about 12 spaces near the building for all 75-80 people to fight over, and it doesn’t seem quite right for LIP employees to double-dip on the parking entitlements (since the agency has decided to designate). Just need some clarification.

Seriously? ANOTHER parking comment? To clarify, please read Angie’s recent email. After-hours employees have special privileges when it comes to parking. It’s that simple. There are spots available right next to the building and along the back fence on a first-come, first-served basis. While considered a God-given right by some, parking is a privilege. Other options we considered included parking at the Titans stadium and taking a bus into work. Comparatively, we have it pretty good.

I’m still waiting to hear about that Dyson Airblade hand dryer – it’s definitely a yes, right? We’re continuing to grow as an agency and it is exciting – yay for business going well!

See above response.

When is the dream manager program going to start again? (7)

It’s up and running now! Talk to Billy to schedule your first dream session.

It’s crazy-busy, and been so for a while now. But, we’re hiring like crazy now! That’s great, and I’m sure it will help. Thank you for respecting the workload and hiring accordingly. (7)

Thank YOU for recognizing our efforts.

It is my understanding the employees can be ticketed for parking in the wrong spots or not having their parking pass displayed. Could tickets also be written for driving the wrong direction in the lots? I am so amazed by people’s negligence in following the posted signs. We work for personal injury lawyers for crying out loud! Be a little more careful! Thank you for finally fixing the water flow issues in the 2nd floor bathrooms! Now if we could only work on getting a hand dryer instead of all of those paper towels I would be even more happy! Hand dryers instead of paper towels would have to save MLG money in the long run! (5)

Thank you for the reminder about the traffic flow issues in the parking lot. Follow the ARROWS, people! And this is the third comment about hand dryers, we hear you! Angie’s looking into it! But we have to find a quiet solution.

I know we’ve been in our new building for many months, but I still feel like I don’t know where all of the office supplies are kept. (Kleenex, Germ-X, pens, etc.) Is there one central location for everything? Maybe this would be a nice time to remind everyone where various things are kept.

Thank you for your feedback. See above response. We will make sure that supplies are more easily accessible for everyone by keeping stock in both the Mail Room and the upstairs Copy Room. If you need something and can’t find it check with the Front Desk – we may have it in the back by the loading dock where the majority of the supplies are kept.

Also, the word/group “Leadership” is used a lot. When the morale survey comments come back, could we have a list of who is on the leadership team, their actual names? That would be much appreciated!

Absolutely. We’ve listed the Leadership members at the top of this document (as well as all the MLG and LIP documents for their respective review committees. We will also officially post the members of Leadership up on the wall downstairs along with our cj KPI’s. Members of the MLG Board and LIP Management will also be identified there via each division’s org chart or other means. Thank you for this request.

cjCentral used to be the go-to place for an employee’s needs, but the HR part could use a makeover since now we use ADP. It would be great if the current links can link us to ADP or something explaining the new protocols. (5)

More great feedback! cjCentral could certainly use an overhaul. It got pushed to the back burner about a year ago due to a lack of resources, but Karen is going to get it back on track. Stay tuned.

No response (4)

Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

Seems like a lot of turnover with staff. Never really allows people the right to get comfortable enough to really work. I feel like we should always be looking over our shoulder.

While the only constant is change, the involuntary turnover rate for the past 12 months is only 16%. Our goal is for you to be looking directly ahead knowing what success looks like for your role. If that is not the case, stop looking over your shoulder and start talking to your manager.

Also, Scorecards seem to be making people so worried about their efficiency and I feel that my clients are already suffering. I hear “this is going to hurt my efficiency score, and I may not get my bonus”. What happened to giving 100% and the client is always first. Which is more important to management, Scorecards or Clients? (3)

Scorecards are collaborative – you, your team, and your department head determine the scorecard. It’s the best tool of measuring individual, department, agency, and company success. Scorecards are how we align the one-page strategic plan to the individual so that our success is aligned with the clients’. As we develop a scorecard for each position, it is crucial that we communicate openly and clearly about any potential conflicts between our success and giving 100% and the client’s success.

No response (1)

Your score would mean a lot more if you could add a comment so that we could have the opportunity to make things better for you.

May 2011

Morale Average – 6.8

Total Number of Participants – 46


Still awesome. (9)

That’s great to hear!

More change on the way. Awesome! However, something struck me as strange – how can an advertising agency not have a design department? I respect all decisions made by management in that they have the best outcomes for the agency in mind. This one, however, just doesn’t make complete sense. I know the department is not being removed, just moved. But I also know there is a lot of talent on that team. Unfortunately for me, I do not fully understand the connection between production and design – especially when it comes to “creative.” I would have thought Interactive, YP or even Media have more relation to design! I hope they don’t get lost and sucked in to a world that is not theirs. They are far too talented for that. I usually do not write anything. I always mark morale 8 or above. This does not change that, nor am I looking for feedback on my comments. I just wanted to discreetly share my thoughts in hopes that someone out there will keep an eye on our talented employees! Respectfully, A continually happy cj employee! (9)

Design is not leaving. That department has made a huge impact on our brands in the way they are integrated. We are simply expanding on their talents to take advantage of opportunities in Production. The Design team is excited about the move and fully supportive. We asked Jacob for a response to both comments above. Read on for his reply: “First off, I appreciate the concern and that you’re looking out for us. Thank you! Of course, we don’t know exactly how this will look, but we will still have a Design team and will continue creating the types of projects we’ve worked on in the past, minus printing the pieces ourselves and within a larger department (to be called something like Production & Design). I expect we’ll begin to work more closely with the Production team, building off of the ways we’ve already been working with them. Campaign graphics are often initially requested by Production, and our graphics packages (which contain several elements specifically for Production) are usually scheduled around client shoots. We also want to tighten up the agency’s overall creative work, hoping that bringing the two departments closer will help us communicate more effectively and be more consistent in the ways we’re branding our clients. Of course, I’m sad to see Michele go after a couple great years of working with her, and that’s the hard part of this for me, but I think that the overall plan has some great potential.”

Overall I love it here – the only issue I’ve had lately is one element of the scorecard. In my department we log the hours we spend on a project and these hours are turned into an “efficiency” rating. If we spend more hours on a project than what has been “guesstimated”, then it counts against our rating. I feel like this discourages going above and beyond in order to really blow away our clients. I’d like to see a hybrid efficiency score that is more considerate of this issue. (9)

The efficiency rating was designed to keep us from spending too much time on a project. If you feel this is inhibiting your creative process then you need to have a conversation with your manager.

Loving the Employee Education Reimbursement, but has any thought been put into reimbursing for past education? I have a lot of student loans and it is very unlikely that I receive any education other than training in hands-on job skills from here on out. I believe they are called employee incentive contracts, you sign one when you get hired and once you work 2 years you get $250 or so every six months toward your student loans. Something along those lines. Could help with retention. Just a thought. (7)

Interesting thought. Thanks for putting it on the table. Ideally, the end-of-the-year tenured bonus should work this way. Why not put that towards your loans?

I appreciate all the work that Leadership is putting into the new Scorecard system. I’m concerned, though, because it’s hard to put percentages to the creative process. I worry that having pay increases hinge on the way hours are logged (among other things) will teach people only to log more efficiently, not work more efficiently. This truly is a concern, not a complaint. Thanks for listening! (7)

The scorecard should be a balance of talents and feedback and not heavily weighted on any one thing. Anything taken to the extreme is a bad idea. Everyone has input into the development of their scorecards, so please take advantage of the opportunity to speak up if what you are being scored on does not seem fair.

How often are the sponges replaced in the kitchen sinks? They can get really smelly and I’m not sure they’re doing the job they are supposed to do.

If you see (or smell) a smelly sponge, you are empowered to throw it away. The sponge fairy will soon replace it!

Are there still plans in the works to redo the cj website? It continues to be a less than stellar representation of our agency’s capabilities. I realize that the Interactive team is extremely busy, but his is a high priority item.

Yes, but our client sites are a priority. After conference, and when the seats are filled, we will then be able to turn the attention to ourselves and get our website looking awesome again.

Does cj still participate in community events? I haven’t heard about any volunteer opportunities around the office lately. We have such a great group of caring people here, it’s a shame not to put us to good work!

Yes, we do. As our permanent Cultural Manager, Billy Block is our resident driver of these volunteer opportunities and he’s on it! Stay tuned for more details soon.

Thanks for cleaning out the refrigerators! They were getting nasty. Do we need a reminder on the two week limit for perishable food items?

This serves as a good one. Thanks for the reminder!

Thanks for the Cinco de Mayo party! Free food and set time to socialize with coworkers is always appreciated. (7)


Thank you for moving (again) the cabinets on the first floor! As someone who lost what little sunlight is available when the cabinets were moved against the cubicle walls – I appreciate it! My morale is steadily improving. I see cj/mlg making some adjustments based on employee feedback – and I’m really excited to see FiSH! back in action. They’re a big part of what makes cj great! (7)

Good. Dustin’s moving them back next week. JUST KIDDING. We’re happy you’re happy!

Morale is improving (yay!) But, I still think we can improve on our cross-departmental communication. The biggest factor I see with cross department communication is having opportunity to interact with those you don’t normally interface with in the standard business cycle. In days of yore, cj was much smaller and it was a lot easier (and less intimidating) to meet and become familiar with a high percentage of coworkers. More familiar = more likely to interact in passing or in the break room, and it ups the sense of community. To remedy this, I suggest 2 things: 1. Reach out to those you don’t normally talk to! Say hello or start a conversation, even though it might be awkward. This is something that everyone needs to make an effort to do more of – and many of us already do! 2. Let’s get together! The more mixer-style events we have where everyone is invited, the more we get to make those connections with our fellow coworkers. Let’s keep rocking in a positive direction! (7)

Thank you for your suggestions. We totally agree with you and are looking for opportunities to do just that. Organizing events has been removed from FiSH!’s fish bowl, and we are now looking for leaders to take this over. Be a leader and help us with this. If you can drive it, we can do it! See Billy Block for more information.

How “anonymous” are these surveys? I’ve always heard that they are completely anonymous, but now I’ve recently heard disconcerting news that Leadership is constantly trying to pinpoint who comments come from. That makes me not want to give you my thoughts and comments. (2)

Sometimes, in trying to add context to a comment it is only human nature to wonder where the comment came from and what instigated it. However, let us reassure you that these surveys are totally anonymous and that we actively avoid pinpointing who writes them. At the end of the day, it is irrelevant who the comment comes from. It is the subject matter and the answer that is of primary importance.

Funny you guys have $10,000 to compensate someone to find a person to fill this new marketing position but you can’t reward the employees you already have with better compensation. You want the best of the best, you need to pay them accordingly. (1)

We are committed to getting (and keeping) the right people and compensating them appropriately. You need to have a conversation with your manager if you are not happy. Just know that the “best of the best” will be rewarded as a result of the new scorecard system.

April 2011

Morale Average – 7.08

Total Number of Participants – 48


Can I just say I’m really excited about the new sink faucets in the Men’s bathroom downstairs? They are 1000x better. Also, I agree with someone’s comment from last month about the Dyson Airblade. It would save on paper towels and they are just awesome in general. (10)

Hurray for new faucets!

Things are steadily improving, and we’re making big exciting moves. This place rocks. (9)

YOU rock!

I am encouraged by all the little post-move in improvements such as improved lighting outside and real faucets in the first floor restrooms. (9)

Lighting and faucets excite us, too.

Happy to be here. (9)

And we’re happy you are here.

It’s good to see some of the morale boosting initiatives begin to resurface. It looks like business is really good here too with no end in sight. (8)

Thank you for noticing. Morale is actually at a 10-month high, and that’s a GOOD thing.

It made me really happy to see everyone come together to support charity causes like the doggie donations and Soles for Souls. Thanks to everyone who helped by bringing donations or getting the word out across the agency!

We are grateful to have a generous and helpful group of folks here.

What happened to bagels and free coffee on staff meeting day? I know we are now sharing the monthly meeting with all three companies so there are more mouths to feed, but aren’t bagels cheaper than pizza?

Actually, the goal is to have lunch once a quarter and bagels for all the other staff meetings.

Another progressive agency in the greater Nashville area offers their employees PTO days as incentives for hard work, team effort for raising money for a charity function, etc. Please don’t get me wrong here, I LOVE the beer man, but sometimes when you’ve been working long hours for however many weeks straight, all you want is a little time away from the office! It doesn’t have to be a whole day necessarily; even if it was a half day on a Wednesday or going home a couple of hours early on a Friday afternoon, that would be amazing. Thoughts? (7)

Thanks for the idea. We will consider using this as appropriate.

Thank you for upgrading the faucets in the bathrooms!

You’re welcome.

I know we’re not supposed to call individuals out, but it’s been great to have our Cultural Consultant here. In the past few weeks, I think that things have been moving in the right direction in terms of morale, which has been amazing.

That’s good to hear.

I love the magnetic paint and whiteboard paint. Great idea that adds to a more creative feel around here.

We love them, too. Creativity abounds.

Is there any room for a second look at our cubicle wall height? I know we voted on it, and I can deal, but these high ones are driving me nuts, because it’s darker downstairs and mainly because I feel isolated. I’d love to be able to at least have people within view. 1 foot cubicle walls, maybe?

We are in the process of implementing additional lighting enhancements downstairs, and we are relocating some of the bookcases, which block some light. Cubicle height will remain as is.

I saw the MLG core values on a recent email, and I was curious about those. Are these intended to complement the cj core values? Are they things that all of us should be aware of? I hadn’t noticed them before.

You are correct. The core values for MLG are different but complementary. cj’s core values focus on serving our clients, while MLG’s core values (TRUST, RESPECT, COLLABORATION, SERVICE) focus on serving our different companies (cj, LIP, MedView) and helping each company reach its individual BHAG.

I heard about a plan to create fake Twitter user accounts to interact with Bill Mattar’s account, basically as a way of getting quotes from (fake) everyday Twitter users for us to use on other materials. I don’t know the details of this, but it sounds like it goes against Integrity First. I don’t think this is an individual employee issue as much a question of how the agency approaches things like this, and while it may seem small, it’s important that we’re aware of what we’re doing and why, regardless of what we decide on a particular issue. (6)

You’re referring to an off-hand comment from a meeting, which was never intended to be taken seriously and was never considered as an option for implementation.

Things are still in flux and this can be scary, but we’ve charted a course towards success – let’s push forward and succeed! Some morale quotes for pondering: “The best morale exists when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it’s usually lousy.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower “Demotivation – Sometimes the best solution to morale problems is just to fire all of the unhappy people.” – Larry Kersten (6)

These are excellent quotes. Thanks for sharing.

Ok. Just want to throw it out there. Is there any way we could get round toilet paper roll-holders instead of the ones we have? These oval ones don’t give much LEVERAGE for maximum toilet paper accessibility. Thank you! (7)

Thanks for bringing this up. We definitely agree. Angie is looking into replacing the spindles on the toilet paper dispensers as well as other options that may better suit our needs. Look for a change soon.

Just a reminder to everyone about shared spaces. Please be mindful of others when taking your documents off the printer. Please don’t grab your printout out of the middle of the stack and leave the rest in a mess. If you know what department the other printouts go to, put them in their basket on the wall. If you don’t know, just put them neatly back in the tray, preferably in the same order they were in when you picked them up. Don’t just throw them on top of the machine, or on the counter, or the floor. Likewise, we share the same restrooms. If your paper towel hits the floor instead of the trash can, please pick it up and try again. Yes, it’s silly to have to mention both of these things, but it’s even sillier to think that we can’t share a printer or keep our trash off the floor! (7)

Of course, everyone should follow basic good housekeeping rules. As for managing jobs at the printer, IT can set you up with a code for printing so that when you send a document, it does not print until you go to the printer and put in your individual code. Arnie has a code, and maintains that it helps in many ways, including more privacy in printing and fewer lost printouts removed prior to retrieval. If you want one of these voluntary codes, please put in an IT helpdesk ticket.

Why doesn’t the sink in the 2nd floor ladies restroom have more water pressure? (6)

It’s fixed now. Unfortunately we had to temporarily divert water pressure, but now that the hot tub in Jimmy’s office is filled, there should be no water pressure issues.

It is a real bummer to see people in this agency come up with all the reasons we can’t do something for our clients rather than thinking of all the reasons we can. I realize that there might be concerns and how something will work out in the end but we need to have a positive attitude on new technologies/ideas that cj employees bring to the table. It is our job to think outside of the box for our clients and it is hard to do with some people always saying why something will not work. We all need to remember to keep a positive attitude and continue to think outside of the box. Other than this, I am loving the stuff happening at cj! I feel slammed with the work load but I look forward to our bright future! (8)

As Henry Ford famously said: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”

I am tired of negative people and the influence they have on others. Take a step back. If you can think of someone who seems to influence you and make you behave negatively, you need to stand up to them. (6)


I’d like to comment on last month’s “Leadership” question and response. What is cj’s role in cultivating new leaders within the agency? I read a book recently on the subject that said extreme leaders cultivate a team of leaders, and that is how you achieve extreme results as a company. Is Leadership looking to cultivate a team of leaders within cj? Or is Leadership a closed-door society? (5)

Leadership is not necessarily defined by one’s title or role. It’s attitude as much as aptitude. We’ve found that leaders know who they are and don’t wait around for permission to lead. It’s just who they are. We encourage them to find ways to step up and lead.

Are we hiring a full time HR person/people? This large of a company really needs someone here all the time to handle “HR situations”, part time is not going to be enough. (4)

Per Chris’s email, we currently have two dedicated HR professionals to accommodate a broad spectrum of needs. Also, keep in mind that HR’s role in our organization is to address policy issues and Directors and Department Heads address professional development opportunities that are not related to policy or legal issues. The Dream Manager addresses those goals employees want to achieve in their personal lives.

Why is it that not everyone here has new business cards? We’ve been in this building for more than 6 months now. When I’m at a conference or networking event with a coworker and that person doesn’t have a new business card, it makes me wonder.

Business cards can be delayed for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that the person may be receiving a change in title or a promotion.

Would it be possible to have construction done over the weekend? Half of my workday was interrupted by loud noise all day in addition to the construction workers talking on their cell phones.

Apologies for the inconvenience caused by the construction. It’s not something we expect to occur again any time in the near future.

I agree that change is a good thing, but only if we’re all informed of it.

We agree, but it’s not always feasible to inform everyone of everything and still honor confidentiality. That said, we will strive to continue our quest toward transparency and crystal clear communication on all fronts.

Why do certain members of leadership keep secrets from their own team? Walking by a team huddle, I heard an entire conversation of a leadership member tell the team very rudely that something wasn’t their business when it clearly was.

It is difficult to respond to this comment without more specific information.

Do we still do things by periods around here, or have we switched to quarters for everything?

We are on quarters.

What’s up with the new bonus structure we were supposed to be getting? (3)

There is no bonus structure. We are in the process of developing scorecards devised in collaboration with individual employees to measure each employee’s success and to reward them appropriately.

Did leadership approve the distribution of the Passover booklets?


Turnover remains high. The fact that so many have been fired in the last 6 months is making everyone feel uneasy and negative. How can so many losses keep coming from just one department? And how could all of those sub par employees have been hired into just that one area of the agency in the first place?

We believe we are on a path to success in hiring the right people for the right positions.

A common response to these regarding problematic issues is to talk to your department head or a member of leadership. But there have been many mentions of people going to leaders in the company to voice a complaint or ask for help, and feel like they aren’t taken seriously or that there’s no followup. I’ve heard many accounts of various issues of trust regarding leadership.

We know of one such account specifically, and we feel we have addressed it appropriately with the person who expressed the concern.

Last month, someone wrote about the loss of cj’s core values. They said they tried talking to someone on leadership about it, but were basically blown off. There are many people who feel the same way – that the core values, once so alive at cj, are long gone. It’s even been said that if they’re going to be so blatantly ignored, it should be announced that the company has adopted a new philosophy of getting results (at any cost) over people and integrity. We should be able to make an informed decision regarding the true belief system of our workplace – the place we spend a good portion of our lives. With so many people feeling like this about the core values, and with issues of trust in leadership, morale is lower than I’ve ever seen it. This doesn’t provide much hope for those of us desperate for a return of the spirit we knew as the true cj way. (2)

It is unfortunate that you feel this way. Frankly, judging from this month’s morale survey, from which nothing whatsoever has been redacted, morale is actually at a 10-month high with 92% participation. It would certainly appear that you are in the minority on your reading of core value breakdown and morale. In the immortal words of someone famous, “Lead, Follow, or Get the Heck Out of the Way!”

March 2011

Morale Average – 6.74

Total Number of Participants – 42


LOVING the Fiddlecakes Buck idea! Thanks for the funny little activities that have been done for us lately! The Dr. Seuss quiz was something fun to do and the Red Bull in the afternoon was a great pick me up! Then let’s not forget the free vend on the coffee machine and beer in the afternoon!


Love it here.

We love having you here.

Kind of a crazy month, but things are calming down and morale is bouncing back.

The only thing that’s constant is change.

Crazy busy, but good to know our clients need (and love) us.

Yes, just as we need and love them.

Phones: A little birdie told me a survey was going to go around regarding our new phone system. Is this still happening or should I voice my concerns via the morale survey? Laptops: It would be very helpful to everyone if a laptop was placed in each conference room. If not in every meeting room, at least the small and large ones. It’s such an ordeal to check out a laptop, get it properly hooked up, pull up exactly what you need, and then return it. Your meeting’s almost over by the time you get everything straight! I’ve heard there’s a security concern, but I honestly don’t see what the difference is between our conference rooms in Cummins Station and the ones here. Over there, the computers stayed in the rooms and we had a “general” username/password that everyone knew. It looks like there would be more cause for concern when we were across the street. Has this been addressed? Thanks for giving us an outlet to voice our concerns! It’s very much appreciated.

Your birdie was right! MLG will be sending a survey out to better gauge the overall performance and support of the IT department as well as Accounting and HR. As for IT issues in the conference rooms, the plan is to have a permanent keyboard and wireless mouse, etc., for the primary conference room. However, we will continue to rely on individual or community laptops for the smaller conference rooms. If you have a frequent need to use a laptop in the conference rooms, perhaps you should work with your department head to request a laptop as a permanent part of your work solution. Regarding specific issues with your phone equipment, please put in a HelpDesk ticket so that specific problems can be properly documented, solved, and tracked. Thank you for this comment. It has helped us explore solutions to several opportunities that will benefit all.

I hate to complain because our space is so nice, but it’s actually getting darker on the first floor. The recent moving of shelves has further blocked our access to natural light. And it seems to defeat the purpose of having the “window” topped cube walls. Is there something that we can do short of blasting the downstairs with fluorescent light? Because, although the darkness is bad, I think we’d all prefer it to increasing the fluorescents.

We really appreciate your pointing this out. We are working on a solution for lighting and we will explore repositioning the bookcases as to not block any natural lighting

I really hope the easter camel comes to cj this year. Can we get a Dyson Airblade hand dryer for the bathroom ( They’re super cool, save paper, and I dare say we may be the FIRST agency in Nashville to have them. Puh-leeeeeease?

We agree that it would save paper, but we are concerned about potential increase in noise. It is an interesting idea, and Angie is going to look into possibilities.

What’s the latest on the 401k/retirement plan/bonus re-structuring?

There are no plans for a 401k plan now or in the near future. Every situation is different, and a 401k may not be everyone’s best option. There are many other ways to save money toward retirement or goals that we will work to create information around for you. Chris Stovall is working with Leadership to finalize details on a more robust review and individual compensation plan intended to replace the previous group bonus structure and will be sending out a communication soon unveiling and reviewing this plan. We apologize for the delay, but we have taken time on this because we want to get it right rather than doing something for the sake of doing it. We are committed to having highly paid, high-performance employees.

How are people chosen for Employee of the Month and where do the comments come from?

The process for selecting employee of the month has been changed (and outlined in a previous morale survey) to get Department Heads more involved in recognition. It is currently set up such that each department head nominates one person whom they feel has best exhibited cj’s core values for the preceding 30 days along with their reason for nominating them. The Leadership team picks the winner and then the nominating committee submits feedback about that person, which is ultimately crafted into the message of praise that is read at the staff meeting.

Over the past few years of reading these survey results, I’ve noticed the “how does an employee know if they are in danger of losing their job?” comment pop up many times. The typical response states that an employee is aware there is a problem and has been warned before they are let go. While this answer very well may be true, I think it makes some employees nervous about job security because it is so vague. People start to wonder if things they are told to work on in their annual review is a warning or if something they are told in passing could be one, etc. If we are told more specific details, that may help ease the fear. 1. Is official paperwork involved in a warning to an employee who is in danger of losing their job? 2. Is there a probationary period that is directly communicated to that employee? 3. Does cj currently have a system in place to give warnings or is it simply case by case? 4. Is it legally necessary to give a warning to an employee before they are fired? This may be opening a can of worms, but I hope that the answers to these questions can at least put us all on the same page and relieve any unnecessary stress that some employees may have due to job security fears. Other than that, I’m pretty content. Always love the Beer Guy!

We invite your questions on any topics of concern. And yes, we love the Beer Guy, too! 1. Yes, most typically there is paperwork, but not always. 2. When it is papered, there is a timeframe for corrective action. 3. Both. It depends on the situation. 4. No. Tennessee is an employment-at-will state.

I am very concerned for the agency in that I feel some of the Core Values are being ignored. That very much lowers my morale because I believe in the Core Values and enjoy working with those who feel the same way. I have a feeling this is also why the cj morale score has been low for some time – others see this too. I know this isn’t the place to call anyone out (so I won’t) but I have spoken to a member of Leadership about my concerns, and the response left me feeling like it wasn’t an issue. So, if Integrity First isn’t a Core Value anymore I would just like to know.

Please know this: every score and comment is important to us and is counted, respected, and responded to. We take it personally when the Core Values are not heeded. We want to encourage anyone who has an issue like this to speak directly, specifically, and in person to someone on Leadership or anyone you trust. We definitely believe in and practice our Core Values every day. And we definitely understand that if we don’t get the Core Values right, the rest is just a big waste of time and talent.

Let’s talk dress code for a minute. Correct me if I am wrong, but MLG is a place of work that has a casual dress code. Right? Do sweatpants fall into that category? I have been seeing a lot of those lately. While I appreciate the casual dress code (I do love my sandals and jeans), I believe that a reminder of what is appropriate and what is not, is needed.

See response below.

I really would like to know what the dress code is and if it’s the same for all companies in MLG? I’ve come into work feeling really bad before and wanted nothing more than to wear my sweatpants or workout clothes. I have noticed quite a few people that wear sweat pants and revealing tank tops quite a bit. Should we not all have the same dress code? We have a pretty relaxed dress code as it is, so come on people, stop taking advantage. If anything, trade in the sweats for some pajama jeans!

Thank you for bringing this up. Noticing that this dress code policy has not been updated since 03/06, you have inspired us to review the policy to ensure it is still properly reflective of our intended culture. At the end of the day, recognize that there are different policies for each organization. You can find the current policy for cj is on page 14 of your employee guide and the current policy for LIP on page 14 of their manual.

What is the criteria to be in leadership? I always thought that leadership was comprised of people that were trusted and respected because of all the time and experience they have with cj. Does being a department head automatically make you a member? I think leadership needs to branch out and look at the rather large list of people that are starting to hit that 5+ year mark.

Leadership team members are strategy-focused and are chosen on a case-by-case basis based on experience, knowledge, and their roles in the company.

February 2011

Morale Average – 6.91

Total Number of Participants – 33




First of all, with the unemployment rate still being quite high – in the country and in TN – I’m grateful to have a job. Secondly, it is still a JOB, which requires us to show up, do hard work, manage daily stresses, etc. That being said, I have not seen many companies that go out of their way to create a pleasant work environment like this company does. Sure, there is room for improvement, but I feel truly lucky to be here.

We’re lucky to have you.

Morale’s hummin’ along at 8. Life’s good overall, except, I strongly dislike the lap-top system for computer access in the conference rooms. If your meeting follows another meeting in the same room, you can’t get in there to set up. So basically, most meetings that require some sort of multi-media are doomed to start 10 minutes late. As for audio, the laptops have inadequate speakers, and the rooms don’t have any. I think at least 2 of our conference room spaces should have a full time, wired up, audio ready pc. Yesterday, I hosted a meeting. I got the lap top from IT no problem. I could not log in under any screen name or password. Knowing already that audio was going to be lame and that the projection system was not going to work “automatically”, I said screw it and started the meeting on time. My acting out of the quicktime spots nobody could see were somehow not as effective as seeing the movie files would’ve been. Please, I beg you. Save the agency from more of my bad acting. Just chain the darn laptops in the rooms, wired and ready and take away the ding dang encryption altogether. PS Thank you for considering my request and thank you for the fiddle bucks. They rock.

We hear you and understand your frustration, but don’t worry, our IT team is on it. The word on the street is that starting this Thursday, our conference rooms will be fully set up and good to go. Beacon, our vendor, will be here for two hours that day putting the final touches on all of our conference rooms. There will be some training involved after that, which Shane will schedule accordingly.

I have been holding off on mentioning this in hopes that my fellow coworkers would get the hint after about the 3rd email, but it is still a problem. cj employees are continuing to park in LIP spots throughout the day. It is not fair to those of us that abide by the rules and park in the Lea Lot when the cj spots are not available. I think it is very disrespectful to continue to ignore several emails that specifically outline where cj employees should park. I get that sometimes is snowing, rainy, cold or you were running late to work but that does not mean the rules do not apply. Are there going to be consequences for the people that keep doing this? If not, why would I continue to follow the rules either?

See below response.

My mother always taught me to “just worry about myself,” but I find it very frustrating when I see cj’ers cars parked in the assigned LIP spaces. I make sure to always go down to the Lea lot when there are no more available spots up here. It has been made very clear which spots are for LIP and which spots are for cj. I feel like some people think the rules don’t apply to them. When I’m trucking my way up from the Lea lot in the pouring rain, and I see someone else park “illegally” and scurry right in, I can’t help but to mention it on the morale survey. It’s just not fair!

To answer both comments above, we understand how you feel and do have a parking violation plan in place to discourage people from taking advantage. We briefly reviewed this process in our staff meeting, but to be clear, here is the process: If you are a first time offender, we will leave a note on your windshield asking that you park in the designated spaces. If this is your second offense, we will email you a nice reminder. For third offenses, we will issue the reminder and also copy your supervisor. Perhaps at that point, between the two of you, you can resolve any confusion that may exist about where you should park. By the fourth time, frankly, if you haven’t gotten it by then, you don’t deserve a parking pass! Your rights to park in either of the lots will be revoked and you will have to find alternative parking. Again, we are just trying to be fair to everyone. A lot of companies in the downtown area require employees to pay for their own parking, so walking the extra distance to get free parking shouldn’t be too much to ask. Thank you for bringing this up and giving us the perfect opportunity to confirm this process.

I had an essay prepared about parking spots for motorcycles, but since we’ve expanded our tolerance to compact cars, I have nothing to gripe about.

Glad to hear it.

How do you get Fiddle Cake bucks?

FiddleCakes bucks are handed out to our “Rocker of the day”, as noted in our huddle notes that are emailed each morning. Check it out. You could be the next recipient!

I was wondering if we could utilize an open office as a workout room? Even if we only had a treadmill and some free weights it would be better than nothing!

No – sorry. More than anything else, this is a liability issue. The YMCA is a great option. There’s also a gym across the street.

A few weeks ago I learned that a fellow cj employee was leaving. I didn’t learn this from a staff wide email or from gossip going around, I learned the information from Facebook. I know that this isn’t the first time that this has happened in recent memory. Is there anything that we can do about the disconnect in communication that is going on?

Thank you for your observation. You have inspired us to initiate an improved communication process that should ensure that the news you need to know comes from Leadership and not Facebook.

Is there really nothing that can be done about faxes ringing through to our headset? I don’t remember this being a problem with our previous phone service.

Legal Intake is in the process of hiring someone specifically to manage their phone system, and as a result, MLG will directly benefit too. In the meantime, if you let the phone ring twice, it will ultimately switch over to the fax if that’s what is being transmitted. This is obviously only a temporary solution. Just know that we are aware of the problem and are working to fix it across the board. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

I read an article recently that perked my interest. There is a bill currently in Massachusetts that would require businesses to give parents up to 24 hours a year in paid leave for student academic needs. While this bill is intended to help parents who have a child that is a potential drop-out, I think that we could adapt this to fit the MLG culture. These hours could be used for Parent-Teacher conferences, to help a child study for ACT/SAT test or get extra tutoring in a subject that they are struggling in, for college campus tours, etc.–+Education+news

This is definitely a great idea designed specifically for employers who do not otherwise offer any paid time off to their employees. Since we have a fairly generous paid time off policy, we encourage employees to use their accrued time however they would like to use it.

When will we be getting all of the details regarding the tuition reimbursement? We talked about this at our last staff meeting and still nothing has coming through my inbox.

By the time you read this, you should have received the details in your Inbox. If not, check with Leigh.

Can we please get a sign for the restrooms (especially the 2nd floor women’s restroom) that says, “Employees must wash their hands prior to returning to work!” I know, it’s gross and ridiculous that adults have to be reminded of such things! There needs to also be a sign that says, “Restrooms are a no cell phone zone.” There are plenty of other spaces in our new building for cell phone conversations.

Hopefully, this comment alone will serve as a reminder to all.

I am a new employee.

Hear me roar!

We’ve been growing a lot as a company (it’s awesome!), but I feel like there are new faces that I only see once in a blue moon and never have a chance to meet them (or know where they sit to introduce myself). To help everyone get to know our new hires better, can we have a once-per-quarter all cj/MLG sanctioned mixer? Just have it here at the building (with a set amount of Yazoo & wine) or reserve a space nearby and have a set amount of drink tickets (Gulch or otherwise). It’d get the cross-department mojo going again! Let’s keep cj a workplace “Where everybody knows your name…” 😉

These are all great ideas, and things that we’d like to do too. We’ve already started doing similar things by having the cookie lady and the beer guy. We’re even doing quarterly luncheons prior to the staff meetings. We just need someone to be the ring leader. Are you offering? The fact is that once we hire our Cultural Manager, we will have much more opportunity to do things like this as we will have a dedicated manager of company events who will bring us all together and get our “mojo” going! Looking forward to more planned spontaneity in the near future.

There are times where we’re encouraged to operate as “experts” and steer our clients when needed, to make sure they get a good quality product. There are also times where I get the opposite message: essentially, let our clients tell us what to do, and if you do have an opposing opinion, you can put it out there but don’t be too pushy. Quite frankly, this is confusing. What’s our overall approach here? It’s possible that the overall company approach is consistent, but that employees have different approaches, which is where the confusion is coming in. Maybe some people lean toward, and encourage, siding with the client regardless of the request, while others lean toward the alternative. Thoughts? I’d love it if everyone were on the same page about this.

We have to produce our best work every time, not merely satisfactory work to meet a deadline. If clients insist on lowering the bar we need to have a clear communication to the client saying that it is against our better judgment and why. We also have to be mindful of not pushing our clients in a direction they do not want to go. Striking that balance is difficult – you should look to your Department Head for specific guidance.

January 2011

Morale Average – 6.9

Total Number of Participants – 39


I’m still new, but everything’s still great!

Glad you’re happy!

Looking forward to a great year!

So are we! We love your enthusiasm.

cj Rocks!


Morale continues to be low; the office is feeling more and more corporate, less and less cj, which is really disheartening. I miss how fun work used to be. Last morale survey, someone mentioned something about coming to work because they have to instead of because they want to, and I’m in that boat. In terms of specifics of how to solve this, I’m not sure. I do miss the little things we used to do as a company from time to time (i.e. FiSH! leaving stuff on our desks, just little things that let us know we’re cared about as employees). I think there are some broader, more general things going on that I have some thoughts on below. Hopefully they will help shed some light on what we’re feeling and experiencing as employees, which will in turn help us improve morale.

Firstly, FiSH! is coming back, so don’t worry! We will continue to have a FiSH! team that focuses on cj/MLG culture, as well as a Spirit team that focuses on LIP culture and we look forward to the two teams collaborating in the future. Did you see the e-mail about applying to join the FiSH! group? If not, check with Jason.

It seems that people are fearful. Whereas it used to be ok to take a creative break here and there, I think people feel pressured to be busy, not be seen not working, etc. And that’s sad. Granted, people are busy, but I think this is beyond that. We fear being seen away from our desks when certain people walk by, and I think a lot of this comes down to recent firings. I know I’ve felt that way, and I’d bet I’m not alone in that.

No one has ever been fired from our organization for taking a break; people are fired for not doing their jobs. There is a huge difference between taking a break and vanishing for hours at a time without letting anyone know. Maintaining a Team Driven Culture is tough if your team can’t count on you, lean on you, or even find you.

Several times people have asked about whether or not Leadership is freaking out because of debt attributed to the building, and we’ve been assured that Leadership is not. However, while decisions may not be being made solely because of money, could it be true that being in debt has influenced the way things are run? I don’t think anyone’s worriedly trying to cut everything we have going for us, but it appears that we’re concerned about cutting costs much more than we have been in a while. There has been a general shift since we’ve moved; we seem much more concerned with expenses. I’m not asking for a pony every week, but things feel tightfisted, which is hard to work under.

Moving is one of the most stressful things a person can go through; and we were moving an entire organization! So, it’s possible that the collective pressure of it crept into our psyche a little more than we realized. With millions invested in creating a great physical workspace, we have needed a little time to “adjust”. However, as you may have noticed, we are starting to get our groove back. We continue to invest in training and hiring as we always have, if not more so now. We’ve even added new programs: 1. We pay for your postage now! 2. We have a recognition program that we are partnering with FiddleCakes on. Become cj’s “rocker of the day” and you’ll find out what that is. 3. Book Club is continually filled with employees, and more and more people join the program each quarter. This quarter alone, we paid out $2,475! 4.The cj employee of the month receives a $50 AMEX gift card in addition to $10 worth of quarters. 5. Arnie often has spare Predators tickets that we hand out on a first come-first served basis. 6. If you were at the last staff meeting, you will have heard Arnie’s wrap-up speech about adding the educational reimbursement program for cj and MLG employees, similar to what LIP currently does. 7. And if that wasn’t enough, we are going to be hiring a Cultural Manager to drive our existing culture programs, including our Dream Manager program, to help you realize your ultimate dreams! We hate to be thought of as tight-fisted, especially when you consider the lengths that we do go to to make cj one of Nashville’s best places to work.

Can you recommend a good way to call people out on negativity? While I’m having a rough time, I try hard not to pull others down, and it really gets to me when others are backbiting or overly negative, especially if they’re in influential positions in the company. I want to protect our culture, and from time to time certain individuals seem more concerned about their own egos and couldn’t give a rip. I think this really detracts from morale overall.

If it’s something you can help fix, do it. If not, hit back with two positives.

I like the idea of the conference room names being landmarks here in Nashville. However, I think including local sports teams isn’t going to work. Not everyone at the agency is a sports fan, and not everyone cheers for the same sports teams. Historic landmarks are more well-known and, I believe, will be received better.

Thank you for your feedback.

Oh, and I dislike all the conference room name choices.

But the rooms are nice, well lit and there are more of them.

These conference rooms are seriously weak. No offense, but I saw a lot of better suggestions up on the board. I’d way rather meet in “The War Room” than “Opryland”.

Thank you for your feedback.

cj’s on hold message isn’t up to par with our clients on hold message. We can do so much better than just classical music playing in the background!

You’re right. We’re working on a plan to revise our message on hold. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Is there anything we can do about the smell in the microwaves? I come in every morning and go to heat up my coffee and they all smell so bad and then it makes my coffee taste bad. Could we put some Clorox wipes by them so people can wipe them down once they are done making food? Just a thought!

Thank you for your feedback. We’ll work on finding a solution.

I know it’s not the company policy to take snow days, but I really think it would help morale around the office. Everyone that does brave the weather to come in to work usually doesn’t get much done it seems. So why not get the day off and not have to take it as a vacation day? Everyone works really hard every day of the week and being rewarded with the occasional day off for snow seems like it helps everyone re-charge the batteries a little. I understand that work needs to get done and some days you just absolutely have to come in. But I think it would go a long way in improving morale especially during the winter months to get a few days off for snow.

Everyone recharges in different ways. Some people actually get more done on snow days! If you need to recharge, take a personal day; that’s what it’s there for.

Those of us on the 2nd floor don’t mind sharing a printer/copier room with LIP and Medview. However, there have been multiple times now when we’re observing quiet time and someone from LIP comes in talking very loudly on their cell phone. Maybe we should explain to all of LIP that cj has a quiet time hour and we’d really like everyone to respect it.

LIP has its own fax/copier now, but we’ll make sure they know about Quiet Time.

Could you explain the process for selecting the employee of the month? I thought the current winner nominated three people that were then voted on by FiSH! Is that no longer the case?

The process for selecting employee of the month has been changed to get Department Heads more involved in recognition. It is currently set up such that each department head nominates one person who they feel has best exhibited cj’s core values for the preceding 30 days along with their reason for nominating them. The Leadership team picks the winner and then the nominating committee submits positive statements about that person, which is ultimately crafted into the message of praise that is read at the staff meeting.

Did a homeless man really break into the side door? If so, please let us know these things. If it’s just a rumor, please put a stop to it with the truth.

We don’t know. Our security attendant thought he saw someone force the door open, but we don’t know for sure. Once we heard this, we took immediate action to eliminate the possibility of such an occurrence by replacing the lock on the door. We have since determined that the whole door actually needs to be replaced – that is currently in process. If you suspect any breach of security, please help us by submitting a ticket, and/or calling 862-8600 for non-urgent but serious matters. As always, call 911 for life-threatening emergencies.

Today’s carnival was really loud! And why was it 4 hours long? Those of us who sit on the first floor had a hard time concentrating for half the day.

Although Carnival Day was a lot of fun, it did get a little rowdy at times, which we apologize for. We are working on a process for how events should be conducted to minimize disruptions going forward.

Can we have a smoothie day?

Hmmm, this sounds like a question for FiSH!

Just tell me I’m beautiful, and I’ll be happy. Side note: take a snapshot of my choices for the conference room names. I gave these careful consideration. If my suggestions are not meticulously followed, my morale will plummet to a negative 3. Don’t test me, just do it!

You’re beautiful!

December 2010

Morale Average – 6.56

Total Number of Participants – 43


The Christmas Party was a fantastic time. Thank you!

You’re so welcome. We had a lot of fun too!

I’ve only been here a couple days, but everyone seems to be very happy with their jobs.

Welcome aboard!

cj did a lot of good around Christmas time. Some friendly competition is always welcomed. Pajama day was a blast. Hopefully we can ramp up the company-wide events more in the coming year. Some of the most fun things don’t cost the company a dime! The paid days off were really good as well – time to recharge and time to spend with family is important. I’m glad that cj values this as well.

We’re glad you appreciated it!

I know that change is the only constant. Hopefully the new year will expedite change for the better. As long as the agency is willing to grow its commitment to innovation and proactive stances, I see a sunny future for us in 2011. Let’s dig in and start the year out right!

Love your support.

Thank you for the holiday party! It was a great time – loved the food, drinks, fun, bonus and door prizes. Looking forward to big things for the agency in 2011!

We did too! Thanks to Natalie and the rest of the FiSH! team for making it happen.

Feels like we are a little short-handed and things are getting pretty intense (in some departments) but then again, that’s why you hire all the Rock Stars Nashville has to offer! I also think morale is going to drop a little this month due to the team members we lost. I think we have some of the smartest people around at cj and if we keep our heads down and power forward we will become stronger and more efficient than ever! Goodbye competition, hello pizza party.

What a great perspective! Thanks for your support and recognition of the fact that change always brings opportunity.

I’m jacked for a new year. 2011 is going to make 2010 look like 1910. Book it!

We’re with you!

Thanks for the AWESOME Holiday Party and our Bonuses.

You’re very welcome.

Regarding the parking situation, can you define LIP’s “off hours?”

To put it in a nutshell, off-hours are generally defined as leaving after 7pm and arriving before 6am.

Having all 3 companies in 1 meeting doesn’t leave a lot of time to really get anything accomplished. What about each company has their own monthly staff meeting and once a quarter we all come together?

We tried that already and, unfortunately, it was a very inefficient and laborious process. Please remember that there are some people who would essentially go to all of those meetings (Arnie, Karen and Jason!). The other thing is that, what is said in one meeting that applies to all staff may be missed in another meeting. Give it some time in its current form. The second meeting was better than the first and the meetings should continue to improve.

I didn’t write this question on the last morale survey, but I do have to say that reading the comment from Leadership made me not want to write anymore comments. It was a general statement about communication. Leadership could have said thank you for your thought and if you have specifics, please share in detail. It didn’t need the “10-minute” comment about not understanding it. I commend cj for being as open as we are with our comments, and I wish Leadership could remember that we’re doing just what you ask, so please don’t write discouraging answers or non-answers of “see your department head”. Some people like the anonymity of morale surveys and may not feel like talking in person to their department is an option – or going to Leadership who works very close with their department head. Please know that I don’t think this question is the only one that has come off discouraging, but I at least wanted to provide a specific example to explain.

We are sorry that this response came across as sarcastic. We did not intend that at all. We were honestly trying to set an example and encourage more direct communication.

Some people in the agency have expressed frustration with the way certain brand managers interact with the sub-departments (seo, exp, content, design, social media) of the Interactive department. Here’s my opinion: once a certain sub-department completes a task, that sub-department should be released from “ownership” of that task. If a brand manager needs other tasks to be fulfilled on that product, that are not to be completed by the sub-department that completed the original task, the brand manager should communicate directly with the sub-department with whom they need the task completed. I say all this to say, if I belong to a department that can do nothing about the task you need completed, please communicate with the sub-department that can. I don’t think it’s my responsibility to make sure your other requests are completed. Let’s eliminate the middle man and complications by getting right to the point for higher quality service in a shorter amount of time. I’m not saying that the original sub-department does not need to be cc’d on the secondary tasks (as the original may be sending the final product to the client); however, the brand manager is responsible for requesting secondary tasks and following up on completion of those tasks.

We hear you and believe that this has already been addressed. The process is as follows for all Brand Managers: Please remember to send all new Interactive project requests to Michelle. Michelle will make certain new projects are properly prioritized and communicated to the Interactive staff. She will also make sure information is properly communicated back to your respective brands. For needed website updates, continue to follow the current process by submitting a Web HelpDesk ticket. It is an agency wide policy for projects and project updates to be communicated to the client directly by the specific departmentâ€Â”not the brand manager. Brand managers do not determine or promise timelines or deadlines. That said, the brand manager should always be cc’ed on any email being sent to the client. Either Suzanne or Michelle are more than happy to talk with you about it if you feel the process is not being adhered to.

I know that we are CRAZY busy all the time and don’t have time to spend on our own company’s websites, but it kind of bothers me that the cj and (new) MLG site are a little less than impressive. We’re an advertising agency! A lot of business is generated from our web-based products. If I was a prospective client of the agency/company I would be turned off by the antiquated condition of our websites. We need to showcase the VERY BEST of our design and construction talents on our own websites, that’s the first place people look when they’re curious about us.

We agree with you completely, but unfortunately, (or fortunately) these sites remain effective for now and many client projects have clear priority. It is our goal to have these sites re-vamped by the end of the year.

Can we bring back the new hires office tour? I don’t know who some people are!

Yes! Leigh is now doing that again.

I get the feeling people are suddenly worried about losing their jobs, when 2 people (seemingly out of the blue) were fired. Especially when one of them was last year’s employee of the year. The excuse that those who are let go didn’t have the right attitude for cj seems to be untrue.

See below response.

I feel like the changes taking place, especially in interactive are making this company a non enjoyable place to come to everyday. I feel like there has been given far too much latitude in long term solutions for short term issues. Thanks for hearing us out.

See below response.

So we all get the e-mails about changes in the agency. Some of them are for good, and some, people don’t always understand (It’s not our place to understand. I know). While I know losing our colleagues (and friends!) can be hard, if leadership/department heads believe that those changes will make our agency stronger and more effective, I support them.

Thank you for answering the above two comments so perfectly for us. There really is no better way to say it and we simply ask for everyone’s support. Additionally, we would like to reassure you by saying that we are an open and transparent company and that, if you have concerns about your own position, don’t walk around on egg-shells. Talk to your manager and ask two very specific questions: One: Am I doing the right things? Two: Am I heading in the right direction? Open communication is the key to keeping us all on the right page and moving forward together and we ask that you trust that and trust your own abilities.

Feeling quite a bit overwhelmed, and I’m not seeing the light.

Please don’t continue to feel that way. Talk it out with your manager and/or department head.

It seems like morale has been down at the agency for quite awhile and I can’t help but wonder how many people come to work now because they “have to” as opposed to because they “want to”. I know we have to find a balance between culture and productivity, but it seems like we’ve taken a complete turn when it comes to the culture and atmosphere of cj. At the end of the day, I know the agency is a business, but at the same time, you should want happy workers, because they are more inclined to go the extra mile and be more productive. Just a thought for us to pay attention to and to improve.

Thank you for your feedback. No matter what company you work for, finding a balance between happiness and productivity is paramount. Happy workers are indeed productive workers, and productive workers are happy workers. Help us find the balance. We are all empowered to make a difference, so if you have suggestions, please let us know.

I feel like we are all completely overworked. We all just need to catch our breath! However, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

We are committed to hiring as many people as we need to get the job done. We realize that fourth quarter last year was a crazy time and we are still adjusting somewhat to this year, but give it some time for the dust to settle. It will get better. As always, if you need help, talk to your manager and/or department head so that together, you can find a way to manage your responsibilities.

I would like to see all department heads in all areas make more of an effort to recognize their employees at staff meetings. It’s deflating to see the same departments recognize half their area each month when you feel like you’ve done a lot to go above and beyond. I know anyone can nominate but DH’s have the greatest impact.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will do our best to take note of that going forward.

I figure there will be a lot of complaints about the snow earlier this month and how we didn’t get the day off, but I agree with the decision. We can’t close every time we get a dusting of snow. My only complaint is that I feel the parking lot definitely could have been salted because it was awfully slick for a couple of days.

Next time it snows, the parking lots will be salted. We were caught off guard on this occasion, but know that it is on the radar and will be taken care of.

First, I think MLG’s policy of being “dog and kid friendly” is AWESOME; however, kids are loud. If your kid is going to be loud and disrupt other employees, please remove them from the office. Am I correct that LIP employees may get some form of financial repayment for childcare? Shouldn’t cj employees be given that same benefit?

Thank you for your feedback. As far as the childcare benefits are concerned, we are constantly evaluating our benefits. This particular one will be a topic of discussion at an upcoming MLG meeting and if any changes are made to current policies, we will certainly let you know.

November 2010

Morale Average – 6.69

Total Number of Participants – 45


Looking forward to the holiday party!

So are we!

Christmas is coming! The cj Christmas is going to be INCREDIBLE! Can’t. Hardly. Wait. cj Thanksgiving breakfast was a BIG hit! It boosted everyone’s morale and got people back in the spirit of getting things done during a short week. Thanks! Thank you for letting Winston have tea time. It is getting people from several departments that don’t ever see each other together at one time to build a team ethos at the agency.

We’re glad you’re enjoying the camaraderie.

There’s a lot of stuff going on around here these days that keeps us super, insane, nutso busy. I really appreciate how dedicated my coworkers are on deadline and all the little things we do for each other to keep morale high. My coworkers with a positive attitude really make a difference in my attitude and motivation. You are a pleasure. Thank you! You Rock! Not everyone is that way though and those people can be really stifling (I know we all have our moments!). I think some people need to remember that asking you questions is not doubting your ability or the quality of your work. We ask questions so we know we’re doing the best job possible. There’s no reason to get hateful if someone has an idea or a question about your assignment. Even if that idea is totally dumb, or you think that question is totally obvious, just smile, it doesn’t hurt!

Thank you for your feedback.

I can’t wait until we can get espresso at the building. Mid-January can’t come soon enough! Will employees have any kind of discount?

Discounts and VIP programs of some sort are definitely in the works. We will take advantage of any and all opportunities that arise. We’re pretty excited about it too!

My favorite winter clothes are camel-colored Snuggies!


Thank you FiSH! for the great chili cook-off! Yum!

We’re with you! Thanks FiSH! GREAT idea.

I’m really busy lately and I see that almost everyone else is, but it slowly feels like it’s becoming the good, productive kind of busy. I hope that trend continues, because it will potentially mean that we are innovating and creating new awesomeness for our clients. In the meantime, yikes, lots of work.

Yes, it can get very busy sometimes. We all feel it, but we love your positive attitude!

I like how things are coming together here with the new building. It seems like every week, a new kink gets worked out, or a new benefit of working here emerges. It’s nice.

Thanks for your feedback.

Day 3 items like the lower floor bathroom sink and automatic lights are still on and off like crazy at Day 30. Is there a reason the contractors won’t fix it?

“Day 3” is what we call the ongoing list, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, so it was never intended to be taken literally as the third day. These are items that are lower down on the priority list, but still need to be addressed. The Day 3 list is huge, and items are being addressed steadily and according to where they fall in terms of their priority. In fact, we expect the list to continue growing, as we ask people to email their requests to 300 HelpDesk. As always, we ask for your patience as we address each and every one.

I’m enjoying the new building and getting accustomed to everything, but it’s really loud down here on the first floor. We constantly hear people walking upstairs as well as conversations people are having upstairs because the noise bounces off all the walls and comes directly into our area. The noise can be distracting and frustrating, and we’d love to find a solution that limits noise and helps us focus on our work.

See below response.

It’s really loud in this new building, especially for the folks who sit on the first floor. What can be done about this?

In response to both of the above concerns, white noise generators may be the solution we are looking for. They were originally a part of the plan, but we would like to test them out first. Stay tuned for more information. Thanks for your patience!

The new parking lot – I know that lights are coming in the near future, but we need to step on it! Some people have no fear of walking to or from the lot alone, but for many, it’s terrifying and it’s the reason why I rated my morale as a 5 and not an 8. No one should have to feel that way. In the meantime, the buddy system is working great, but it doesn’t help in the morning or if you HAVE to leave at a certain time and you can’t find a buddy. Also, I really appreciate MLG opening spots in the close lots to cj employees, but even if I get here at 8 am I’m too late.

See below response.

Please do more to ensure our safety with the Lea lot. There should be more lighting, and perhaps some “no trespassing” or other signage that could deter shady types. It is really not a safe area, especially for your female employees. Even a part-time security guard from 4-8pm every day would be very helpful.

See below response.

Some of the guys here walk through and check with people before they leave in order to offer an escort to your car. THANK YOU because that parking lot is far and VERY DARK. The concern for our safety is appreciated!

To answer all of the above concerns, we hear you and we are accelerating plans to ensure your safety. Per Chris Stovall’s latest emails, if you need to file an “incident” report with the 300 HelpDesk, please do so as soon as you can so we can be aware of what happened and address it accordingly. Again, remember to always use your best judgment when parking in employee parking lots and to call 911 for life-threatening emergencies or call 862-8600 for non-urgent but serious matters.

Thank you for listening to everyone’s concerns on the new parking lot.

Definitely. Your safety is of the utmost importance to us. Expect to see more communication surrounding this in the next few days.

If we decide to do the angel tree again this year maybe we could auction off a 3-month pass for each cj spot in the close parking lot to raise money for the angel tree. I bet a few people would shell out some dollars not to have to walk all winter and it would go to a good cause. Just an idea. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Interesting suggestion, but we would rather not encourage a bidding war for parking spots. We continue to evaluate the parking policies and will make changes as necessary. Thanks for your patience through this process.

I don’t understand why cj has 3-4 times the number employees as LIP, but they have twice as many parking spaces as cj in our lot by the building. I understand the off-hours needs, but that doesn’t apply during daytime hours, and you have cj employees who work off-hours, too.

See below response.

After looking at the parking plan, there are way more parking spaces for LIP “Off Hours” than cj people in the new lot. Being that cj people are generally here during normal business hours and “off hours” are, seemingly by definition, NOT when cj/MLG employees are at the building. Can any light be shed on this? Maybe I’m just ignorant to the scheduled hours of LiP employees.

In response to both of the above concerns, cj and LIP have roughly the same number of staff; MLG has an additional twenty, but there are no cj/MLG spaces in the building lot. We have reserved a certain number of spaces for off-hours employees because they either arrive or leave outside the space of a normal work day. The other spaces are first-come, first-serve for any company. So for those off-hours LIP employees who leave from 10 to midnight (arriving at 2 to 4 in the afternoon) they must have a space open in the building lot, otherwise they would have to walk to the Lea lot in the middle of the night with no attendant present. Likewise, there are employees who arrive in early morning hours (5am) who will need building lot spaces. For cj and MLG employees who arrive in early morning, they will have the opportunity to park in the first-come, first-serve spaces in the building lot. If a cj or MLG employee is parked in the Lea lot and needs to work past 7pm, they have the opportunity to move their car to the building lot before security leaves. Overnight employees have no-such chance. We will, of course, continue to monitor our parking needs and make adjustments as needed. If you still have questions or ideas regarding this, please speak with either Greg or Chris.

The communication around here is really lacking lately. Whether it’s between departments or from leadership to the rest of the agency, it’s getting ridiculous. People are having to guess things, or even worse, listen to all the rumors going around. Can we please start to communicate with one another?

Leadership spent ten minutes guessing what this comment was about, which in and of itself, leads to the rumor mill starting up. Communication is a two-way street. Without knowing specifics, it makes it impossible to respond. So please help us help you. Give us some specifics so that we can address them accordingly.

Our annual reviews ask about our thoughts on overall communication across the agency, so I know it’s something we’re always working on, but I have to admit that I think communication has been lacking lately, especially from top to bottom. I realize you don’t want to say too much when things are still up in the air, but even just saying, “Hey, we’re still working on it!” is better than not saying anything at all. Check in from time to time. Also, I understand that Leadership is charged with the task of planning and making decisions for the agency and what’s in our best interest (not an easy task I know) but that doesn’t mean everyone else should be cut from the process of planning. We’re here, and chances are, we’re working more closely on the project. For example, all these meetings about culture programsâ€Â”usually Leadership doesn’t charge these programs, so please remember that decisions made by Leadership affect us just as much, if not more. It would be helpful to keep the rest of the agency, or at least the key players, in the loop from the beginning versus saying, “we decided to change this,” and not realizing how much you just actually changed a person’s (or a team’s) process/job/etc. I realize ultimately, the final decision is with Leadership, which is understandable.

You bring up a very good point, which we appreciate, but it is important that we clarify something first. There is a difference between Leadership (cj employees) and the MLG Board (which comprises employees from all four companies, including two from cj, Greg and Angel). The MLG Board is the group has recently begun looking at our cultural programs. They do not make decisions without first gleaning information about each program and hearing the opinions from each board member. Having said that, there’s no reason why we can’t invite the experts/owners of each program to participate in specific discussions and help with the decision-making going forward. Keep in mind that we are looking for the best answer rather than simply compromise on these topics.

Am I the only one confused about the new ADP system? I was really excited about having something in place where we could view our remaining vacation/personal days, but I am still unable to do either. Not only is the structure confusing, but it is also inaccurate. Do we have to wait until our anniversary date to see how many days we have? The whole thing just seems very complicated.

HR and payroll are planning on having several training sessions at the beginning of the new year (similar to the ones that IT conducted for our new phone system), to go over any questions or concerns regarding PTO. During these training sessions, payroll will go over the Time and Attendance Module and HR will go over the PTO policy that was effective October 1, 2010. In the meantime, please review the reference guide on cj Central. In addition, Leigh Boller and Jennifer Russell are here to help, so please see one of them with any concerns or questions.

I’m worried when I see “cultural program follow-up” in the Overheard notes under HR every single day. Does that mean things are being taken away from “the people”? Because, for me, the main thing that made our culture so amazing last year was that the people owned it. It empowered us, allowed us to choose our attitudes and share them with others. I’m worried that some kind of corporate structure is going to take some of the magic away. I’m also worried that all this discussion over the cultural programs has put them all at a stalemate. Can we stop “following up” on our culture sometime soon and bring it back? I miss it.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Leigh’s role here is as a facilitator, not a leader. She is simply keeping us on point so that we address each and all of our cultural programs and find a way to spread them across all of our companies in the most effective way. Our culture will remain in the hands of the people – that will not change. None of the magic will be lost.

Suggestion: I feel like Tami’s job description is still unclear. But I think it would be great if she would look for training opportunity leads for employees/departments. We’re always looking ourselves, but the good ones can be tough to find. Having help from someone like Tami would be excellent. She has great research skills! And she absolutely has the capacity to understand our primary needs. A meeting with each department would give her a good idea of what we’re looking for when she has time to devote to the search.

Tami’s scorecard has recently been approved, and in fact includes “mentor, provide guidance and challenge to all agency content resources.” She will work on an ongoing basis in the coming year with all department heads to help identify training opportunities and offer guidance where needed. Why not stop by and let her know what you’re looking for, in particular?

Last month, someone wrote in asking how the recognitions were chosen. There was more to the question/comment which I don’t remember, but I do remember that the original question wasn’t answered, regarding how monthly recognitions are chosen.

Last month’s response to this comment was actually quite detailed. Recognition envelopes are handed out at Karen’s discretion. If you feel that your nominee has been overlooked unfairly, Karen will be happy to discuss it with you. Bear in mind also that it is a privilege to be given the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the accomplishments of othersâ€Â”it is not a time to make bad-mannered remarks.

Meh. That is all.


Morale, just judging from how things have seemed around the office, seems to be up, but I think we’re still missing some of the vibrancy that was here when morale was at its highest. From my standpoint, it seems like a lot of people have been crazy busy for almost several months straight. This is a good thing, it means we’re growing and getting more work, and there is a good level of busyness. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like some departments are consistently bursting at the seams yet haven’t hired a new position in the past several months. Are there any plans to hire more people right now (besides those currently posted)? I really wonder if some people have been bogged down for several months straight with very little time between rushes.

We are hiring as fast as we possibly can and continue to evaluate needs within each department on an ongoing basis. Yes, we will continue to hire people as long as there is a need.

I’m thankful for cj’s transparency, but I’m concerned that we’re being too transparent with our clients. I want them to have our trust, but when we allow them to sit and learn step-by-step, our entire process, what’s preventing them from taking that info and doing it themselves? I would think we would want our clients to have a better understanding, but not equip them with the tools to do it themselves.

There is nothing top secret about what we do. It’s our consistency and execution that sets us apart from the rest. We pride ourselves on our culture and the processes that we have put in place, and all of those elements combined make for a great business offering.

What’s the deal with the free coffee? I know we tested out a few machines while we were in Cummins, but I haven’t heard anything about it since. That was one of the things I was looking forward to the most!

We did look into some options, but the information we were originally given regarding pricing was incorrect. We had hoped we’d be able to offer free coffee, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case.

I know that the open enrollment for FiSH! is coming up soon and I would like to take a moment to talk about that. While the FiSH! team provides us all with fun, the work that goes into it is not always fun. I believe that everyone in the agency should at some point in their cj career be on the FiSH! team to see firsthand all of the hard work that goes into every event. This is just something to think about in the coming months.

The goal for 2011 is to spread the wealth so that the mission of the FiSH! team is not the sole responsibility of a small group of people to convey. Everyone will be invited and encouraged to participate in FiSH! programs in one way or another. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.

October 2010

Morale Average – 6.8

Total Number of Participants – 46


Love all of the positive peeps here with good attitudes (which is almost everyone). The few negative nellys out there, you will probably never change, but we can hope!

Great feedback!

It’s been a challenging month, but it’s a new day and, as Fish! the book says, “choose your attitude”. I for one refuse to be a whiney hiney. 8 is my normal happy idling morale, I’m back to around a 7. I have forwarded a few suggested improvements or “day 3 items” to Greg, but overall I love our new space.

Thank you.

Everything is brighter, cleaner, and easier to get to. Very Cool.

My morale is higher than it’s been in a few months. I love the new building-even more than I thought I would. It’s nice to be somewhere fresh! Thank you for making this investment. Also, there were some difficult and unsettling situations before the move, but now it feels like we’ve turned a corner and the best is yet to come!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new space! Thank you everyone, but especially Angie, for all your hard work!

Hooray for our new home!

Love the new building! By the way, Angie is awesome for everything she has done throughout this process. I know that there are so many others involved too, but I think Angie needs a special thanks!

What a great place to work! Many of the issues I was having were resolved, resulting in a noticeable change in my morale. And what a great building! I’m liking the integration of the departments, feels more cohesive.

A few minor flaws aside, I really love the new building! Now that we’re settled in over here, I think/hope the focus of the agency will be back on the agency (and not the move) and that should help morale.

The new building is awesome! Still a lot of quirks to work out though. People are still very stressed with changes, and things not working right. I think next month will be better, after we get back into our routines.

I like my new space! It definitely feels like home here.

THANK YOU is our group response to all of the above comments. This is all great to hear!

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to take home the old office furniture!

Our pleasure. Glad most of it went to a good home.

Can we fix the downstairs bathroom sinks? They look great, but you can’t really wash your hands at the same time. You’re in a kind of try and wash one, then wash the other kind of tango.

We agree. This is on our punch list and will be addressed.

Can cj acquire a blender for the kitchen? I was recently reminded that no appliances/electronics other than “cj approved” ones are allowed on-site. Since we can’t bring our own, it’d be kind of nice to have one around the office for everyone!

The problem with the blender is that it is so loud. The sound reverberates through the building and can be frightening when you don’t know what it is. We have no plans to change this unwritten policy at this time, but we will continue to evaluate any similar requests as they come up.

Is there an update on having a cj security guard who can patrol the parking lots and escort people to and fro as needed? When we were at Cummins Station, we were given a security number to call and were encouraged to use it. It seems even more crucial now, given that our parking lot is even farther away. Please keep us safe!

Talks are in process surrounding this topic, so please know that we have your safety at the fore-front. But as with any other building in the downtown area, please keep your eyes and ears open when you leave the premises. If possible, leave with someone at the end of the day, especially now that the days are shorter and it gets darker so much earlier.

Is there any area on the first floor that could accommodate a microwave and a mini fridge? For those of us down here who enjoy spending lunch at our desks that would be a nice convenience if at all possible.

The point of having a centralized break room is to encourage the interaction of employees. Take some time to get up, move around and see life from another part of the office!

I am so glad that the move has happened. I love change but I hate transition – the state of limbo. It’s nice to be in the new building! It’s not perfect but on the balance, it’s WAY better. Thanks for all the hard work that went into it, I hope that with time it enables (excuse me, I meant, empowers) us to do more cool stuff for our clients. One comment, less to leadership and more to the cj populace at large: if perhaps you are unhappy with the move or change in general, please beware of your attitude and how it affects others. It’s definitely not a bad thing to find little things that can be fixed to make the building as awesome as possible, but in general, the building we have is the building we have, and you can choose to be ok with that and make the best of it or you can choose to complain and make everyone else suffer as well. If you’re struggling with this, please take the high road! Your coworkers will appreciate it.


It would be great if we could buy stamps from the front desk. There are plenty of times that I bring in bills to mail, but forget the stamps. Do you think that this could be possible? I know that you are going to say to just walk over to the post office in Cummins Station, but this would be much more convenient!

Arnie is actually considering this.

As the resident germaphobe at cj, I would like to request that we have toilet seat covers like we did over at Cummins Station.

We agree. This is on our punch list and will be addressed.

Can we re-visit the “quiet time” idea? While I like it, and tend to abide, I am noticing that there are a lot of people who don’t abide by it. When half of the workforce doesn’t observe this time then others can’t take full advantage of it. I think that quiet time should either A) be enforced more B) done away with.

We agree with you and still believe that it works. Quiet Time is specifically designed for people to have focused time on projects/To Do’s without interruption. As a reminder to everyone, all open areas observe Quiet time daily from 1pm-2pm. If you are in an office, feel free to close your door during this time. Please refrain from using Spark or Digsby, and internal phone calls also should not be made – participation on conference calls is, obviously, an exception. If you have any suggestions as to how to reinforce this, please let us know!

I would like to see communication go out regarding designated smoking areas. Are there any? I have seen a sign on the back door saying that this is a smoke-free working environment. However, I have also seen someone standing by that same sign smoking a cigarette.

The designated smoking area is behind the building by the loading dock, although it is still a works in progress. We would, ultimately, like to create an environment that is respectful of both smokers and non-smokers, so bear with us.

I understand management’s policy to not discuss details of staff departures aside from saying, “this person left”. Those emails suck, but from an HR standpoint and a policy standpoint, I get it – however, just saying, “we don’t discuss this” encourages the rumor mill to start running, and let’s be honest, that hurts morale even more (in most cases) than the departure in itself. That’s both the fault of the “gossipers” and the silent members of leadership/mgmt. People assume the worst, talk about the worst, and spread around the worst. It’s a big stink fest and, while I realize that’s something everyone needs to be aware of and do their best to avoid spreading around, I don’t feel like upper management is doing anything to help by stonewalling people. Don’t tell me about the details of the departure, but talk to me about how that departure affected my morale, how it affects my workload, how it affects work flow, and how it affects both inter- and intradepartmental relationships. Go beyond saying, “so and so will now assume these duties. End of story.” Because it’s not the end of the story – we are all still here and there is something you can do to make sure I know you care about that. Not addressing these specifics tells us we’re all expendable and we could be next in that same sudden manner – I know I don’t want myself or my team to feel that way. Ever.

We admit that we could definitely improve how we handle communication to affected teams, so we have now formally put a process in place to address any and all concerns directly going forward. This involves at least two Department Heads speaking with the affected department immediately after the incident and addressing any and all concerns at that time. We also encourage team members to speak to their Department Head individually if they would like to. It is, however, extremely important to choose your attitude. Gossipers are going to spread rumors and you can either choose to participate or not. Our suggestion is that you cut it off at the chase and do your best to not perpetuate the “stink fest”.

Have we considered hiring an additional HR person anytime soon? With multiple companies, I don’t see why we don’t have more than one HR person already. Our HR does a great job balancing everything, but what happens when she needs time off (which she should be allowed to take and not have to work from home like we know she graciously did) who steps in for her? Just a concern.

The recent situation exposed some opportunities for us to improve on, and as a result, we will make sure that all directions as to who/where to go for questions/problems are very clear. We continually evaluate the need for additional help, whether it be full-time, part-time or even an intern, and we will do the same for our HR department as the need arises.

I think we should have been given at least a little heads up about Daniel being let go. This is going to affect all of our workloads greatly. Have we even started looking for someone to replace him?

We understand that workloads change when people leave and we are so proud of Tim and the rest of the Interactive Department, who have stepped up and held down the fort during this time. Michelle will be evaluating the needs of the department and making the decision to hire as necessary going forward.

I wish that there was a fly on the wall that could count how many hours of the day some of our employees spend goofing off on Facebook or cruising the internet for laughs. I realize that cj encourages us to have fun at work and take a break here and there to give our brains a break and I really value that! Sometimes you need a break, and I’m the first one to use that goof off time. However, some people are grossly abusing cj’s generosity for free time, which is really upsetting when you bust your butt to get your work done each day and others apparently do not. I know cj’s response will be, share this with your manager, but it’s hard to when you don’t want to come across as snitching on or complaining about your peers. Especially when you like those people on a personal level.

Firstly, there is an overall misconception here. The FiSH! book talks of “making work fun,” which is what we encourage. But that is completely different to having fun at work. Making sure that everyone understands the difference is very important. There are, of course, times when we all need a break, however, you have a responsibility to point out any disservice to the agency. It is not “snitching,” it is being a responsible employee and learning how to become management material. Let us know what’s going on. It’s obviously bothering you, so help us help you.

Our group has some giant projects on our plate and I’m a little frightened how we’re going to meet our client deadlines as understaffed as we are.

We’re hiring as fast as we possibly can. Help us out! If you know of someone who’s capable enough to join our family, let Angie know.

Change takes time to adjust to.


There have been more sarcastic and bitter morale survey responses recently than there usually are; actually, I don’t remember seeing many of these until the past few months. As a word to the general community, it’s ok to have things you’re concerned about and to voice your opinion about things that are hard for you (I have my concerns and hang-ups too), but going off on leadership in a cynical and negative way doesn’t help much. Please don’t use the morale survey as a place to lash out; if anything, this lowers morale. Also, it’s one thing to be able to speak up anonymously, but another to hide behind anonymity in order to vent your cynicism; in my opinion, it’s cowardly and counterproductive. It’s ok to have concerns or things that are bothering you, and definitely ok to voice these, but please be constructive instead of taking advantage of this communication tool that we have.

Thank you.

I think we should re-examine how we handle nominations for staff meeting recognitions. Who decides which nominations are worthy of an envelope? What is the criteria? It’s frustrating to nominate people (well in advance of the meeting) and have it be denied. What’s wrong with recognizing too many people? If it’s about the money, maybe we could add $1 envelopes. If it’s about nominating a team of people, another option would be to open the floor at meetings to team recognitions (no money involved). We want to be able to brag on a coworker or team when they’ve gone above and beyond. Honorable mention doesn’t help because it doesn’t come with any description of the achievement and it makes it look like the contribution wasn’t really significant. In a time when everyone is so stressed out and often overworked, additional recognitions seem like an easy, inexpensive way to boost morale.

A nomination is exactly that – you are simply proposing that someone receive an envelope. It does not necessarily mean that person is definitely getting one. Karen includes as many people as she can and if there aren’t enough envelopes then sometimes nominees are rolled over to the following month. We love that you all love each other! Last month, Arnie himself recognized several members of the Production team for a job well done on a recent client visit, so team recognition during the staff meeting has already been initiated. We simply ask that you limit the envelope nominations to individuals who stand out and go above and beyond the call of duty. The cj thank you cards have always been a hit, and acknowledging our “rocker of the day” in the huddle notes is another great option. We’re pretty sure you can find plenty of other creative means to show your appreciation for your team members.

Things have been really crazy around here lately. Everyone is stressed with all the huge things happening at once. Adjusting to a new space (leaks and all), post-conference hangover, understaffing, 2011 preparations and not to mention personal lives somewhere in the mix. Hopefully we can all just take a deep breath and relax. These are the ebbs and flows of business and growing pains of an ever-evolving company and personally my morale drops after reading everyone else’s morale survey responses. If you’ve worked anywhere else, then you should still think that cj is a great place to work despite the hiccups and challenges.

Amen. Although we don’t have the stats at this time, it would be very interesting to know how many of you have worked in another corporation prior to working at cj. A question for the next morale survey perhaps?

I’m grateful that cj hired a new Director of Interactive. Restoring structure and pushing forward towards excellence is a good thing.

We agree!

Thank you for finally getting us a new Director of Interactive! She’s awesome. I finally feel like there’s some kind of plan in place. Now can you hurry up and hire all the other new people for the department? I know we want to make sure we hire the right person and that is very important, but we’re dying down here! I can’t remember what it’s like to leave work on time. And I know I’m not alone. I love the new building, but I’m starting to feel like I’m living here.

There are no roadblocks at this point, other than getting the right people through the door. Michelle is ON IT!

September 2010

Morale Average – 6.06

Total Number of Participants – 33


I think some of the stress of the conference and the move is starting to break down and things seem slightly more relaxed around the office. My morale has never really been too low and I can’t think of any reason why it should be! Thanks for taking us all to Otters. It’s the little things that make a difference!

You’re so welcome. Glad you feel that way.

I am excited about the move and I think the tour after conference was a great idea! Thank you! And a special thanks to everyone coordinating the move. You all are fabulous!

Thanks for your support.

Conference was great!

We think so too.

Awesome cj Conference! I learned a lot, and our clients seem excited for our new ideas.

That’s great to hear!

This was my first conference, and it was fantastic finally getting to meet the clients! At times I felt like I was so rushed during the 2 days and I didn’t even get to meet half the clients I personally work with.

Neither did Arnie! It happens, unfortunately. So many clients, so little time.

I know some have already made their comments through email, etc. but I wanted to second their sentiments about the Interactive team conference videos. I was very disappointed our hard work and messages were passed over. When will we understand that we have to be about educating our clients? It’s not just something we throw in when we have time, it’s completely essential. When we educate, we make it clear we are the experts. We answer questions before they become concerns (sometimes before the client even knows to ask the question). It reassures them that we know what we are doing AND that we are doing it. This was a huge missed opportunity and an insult to the Interactive team. You’ve spent two months building trust with us and saying you’re finally taking us seriously and that, “we are the future of the agency” and then your actions did not back that up.

There were a few reasons why this happened. Firstly, we simply ran out of time. Secondly, with Shaw’s endorsement of Interactive, Arnie spontaneously felt that we had our clients’ buy-in, and that additional information may have done more harm than good. Lastly, the video had not been fully vetted and now can be made even better with a few tweaks and adjustments. We are committed to making those adjustments and distributing it so our clients can watch and absorb the videos more effectively.

Interactive’s portion of the conference this year was very disappointing. We were all jazzed to show off our knowledge, hard work, and our togetherness as “the future of the agency”. Cutting the video really cut our voice, expertise, hard work and enthusiasm. We were even available to answer any interactive related questions, but obviously that resource was not used either. Truly disappointed.

See above response.

I can’t speak for everyone on this one but just for future instances maybe a little more than 2-3 sentences when someone is “no longer with cj”. I felt like the recent departure of a “family” member meant that they had died. It also doesn’t help the rumor mill when you have to start asking questions. Just a thought.

See below

I’m blown away by the recent exit of a cj employee. I really don’t even know what to say but that situation is so jacked up. I don’t know what the solution is but I wish that it would be addressed. (I understand if you take that last paragraph out, I tried not to “call anyone out” but still say something about it, it’s a very upsetting situation”.)

See below

Compounding this morale downer is the loss of C Pulley. Craig was probably the best leader the department has ever had since Jimmy. I think we should have made more effort to keep him and resolve whatever issues there were.

See below

I understand that staff shouldn’t know everything but 2 sentences when a director/leadership role is no longer with the company seems a little lacking.

To answer the four comments above, the announcement was appropriate for the situation. There are times when reasons for someone’s exit are private and confidential, and they must remain that way.

I can honestly say that my morale is the lowest it has ever been. A move is stressful enough without adding last minute mandates like packing up our desks 2 days before the conference. I mean come on, we’ve been planning the move for months. Surely it dawned on someone that this wasn’t a good idea.

While it may seem like this was a thoughtless idea, we assure you that this was well planned and that we communicated as much as we could with as much notice as we could. We had lots of deadlines to work with that were out of our control. It is, in fact, incredible that we were able to hit the target move date as originally planned. Everyone was given two weeks to start thinking about packing up and throwing things out. Thank you to all of you who managed to do what was asked in the time allowed without complaint.

I feel like some employees feel they are “entitled” to know every little thing about the inner workings here. It is not a right, but a privilege that Arnie and Leadership are so transparent. Take a look at most other advertising agencies and those employees will tell you, they have no idea what is going on. We should be thankful and grateful that cj and MLG have an open door policy.

Thank you for recognizing the attribute! In fact, if anyone can name a company in Nashville (with more than 30 employees) that is more transparent than cj, please let us know. We would love to learn from them.

Just an idea for cjU, can we start including all of the sources/research information in the cjPedia (and/or at the end of the videos) for cjU? This way, if people want to learn more or didn’t quite understand something, they know where to start and what reliable sources to use.

Great feedback! Tami is actually working on cross-referencing the information, but if you have specific ideas, please see her.

I know morale is going to be lower, we’re coming off a crazy conference and we’re packing up to move, but once we get in that new space, I think morale will pick up. Also, if Jimmy/Arnie keep going on about the no cubicle look, I think they should try it out. I’d be happy to switch desks with them anytime.

Point taken.

Could IT notify the staff of when updates are coming down over night or over the weekend? I save everything I need to before I leave for the night. However, I leave a lot of programs open so that I can start back up on the project the next morning. It is annoying and frustrating when I’m already to go, but my computer is not.

Actually, leaving programs open on your computer after day end is against company policy. While we appreciate your need for efficiency, all programs should be shut down and monitors switched off before leaving the office for the day.

Hopefully once the move is over, all of the agency’s problems will be fixed. The devil is trying to sew discord amongst all our good cj staffers – I’m praying five times a day for all the bad to just disappear and not follow the agency across the road.

The move was, hopefully, an “exorcising” experience.

Will there be a “draft” for Leadership in the near future? A lot of recent personnel departures have come from the Leadership team – so I was wondering if/when new members would join Leadership.

Leadership is constantly evaluating it’s size and representation. There are specific qualifications that must be met in order to be a member, as represented in the Leadership Bylaws.

Has anyone looked into or thought about digital white boards for the new meeting rooms? Could be a time/paper saver plus, they are cool.

No. Not at this time. But we will have lots of whiteboards!

Maybe we can get some transparent paint for the 1st floor office walls, so that all the workers in the “cubicle cave” can actually get some natural light. Yeah, yeah, the doors are glass, right, right. Maybe we can just get tons of fluorescent floodlights like in my elementary school gymnasium to simulate natural light! That would work, too. I may ask to be transferred to LIP, since they have some great views of downtown Nashville from their 2nd floor windows. Who would I need to see to make that happen?

Please see HR as soon as possible. There are plenty of other companies that have great views of downtown who might better appreciate your observations.

After the move, will we be able to park after 6pm in the new cj lot? Are we drawing straws to figure out who parks near the building and who has to park over across 10th?

The temporary solution we currently have in place was necessary at the time. We have invested in a piece of property that will serve as our primary parking lot, in addition to the one next to the building. We will be sending out an outline of the parking plan in the next few weeks. At that point, we hope you stay well past 6pm.

How do we access the new building? Will we have keys to a door or swipe cards?

Swipe cards will be used to enter the building, as well as key internal areas as needed.

When does the coffee shop open and get its first tenant?

Early January is our hope.

It just plain old sucked having this move going on during conference planning and wrap-up. I can’t tell you how many calls I was on with clients and vendors and unable to hear them because people were moving things around while yelling from room to room. Please remember that we’re (or at least I am) still working while we’re packing up. And please don’t suggest I go to my supervisor because that’s tattling. If we all use common sense, the issue is taken care of.

Thank you. We hope that everyone kept this in mind during this last phase of the move.

August 2010

Morale Average – 7.04

Total Number of Participants – 55


I’m very thankful that management listens to the comments and suggestions of the employees! Morale won’t change overnight, but I do feel that things are starting to head in the right direction.

Thanks for your support.

Thanks for listening to your staff last month. As someone who complained vigorously in the last survey about the period bonuses, I want to say how much I appreciate the kind of honesty and guts Arnie and the rest of leadership displayed. I think the entire staff realizes that this is not an easy fix. We’re still behind you on this thing. If I come up with something brilliant, I’ll let you know.

Thanks for your support.

Thank you for reinstating bonuses for 2P10! It definitely helped morale, but more importantly, it was the right/fair thing to do. Thank you.

Thank YOU!

Vacation! Woooo!

We hear ya.


They certainly do!

The clarifications about the bonus were very welcome, and nice to see that there was an understanding that the timing really sucked. We’ve got a stressful couple of months ahead between the conference and the move, so it’ll be interesting to see how we all deal with it. Hopefully, we’ll have fun with it!

If you have any suggestions, let us know! We’re all ears.

Can you please address all the questions about a 401K? I really do find it hard to believe that a company that’s supposedly one of the best places to work in Nashville does not offer this benefit.

There are no plans for a 401k plan now or in the near future. In this financial climate, a 401k is not necessarily the wisest investment. However, there are other ways to save your money that we would like to help you with. Leigh is going to talk to our broker and find out what the options are with regard to advising you, and any other interested staff members, on how best to plan for your future.

I appreciate the flexibility offered by cj. However, I do feel that some people take advantage of the flexibility. We all hold each other accountable here, or we try to, but there’s only so much some of us can do. Did you know that if someone comes in 7 minutes late or leaves 7 minutes early every single day, that can add up to about 28 hours over the course of a year?

While we appreciate your feedback and understand your frustration, we have created a culture of accountability and trust, and we need to protect it. If you feel the need to speak out about a particular person’s behavior, confront them on it. We’re all professionals here, so have the discussion and make your feelings known. The peer review is also the perfect forum to bring up this kind of thing.

There were (obviously) some major changes in the interactive department this month. I didn’t see much effort from leadership to keep anybody informed about the situation. I think we’re still a little in the dark as to what is going on or who we are supposed to be reporting to as we have some major projects coming down the pipe. It wasn’t even until today that we officially got a way to pay for projects that clients requested we launch last week.

It was never our intention to leave anyone in the dark on what the plans were for this department, or who to communicate with/report to going forward. Our immediate concern was with the Interactive team, and making sure that they had all their questions answered to the level that we were able to answer them. As Director of Operations, Greg oversees the Interactive Department. He is always available to answer any questions you have about anything concerning the department, as is your immediate supervisor. To remove any uncertainty going forward, please note that, until further notice, direct questions as follows: Design – Cody, SEO – Byron, Video – Amie, Content – Marci, Marketing (Email, Social and Social Media advertising) – Elle, HelpDesk (Coordination and project management) – Daniel. When in doubt, however, just ask Greg!

I was a little surprised to see job postings on the cj website for a new Interactive Marketing Specialist as well as a Director of Interactive Services. From what I have seen in the past with every departure there are new opportunities for cj employees to grow. Why I am so surprised is that these jobs were never made available to current cj employees before the public! Do we not think that our current staff has enough talent to take on new roles within the agency? I understand we can still go and apply but it would be nice to know that cj supports it’s current employees and actively seeks them out to move forward in the agency! Over the last few months there have been several instances in which I noticed something odd – some employees might feel like some jobs are just out of their scope (the menial ones.) I feel that we should all be respectful of each other’s time, no matter what your position or level is at the agency. We are all very busy and as I am sure others would agree, it is a waste of resources to ask other people to perform functions which I know (with certainty) we are all able to perform. For the large part my morale is slightly lower than usual because there are areas for improvement which seem to be missed, ignored, or just forgotten. There is a ton of talent in the agency which at times, seems to be mis-distributed. The people who work the hardest don’t seem to get recognized as much as some of the “regulars”. While cj is an outstanding place to work, as well as rewarding, I am often left standing and scratching my head thinking, “Why am I not in one of those positions?” There are a lot of people here who work hard to move up, to take on more responsibilities, and be a bigger part of the agency. Personally I have been asking for this since I arrived but to no avail. We should truly recognize and reward those who stand out, not those who fall between the cracks just trying to blend in and do their jobs.

Generally speaking, all positions that are open to the public are made available internally first. There may have been instances when we have rushed through this process in an attempt to fill a position as quickly as possible, but we make every attempt to let our employees know of an open position as soon as we can. Additionally, every staff meeting includes an update on our hiring activity and all open positions. For the record, since 2008, twenty-two employees have been promoted internally. We encourage you (and challenge you) to step up and be proactive about getting what you want. If you want to be promoted and believe you have the chops to do it, make yourself known. The opportunities are there, but you need to seek them out and ring the bell.

Can we start using a different font on the “Overheard” notes? Maybe a nice helvetica or arial? I know I’m just being picky.

Karen will certainly try to accommodate your request.

A two page comment is a bit too much to read, can we keep it short and simple?


October 15 is looming large – lots of people working really hard to make it perfect and then lots of changes with MLG but my mood (and I hope most of the company) has become a lot more positive and excited about what lies ahead. Hope we can keep focus on the good things and continue to reward and excite all of our “MLG family” members. When the whole village fishes together, the whole village gets to feast.

What a great analogy. We couldn’t agree more!

One thing that can negatively affect the agency’s morale is something that, I feel, is getting overlooked. We keep bleeding talent. I’ve never seen a mass exodus of extremely talented people anywhere else that I’ve ever worked like the one that cj is currently experiencing. If there is any one thing that is symbiotic in a business, it’s employee morale and turnover rate. It seems obvious – if employees aren’t happy, they leave and turnover goes up. Duh. What a lot of people don’t realize is that even you have a large number of happy people leaving around the same time – that can cause morale to go down. People start wondering why others are leaving and if they’re missing the boat on something. Then they get their resumes ready to send out. Revamping bonuses and getting a new building/workspace go a long way towards improving morale. Just don’t forget to at least acknowledge the fact that, no matter what the reasons, the agency is losing people left and right.

What a shame that you think we are “bleeding talent”. We may have lost a few people recently, but we still have incredible talent at this agency. We have cultivated extraordinary talent over the years and we continue to do that daily. But we happily encourage our employees when they find other opportunities that take them on their next adventure. If you stay, you can grow; if you leave, you can grow. The most important thing is that: YOU GROW. The fact is that, as employees leave, the doors are wide open for others to step up in their place, and they have. What a great opportunity! Perhaps you need to look at these “losses” with a different pair of glasses.

In next month’s survey, could we ask questions like: How many nights a week do you take work home with you? How many days a week do you feel like you’re too busy to take a lunch break? I know we’re all busy, and that all the department heads are aware. Maybe we would all feel better if we could see that everyone is having to push right now. Or it may just be good to see how the current workload really stacks up for everyone.

We could, but would that really make you feel better? If you’re taking work home because that’s just who you are, great! We try not to encourage that, but we understand it. If, however, you’re taking work home because you simply cannot get it done during the day, we encourage you to speak to your manager and find a solution together.

It’s amazing to me how much the environment has changed around here within the last 6 months. We should be getting excited to move, excited about conference, and anticipating new goals and changes within the agency. Unfortunately, I just do not see these things happening. There is an overall sense of low morale going around, and it’s contagious! I do not have a solution for this – but rather some “food for thought.” 1. Everyone talks about how valued employees are, but little by little I am starting to see that while some may be valued in their own departments, they may not be valued across the board. For instance, it has been my observation that the same people are the ones that continually get recognized, promoted, given more responsibilities, etc. while the majority of us are left to wonder, will that ever happen for me? 2. Again, just my observation, but it seems that people around here get paid based off their job titles alone. I know, I know, we are not supposed to know what our co-workers make (guess what, we DO). Just because a person has a “lofty” job title does not always mean they are worth more money. How about evaluating a person’s ACTUAL job responsibilities and base their compensation off that? More experience does not always equal more knowledge. 3. Just thought that leadership should know that probably 95% of this company does not know the point in MLG, nor what it is supposed to accomplish. (Even though we went through the strategic plan for MLG – it’s all confusing). 4. cj boasts that we are a “transparent” company – and while I agree that we do have a lot more insight into the inner workings of our company than most, it also shows just how “frugal” we really are with our profits. Any person at this company can go and see what profit he/she brings to the company, and it would be my guess that they are in no way compensated in regards to the profit they bring. 5. I think it’s unfortunate that we all know our owner, because he could never go “under cover” and discover some of the insane processes that his employees have to go through. Someone seriously needs to evaluate each department’s processes in regards to not only how their department works, but how that department works with others. 6. Lastly, I probably already know what Leadership is going to say to all of these comments: something to the effect of “go talk to your department head.” How about writing a response that hits on each one of my points, and is actually honest and straight to the point? I did my part in taking the time to write all of these thoughts down, the least Leadership could do is address them all for the whole company to see.

We acknowledge that you’re upset about a lot of things and, while it is all important, we do not think that you represent the majority. We encourage you to have an honest conversation with yourself, your manager, and if necessary, HR, so that you can find the resolution you need. Alternatively, if you want to set up a meeting specifically with Greg and Arnie, just let Karen know.

What’s the policy on Spark/Digsby usage? Some people choose not to be available ever. Is that okay?

Yes, it is ok. Some people are on conference calls, in meetings, or focused on a specific project and simply do not like to be interrupted.

What’s the policy on Outlook calendars? I can’t see some people’s calendars in order to see their availability for setting up meetings. Why would all calendars not be able to be viewed by all? If you have a private appointment that you don’t want anyone else to see, you can always mark it private.

You’re right. All calendars can and should be viewable. You simply need to request permission from that person to see their calendar. If you need help with this or any other calendar details, ask Karen or submit a HelpDesk ticket.

I understand the pros to lumping morale surveys together and responding to them as a whole, but I have to say, after the last couple of rounds of surveys, I’d rather see redundant responses in places. SO many important points were glossed over because they marginally had to do with the “big bonus issue,” and ZERO response was made to them. These were crazy important concerns and questions like: cjU – are we really not going to be eligible for a raise, even if we more than earned it, if we missed a session or two? Also, is the subject matter going to get more in-depth and complicated, because right now, this is below 101 level in my opinion.

As Tami explained in the last staff meeting, cjU is voluntary; it is not tied to your annual review or your compensation; it’s how we plan to make sure we all learn more about our clients’ business and it’s very basic, by design. It’s still growing, but it’s a start. Give it a chance.

Core Values – did you notice how many people brought up a leadership-level deviation from those puppies? That’s serious. How can we make a difference?

We did notice… that’s why adjustments were made as they were. Thank you for holding us equally accountable. Keep it up. Keep it real.

Cost cutting – some interesting suggestions were made on ways to cut costs, aside from giving back our bonuses for P2 and revisiting them in P1 ’11, do we have other plans? What are they?

There may, in fact, be additional cost cutting options that are considered, but at the moment we are spending most of our energy looking up toward maximizing revenue and profits rather than looking down for pennies to save. However, we could use some help on both ends of this equation so look for the next morale survey question for your chance to weigh in.

401k – the answer we were given about restructuring bonuses didn’t answer the 401k question. We’re pretty sure we’re not getting one, but a definitive answer would be appreciated.

See above response.

Job security and department structure – a lot of people are concerned that jobs are going to be cut and that we might be facing layoffs. Are we? Also, there is a lot of shakeup in department structure going on, especially in the Interactive group. Without a department head over there, who’s going to fill that team in on what’s happening? Is anyone?

We hope to fill that position very soon. Until that time, Greg is the head of that department. We will give you more information as we get it.

How is the new office space coming along? Do we have a better idea of when we will be moving there?

Yes, we do! We are still anticipating an Oct. 15 move date. We are currently on track and things are looking good. Keep an eye out in the break room for a print out of the schedule and watch as we move forward on all the details!

July 2010

Morale Average – 6.7

Total Number of Participants – 50


Thanks for the baseball trivia question contest for Sounds tickets! Great idea, FiSH! Sometimes things get really overwhelming here (and yes, I’ve told my manager). I appreciate the little things you try to do for us, and a big thanks for saying the agency won’t be taking on any extra projects without leadership approval.

What would we do without FiSH!?

Things are looking up!

That’s great news.

I have to give a massive shout out to my Web and Content teammates right now. Despite the incredible amount of work, crazy late nights, and seriously tight deadlines, we’re staying pretty cheery and bright-eyed back here. My peepz back here ROCK and I don’t say it enough!

Web and Content ROCK, on three. One, two, three!

Thanks for the free coffee. Was a decision made to keep it FREE?

We’re not sure yet. Angie’s working on some options for us, but we hope so!

I’m happy to know that a 401K package is in our future! I mean, it is, right? It was my understanding a few years ago that we chose to get bonuses instead of a 401K, so now that the bonuses are gone, we should be getting a 401k. It really sucks that this year I will be making less than I did last year because I took a less than stellar raise and was told that by the time bonuses were factored in, I would be making an ok salary. Let me give you some ideas on how to cut back and save money: turn lights out after hours, charge 50 cents for sodas, ban facebook/twitter from normal employees, let Elle do her job and we will raise productivity, give people the boot that do nothing but play on Facebook, stop paying people to read books, we can scale down things like the christmas party. All of this will lower morale, but those of us who are there to work, really won’t care. Sometimes I feel that too much focus is put on making people happy and not making the best business decisions you can.

A little lower than usual. It seems we’re only getting busier and the “no more period bonuses” bomb that was dropped doesn’t help. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have a job at the end of the day, but it’s just hard to see that go when I was under the impression we’d see a 401K plan headed our way if we ever got rid of bonuses. Now we have no bonuses and no retirement plan. The fact that we also now have to rack up on cjU credits to even be eligible for a raise now is also disappointing. A lot of us are so busy working that we often don’t have time to attend such presentations. But while we’re working behind the scenes to keep the agency afloat, our hard work is essentially going to be unrecognized and unrewarded when it comes time for our annual review. This seems very unfair. When you make these things optional, more employees will come willingly and ready to learn. But when you make them mandatory for a raise, you’ll have a room full of disengaged employees. Just sayin’.

I think everyone is a little confused right now about what’s been going on. To start, we lost our bonuses. I found it a little strange we never heard too much about this after the fact. At the same time, I didn’t think this was handled the right way. I understand the company has undertaken a lot of debt moving us into the future. However, we were told the goal structure was not set up for us to go above and beyond – it basically highlighted what we accomplish doing our job. While I agree with this, I do not understand how this puts any of the employees at fault. Furthermore, most if not all cj employees go above and beyond their normal job responsibilities on a daily basis. I never once considered bonuses to be because I completed this period’s goals – rather, because I went above and beyond to help my department, and the company, succeed. I have also heard rumors about the restructuring of departments. Is there any way we can get a little more insight into this? While my morale is never truly low, I gave a lower score than usual because I feel the company morale, on a whole, is just not what it’s been in the past. A year ago I would constantly hear how people loved their jobs, how the culture is so cool, and how they wouldn’t trade this for anything! More often, you just don’t hear this anymore.

Reasons for my currently mediocre to low morale are as follows: 1. Loss of period bonuses. 2. Changes to our medical benefits in the middle of the calendar year which has caused me some confusion regarding my plan. 3. You have added to my duties which, while I appreciate the added trust and responsibility, the loss of our bonuses and the apparent impossibility to ever have a retirement plan here, make this quite a double whammy. Obviously, the root of this is financial and stems largely from the magnitude of buying and renovating the building across the street. I get it: what’s best for the company is what’s best for me in the long run. The problem I have here is that we, the employees, never asked you to buy a building. The decision to purchase vs. lease is never going to be better for me or my fellow employees, one way or the other. We’re just trading our current cubicles for newer, less private cubicles. It only benefits the ownership of MLG as an extremely long-term real estate investment. That’s great, except I’m paying for it in triplicate and these losses are greatly diminishing my ability to consider a long term career here. It seems that as we gain more space, we have less people to actually occupy it while demanding more energy from those of us who are left. This doesn’t feel like Integrity First or Uncompromising Service for our clients either. The need for more space could have been met in several other cheaper ways that wouldn’t have compromised my ability to do my job or lose an incentive I was promised when I started here. If it is ever economically feasible to reinstate the period bonuses, please consider this: I understand that some of the period goals constituted housekeeping or extensions of our normal work, but many of our goals were indeed efforts to create value, increase revenue, or decrease costs. I had no problem working on the latter while other members of my department worked on the former. I was actually grateful that their efforts allowed me time to try and do something out of the ordinary. In that regard, they were all equal in value across the agency. Thank you for the opportunity to express my feelings toward the changes in our work environment. I have every confidence that the leadership of MLG and cj A will figure out a way to make us all happy.

The notice about the bonuses going away is kind of depressing. But in the grand scheme of things, I’m grateful that’s the only negative we have to deal with for now. Thank you for being honest with us and keeping things as transparent as possible.

Are there any plans to institute an employee 401k?

A little concerned about the bonus cancellation. Does this mean that raises will be suspended if the building continues to incur more expenses? What can we expect for the future? Layoffs?

Recent developments have kind of put a damper on things. I’m not going to lie, the “no more period bonus” thing was quite a big blow to take. Then, it was a bummer to hear that certain personnel were being let go because the agency “didn’t want to pursue that avenue for our clients anymore.” That may very well be the case (and if it is then I understand that it was purely a business move), but the timing of that job cut made it feel like other jobs are on a knife’s edge and will be cut if it means saving money for the new building. That doesn’t exactly promote a great work culture. All in all, cj is still a great place to work. I just don’t want to see that shiny new building get in the way of what really makes this agency great: the people and the attitude they bring with them every day.

The announcement regarding bonuses was hard. I understand we have incurred much debt because of the move, but to take away that extra money really stinks. It also seemed unfair to blame it on the basis of the fact that the goals were often not set high enough. It is my understanding in most departments the department head is the one that sets these goals, with little to no influence of the rest of their department. If goals need to become more lofty, then leadership should have stepped in and spoke with the department heads. Also, were there not meetings with department heads and leadership either approving or denying the goals that were set for a particular period? Couldn’t those goals that were just a part of that department’s everyday tasks have been denied?

I’ve sensed a sea of change over the past few months. Stop me if I’m wrong, but it feels like the internal tides are shifting in a negative manner. Ever since the building across the street became official, decisions have been made with a different set of glasses on. No longer is the bottom-line “Give our clients the best work for the price.” The motto seems to be “Get things done faster and cheaper than ever before” – regardless of the effects on quality of work, real-life feasibility of promised deadlines, or morale of employees. What happened to Integrity First or Uncompromising Service? When the morale scores started going down because everyone was crazy-busy and didn’t feel like they have the option to do their best work, the writing was on the wall. I know this is the first time the agency has incurred debt, and 7-figure debt appears to be a mountain that is hard to climb. Growth means growing pains, but in an industry and agency where the only constant is change, we MUST stay true to the Core Values of the company. The more we make decisions because we need some quick cash, the further we inch towards irreparable damage to the culture of the agency. Cutting bonuses is fine with me, because I’ve seen departments that hit “90% of their goals” as mentioned in the last meeting – because those goals are set too low. Departments that actually set goals that are challenging were not rewarded for getting close to an amazing win. They were punished for being too ambitious. How can anyone rise to a challenge when we are only asked to maintain the status quo? Group goal bonuses going away ONLY as a cost-saving measure is inherently wrong. Group goal bonuses going away to be replaced with an individual achievement bonus is morally acceptable and is the right thing to do for employee sanity. Otherwise, I don’t see a reason for myself or others to consistently work 50-60 hours a week to meet “deadlines” on a 40 hour a week salary. In a nutshell – don’t freak out because we’re in debt. The reason we got to where we are now is QUALITY WORK in a POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT. When one goes, the other is doomed to follow.

Since there were so many comments regarding the elimination of the bonus program, we thought it best to put them all together and respond at one time. The fact is that the goal program was not working and we needed to change it. However, the timing with which we chose to eliminate the program was way off. You’re right. The building did put pressure on us and we realize that we have been looking at it with a different set of glasses on. The perception became – “the building cost me my bonus” – and this is simply not true. At the end of the day, to not have bonuses and recognition is “off-code” for us as a company, which Jeff Bradford, our PR guy, very astutely pointed out. Then, Arnie remembered an article in The Tennessean, which stated the following: “Unlike other companies that have scaled back bonuses in hard times, this [Nashville based] company boosted its bonus amounts last year by 50%. At a holiday party [in December 2010], cj handed out $60,000 in bonuses which were determined by length of service. They ranged from $300 to $3800. A lot of places say they can’t afford to that that. We say you can’t afford not to.” – (The Tennessean, Dec. 23, 2009). As announced at the staff meeting, we have decided, as a result, to have a normal payout for the 2P goals. While there will be no goals in the third period that are tied to a bonus, Leadership will re-craft our goal-setting and bonus program in time to roll it out prior to Jan 1 for 2011.

I think that we need to re-evaluate the child friendly policy. I feel like I see the same children in the office all of the time and usually they are not being supervised by their parent. Bringing a child to work should be done only in an emergency/last resort type of situation. cj provides plenty of personal and vacation time. The break room should not serve as a babysitting area!

Although cj is a child-friendly place to work, please be sure not to take advantage of this benefit. Please also make sure that your children are properly supervised when they are here. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

“Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.” ~ Proverbs 3: 13 – 15


I made a comment on the last morale survey that didn’t make it onto the feedback document that was sent out. It’s not a big deal, but it made me wonder how edited the comments are. Are comments often left off? If so, why?

We take great pride in ZERO censorship and we want to be absolutely clear on that. All comments are written verbatim so as not to lose the context of what is being communicated. However, we will not publish anything that calls out specific individuals in a negative manner, and we attach that disclaimer to every single morale survey – see end of this document.

First, I love cj and am proud to work here. I’m thrilled about all of the awards we win and the recognition we receive from the community! Bring on more of it! However, I felt like the way we won the Toast of Music City didn’t really line up with “integrity first”. I know the email stated that we didn’t have to vote but suggesting we vote once a day from our multiple social media accounts, in addition to the 30 client social media accounts doesn’t really line up with the type of company I feel cj tries to be. It seems like we gamed the system rather than getting recognized for an award that I feel we deserve.

We asked Elle for her input on this comment. This is what she said: “The Toast of Music City is established by The Tennessean purely for money-making purposes as a way to get page views to be able to charge more for their online ads. That’s the point of them creating a voting system that allows anyone to vote however many times they want with however many accounts they have. They could have created a system that allows your computer or IP to vote once a day, but that would defeat their purpose. On its website, the Toast encouraged voting through any and all accounts including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, LinkedIn, AOL and more. We didn’t break any rules by encouraging voting as often as you’d like. Also, the voting on our clients’ accounts was not done on company time because we have higher priorities than voting ourselves for an award. I chose to do this from home on my time. Also, cj’s clients’ social media accounts are used only in ways that our clients would want them to be used.”

I’m a big fan of the electronic survey.

So are we.

Thanks for going online with these surveys. Much easier for us lazy folks.

You’re welcome.

This is by far the lowest score I have ever given here. It makes me sad. This is not the cj I know and love. I’m trying to “be the change” in my department, but it’s difficult. This is just an idea, but can FiSH! do more things on a daily basis to help morale? I love the Sounds game and the other “big” events they do, but right now we really need 5 minutes of fun on a daily/weekly basis to help ease the stress. What happened to the “crazy shirt day” and throwing paper airplanes in the hallway? Those are free events, take just a few minutes, and are a lot of fun. Thanks for listening!

Leadership is listening and FiSH! is also listening. We’ll see what we can do to turn up the volume.

I have heard a lot about the debt that cj is going to have because of the move, does this mean people’s jobs are in jeopardy?

No one’s job is in jeopardy because of the move.

Who makes the decision of what the cjU videos are going to cover?

Leadership is involved in selecting video topics that are aimed at building a basic understanding of our business. If you have any suggestions or ideas on additional topics, please let us know.

June 2010

Morale Average – 7.18

Total Number of Participants – 49


Can’t wait to move, but will miss the station. Things are good.

Good to hear.

Yay for World Cup Spirit Day! I was never a soccer fan ’til then.


World Cup Spirit Day was a great idea. Thanks FiSH!

See above.

Super excited about the new place! Thank you for all the hard work!

Thank you for your support. We appreciate it.

Ecclesiastes 5:19 (New International Version) Moreover, when God gives any person wealth and possessions, and enables them to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their work – this is a gift of God.


Can the front lobby please have some nice TVs? The ones up there now are from like 1940.

But, hey, those TVs will be for sale when we move. Can we interest you in some retro sets?

Challenge, structure and growth. What more could you want?

We agree!

It seems like people have been really high-strung lately. Almost like we’re all just walking around pissed off. This isn’t the cj culture I know and love! If we start spending more energy on pointing fingers and being angry, we’re just going to make more, bigger mistakes and we won’t be able to spend any energy on providing Uncompromising Service or Creative Enthusiasm. It also keeps us from participating in our Team-Driven Culture, and that’s not exactly putting Integrity First, is it? So, let’s buck up, take a step back, breathe in, breathe out, find our collective chi and start doing things the right way again. On that same note, I’d really like to see the Leadership Team play more. FiSH! sponsored games, CWAC events, Dream Works, and the whole shebang. They’re not just for entry level folks. Right now, it seems that Leadership is responsible for corporate cj and the rest of us are responsible for fun cj. I love the leadership-skill-building opportunities us youngsters get by having the chance to run the show from time to time, but it sends a poor message to everyone if our management members can’t come play with us every once in a while. Besides, it’ll do frayed nerves some good to rub elbows with positive, high-energy, creative people – because that’s who cj hires. It seems like the intent was to empower the “people” so that we could equally be responsible for making cj awesome, but I’d like to see the Leadership Team step outside the policy-making, policing box a lot more often and take their own level of responsibility for our culture rather than just our business – which can be done by simply bringing food to the potluck, donning a silly t-shirt during spirit weeks, or playing a round of corn hole or Mario Kart in the break room.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We hear you, and we appreciate and accept the challenge! We’ll make more of an effort and hold each other accountable to being present and engaged in all that makes cj a great place to work.

I know that there is a lot of financial pressure on the company right now. But it seems like ever since we started talking about the multi-million dollar investment the company is making, the sole push behind everything we do has become profitability. I’m not naïve, I know our company has to be profitable, but in all the time I’ve been here I’ve never seen it like this. Profitability can’t be our only concern, it’s certainly not one of our core values. This isn’t a complaint as much as it is a reminder.

The fact is that the agency hasn’t ever experienced debt, not in the 15 years since its inception, so the financial burden is certainly at the forefront. However, we do recognize the need for a balance, so thank you for this reminder.

I REALLY love this place! Everyone is a team player. Of course no place or person is perfect, and I appreciate cj always striving to improve. I’m curious as to why telecommuting is not an option here. We’re an organization that’s always ahead of the game and is careful to hire the best people for the job. Will it ever be considered in the future?

As far as the agency is concerned, it’s unlikely that telecommuting will ever be a part of our benefit plan – it’s simply not who we are. One of our Core Values is Team-Driven Culture – a value that is hard to adhere to if you’re not physically present. Think about what you’d miss if you weren’t in the office to experience it.

Morale has been steadily dropping for me the past couple months, and judging from the morale numbers Arnie showed at the last staff meeting, I’m not alone in this. It also seems that, in looking around at the agency, people are generally unhappier than usual. We seem flustered and tired. I don’t know about the rest of the agency, but in my department, work has been increasing, and I’d guess from what I’ve heard that the rest of the agency is also experiencing a busy period. Because of this, one of the hardest things right now for me is the amount of last minute jobs/ideas that come across my desk. I know we can’t control strokes of brilliance and that sometimes we simply have to push ourselves to get something done quickly – and I’m all for turning things around in a timely manner, but there’s been a strange amount of these requests lately. One of the problems with this is that it affects workflow as a whole. I may think that I have a full day to pour into Project A, but when last minute Project B needs to be turned around ASAP, there goes my time for the previous project, and now both are rushed. In small amounts, this is workable. But when it keeps happening, it’s exhausting. This also affects other employees and departments, as the “ASAP” is passed along to whomever else needs to be involved with the project. (The content dept., for example, takes on several departments’ timelines, and they are pushing themselves really hard to do so.) And interdepartmentally, the rush puts us at a higher risk to miss important details in the hurry to get things done. Another huge frustration is that this type of situation often prevents me from doing my best work. Rushing jobs means they get done, and I think they get done adequately, but with rushed timelines, I’m simply not able to take full pride in what I’m working on, which is good for no one. Our clients should be getting the best quality product possible, and we should be putting our best foot forward as an agency. And for me, as the one who did the work to begin with, this prevents me from taking full pride in what I do and challenging myself to be the best I can be at my job. And, as mentioned before, people are left flustered and tired in the process. On an internal level, can we be more aware that our coworkers could potentially already be swamped? Can we try harder to make requests or give notice in advance (when we have the ability to, of course)? On an external level, can we try and realign what our clients expect? In pushing for more time from the beginning, can we explain that this isn’t about laziness, but about wanting to get them the highest quality work we can? Is there even room to say no to last-minute projects here and there (depending upon the scope of work, of course, and the time we have available), forcing them to realign their expectations and reconsider how much time it may take us to get something done? That sounds as horrible to me as it does to you, but I could see last-minute requests becoming habitual the more we agree to them. It’s possible that saying no once or twice could make us run smoother and produce better work for our clients; if we do our best work, the client is getting higher quality advertising. This is in no way meant to bash us as an organization. I appreciate cj and want to see it do as well as possible. Hopefully some of my thoughts are helpful. Also, thanks also for allowing us to get our thoughts/feelings out on morale surveys; this is one of my favorite things that we do here. I think it’s really important.

Leadership recognizes that this is an issue and has spent a lot of time recently finding solutions. The team met with Brand Managers and Department Heads on Friday, July 2 and agreed to a list of action items that have been put in place since then. It’s up to the Department Head to set realistic timelines and to work with other departments so that everyone is in sync and in agreement on those timelines.

This year has seen an increase in the amount of pro bono (non CWAC) and extra agency (country music ventures) work for various creative people in the agency. This isn’t bad in and of itself – sometimes it is very fun to not have to do legal-related work all the time. But I wanted to call to your attention to the ways that this can greatly reduce morale. Most creative people here at the agency occasionally do freelance work or have done it in the past and know how valuable their talents and skills are in the market at large. Being hired at cj – a company that takes hiring and people very seriously – ostensibly serves as confirmation that we are seen as talented and valuable. But when we are continually asked to create projects for friends of the agency or clients or whomever and it gets back to us that we either aren’t charging at all or are charging an insultingly low fee, there is a clear message being given to whomever spends time working on the project about value. That message is, despite the rhetoric of the agency, the work that we do just isn’t seen as valuable. This of course would not be a necessary thing to bring up if it was just an isolated case, but I feel that it has gotten way out of hand in the past few months. Here at cj we are proud of our culture, which should mean that we put people over work as much as is possible. Adding new programs and talking about culture over and over again will never speak as loudly as making your employees see that they (and the work they create) is valued by the agency – even if it requires standing up to our clients and telling them no. I’d like to frame this in light of our core values – sometimes Uncompromising Service means saying no. It probably means saying it more often than we do. When we give our services away (or, as is the case here, someone in management tells us to give our services away), we are not able to focus on bettering the service we provide for our clients. When our time is filled with extraneous projects, we have no freedom to innovate, experiment, and improve. And when we see that the work we do isn’t valued in action and pricing, any motivation to innovate, experiment and improve is effectively removed. I also think it’s pretty obvious that when one portion of employees (and I know that this isn’t just the way I’m feeling) are frustrated/angry at the lack of value placed on their work, the idea of Team Driven Culture is pretty meaningless. Maybe this isn’t the place, but I feel like I would be remiss in bringing up a big issue like this without offering some potential solutions to help repair our broken creative souls, as I know that it’s impossible for us to simply quit pro bono work. Here are some basic and cheap ways to take steps in the right direction. First, recognize the value of the work we are doing. We at cj do a lot of subscription and package deals to save our clients money but those cost-cutting measures don’t reflect the real-world value of our work. Graphic design, video production, web design, all the services we provide, these services are in high-demand and the people at cj do excellent work in them. When we do pro bono work, make sure that the value is recognized, and if we do extra-agency work that we end up charging for, please do some research to make sure that the money we are charging isn’t more of a slap in the face to the creator than if we just gave it away for free. Second, find ways to free up some time for people who might create new products for our clients and then find ways to vet those ideas and help develop the ones that are worth more time/energy. If we see that we are able to take ownership of projects and use the talents and knowledge we have to try new things, and that the agency stands behind us not just in word but in action then the amount of innovation and creativity will inevitably increase. Third, make sure that the people we are creating these projects for understand what we are giving them, and if ever they say thanks, please make sure we see that. As it is, often we make something as best we can and the only communication with the “client” is given in such a way that it feels as if whomever we made it for has no sense of what they were given and how much they saved. That’s a really good recipe for bitterness and frustration. Fourth, find ways to let us use our expertise to push back with clients. Because of our agency structure, most client interaction is between department heads, brand managers, and Arnie, and I know this is to increase the value of the time our clients spend talking to us. But oftentimes that means that those of us who do the work for the clients never get to explain our reasoning or get to push back when they say no in order to find out if there’s a better way. There is pretty much no one that wins with this structure when you are trying to be creative, because the people creating don’t feel trusted and don’t feel like their knowledge matters, the middlemen don’t have the specific knowledge that drove the creators to make the decisions so they can’t defend their choices, and the client gets the same level of work that they’ve been getting instead of continually pushing forward. These are admittedly basic suggestions but I hope that they get at the heart of the problem. The problem is not that the agency is generous in its talents or that we do work for non-clients in general, but it is the manner in which the projects are handled and the volume of projects that have come through lately. Thanks for hearing me out, I really appreciate the morale surveys and the fact that you do listen. Please understand that I love the company, and I think that we have the talent in house to create even more awesome work that blows our clients away, but I think that the issue I’m addressing is a big factor that stands in the way.

You’re absolutely right about all of this, and we appreciate you taking the time to think through the potential solutions. We have a Pro Bono system in place that Greg is tracking. However, it does seem that we’ve taken on a lot more projects that tend to get bigger and are harder to track. As of now, we will not take on any extra agency projects without the approval of Leadership. Leadership is also going to hold Arnie accountable to that.

Totally random question – whatever happened to the music the building used to play in the hallways? I miss my 90s boy bands as I’m walking between suites.

No idea, but keep a song in your heart for when we move into our new building, preferably something more current.

Still excited about the new building.


I really hope we get a pet camel.

Will you take care of it?

It’s REALLY hot outside.

But it’s nice and cool inside.

When is the beer guy coming back?

Soon. Very soon.

As I’m filling this out after the bonus announcement was made, I want to be honest about that. The elimination of departmental period bonuses is a brilliant move in my opinion. The current goal/bonus system has been a source of confusion, morale-busting and frustration for some time, and deserves to be retired. While I don’t like seeing the money go away, I WOULD like to see a more individual bonus system put in place that would reward individuals on a case-by-case basis, rather than a blanket system that didn’t really push the company closer to its annual or long-term goals. Otherwise, I think it is encouraging to see acknowledgement of some of the struggles. It’s tempting to bury your head in the sand and just ignore the pain sometimes, but in order for us to grow, we have to feel the pain, and then grow from it. In order to grow outside of our comfort zone, we have to be uncomfortable for a little while.

Thank you for your understanding and support. This was a very tough decision to make; there are pros and cons no matter how you look at it.

Can you please let the staff know what the policy is on Flex time? I don’t think some people understand it. You do still have to work 40 HOURS a week and if you leave more than 3 hours early or miss more than that during a day due to long lunches, coming in late, and leaving early, isn’t that half a day? I just think that some people need to pay closer attention to how much time they are wasting.

To clarify, there is no “Flex Time” per se, but yes, you are correct in saying if the time required to be away is more than 3 hours, a half day should be used (please refer to your Employee Handbook for more details). We do, however, recognize the need for more consistency between departments regarding those expectations. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

I know that we are trying to up our level of communication with our clients but it seems some still get confused on who they need to contact regarding certain issues or questions. It would be great if Brand Managers double checked conference notes where the contact person is listed for each department to make sure it is accurate. I also think if we send an announcement to each client with their contacts for each department it would help clear some confusion. Just a thought!

This issue has been addressed and the Brand Managers are now double checking their notes. We do need to make sure that clients contact the right person and so the Brand Managers will also redirect clients as necessary.

May 2010

Morale Average – 7.09

Total Number of Participants – 51


It’s great to see that we are able to continue hiring in a time when lots of businesses are struggling. You’ve picked people who fit in so well here. I can never take this place for granted.

Thanks for your support.

All is well – Excited about the move and the continued growth of the company!


Thank you to all of cj for making me feel welcome! The FiSH! events are really great and much appreciated.

You’re welcome!

I’m fast approaching the 60-day mark – time flies! I continue to be impressed with the culture and morale at cj. Working here is like working at no other company. The employees actually want to come to work, we actually want to work hard, and we want to do a good job. I think what makes that possible is having fun and staying positive, which are not things I did very often at my other job. At the risk of sounding “fishy”, I really have had to choose my attitude – but cj makes it pretty easy. The more I learn, the better relationships I build, the happier I am to be a part of the cj team!

We’re so glad you’re here and feel part of the team!

Thank you for all the Jubilee beer! It totally made my day! And all my friends were jealous too – they wished they worked at cj!

You’re very welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!

May was great, thanks cj!

Agreed and you’re welcome!

Super excited about the new building. It is even cooler watching it transform right outside our window.

We agree, can’t wait!

The new building better be “Super-Fly”. Any word on the coffee shop tenant?

The selection has been narrowed down to three tenants. The final section will be nailed down in 30-45 days. Standby for the announcement.

More than ready for the new space!

As discussed in the staff meeting, our Design and Construction timeline is as follows: June 2: 100% construction documents submitted for permitting, June 7: Demolition starts, June 25: Furniture plans out to bid, June 28: Construction starts and Lot completed, October 15: Projected Move Starts (YAY!)

Morale’s high, but I would like to bring up one point. While I sincerely appreciate company-paid insurance, I’m very disappointed in the way Open Enrollment was handled this year. This is a very important decision for my family each year and the fact that we were changing providers made it an even bigger decision and discussion to be had. I felt rushed with only a week or so to get everything taken care of for a decision that will impact my life for an entire year at least. Not to mention if I did have questions, our HR contact was virtually unreachable – perhaps she was super busy too. Even more reason to give us more time next year.

We agree that there was a crunch, however some things were out of our control. Going forward, we will put steps in place to tighten up the deadline, apply pressure to all outside venders, and bring in more enrollment assistance, which will allow everyone more time to review, process and enroll in benefits. In addition, these efforts will also provide assistance to Leigh so that she can be more available.

The discounted YMCA is a good “perk”. However, it could be better if cj gave an allowance for other gym memberships. The main thing is to be healthier, not necessarily where you go to become healthy. Go Performance is just down stairs, talk about being convenient!

We chose to partner with the YMCA for several reasons. The YMCA supports and gives back to our community in many ways, which is important to us. In addition, they were the first to step up and offer us a 10% discount, as well as offer to provide administrative assistance for our staff. Lastly, they offer multiple locations across Middle Tennessee. All of these “perks” made it our #1 choice. We hope you all choose to continue to strive to become as healthy as possible.

It is really great when people help out with other departments to get projects wrapped up or fill in for people when they are out. I am sure the other departments are getting the help they really need. However, we need to make sure that the work for your own department doesn’t slip. This often creates more work for people as far as correcting errors and things of that sort. We just need to make sure we aren’t stretching ourselves too thin and letting our daily work slip.

We agree. Thanks for the reminder.

Proverbs 3:13 – Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.


10, because I’m going on vacation! I’ll be able to kick any projects, but when I get back.

Enjoy your time off!

I still find it amazing in this day and age that we can’t do these surveys online or electronically. I think responses would increase.

We have resisted for reasons of privacy assurance. Look for a question regarding same on the next survey.

My motto: AMAHHHM – Acronym for: Always make Arnie Happy He Hired Me.

Sounds Arabic for “AMEN”.

I like how people share credit around here. We’re also very good at allowing people to take credit for good work we do.

It takes a village.

I really appreciate the daily “Overheard” emails. It helps me feel connected to know what is going on around the agency. I view the “somebody rocks” portion of the email as an extension of that. It lets me know about a coworker’s win and is a really positive thing. But sometime is seems like there is a direct link from who “rocks” to who is involved in the stand up where it is chosen. Sometimes people rock for “just being them”. Or people rock because of personal life events. We should challenge the department heads to come ready with something to celebrate from their department. Or maybe on days where there isn’t anything that stands out, we should skip it. It would keep it more special than people “rocking” for no reason. Just a thought from a (still) happy camel!

Sometimes fun, ALWAYS serious – the intention is for this to be a place for real praise. Leadership and the Department Heads will start proactively looking for nominations within their teams at their individual huddles so that we aren’t choosing “rockers” just for the sake of it when there aren’t obvious standouts. We appreciate the feedback.

Morale is a bit lower for me right now. There’s good stuff going on, but man, busyness has been getting to me recently. It seems like a lot more employees have been super busy recently. Are we just selling more services to our clients? Is there any need for new hires, or is it just a busy season? Also, are there any processes we’re overlooking (or could implement) to make things more efficient?

Yes! Thank you for all you do. Any suggestions for efficiency or delegation would be welcomed.

What is the evaluation process the leadership team takes when evaluating department goals? Meaning what factors are considered to determine if a project is “goal” worthy? It seems some departments have a better grasp on determining goals than others, so I was just curious.

Leadership looks at and evaluates every goal in each department. If you have a specific issue, please address it with your supervisor, but please give them specifics that they can address it with Leadership if necessary.

I am a proud cj-er, but the way the flood situation was handled made me very, very disappointed. It’ll take me a while to get back to my normal 8-9 morale range, but I’m trying.

I believe that it’s really unfair for those who couldn’t make it to work due to the flood are being penalized by having to use their vacation day(s). I was one that could make it in, so this doesn’t even pertain to me. But the fact that President Obama declared our county a disaster area and the governor and mayor asked that businesses in the downtown area not open on May 3, makes me think that using our Snow Day policy in a situation like this doesn’t make any sense. I understand that if you could make it here, you should be here. But to penalize those who couldn’t, doesn’t make sense.

It’s shameful and disappointing how cj handled the flood situation. I love cj and believe it deserves to be in Nashville’s best places to work but we botched this one guys. If we’re the company and the presences in the community we say we are then that was how we prove it – when it really matters, not when it benefits PR. I feel like a parent, “I’m not mad, I’m disappointed”. Except it’s an extreme, take it personal, I expected more out of you, disappointment.

Thank you for allowing us to use our personal days to help, and I completely agree, we should be willing to do that. Several did.

The upside is that I know many people were upset about this as well, I’m honored to work beside so many awesome and caring people.

My morale after the flood incident is severely jeopardized. I think penalizing people because they couldn’t make it to work on Monday (or any additional days relating to this) was wrong and incomprehensible. Whether it is because they had actual damage, their kid’s school/daycare was closed or they needed to help a family member, it was necessary for a reason and I think cj should have supported their employees by not taking away personal days/vacation days to deal with this crisis that was nobody’s fault but Mother Nature. I understand that personal days are exactly that, “personal” – that they are to be used for something that is unforeseen, emergency, etc., but this was something that couldn’t have been prevented and to make an employee take a day off that could have been used in the future as a mind break or a real sick day is completely unfair. I also don’t think it was right for cj as a company not to organize a day that everyone as a group went to help in the cleanup effort. I know it was stated that if you wanted to come forward and organize something, that cj welcomed that, but I think cj should have said – “ok, cj is taking the day (or afternoon/morning) and we are going to get together to help with the cleanup effort, so be ready” and essentially made people do it (I know legally you can’t make people do anything like this, but their option could have been to stay at work or go help and I know for a fact that most people here would have chosen to help). I know other companies that did this and some people did opt to work in the office instead but most of them went and helped. That was good for morale and I would have thought that the cj I know would have organized this as a company and not waited for someone to step forward. It is unfortunate that several employees had to (again) use vacation/personal days to help their families or friends with flood relief instead of being allowed (in this circumstance only) to do that and not be penalized.

I really wanted to be proud of cj for handling the flood disaster the right way, the same way I am proud of Nashvillians. Unfortunately, I was disappointed, not in the spirit of the employees – several huge hearted individuals took it upon themselves to volunteer, donate, and spread the word – but in the spirit of our agency’s policies post-flood.

First: To say that our responsibility is “first to our employees and their families, then to our clients, and then to our community” is fine, but then to say that, “to effectively serve our clients, which ensures our business success, which ensures our jobs, which allows us to continue devoting time to our ongoing philanthropic efforts”, is confusing. To imply that flood relief efforts for our own people were on par with CWAC initiatives was shocking. We needed to immediately take care of our people, the ones in our office, that sit next to us, that work alongside us day in and day out. That’s not an “initiative” or community service event. That’s us taking care of our people, which ensure we can effectively serve our clients, etc. Second: I’m dissatisfied with and disturbed by the policy outlined in Arnie’s email to staff saying that my “personal days” are there, not just for times when I’m ill or need to take a day for personal reasons, but to also offset any potential natural disasters that may happen. Third: The immediate response and communication from Leadership and Arnie the first Monday back was abysmal. Here’s a rundown of how many employees experienced that day: Hearing over the radio on the way to work the Mayor’s message that drivers shouldn’t be on the road unless it was an emergency. Arriving late due to road conditions to find calendars already updated to reflect an absence from work that day (is priority one after a flood to monitor who might try to take advantage and sneak in a free PTO day?). Then receiving the first staff-wide email of the day and finding it to be a call for our flood photos and stories to survive. It was days before the first staff-wide email went out asking if anyone had needs we could fulfill. The first words from the head honcho didn’t come until mid-week. Opportunities to volunteer and collect donations for flood victims outside the agency were kept strictly to the very bottom of long overheard emails. And at last, the week was capped off by much appreciated and enjoyed, but incredibly ill-timed, free beer. It’s in the past, yes, but I expected better.

All the responses in this survey regarding our reaction to the flood have some measure of validity. We realize that many of you chose to step up in many ways to offer help to your extended families, neighbors, and even complete strangers. Within the cj family (as well as LIP, MVS, & Oasis), those directly affected by the flood were given tremendous support, but for privacy reasons; this information was not (and will not be) publicized. Leadership realizes that our communication on this situation could and should have been handled much better. Thank you for holding us accountable to a higher standard. Leadership will endeavor to learn from this experience and will immediately work to put a response mechanism in place that will allow for better communication and reaction should crisis strike again.

April 2010

Morale Average – 7.73

Total Number of Participants – 55


I like the people here. It’s fun and it just fits my personality (even though I’m old)!


It’s been an interesting month. Thanks for keeping things running as smooth as possible. It’s nice to know that big changes don’t rock the boat too much.

Thanks for your support.

Constant change is inevitable, but happy to see the structure continues to be improved. It’s hard work to make things simple!

That’s for sure! Thanks for your support.

Thanks FiSH! for the lunch!

You’re welcome.

Can we make sure Greg gets a week’s vacation on the beach this summer?

Can he pick the beach?

I think the people who have been asked to step up after our recent changes have done an amazing job! I think there are still more changes to come, but we’re up to the challenge!

We agree!

I have to admit that the recent staff departures were shocking. But I have to commend Arnie and our Leadership Team for handling it in what I thought to be a very professional yet upbeat manner. I also have to say that GREG ROCKS THE HOUSE for stepping in. Because of his (seemingly) seamless transition and willingness to learn on the fly, what could have been a very tumultuous time for cj hasn’t felt that way. So, Greg Rocks!

On three – GREG ROCKS!

As a new employee (finished my first month today!), I feel right at home. Almost everyone I pass in the hallway, bump into in the break room, or work with on a daily basis has been warm, welcome, and willing to help me adjust. It’s pretty hard to feel like the “newbie” for too long around cj. Thanks!

We’re so glad you’re here and feel at home!

Is it even allowed for us to have greener space and open windows at the new place? If not now, once cj owns the building, could it happen?

We are doing all we can to make our new space as green as possible. There will be some operable windows on the second floor, but there is some financial impact, so some of our decisions will have to be based on what we can afford to do.

How high are the cubicle walls going to be in the new building? PLEASE make them high.

Department Heads have all met and fully discussed this issue after having received feedback from their teams. The consensus is that the partitions will be high. We hope this works for you.

Why is there still a For Lease sign on the new building?

It looks like someone heard you, they finally took it down.

Will health care reform have any significant impacts on our client’s verdicts? Is there any concern how this could affect the agency?

No. Jimmy and Leigh have confirmed that all is good and we should not be impacted.

Why don’t the new hires get introduced anymore or their bios emailed out so we can at least figure out who they are that way?

There has been a gap in the process with regard to the new hires, but rest assured this is back on the radar and will be addressed. Thank you for the reminder! Angie is actually working on creating a scavenger hunt to encourage our new hires to meet as many people as possible across all departments. As far as the bios are concerned, check your inbox, we are back on track!

Everyone has been submitting tickets to the helpdesk even for the smallest problems. This is great. Let’s keep rockin’ on this same path.

Sounds good to us!

Anything/everything dealing with the technological part of cj should require the input from IT. All computer orders, moves, set ups, phones, etc. So when something comes up we are not blind-sided with something we were not prepared for, or don’t have the capabilities to do at that time.

While correct, this is probably not the forum for this comment, but thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Morale’s fine. Can’t imagine being busier though.

Thank you for all you do. Any suggestions for efficiency or delegation would be welcomed.

I am REEEEEEEEEALY busy. But that’s ok.

See above response!

There is so much going on right now and it seems we’re beginning to run in ever diminishing circles. Everything is important or urgent and there seems to be no real direction we’re all running in. I’m sure I’m not the only one starting to suffer from “crazy exhaustion”.

Without direction, it can be exhausting. We need you to be proactive. Stop and ask some questions and point yourself back in the right direction!

Even though some of the changes are sad with people leaving, it’s exciting all the same to see what progress we can make.

Way to be positive! It’s all about attitude. Lemonade anyone? Cold Beer?

It would be cool to see out of all of the suggestions made by employees, which will be implemented. Maybe a list of all the suggestions and then a yes/no/maybe next to them would help.

We assume you’re talking about the new building? That’s fairly easy! Karen’s going to work on this.

Our staff meetings seem a little “rushed” sometimes. Have we considered extending them?

Nope! We feel the pace is good as is. The goal is 30 minutes. Arnie actually wants to get them down to 25.

How do we cut down on the number of meetings?

Meetings are always a good way to get everyone on the same page. Decline them if you don’t want to go to them. Or make it your own personal goal to make them shorter. Be the change you seek in the world!

Can we add the 801 conference call line to the calendar? Seems like it’s getting used more and more now and it’d be great to avoid any accidental “breathers” who didn’t know a call was already in progress.

The 801 line is generally used by anyone on a conference call, most of the time with Arnie. If that line is being used it should be noted on the cj calendar. If you have questions about this, just ask Karen. The “breathers” are those who put the boom too close to their noses! Don’t be a breather.

It’s been demoralizing seeing so many good people leave.

But it’s so encouraging to see great people step up.

There’s a lot of change going on, but I’m feeling ok. I think it’s all for the best and I hope Greg knows that he’s got my support!

He does. Thank you.

I think we should create a “weekend do over” time off category. Once per year, if someone’s weekend is just “really that bad”, they get a “weekend do over” – within 1 week’s time of the bad weekend, they get two days of leave time. Example: Sat., May 1 + Sun., May 2 = BAD WEEKEND – so between Monday, May 3 – Friday May 7, they get two days off to re-do the weekend. Could be some variation of this, but thought it could be a FiSH! thing/gift that is given to each employee on their annual review (pending they have a good review). Just a thought.

Arnie’s fine with you taking the next weekend off!

The pressure of trying to reach goals has definitely impacted morale, as has the loss of two key players in the agency. It seems that when we get busy and start feeling pressured, we begin to slip on communication a little, both vertically and laterally. We need to remember that the time we need to communicate the MOST is when we’re feeling a crunch, so we don’t duplicate work or let issues fall through the cracks.

We agree. Thanks for the reminder.

Having the new Mt. Dew Typhoon in the drink machine would definitely help make my day!

Wow. That must be good. Stick six in the fridge, put your name on them and have a great week.

Are you sure we can’t have space heaters?


When do we get free coffee?

On staff meeting days. And possibly when we move. We are looking into that now.

What happened to the cat maker? It’s been missing for a couple of months, and nobody has said a word. I think we have the right to know what happened to it. My kitty sales have dropped significantly, meaning less commission, meaning it’s hard to feed my cats at home. See how easily the circle of cat is affected?

Where are we putting in the real, live camel in Jimmy’s office?

Can we have a beach party? I’ll write some more fun stuff next time.

Are we going to have to use Port-A-Pottys during the move? I really hate those.

Byron is my favorite person here. By the way, I wrote this.

Not any concerns really just looking forward to a growing healthy collaborative environment.

That’s a great attitude. Thanks for your support.

Will Oasis become an independent subsidiary of Malham Leverage Group, or continue to be the undefined entity it currently is?

Great Question/Comment. Oasis form, function, and identity is actually being discussed and considered right now. One of Arnie’s primary goals for the summer is to add definition and direction to Oasis Services.

Is Greg just a temporary fill in for Director of Ops and are you actively seeking someone else to fill this role?

Greg is currently serving as the Interim Director of Operations. Chris Stovall and Leadership are carefully evaluating the transitional opportunities associated with this change. We have several available options at this point and hope that we choose one that propels the agency in the best possible direction.

Do we have any idea what’s happening with Operations yet?

See above response.

Yes, there has been a lot of change/challenge/opportunity in the last 30 days. However, all that we need to know has been told to us. cj tells us that they are a transparent company (i.e. The War Hall) and I believe it! I respect the fact that when an employee leaves that an email is quickly sent around. I think that it speaks volumes on cj’s professionalism that the emails are brief and to the point. All that matters is the final decision, the staff does not need to know all of the details that lead up to the departure.

Thank you for your trust and support.

It’s scary when someone who is an integral part of the team leaves so abruptly. When it’s not really clear if they left by choice or were asked to leave, it makes you feel like anyone could be next.

As clarification, we want to again confirm that the exits you are referring to were by choice of the individuals.

Nada, I’ve got faith.

Thank you for your support.

March 2010

Morale Average – 7.86

Total Number of Participants – 48


Thank you so much for the March Madness party! It is so rare that a company gives you the afternoon off for free food, drinks, and a chance to win a Snuggie! I am grateful!

You’re so welcome!

Love the potluck! Loved the Otter’s outing!

We did too, although Arnie’s disappointed that he missed it.

Thank you for Good Friday off!

You’re welcome!

So thankful for the training cj provides us.

When a team member learns, the entire agency learns. We are committed to investing in our employees and we’re glad you’re making the most of that opportunity.

So glad we hired an accounting assistant! Looking forward to our big move. I still can’t believe I work at a place awesome enough to give us plastic ware, bagels on meeting days and boxes of Kleenex. It’s the little things.

Yep! We hear you! Glad you’re happy!

“I’ve noticed the morale forms have become increasingly less interesting. They’re mostly positive comments (that sounds bad, but it’s true). I’ve heard multiple complaints that people don’t want to write in anymore. They’re hesitant to put pen to paper when they feel like they won’t be taken seriously.” (excerpt from Annual Review of an anonymous employee, published with permission)

Although bad news makes for great ratings on TV, we prefer hearing that you’re happy. Having said that, this survey is a place for your voice to be heard, no matter what the issue. The Leadership team is committed to listening to what you have to say and responding to it thoughtfully and sensitively. We take time to discuss each and every comment, even if it’s an issue that has come up before. We make this commitment to you – we only ask that you do the same in return by committing to filling out the survey as accurately as you can and being specific about concerns.

It’s down a point from last month just because of workload. It’s still fairly high, though, because I love working here.

We love to hear that you love working here, and we understand how you feel about your workload. The goal is to find a balance, and sometimes you just have to talk it out with your manager and peers. Please keep the conversation open and hopefully that will help.

Overall, I think morale here is terrific. I like all the extra effort we put into the environment here. While I appreciate the numerous opportunities to contribute to some of our speculative efforts (non-essential), some of it does feel like busy work and can be exhausting. Sometimes people need to focus on their main job.

We have read over your comment several times and tried to decipher, specifically, what it is that you mean. Are you talking about Pro Bono work, or CWAC, or something that you are working on in your Dept? Without specifics, it is hard for us to respond.

It drives me absolutely crazy that people who work here throw cans into the trash when cj recycles! I have dug cans out of the trash. How lazy can people be? Please use the recycling bin! They even recycle Styrofoam! It takes NO extra effort!

Amen! We hear you! Thanks for pointing this out.

Can we get healthier snacks in the break room? Perhaps something without High Fructose Corn Syrup and sugary goodness.

We do evaluate the contents in the vending machines on a regular basis. There are some options for healthy snacks, but if you have some specific suggestions, please let Angie know. Karen is going to add a question pertaining to this on the next morale survey as we’d love to know what you’d like. Keep in mind, the vendors fill the machines with the stuff that sells.

Would love an update on the new space. Can you describe the individual cubes?

The design for the cubes is currently under discussion. Department Heads will be looking to get your feedback in the coming weeks as to what your preference is. We may not have a uniform height throughout the space – it can be designed according to Departmental needs – so we will be depending on that feedback as we move forward.

People are excited but anxious about the new office. How will the open floor plan actually translate to our individual workspaces? How high are the walls in the cubicles? Are there enough meeting rooms? What’s the bathroom situation?

The floor plans went on display in the break room after the morale survey went out, so please take a look at them and write any feedback you have on the post-it boards provided. Also, see comment above for the answer to your cubicle question.

KICKBALL ROCKS! My bracket makes me sad. So, any news on the new building?

See both comments above!

February 2010

Morale Average – 8.03

Total Number of Participants – 59


Haven’t been here that long, but having an outstanding (albeit hectic) time. Best career move ever!

We’re glad you’re here!

Life (and work) is good!

That’s great.

cj does such an amazing job at making this a great place to work for all employees that the thought of working someplace else actually scares me – other places will NEVER compare. Basically, I have to/want to stay here forever! I hope you’ll keep me!

Wow. We love to hear that!

Although I’ve only been working here a short while, it has been long enough to notice the incredible growth and progress cj has made as a company. The organization of each department, the efficiency of the procedural structures, ensure optimal service is provided. At the same time, employee enthusiasm and creativity is allowed to flourish. Very impressive indeed. What a great business model!

Thanks! We appreciate you saying that.

Not a day goes by without someone making an amazing impression – whether it’s an “above-and-beyond,” positive attitude and encouragement, learning something from them. Love our team. Coopie happy.

Coopie rocks!

The only way it could be better is if we had Yazoo on tap in the break room.

What a fantastic idea! We may go one better than that. How about Arnie delivers the beer to you on a Friday afternoon? This is not out of the question. Karen’s working on it.

Love it here!

That’s awesome.

How did it get to be March!? It’s weird to say, but I miss my co-workers – it seems like so many departments are so swamped that, “playing” is starting to be frowned upon. I know it’s NOT frowned upon (yay FiSH!), but I feel a lot of pressure to chain myself to my desk. It’s a good thing we’re having a “stress management” lunch and learn.

We hate to hear that you’re feeling so much pressure. Remember, a better YOU is a better cj, so please take time for yourself. You are very important, too. While we applaud our FiSH! team for doing such a great job of boosting morale on a regular basis, we must all remember how the story of FiSH! came about and perhaps think about how we can, as individuals, make work FUN. We want you to be energized by your work and feel like you can breathe.

Departments are busy, busy. Sensing some tension. I’m sure things will get better though.

Please see above response.

What happened to everyone voting for the Golden Camel Award winner – I really enjoyed that!

The Golden Camel Award is managed by FiSH! They decided they wanted to change things up a bit and include cj staff in the nomination process. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as well as they had planned, because they ended up with close to 30 nominees, which was just unmanageable. The process has reverted to requiring the prior month’s Golden Camel Award winner to select 3 nominees of their choosing, but in order to prevent departmental nepotism, he/she can only choose one person from his/her department. The FiSH! team still makes the final decision on the winner based on adherence to cj’s Core Values and FiSH! philosophies. Apologies for not communicating this sooner, but thanks for bringing this to our attention.

No complaints really, but please do continue this survey just in case that changes.


Have we ever thought about creating a document that keeps track of all our sick/vacation days? I’ve kept the request sheets that are returned to me, but I still don’t have all of them. What do you think about keeping one file that contains the number of days we have left? That way, we could ensure our records match those of accounting. Thoughts?

We are currently working on an online system that will completely eliminate the paperwork and allow you to see exactly where you are with your sick/vacation days at any given time. It’s going to be awesome! Until then, just e-mail Laura directly if you have any questions – she has the answers.

Yay for our new place. Really appreciate all the work put into finding us a great new home!

Thanks. It’s been a rough road, but we’re very happy with the outcome and we think you will be too.

Love working here and am very excited about the upcoming move! Great things to come all around.

Agreed. We’re excited too!

Ready to move! Can we see more drawings soon?

Yes you can! We are nearly through phase one of the design phase and we definitely want your feedback. Plans and sketches will be posted for all in the break room soon, and we welcome comments that might make the space even better. Remember, we can do more together than individually, and we would really appreciate your input and interest in making our home great!

Super excited about the new space.

We are too. It’s going to be fantastic!

January 2010

Morale Average – 8.06

Total Number of Participants – 47


Really looking forward to being able to spread our wings in the new space – wherever that is!

So are we!

This is a splendid place to work. I’ve worked in some places where good morale meant you “weren’t working hard enough”. Thank you for this survey.

Thank YOU for your feedback!

FiSH! rocks! They don’t get the recognition they deserve. They work so hard to boost OUR morale, we need to help them out too!

Consider this a shout-out to them!

I think winter moods/blues have everyone a little more tense than usual. It’s been more stressful lately to me.

Spring’s right around the corner.

Congrats to Mark McIndoo!


Is the “who rocks” section supposed to be a joke or is it a place to give real praise? When the Overheard emails first started coming out I believed that it was a place to give quick praise instead of waiting for a monthly staff meeting. Now my feelings have changed. From posts over the past month I am beginning to think that it is more of a joke. Please let me and others know how we should take this section of the email.

Sometimes fun; ALWAYS serious – the intention is for this to be a place for real praise. Leadership and the Department Heads will start proactively looking for nominations within their teams at their individual huddles so that we aren’t choosing “rockers” just for the sake of it when there aren’t obvious standouts. We appreciate the feedback.

I’ve only been here three weeks, but I can certainly sense the high morale – I see it everywhere here at cj. What a joy! P.S. I’m REALLY glad to be here!

We’re REALLY glad you’re here!

Plain and simple, I love it here. Love the people. Love the vision. Love the challenge. On 3, cj rocks!

Woo hoo!

It seems that people are so swamped here, which affects my goals and my work when I’m waiting for email replies and the next step in the big picture. I’m sick of being delayed. By no means do I think anyone’s a slacker; it just seems like everyone’s got too much on their plates.

We recognize that bottlenecks in the system crush business and morale. Our goal is to stop that from happening, but we need to know about it in order to be able to fix it. You have a responsibility to alleviate this by telling your manager about any issues you may have. Start there, and then your manager can work with you to find a solution.

Thank you for allowing children to come to work – this is absolutely a lifesaver! Greatly, Hugely appreciated!

Just as we intended! We’re glad it works for you.

All is well!


Have you considered banning Facebook, MySpace, Gmail/chat, AOL instant messenger etc. from the network? I know we have a social networking person on staff, but how about letting her do that for our clients and take it from everyone else? Before you say there’s trust involved or everyone here has integrity, they don’t. There isn’t just one person doing it, I think there are many people in the agency that are wasting valuable time when they could be working. If it’s going to drop someone’s morale that much to have those things taken away, then do we really need them working here?

Because of the level of trust we have with our employees, we have not banned any of these social networking platforms. However, we know that recently it has become a cause for concern. We are currently formulating a plan to track the global traffic. We will evaluate that once we have gleaned the necessary information and then determine the next steps at that time. Thank you for your concern.

How does cj feel about social networking on company time? A while back we had that “Don’t be a Bob” email sent out to staff, but I think it was laughed at. Is a serious approach being considered? I know you don’t want to start monitoring this stuff and we are all adults here. We have over 70 people here now and I think we need to make sure that everyone is using their time at work doing their job and not catching up on what Bob’s doing on twitter.

Please see above response. This may well be a good approach.

I am nervous for my department these next upcoming weeks as we’ve decided to downsize. I know we will do the best we can – but I hope Admin will listen if it gets to be too much when/if our morale and customer service gets too low. But I’ve been here long enough to know they’re pretty good at listening.

Downsize is probably not the right word; we are merely going to let the situation play out and see if it works. If, however, morale and/or customer service start suffering, we will absolutely do whatever it takes to hire whoever is necessary to alleviate the problem. Thanks for your confidence in us. We have not had any problem with making decisions to hire people in the past and we have no plans to change that in the future. We just need to see how this goes.

Why don’t the new people get introduced to us anymore? I liked seeing them on their first day, and being able to put a name to the face. Bring it back.

It seems that there may have been a hole in the process at some point, but don’t worry. We have addressed this and we will bring it back! Thanks for noticing!

Speaking of the coffee (continued from morale question), all of the flavia coffees taste the same to me, like hay or a farm or something. FOLGERS, now that’s coffee! Can we get just a regular coffee pot with Folgers coffee?

We are already one step ahead of you! We have looked into finding a better coffee solution – the problem is that it won’t fit in our current space! We would have to build something especially for it and it’s just not worth it since we’re moving soon. Just know that, in our new space, the coffee options will be something that we tackle!

This month’s question really made me think, how hard would it be for cj to purchase an industrial size coffee pot and have FREE coffee for employees. It would be just regular coffee, of course, and if someone wanted tea or a flavor then we could still pay 25 cents for that, but it seems like this wouldn’t be much money or effort to achieve, and really be awesome for us in the morning!

Great solution! See above for more.

It’s freezing!

We know! Did you tell Mark or Angie that you’re cold?

So, Snuggies? I’m not sure what, “that sounds like a great idea” means, but it would be pretty badass to have several of them lying around. My hands are like popsicles most of the time!

We are considering ordering some snuggies and heating pads. We’ll let you know once we have something more definite arranged, but we have heard you and a plan is in the works!

When are we gonna move?

Between July and September!

December 2009

Morale Average – 8.14

Total Number of Participants – 48


The people and the work are great (10’s). The only thing that takes the wind out my sails are the clients. They can be serious downers – But that’s the job! Thanks for giving this survey!

Rule #1: The client is always right. Rule #2: If the client is not right, refer to rule #1. If you get to the point with a client that you feel neither rule applies. Talk to your Department Head and we will work with you to figure how to make the client happy, which might be even better than being right.

I am SO blessed to be here, at such a fantastic company with such a talented staff. It is pretty crowded here, but I love that. It shows a lot of growth. Every other place I’ve worked had empty desks everywhere from layoffs and people finding better opportunities. I have yet to hear anyone speak badly of cj, either here or around town.

Thank you! That’s good to hear.

Winning Preds tickets is just another reason why cj rocks! My friends are always jealous when I tell them about the cool things cj is doing!

That’s awesome!

Thanks for having the Holiday Party! And thank you SO much for the bonus checks and door prizes – not necessary but VERY MUCH appreciated. All my friends are jealous that I work for such an awesome company!


2010 woo hoo!

Woo hoo to you, too!

Many thanks for an outstanding Christmas/Holiday party and very generous bonus.

You’re welcome!

Thank you for an amazing holiday party! I had a blast!

We love to hear that!

Looking forward to 2010 with cj! It’s going to be even better than this year.

That’s great. We agree.

Loved getting a holiday bonus. Thanks!

You’re welcome!

Love everyone’s upbeat, fun personalities! Got me through all the holidays! Love coming to work every day (no seriously, I do), the fun environment, and when kids come to work!

That’s awesome! All of it!

Why do I never get time off forms sent back to me anymore? I can’t keep up with how many days I have left, and it’s a bit confusing. I also don’t know who to give what to. Who gets time off forms? I think there’s a communication breakdown lately.

The process currently is: fill out the form and give it to your Department Head to approve. Your Department Head then gives the form to Laura Duddy. Once Accounting has gone through their processes, the form is returned to you so that you are able to account for your time. There has been a recent switch in responsibility, which may have caused some of the confusion, although Laura sent an e-mail early on in December clarifying where benefit request forms or time clock inquiries should be directed. We are currently working on a system that will completely eliminate the paper work and should ultimately make the entire process a lot easier. Believe us, there is AWESOMENESS coming! Until then, if you have any questions about your time off, don’t hesitate to e-mail Laura directly – she’s always there for you.

I know it’s not under cj’s direct control, but the women’s restroom is a problem. The building seems to try to keep it clean, but there are always toilets that are stopped up/backed up or won’t flush. It’s really gross, especially in an already cramped/busy place. Is there anything we can do? Thanks!

Yes, and it will be addressed immediately. The problem is that this is an old building and the plumbing is not perfect. However, that is not an excuse. If you notice a problem, please don’t hesitate to tell either Mark or Angie and they will handle it immediately.

Seem to be getting on top of things – hope we get to new space soon before we all start to feel like the Waltons.

“Good night, John Boy.”

A lot of people have been complaining about how cold the office has been lately. Can that be fixed?

The temperature is freezing in this office! Could we look into getting this fixed?

I’d give you a 10 if you let me bring a small heater and put it under my desk on those days that it’s “cold in the house”

May we please order cj Snuggies with camels on them for everyone to keep at their desks for when it gets cold in the office? You see, they gave the blanket sleeves for productivity, so please don’t think that productivity will be lost if we go through with this idea. Warm, fashionable, and productive. It’s a win-win-win.

In view of the cold temperature in some parts of the office, we should get cj snuggies!


We put all of these comments into one category to make it easier to address. Obviously, you are cold! The problem is that we “live” in an old building, and when there are drastic weather changes, the HVAC has to work that much harder. It is a constant battle unfortunately. Mark is going to check the thermostats and adjust the temperatures slightly. Beyond that, cj snuggies are actually a great idea.

November 2009

Morale Average – 7.91

Total Number of Participants – 57


I’m enjoying working here more every day! The employee appreciation is fantastic (e.g. Cracker Barrel breakfast, holiday party) LOVE IT!

We love hearing this.

Love the Cracker Barrel breakfast! Thanks!

Thanks. We did too.

I’m excited about the continuing growth of cj!

So are we!

Love it here. Love the people. Love the clients. Love the Leadership. Nice work!


Can’t wait for the holiday party! Thanks FiSH!

Agreed. Thanks FiSH!

Thanks for the extra time off during the holidays!

You’re welcome.

Everyone seems pretty content. There’s not a lot of crossover between departments though, so it’s hard to say outside of your own tiny circle. I’m happy.

Good observation. We’re happy you’re happy!

I love when people bring their dogs and children into work!

So do we!

Thanks for a great Thanksgiving breakfast!

You’re welcome.

Thanksgiving cheer and baked goods abounded in November. Thanks much for the Cracker Barrel feast!

Glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks for the delicious Thanksgiving breakfast! Yum! It’s great to work at a company that gives its employees AND their families so many perks throughout the year.

Really glad you feel that way.

As we grow, it’s becoming harder to maintain the “cj culture” that helps us feel more like a family than a factory. Thanks to everyone still making the effort to keep the dream alive, especially the FiSH! team.

That’s why we need (and love) our FiSH! team. They are a vital part of our organization and critical to the identity of cj. Go FiSH!

I love the energy going into the end of the year. 2009 has been amazing and 2010 will only be better, despite our growing pains. While I’m as concerned as the next camel about the move (when? where?), I’m so grateful that we keep our morale up in so many different ways.

We are lucky to have such a great group of people working here. It’s the people that make cj what it is.

I really like the Camel Code talk e-mails. I think they are helpful, especially when communicating with other departments. It’s also interesting to learn about all the new services that cj is providing to their clients.

Thanks for the great feedback! It’s great to know you find them useful. We agree.

While I love the idea of Employee of the Year recognition, in its current form, it’s really nothing more than a popularity contest, unfortunately. I didn’t like them in High School, and I like them even less now. It would be nice if we could create a system that would recognize the Employee of the Year based on contributions to the company throughout the year (CWAC, FiSH!, Big Wins, etc.) Perhaps there could be a scoreboard, or something similar, so everyone could keep track.

We don’t think that the Employee of the Year award is taken that lightly. In fact, we are confident that every employee takes the factors you mention, among others, into consideration when making their own decision as to who the Employee of the Year should be.

Do we have any control over what’s put in the vending machines? Is there a possibility of getting healthier snacks in there? Maybe baked chips? Something besides honey buns and donuts for breakfast?

We do evaluate the contents in the vending machines on a regular basis. There are some options for healthy snacks, but if you have some other specific suggestions, feel free to let either Mark or Angie know. We look forward to looking into some better options when we move.

“8” is pretty damn good for a writer sampling. Small break room suggestion: move the stock of coffee cups to the far left of the coffee supplies (closest to the sink). This would allow people who are “on-deck” for coffee to pre-cream and pre-sugar their cups while others are actually using the machine.

We have explored this idea, but the splashing from the sink creates sanitary issues. We will definitely think about better break room efficiency in the new office space design coming soon. Thanks for your suggestion, but feel free to make the best of the extra time getting to know your co-workers!

October 2009

Morale Average – 8.44

Total Number of Participants – 50


Spooky cj treats ROCK!

Yes, they do.

Yay cj for being the best place to work EVER!

Thanks, we’re all very proud.

Awesome conference, yo!

You said it!

Congrats on being one of the best places to work in Nashville. It definitely is!

Thanks! Glad you feel that way.

Thank you for the after-party at Flying Saucer! It’s great to work for a company that recognizes everyone’s hard work at the conference. cj Rocks!

You’re welcome.

Congrats cj! NBJ’s best places to work! Good job.


We’re #1!

Well, we think so!

Think the Print department has a great idea in asking agency to help with creative campaigns.

That’s what Team-Driven Culture is all about!

I love the value the company places on families.

We do too.

It seems as though the growth has become a part of everyone’s life here and even though there has been no let up in pace since the conference there is still a really positive go-get-em attitude. Bringing in the COO seems to have had a great affect on helping everyone determine their space in the agency and the directions of their departments.

The COO position is unique in that it is not agency-specific, but aligns all the moving parts (of which there are many) in the whole company! Chris has done a great job of bringing all the pieces together to help everyone remain focused so that we can continue moving in the right direction.

Can’t wait to see what Leadership comes back from the retreat with!

2010 plans will be announced at the December staff meeting. Stay tuned!

Thanks for all the new additions to the Book Club. I appreciate cj ordering my recommendation!

Keep them coming!

The conference party was nice, but I think that we might be outgrowing the Saucer’s party room.

It was a little tight, but who could beat those pretzels?

Thanks for treating us to the Land of Cause and Art & Copy. Both were great and I’m glad I got to spend time with my coworkers while still being “productive”!

You’re welcome! The Land of Cause was an event benefitting nine local non-profits. We had a limited number of tickets, which were offered to employees who were heavily involved in CWAC. Art & Copy is a new film about advertising and inspiration. We will be getting a DVD of this movie, so those who did not attend the opening at the Belcourt (several staff members from various different departments attended) will still have the opportunity to see it.

What happened to the Arnie clock in the break room? I loved the little rotating Arnie head!

Arnie was quite happy to know that you miss him! Since there were a couple of you who felt the same way, we are bringing it back! In fact, Arnie’s going to do some photo shoots specifically for the clock in the break room. Get ready for some fun seasonal pictures!

What happened to the Arnie head on the clock in the break room? Seriously guys. I know there are more companies than just cj, but Arnie is still the face of them. Can we put his head back on the clock?

See above answer.

Can we get some more updates on the so-called “move” everyone keeps talking about? Seems like a lot of talk, no action.

As of right now, Grassmere and SunTrust Plaza are off the table. Two other options include staying here at Cummins and possibly moving across the street to the building on the corner of Clark Place and 10th. Both options are currently being vetted. We know it seems like there is a lot of talk going on, but believe us, a lot of action is happening too! We’ve had countless meetings with the architects, brokers and landlords. If we are going to be housed in a place for 7 years or more, we need to make sure it’s the right place for all of us and that simply takes time to figure out.

Could we please get a second recycling container for plastic? The one that we currently have is always overflowing and looks like a mess! Also, if we had a can crusher we could fit more aluminum cans in that container.

Yes! Angie is looking into this. Stay tuned.

Speaking of the breakroom, I would just like to put out a friendly reminder, if you spill ice on the floor please pick it up. It’s a safety concern to see all of the little piles of water on the breakroom floor.

Thank you.

Has there been recent contact with any firms that might want to join the cj family?

Scott Trost, our Senior Strategic Analyst, has been tasked with finding six new cj clients in 2010. He will be utilizing two main sources to do this: The Trost Report, and any new leads from general inquiries that come through our website. We all look forward to hearing more on his progress in the months ahead.

September 2009

Morale Average – 8.19

Total Number of Participants – 50


I love this team!

Thanks! We love it too!

Feeling good feeling great. HOW ARE YOU? (I’m not a weirdo, that’s a song)

We’re feeling good too!

I think we need to institute Cameron Herold’s rule of always ending meetings 5 minutes early to stop other meetings from starting late.

It may be of interest to know that it took 11 minutes to come up with this response, so here goes! While it’s fairly easy to come up with ideas like this, they can be hard to execute. We went back and forth wondering if it was better to start the meeting later or finish it earlier or simply to focus on having shorter, more efficient meetings. At the end of the day, it should be up to the attendees to hold the organizer accountable. Make that decision at the start of the meeting and move forward. Be respectful of each other’s time and adhere to the following rule: “No agenda, no attenda!”

Great conference! Very impressed and proud to be a part of it!

Good to hear!

Conference was exhausting but invigorating, as always.

As always, so true!

Conference was awesome and Cameron Herold was a great speaker this year!

Thanks! And agreed about Cameron.

Cameron was the perfect pick for this year’s conference speaker! As an agency, I hope we continue to build a strong relationship with him. His energy is ridiculously contagious!

See above feedback note!

Great to see the conference go off so well. It seems to have provided a lot of momentum and banded us together. Kudos to everyone for a job well done!

Thanks for your hard work too!

Conference was great – loved the cohesive look!


I think there may be a little post-conference burn out with some people (totally understandable though!)

It is definitely understandable. Hopefully, we were all able to blow off some steam and alleviate that a bit at the cj party last week!

So according to Cameron Herold, we need fantastic office chairs for better productivity. I couldn’t agree more!

I would like to say that the conference was awesome. I think it’s the best one yet. Can we have Cameron speak every year? I agree with him about a lot of things, especially the desk chairs!

Can we follow up on what Cameron talked about regarding the chairs that employees sit in? I know that cj is about to move or get a face lift in Cummins Station, so I’m not asking for new/better supporting chairs right away, but having a high quality chair would make my life so much better! Please consider the new chairs for us!

Better chairs would rock!

The response to all four of the above comments is that we hear you! Suffice to say that this is on our radar and we are considering the options. Whatever we do, however, will be a part of our move/office improvement and will not happen any sooner than that, so bear with us while we figure it all out.

What happened to the Jolly Ranchers? They are way better than the Life Savers.

Arnie seemed to think that there was a large caloric difference between the two candies, which is why we made the change, but no, that’s not the reason. Apparently, we were buying Jolly Ranchers from a different vendor and not getting any kind of price break as compared with the discounts we get through American Paper & Twine (our office supply company). Unfortunately, APT just doesn’t sell good Jolly Ranchers, so we went back to Life Savers. We may have to do a survey to see just how much everyone likes the Jolly Ranchers and take a view from there! But then again, come on, it’s free candy, people!

I’ll give a 10 for the first time when we are selected Best Place to Work in Nashville! Can’t wait!

Win or lose, we will keep heading in the right direction!

cj is a family friendly place and I like the fact that there is flexibility with FMLA to take care of our families in certain circumstances. That being said, just because we are family friendly doesn’t mean that sick kids should be brought to work. Even if you have your own office and don’t interact with a lot of people, we don’t need the sickness. I guess this is just a friendly reminder with flu season coming up. Stay home if you or your kid is sick!

See note below.

I just want to remind everyone that if they are sick PLEASE STAY HOME! Also, if your child is sick, please do NOT bring them to work. These simple things will not only help keep the morale up, but also everybody’s immunity. Speaking of immunity, thank you for offering to pay for the flu shots for cj employees.

You’re welcome.

The topic in the above two comments actually came up in one of our surveys last year, so we thank you for bringing it to our attention again. cj loves kids, and welcomes all kids into the office, when necessary. We trust that parents typically make the right call about bringing their kids into work if they are sick. Please also use your best judgment if you are sick, so as not to spread the germs.

Please remember that the front office doors are unlocked at 8am until 6pm. Outside of those hours, you need to always have your key with you. Thanks!

Thanks for the reminder!

Any updates on our future office?

Yep! Lots of them. But they change daily. We should learn something by the end of the month. Stay tuned.

August 2009

Morale Average – 8.14

Total Number of Participants – 52


Feeling the goal/conference crunch, but it seems like I’ve seen so many cj-ers pitch in and help out their neighbors and co-workers even with their own heavy workloads to worry about. Way to exude “Team-Driven Culture” cj!! I’m proud to work here.

We’re really glad to hear it!

So I don’t usually give a score quite this high, but the past month has been great. I’ve been very impressed with how the agency as a whole has been teaming up to prepare for the conference; even though it’s extra work, everyone has been putting in the necessary time to make this event as excellent as we can. Spirits are also high in the wake of the Tomato 5K. After all the hard work put into the race, it was great to see the event turn out so well and raise so much money for a worthy cause, and I think the race also served as a morale booster for us. It’s great to know that our quest to be excellent isn’t limited to our immediate clients, but that we put everything we can into all the different projects we touch.

We agree. Glad you’re feeling good about it all. We are too!

Glad we continue to grow! Very exciting!

Yes, it is! We’re excited too.

Words cannot express my thanks to cj, but I will try. I wanted to give a BIG shout out to cj for being such a family friendly place to work! I’m sure that everyone knows that the federal government requires employers to provide FMLA, but people don’t realize that the government doesn’t require this time off to be paid. cj (with a small amount of restrictions) provides paid FMLA. Paid FMLA is unheard of in today’s business practices and I wanted to commend cj for having this in their policies. When I told people that the company I worked for had this policy I would get the response of “You’re so lucky!” I believe that I am more than “lucky” to work at cj, I am blessed! Thank you again for not only caring for us at work, but for caring for us outside of work!

Thank YOU! We want cj to be a place where people are proud to work, and this is just one of the things we are proud to be able to give back to our employees.

Ahhh – overwhelmed!

Hang in there. Just 23 days to go. We really appreciate what you’re doing

What happened to the email we used to get before the refrigerator gets cleaned out? It was really nice to know so I could check to make sure all my food had my name and a date. Once, I had a bag of food that got thrown out that I know I put my name and date on. The sticky note might have gotten knocked off or whatever, but if I knew when the refrigerator was going to be cleaned out, I would have checked again to make sure it was still on there. I know there is a message on the front of the refrigerator, but that’s just not the same. Could we go back to the email?

The problem with sending out an email is that people tend to rely on it and forget to keep themselves accountable in between cleanings. Let’s try the current system for a little while longer and see how it goes.

In designing the next space we move (or stay put) to, please take into account how much we stare at computers when we do lighting design. My eyes are requiring regular breaks these days because of the brightness of the office.

Our discussions with the architects included lighting design right at the outset. We are looking at a plan that involves lights that compensate for the natural light in the office so that there is always a balance – the lights would be controlled by sensors. We hear you, but rest assured that this is already accounted for and a plan is in the works!

Have we thought about looking into a new postage machine? This one just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Mark is going to look into this. The lease on that machine will be up soon, so we will have an opportunity to look into the options for upgrading at that time. Also, we are hoping that wherever our new space is, we may be able to have a more user-friendly mailroom. Either way, we’re on it.

I appreciate cj sprucing up the place, but is it possible for the painting to take place after hours or on the weekend?

We have to work with the painters’ (and Mark’s) schedules. Generally speaking, if the painters are going to be spending a lot of time painting, we try to schedule that outside regular work hours. This last instance was just a quick touch-up. We didn’t realize that the smell would be so strong. We will be more cognizant of it in future. Thanks for letting us know.

July 2009

Morale Average – 8.13

Total Number of Participants – 42


This place is awesome! Thank you for making cj such a great place to work!

Right back at you! Thank you for helping make cj a great place to work.

All is well!

That’s good to hear!

LOVE THIS PLACE! Smiles around every corner. We have something really special here.

That’s for sure!

As a new employee here, I love it. This is a warm, professional, check-your-ego-at-the-door environment. I am very impressed with the team and glad to be here.

Thanks! We’re glad you’re here.

Why don’t we get the One Shot anymore? I really enjoyed getting them. I feel left out of the loop! Can we at least get a PDF attachment when they go out?

Don’t feel like you’re out of the loop! We have increased the frequency of the One Shot to focus on servicing our clients, and decreased the frequency of Camel Lites (temporarily). The One Shot is sent out to clients six times a year. Our internal newsletter, Camel Lites, is produced 4 times a year. Up until now, cj employees have only been receiving a printed copy of the Camel Lites, but now all cj-ers will also receive a copy of the One Shot! Look out for the next copy to hit your mailboxes this month. Incidentally, if you are not receiving the e-One shots in your Inbox, just let Dave know and he can add you to the list.

If a camel falls in the desert and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Did a camel fall?

Appointing Chris as COO was brilliant!

Thanks for the feedback!

Can’t wait for the Tomato 5k!

Neither can we.

With the tomato stew boiling down and the conference about to take off, this number would normally be much lower. BUT people around cj have really been putting in the effort to boost morale and give credit where credit is due. Awesome job, camels!

Go, Camels!

I just want to use this as a quick reminder about the front lobby. Please don’t use the front lobby as your personal lobby. If you need to make a phone call, just step outside in the hallway. And please don’t use the front lobby as another conference room. If you need to have a meeting with someone, please use your office or one of the conference rooms.

Thank you for this reminder. Let this be a reminder to us all to respect the lobby as you would anyone else’s work space.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered a problem at the fax machine. I went up there looking for a fax that was important, and it was mixed in with a huge stack of papers sitting on top of the copying machine. Isn’t it EVERYONE’S responsibility here to put faxes in appropriate boxes so we can keep it neat and keep other faxes from getting lost? No need to sit the faxes on top of the copying machine thinking that the front desk girls are going to pick up behind you. Also, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve found things at the printer that has nothing to do with work here at cj or LIP. Printing off personal budgets, recipes, job postings (why someone would do that on the clock at their full time job), etc. Wasting company time, paper, and ink – Not cool.

Thank you for your concern and for bringing our attention to this. Yes, it is everyone’s responsibility to at least be a good neighbor. If you see a fax or a printout that belongs to someone else, just put it in their box. It’s worth noting that everyone can have faxes sent directly to their computers just by using their phone number as a fax number. This may help alleviate some of the printouts at the machine. As far as the personal use is concerned, unfortunately, it’s very difficult for us to monitor that. We have to expect that this will happen to a certain extent, and we trust employees to use their discretion and not take advantage. Everything in moderation.

We need a new toaster oven or toaster. The door doesn’t shut on it so it takes forever to heat up. If it had two racks so that two people could use it that would be terrific.

Say no more. Mark is on it!

Would it be possible to get a new toaster oven that has a door that stays shut?

See above response.

June 2009

Morale Average – 7.64

Total Number of Participants – 44


Camels rule.

Yes, they do!

What exactly is MedView? Is it part of cj? Or is it a sister company? What is it?

MedView is a start-up company that cj is supporting – very similar to what LiP was in late 1999 and early 2000. MedView is still in its initial phases, but once it’s up and running, MVS will repay cj for all out-of-pocket expenses and its profits will benefit cj by helping the agency offset overhead costs.

Can someone explain what exactly MedView is? Just curious about what they are up to since we share a workspace and all.

See above. Thanks for your curiosity!

I miss having longer, lunch staff meetings occasionally. I think they were great for team building across departments.

The space that we used to have these in is no longer available to us, so it makes it a bit difficult right now. We are hoping to be able to do this in our new space though. Thanks for remembering the good times – Arnie remembers his singing quite well.

It’s summer and I’m thankful for the air conditioning turned on full blast!

So are we!

Thanks for the additional ice machine! Small things really do go a long way (although I realize the machine itself is neither small nor cheap). It was very “cool” of cj to do this.

You’re welcome! Thanks to all of you for mentioning it and getting the ball rolling.

Anything we can do about the overflowing trash cans?

The trash cans do seem to be filling up quite quickly these days. We sent a memo out in an earlier survey asking that if you see one of the trash cans overflowing, to please switch it over with the other one in the Break Room. The back trash tends to get less traffic. If, however, you are disposing of large items, please take the item to the Trash room instead of putting it into the trash can in the Break Room or stacking it on top. Please help us out and do your part to keep it as clean as possible. The trash room keys are at the front desk or over by Chuck’s desk if you’re in Suite 511. Thanks!

Thanks for the ice. Now we need to work on more tables in there!

We agree. However, we don’t want to buy any new furniture right now since we are still waiting to find out what our new space will look like and what our needs are. Bear with us – the Break Room is going to be great once it’s done.

I do not understand why Mark conducts reviews when he is not in my day to day activities nor thoroughly understands my job duties.

The Director of Operations’ responsibility is the recruiting, training and motivating of all agency and Oasis employees. As the Director of Operations, Mark conducts all reviews for his direct reports and typically participates in all annual reviews for cj and Oasis employees conducted by the Department Heads.

I believe answering your phone calls are a part of Uncompromising Service and a lot of people are slacking in this. I know it’s really easy to just let your phone calls go to your voicemail, but this is really rude to our vendors, clients etc. I don’t understand why some people don’t answer their phones just because they don’t want to (not because they are away from their desk or busy, both are understandable). But after calling someone and tracking them down, to find they are just sitting at their desk is really frustrating. Even if you don’t have the information to give them, communicate that to them instead of ignoring them. This is not towards everyone. Some people do a great job. But I’ve just noticed that a lot of people are getting careless in this area.

Thank you for recognizing one of our core values and for reminding us to uphold that value. We understand the issue and there are several thoughts as to how to respond. In some cases, it may seem reasonable to let a call go, but in others, you do a disservice to the people calling. There is a team of people that calls roll over to if the first person does not pick up. We are going to ask Angie, Rachel and that rollover team, to come up with a solution that works for everyone. Mark will be setting this up.

I am utterly shocked and disappointed in the firing of L Moore. She is one of the best HR people I have ever worked with, and probably the best cj ever had too. She was really great – I feel like I could come to talk to her about ANYTHING and she would respect my privacy, wellbeing and anonymity. I understand that we are structured differently, but from an employee point of view, it is a little questionable sometimes. Saying this, I’m concerned why we can’t keep GOOD and LEGIT HR people in here (people with ACTUAL HR degrees and KNOW how to interact with people.) I think that sometimes cj gets stuck in policy and procedures that we’ve made specifically for our agency, that any suggestions from other professionals and their experiences are looked at as “stirring the pot”. Has cj thought about restructuring the HR department? I know we did a bit when Lisa came on board; but even further so when we rehire for this position? I hope that as we search for a new HR director, that we find someone as great as Lisa and someone who can be a little more involved on the cj side.

You are absolutely right about Lisa’s qualities – we will all miss those. We are, however, a unique organization, made up of several different companies. We realize that it is challenging to oversee over 120 employees in three separate companies plus Oasis, but we are looking for a very specific person to meet those needs. As the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Chris Stovall will put forth maximum effort to ensure that we find someone who has the exact skills needed to fulfill that role.

The recent terminations of some people in this office have let me uneasy. While I understand it’s none of my business why they were let go, it seems to me it’s all been rather secretive lately. Again, I’m not saying we need a detailed list of what happened, but when someone is fired for no apparent reason (at least not to me), then I question what really is going on.

We appreciate that it is hard hearing about an employee’s termination, however, no one has ever been terminated at cj for no apparent reason. There is a difference between being secretive and handling a matter in a confidential manner. Decisions like this are never made lightly and are always handled with the full support of the Leadership team. We hope that you can trust your Leadership team to make decisions in the best interest of the agency at all times.

May 2009

Morale Average – 7.97

Total Number of Participants – 44


There is a lot going on right now, but I feel totally and completely supported by my Department!

We’re glad to hear it!

Mario Karter – Who else does that?! Just cj.

That’s right!

I’m not sure how it could get any better, but I’ll save the 10 just in case it does!

Sounds fair to us. Thanks!

I have been encouraged with positivity since Day 1 – it’s very motivating!

That’s what we like to hear!


That’s good, right?

All is well!

Great news!

Over a year here and still loving it!


I think we need a petting zoo.

Try visiting The Nashville Zoo! They even have camels there.

I’m almost done with reading the Dream Manager book and I was just wondering if cj is thinking about possibly hiring a dream manager in the future? I love the book and it’s made me really think about my goals and priorities in life.

The Leadership group is currently conducting a 90-day pilot test of a Dream Manager program, based on the book you mentioned, Dream Manager, by Matthew Kelly. We will use these test groups to determine how best to apply those concepts to our culture here at cj. We wrap up in July and will keep you posted. If you have questions, feel free to ask our in-house experts, Marci or Autumn.

Since we are growing at such a fast rate, we need a second ice maker. We seem to be running out of ice most afternoons even though it’s supposed to be making double the ice. One ice maker just isn’t enough for all of cj and LiP.

Ice, Ice Baby! We need more ice. Why does the machine run out so often? Well, I guess I know the answer to that question: we use it. Is cj looking into getting a bigger ice maker since we continue to grow?

I wish we didn’t run out of ice in the afternoon.

Need more ice! It’s very cold!

A larger ice maker would be nice. Every afternoon we run out of ice.

The ice machine is affecting my morale. Other than that, I appreciate working at cj very much.

Wow! Six comments about the ice machine?! Jimmy, did you put the Production team up to this?! Seriously, we hear what you are saying and we are on it!

The walk between suites is really getting old. Can we get a moving sidewalk in the hall?

Some of us look at it as exercise, since that’s about the only exercise we get. Why not add some weights and get a real workout?

I have heard about some companies offering 1-2 days off per year to do volunteer work. I think this would be a great idea for us.

We do believe in volunteerism, and our company initiative is Camels With A Cause, which we are fully committed to. We are always looking for people to champion a cause for CWAC, and if you would like to take that on, please talk to Mark. We offer a lot of ways to get involved in the community throughout the year, and we encourage you to use your personal/vacation days in whatever way you wish.

April 2009

Morale Average – 7.91

Total Number of Participants – 34


Thanks for Good Friday off!

You’re welcome.

Thanks for going green (recycling).


I’ve seen a lot of random acts of kindness this week among cj-ers! I like it!

We do, too! Thanks to the FiSH! team for inspiring us with their Thank You notes.

“I like of the job to do.” – Sven.

News great that is. You thank.

Still higher than ever. As usual, I continue to be impressed with all the enthusiasm and pride the cj staff come in with every day!

That’s great to hear!

I am thankful to be part of such a great organization. I appreciate the efforts Leadership makes to continually improve our workspace. Thanks!

Thank you!

I’m still disappointed that food consistently turns up missing from the refrigerators. What can we do to help get this problem resolved?

This comment stimulated a lot of discussion among the Leadership Team, some of whom have experienced this themselves. We recognize that this is a global problem and that it has been an issue in the past. HR is going to send a communication to employees at all companies emphasizing that taking food that is not yours is considered theft and will be treated as such, resulting in possible termination. Stay tuned for the official response from HR. We hope this works this time.

I enjoy working at cj a lot, and I feel bad about complaining, but it’s a real bummer when I come in and realize that someone from the night before ate the food that I wanted to eat for lunch that day. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m on a budget and I can’t exactly fit it into my budget to feed an extra mouth plus go out to eat when my lunch is missing. LIP managers get mad when we point our fingers at their employees, but I don’t think cj people are here munching on a lean cuisine or a turkey sandwich overnight.

Please see response above. Thank you for bringing it to our attention again. This definitely needs to get resolved, and we will do all we can to make sure it does this time.

I think people are smoking in the bathrooms overnight/early mornings. GROSS.

Thank you for letting us know. Besides being “gross,” smoking in the bathrooms is illegal in Tennessee. Mark is going to talk to building management about it to be sure that they are on the lookout for offenders. The building policy reflects the Tennessee State Law. Again, HR will address this issue and send a communication to all employees emphasizing the fact that this will not be tolerated at any level and could result in termination.

Too many department goals ending at the same time for every department at once. What’s the point of a 4-month goal if you’re going to wait until the last minute to start?

Thank you for this comment! Although it is the Department Head’s responsibility to ensure that all goals are met, it is everyone’s responsibility to take the initiative to ensure that goals are started in good time and being fulfilled throughout the period. After all, we are each receiving a bonus, so we must all be held accountable. There’s always going to be a certain amount of stress that comes with meeting deadlines, but goals are there to challenge you. They should not be easy to achieve. However, there does need to be better communication across departments so that people aren’t relying on others to achieve their own goals, and waiting until the last minute to request something. Setting individual deadlines for each of your goals at the outset would be a good solution.

cj is going through some more growing pains with recent departures, but it’s good to see departments coming together!

The only thing that’s constant is change!

Instead of our working hours being centered around a 1 hour lunch break, can we have the option of a 30 minute lunch? So, instead of working 8:00-5:00, work 8:00-4:30? Just a thought. I rarely see anyone take a full hour lunch anyway.

A one-hour lunch break is part of our company policy. That’s what we’ve chosen to work with, as it makes the most sense for departments. We hope you can make this work for you.

March 2009

Morale Average – 7.95

Total Number of Participants – 48


I find it difficult at times, to adequately explain to outsiders how awesome cj is. You just can’t list all the little things that make the whole package work so well. Thanks for making all my friends constantly jealous.

If you’re having trouble, there’s a list outside Tami’s office that reminds us all what makes cj unique. You can add to it too! Thanks for the feedback – we’re so glad you feel that way.

We keep rolling on with the roll on! Still a blast to work here.


Morale seems very high in all departments! Everyone sustains good attitudes towards fellow employees and their jobs at cj alike. I continue to be impressed by the dedication and spirit that comes from all of the cj team.

That’s so good to hear!

Not sure how the pink/purple wall up front looks, especially with the yellow columns.

We agree. We’re going to have them repainted in a deeper shade of purple. We matched the paint with the paint in the Book Club alcove, but it looks more pink than we would have liked. Apparently, the finished color can change depending on what you’re painting. Also, the yellow columns do stand out more now, so we are going to have those painted white. We hope you like it!

I appreciate the emails that we get from Angie and Rachel about the refrigerator clean out. My question is this, why we don’t receive an email from LIP about the 2nd refrigerator being cleaned out? That would be nice. (Angie and Rachel send the email to the LIP managers.)

Lisa is going to take care of this and make sure that cj is copied on emails that LIP sends out regarding the refrigerator. Thank you for letting us know.

The new book club area looks great! Just another perk for working at cj!

Yes, it does! Thank you, Lauren, for your hard work and dedication in getting this ready for us.

Would it be possible for OASIS to get their own microwave? If not, please state reason.

No, sorry. We already have two microwaves in the break room. We really want to just have one break room for everyone in order to encourage the interaction of employees. We know it can be inconvenient to go all the way down to the kitchen and carry food back, but when we expand (or move) this problem will be eliminated. Thank you for your patience during this time.

I love the new cj Book Club display! Lauren did a phenomenal job leading the charge and the end product is great. Well done!

Yes, she did. Thanks again, Lauren. You rock!

The West Wing looks a little pale. Don’t you think we could get a little color too? I understand if you don’t want to paint the walls just to paint the walls.

We are currently in a state of flux with our lease. We should know more about our future lease options in a few months. We realize we just painted a couple of walls, but they were in very public areas and looking rough. Bear with us. We will know more soon and keep you posted!

There is not enough time to get all the work done.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, please talk to someone who can help you get unstuck. Whether it’s your department head or your immediate manager, please don’t feel as if you have to go through it alone. We will do all we can to help you.

The “bracket challenge” has been fun. Thank you Wes and Byron for all of your work!

Agreed! Thanks guys!

I have a job and $149. I’m going to Carnival Kia! (Advertising works) Oh, and thanks for my job.

“Don’t you leave, ‘til you see me!”

O’Doyle rules.

Really? Ok.

I am wondering why M Scrivnertill leads some reviews while Lisa has started doing others? Shouldn’t everyone get reviewed by the same process? How come the HR director doesn’t perform reviews for all? Are we eventually going to transfer that responsibility of hiring, firing, and reviewing to the HR director? I’m still a bit confused.

Lisa is, officially, an Oasis employee and, as such, her responsibility is to handle reviews for all Oasis staff. Mark is a cj employee and, therefore, handles all cj reviews via Department Heads. In addition, Mark has the responsibility of hiring and terminating agency employees. Lisa’s responsibility is to deal with the benefits, orientation and paperwork associated with hiring and terminating employees. This division of duties is by design and there are no plans for changing it at this time.

Ready to raise some serious dough for the Arthritis Foundation! I love that cj gives us the opportunity to help our communities. It always feels good to be part of an organization that takes the time to help those that need it the most. Very rewarding experience!

Thanks to Mark, Dave and Jason for paving the way. Every cause needs a champion and without those champions, there is no Camels With a Cause.

I would like to see an option to fill these out online, but keep the option to fill out on paper as well. That way those who wish to remain completely anonymous with their comments may do so, and those who would rather click a few buttons have that choice.

We are going to stick with the paper system. If you don’t want to contribute via paper, just email Karen your response.

cj’s #1 Core Value is Integrity, and in many areas, it’s a strength. However, part of integrity is related to open, direct communication, and in this area, again, unfortunately the agency is failing as a whole. I, for one, was very hopeful that when Leadership came back from the retreat in January that things would really change, and that we would see real improvements in this area. For about a month and a half, we did. Somewhere at the beginning of March, it kind of fell apart again, and the direct communication that we so desperately need in order to grow turned back into closed door meetings, whisperings in the break room and reluctance of employees to speak up when they disagree with something. This is certainly not Leadership’s fault, and it would be unfair to point the finger at any one person. But it IS Leadership’s responsibility to LEAD and to set the example, and that has failed of late. This follows an unfortunate pattern where Leadership tends to jump on a specific hot button item and work on it for a period of time, only to forget about it after it’s no longer hot, and I would challenge them to focus on a specific issue with their team and fix it before moving on to the next item on the agenda. As an agency, all of us have to do better in communicating directly about things. We have to make sure that NO ONE feels that they can’t communicate concerns or ideas. It’s the only way that we will grow and meet our BHAG. I further challenge all of you to stand up for what you feel is right, and have some integrity in yourself and who you are. If you can’t practice Integrity First in yourself, how can we do it as an agency?

Thank you for this comment. You are right in pointing out that it’s everyone’s responsibility to communicate directly and to maintain integrity first. To achieve the culture of direct communication that we desire, it will be an ongoing process. If there is a specific issue or situation in which you’ve seen a breakdown in communication or integrity, we encourage you to pick someone on the Leadership Team to talk to so that the issue can be resolved. We want to know. It’s important for all of us to understand what is meant by “direct communication”. In our culture, it means holding each other professionally accountable for decisions. It applies to everyone, not just Leadership. It is not, however, meant to be an open opportunity for people to speak their minds about how they feel about or how they perceive others. It’s important to recognize that there are times when confidentiality must be respected as well. We have to trust each other to determine the proper time for being direct and for being discreet.

February 2009

Morale Average – 8.11

Total Number of Participants – 51


There seems to be a buzz in the air – not sure what’s causing it, but I like it. Almost everyone seems more positive and more committed to the job and the future. Whatever the secret potion is, keep it coming!

We love to hear this. We can feel it too – it’s great.

It’s been a great month at cj. Everyone has pitched in to help get projects more accurately accomplished. Shout out to Michele in Print for getting us in alignment!

cj & Michele both rock!

Thanks for making my first week so enjoyable. I’m looking forward to working with everyone.

We are so glad you’re with us!


Holler back!

I hope we win Top Small Places to work in 2009! I think we deserve it.

So do we.

The panels in the Media Department not only look great, but they are really nice to have! Thanks for that investment in us!

You’re so welcome.

I love Leigh’s suckers! They make my day! I have 6 a day!

They have pills for that, ya know.

All good in the hood.


I love Jolly Ranchers! Thanks for the new addition!

Woo hoo!

I feel like I learn something new every week. And I feel like I contribute something positive every week.

That’s fantastic!

I love the Jolly Ranchers up front!

We love them too.

I think it is great that the morale number has gone up. I can tell a difference in the overall attitude of the agency. However, I do not think it will go much higher than 7.96 when we continue to keep the “black hole” clients. They really have an effect on the morale of the agency. We all know who they are. There is a reason they have been rated so low. It seems that we just add them to a spreadsheet and move on. Why does Leadership bother rating them? What is done with the results?

We are committed to measuring and rating our clients three times a year. Each survey is sent out to the Brand Managers, Department Heads and the Leadership team. The findings of the most recent survey identified two (possibly three) black hole clients and we do have a plan of action in place to either move them off the playing field or improve them as a client sooner rather than later. This is not something that can happen quickly, but please know that there is a plan and it is in the works.

One of the morale comments involved concerns regarding the IT HelpDesk and the efficiency of the process, so the IT team has provided the following response:

Our HelpDesk system is designed to ensure that every issue submitted remains an issue until it is resolved and doesn’t fall through the cracks like a spark, a drive-by conversation or an e-mail could. When IT receives the ticket, it is triaged and assigned to the best available resource to get it resolved as soon as possible. If you feel that you are not getting the service you need, then immediately call the IT hotline at 3800 (internal) 346-3800 (external) or call Shane (2203) or Jason (2228) directly for prompt action. The HelpDesk truly is your friend! Although the IT processes are not perfect, there is a bigger plan that is currently being put into place, but it is an arduous task and our IT team is working diligently to get there. The IT department will talk to us all at the next staff meeting to let us know what’s happening in their world and educate us on how some of their systems work. Also, look for an upcoming issue of Camel Lites for even more details. Stay tuned.

January 2009

Morale Average – 7.96

Total Number of Participants – 46


Once again, a great job by the Leadership Team on putting together our 2009 Strategic Plan! I’m looking forward to seeing how things come together this year!

So are we!

Camels ROCK!

Indeed they do.

Doing great! It’s been great to see us continue to push each other to get better, taking good to great without settling.

We couldn’t agree more.

Ready for the New Year – it’s rewards, it’s challenges, everything!

Bring it!

Read your reply about the employee of the year comment made last month. To imply that cj employees could make copies and submit multiple votes for their selves is basically saying you don’t trust us. Not fully, at least. I thought one of our core values was integrity first? Thanks, cj. Besides, if there are 50 employees, and you get 60 or more ballots, wouldn’t that tell you that something is amiss? Then you could read the “extra” ballots and pretty much determine who would be making multiple copies. It’s not rocket science.

This process is not about duplication, it’s about getting 100% participation for this very important award. You really need to get over this and move on. We have counted and recounted the votes. You did not win! Seriously, If you are still confused by this response and the process involved, please see your department head for a more detailed explanation. We will walk you through this step by step.

Can YP/Production get an XM radio? We’re feeling a little left out music-wise.

Yes, you can. We were not aware that this was a need! Just talk to your department head to make this happen.

Spirits are high.

It feels good, right?!

Unfortunately, there are members of cj’s Leadership Team that I do not trust at this point in time. I feel they may want to have cj’s best interest at heart, but beyond that I feel as though they have their own best interest at heart, and not that of the employees under them. I simply wished that certain members of Leadership would step back and review the entire picture instead of just their portion of the picture as it might help to further cj in the long run.

This comment is, unfortunately, too vague for us to act on. But we do want to share the following facts. Leadership, as a team, absolutely trusts each other. Arnie, as the CEO, absolutely trusts each member of the team. And… while we know we will make mistakes along the way, we are committed to directly and rapidly discussing and holding each other accountable for the same. Fully aware of our mistakes in the past, as a group (and individually), the leadership team is committed to earning and/or maintaining your trust. If you have a specific concern, we encourage you to speak to Arnie directly. His door is always open. Please just check with Karen first!

This is my first “10” rating! I feel like I have the ability and support to explore new ideas and methods, even if they may seem a little off the wall. I really appreciate this attitude of exploration and encouragement!

Thanks for the great feedback.

Just wondering what became of that amazingly awesome “Idea Box” idea some super creative employee wrote down in the November morale survey (see below). You remember, the one where employees have the opportunity to submit ideas that will add, change, or improve processes/services/programs etc. and get paid for them. Is Leadership still considering implementing this idea, or is it off the table? I think it really could be another interesting and positive way to encourage employees to continually think outside the box and push cj to the top of the biz.

This was a tough one. Leadership spent a lot of time revisiting this topic. Thank you for pushing to work it out. In short, we are not going to implement this. You can talk to anyone on leadership for the details, but in the end, the box, payments, who, what, where. We just did not feel the idea was in alignment with who we are as an agency. Our core value of “Creative Enthusiasm” implies that we offer our creative enthusiasm, not for pay, but for the joy of being creative. But, don’t hold back! If you contribute, I am confident that you will be rewarded – maybe not with immediate cash, but certainly with respect and kudos from your teammates.

I read recently that the things employees are most interested in (in the workplace) is recognition and feeling valuable. cj does a great job of both. On that note, I love working here and don’t want to lose my job. I know I am an outsider looking in, but when it comes to the firing of people, it seems to me there is no warning, that it comes from nowhere. If I am doing something wrong as an employee, I definitely want to know.

In the last two years, no one has been terminated who was not fully aware of their shortcomings and issues surrounding that termination, regardless of what they say.

I love the FiSH! stick idea for the employee of the month. Very creative!


Direct communication can only help. Let’s make sure to follow through on it!

Thank you for the reminder. It’s each person’s job to hold everyone accountable for direct communication, so let’s work together on this.

I really liked Cameron who came and spoke to us the other week. I would love to see/hear him be our speaker at this year’s conference!

We are seriously considering Cameron as a speaker at our conference.

December 2008

Morale Average – 7.27

Total Number of Participants – 26


I love cj.


I have been critical of cj in the past on a number of things, but I also like to consider myself a fair person; hence the following: 1. In the grand scheme of things we have it pretty darn good here at cj. I speak from experience and I’ve been here long enough (more than most) to adequately judge the powers-that-be here as well. 2. Trust me when I say… there are plenty of “crap jobs”, dead-end jobs; jobs with no hope of growth or enhancement – jobs where you are literally another number; jobs where you must be back in your seat from a bathroom break; jobs where you are supervised by someone with a back-woods education and squeezed ahead of you through the good ole boy network and so on. 3. One of the biggest criticisms about cj is that over the years it has gone “corporate”. I used to think this, but not any longer. Define corporate and then come back to me. If cj is “corporate” then they have had to become “corporate” out of sheer necessity. Put yourself in the owner’s shoes (forget Leadership for a moment): Now, what would you do if you wanted to grow your business? If you did not want to settle and rest on your current laurels? Well, would you have to hire more people; the right people; allocate salaries the best way you could to TRY and make everyone happy (which, admit it, is impossible – especially with more people!), to maintain a roof over the workforce, keep insurances, licenses in place, etc. 4. And with more people comes the demand for more structure, more processes to keep everything together or the wheel spins off the track. 5. With more staff and demands comes the need for an outlet of business and personal resources – and maybe a place to air out laundry if you’re not comfortable speaking with the actual man that signs your check. Human Resources. 5. And so on, and so on – not to mention the obvious call to physically expand and work in more cramped-like spaces that you may not be used to. What’s the alternative? Look around long enough and you’ll soon find a connection to someone that has plenty of space: Home, because they are now jobless. 6. Make no mistake about it: We are indeed in a recession and it’s real. And what is cj doing? Growing. Not only that, but they are actively in the hunt to grow. It’s not luck, Arnie is actively searching and locking down clientsâ€Â”finding different ways along with his team on growing revenue, growing the agency and with that comes more revenue for everyone involved. You want the owners of cj to make more money, you want a better opportunity to get an annual raise and period bonuses AND the Christmas bonus. We all complain and moan about the period bonuses, but we tend to forget the nice bonus we’ll all have coming to us in December. And let the record show, they only get larger with your tenure here at cj. 7. Mind you, I am not a member of Leadership, department head; nor, have I been paid off (ha!) by the big 3, but again, I have been critical of cj in the past and it’s only fair to relay what is really good about cj.

Amen, and thank you.

Can’t wait to see what 2009 brings!

Hear, hear! Neither can we.

The Holiday party was fun! I appreciate all of the hard work that was put in for it to be such a huge success!

You’re welcome! Thank you for all your hard work too!

The Holiday bonus was very generous of cj! (Generous and much appreciated!) In these hard economic times it was a very reassuring gesture of cj. I am glad to know that when cj does well, so do their employees!

As it should be!

Thank you for Christmas Eve off! This day was a great addition to the cj paid holidays!

We enjoyed it too.

Since when is (important in our world at least) voting for an employee of the year not anonymous? Because you want to make sure you get all the votes? I don’t believe that and neither does anyone else. Then why not use the same excuse for these questionnaires? I don’t want anyone, much less “leadership”, to know who I voted for – besides, it’s obviously turned into a popularity contest.

The employee of the year award is voted on non-anonymously to ensure that there is only one vote per person, otherwise people could nominate themselves ten times over, especially with the award as big as it is! Leadership does not, in fact, get to see the results at all. The only people who did in this case were Mark, who tallied the votes, and Karen who double-checked the numbers for accuracy. Anyone nominating someone for Employee of the Year should take that responsibility very seriously and be happy with their reasons for doing so.

Have you thought about an online poll, where all people have to do is click a few buttons? People tend to be lazy and that might make it easier to get 100% participation. You could also have a section for comments.

We have thought about doing an online poll, but the anonymity aspect would be lost if we pursued that system. Looking at all the factors, we believe that this is the best approach for our purposes.

This number changed (went down) due to the recent news. I understand that things happen and people leave and that, “decisions are made in the best interest of everyone involved”. But it is quite a shame that the “best interest” is taking away someone who really did/does brighten people’s day AND made some profit out of print for the company with the programs that he dreamed up.

We agree. It is a shame. We hate losing people. It feels like losing a good friend. But we have to put the agency first and listen to what our customers are saying. It’s never easy to make a decision like this, but we feel that, ultimately, this decision was truly in the best interest of the agency and everyone concerned.

You know, cj is a place that I love working for. It’s just unfortunate that there are a few bad apples here that can drag the morale down for others. I think if you aren’t happy here, find another job, or better yet, stop making others pay for the fact that you are so unhappy.

It is a shame that there are people who appear to be unhappy here and unfortunately you can’t do much to change their attitude. You can, however, change your response to it. Simply take it upon yourself to confront the person and let them know you don’t want to hear negative comments. Make that person aware that that kind of talk bothers you and perhaps their attitude will change. If that doesn’t work, talk to your manager or your department head. You shouldn’t have to tolerate hearing negativity constantly.

What’s up with the birthdays? Some have lunches – some have cakes. Some don’t get anything for goodness’ sakes!

cj LOVES birthdays! We just don’t want to favor one person over another or stop the cj wheels from turning by bringing in birthday cakes and/or decorations! So… our policy is that any time a cj employee has a birthday they receive a $50 AMEX gift card in the mail – that is a birthday gift from cj! Spouses also receive a $50 AMEX gift card on their birthday and even the employee’s children join in the celebration and receive a $25 AMEX gift card on their birthdays. The huddles that are sent out daily report any employee birthdays that day so that the whole company is informed and can wish the employee well.

I personally think both the Leadership Team and Department Heads should be recognized for all the hard work they put in, above and beyond their normal daily duties. Yeah, yeah, I know this comes with the territory, but every now and then they deserve some recognition! 1. If one truly stops to think, it is because of them that so many great ideas take shape – sure they might be someone else’s ideas, but because of them, these ideas get put into place – they ultimately help bring great ideas to life. 2. It truly is inspiring to sit in a meeting and realize all the amazing things we do as an agency – especially, if you stop to think that somewhere along the way, things were being done differently – now, because of great minds, hard work and a little extra effort on the part of so many, we are doing awesome work – more efficiently with better creativity! 3. Here’s a big “Great job” to all of Leadership and the Department Heads for continually striving to make cj a wonderful place to work. And thanks for bringing ideas to life i.e. making things happen.

YAY! Thank you.

I feel that each employee review should include people we work with rather than people we just work next to.

Our policy is that your department head selects your peers who will participate in your review based on their knowledge of your work flow and interactions with colleagues. If, however, you feel that you are not the right person to contribute to someone’s review, simply let the department head know and they will make the changes as they see fit.

Within a department, one’s review panel should consist of those one works with consistently – those who can actually review the person’s work quality, consistency, style & ethic, etc. In addition, we work with many other departments on a regular basis – particularly certain brand managers – who potentially know more about the quality and consistency of our work than many people in our own department.

See response above.

I believe that it should be mandatory for someone from each department to be here during the holiday times (example Dec. 26th and Dec. 31st). It is really hard to work when the people that you needed weren’t available.

Some people think that this is the best time to come into the office! Seriously though, it is up to the department head to manage this to the best of their ability. A lot of times, if someone is not in the office, they are still available via phone or at least have provided direction regarding their absence ahead of time or via their out-of-office tool. No change in this policy is expected at this time.

I think when over half the office is out, we should close. Those that came into work couldn’t finish/complete anything because too many people were out. (Dec. 26)

Please see above response for feedback.

Would it be possible to get the server more organized? As of now, it is very hard to navigate.

We couldn’t agree more! In it’s last assessment of our technology use and infrastructure, IT identified major issues with our server storage and directory usage. This was noted as one of the major infrastructure changes needed in their 18 month plan. As part of the remedy to this situation we made a large investment in new SAN/NAS technology late last year. Implementing the SAN is a slow and laborious task but IT has commenced the project. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of P1 and part of that project is to reorganize the directory layouts in a much more efficient and secure manner. Stay tuned.

November 2008

Morale Average – 7.71

Total Number of Participants – 42


Everyone has a great attitude and lots of positive energy – kudos to the front desk ladies – they always have a smile on their faces – ALWAYS.

Agreed! YAY for happy employees!

I have appreciated the work environment and overall employee care at cj and this is to date my best working experience.

That’s great news – thank you!

During this holiday season, I’ve begun to realize just how fortunate I am to work at a place like cj. Not only do I have a job (unlike some people that I know) I have a great job. I just wanted to say thanks to cj, not only for the opportunity to have a place to work but for going above and beyond to make the agency as enjoyable as possible. There are many things I’m thankful for, and cj – you’re on the list!

Thank you!

Daily challenges – daily successes!


Still really happy – can’t fault a thing yet!

Great news!

Overwhelmed this month.

Amen. Again!

I’d like to take this moment to remind everyone to stay at home when you’re sick and leave your kids at home when they are sick as well. Nobody is important enough that they can’t miss a day of work when they are sick. With the flu season coming up, I hope people take it seriously this year and stay at home! If being here is that important, get a flu shot!

We encourage everyone to use their best judgment if coming into work sick or bringing a sick child into the office. cj loves kids, and welcomes all kids into the office when deemed necessary by conditions. Just please use good judgment so as not to spread the germs!

How are department’s new hires determined as a higher priority than other departments needs for a new hire?

cj makes every effort to ensure that each job opening is posted on our website. We can only tackle about two positions at a time and those are prioritized according to discussions among the Leadership and Management teams. Obviously, hiring the right person takes precedence over hiring just anyone. We go through a lengthy process to find the right person and priorities are addressed on an ongoing basis.

The ongoing movement of offices and people is a little unsettling but once we get a final plan I am sure it will be fine.

With growth comes change and, unfortunately (and fortunately) we continue to experience growth and, therefore, a lot of change. At this stage, we can’t guarantee that there is a “final plan”, but we can promise to make any future moves as painless as possible.

Finally, we are hiring! Now if we could get the overcrowded wasted space issues taken care of. Are we sure Facility Planners is the best for cj?

We’ve hired an average of 2 employees per month every month for the last 12 months and we continue to grow – we will be hiring yet another new employee in the new year. As far as the issues with the use of our space are concerned, if you know of a specific area that is either overcrowded or being wasted that could otherwise be better used, please let Mark know. Our Facility Planners come highly recommended and have done some great work for us so far. They provide us with their suggestions and we, in turn, meet with the Department Heads to discuss those plans. We’re confident that Facility Planners is the best vendor for the agency. If, however, you feel there may be a better option, feel free to talk to Mark about it.

I think cj is a great place to work – I would however like to see a little more professionalism when dealing with other co-workers.

Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on this as there are no specific details. We take any and all concerns of this nature seriously, so if you have a specific concern, we encourage you to either talk to your manager or speak to Lisa.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep giving 100% when the same people continually get recognized for their hard work.

We appreciate your comment and sometimes we do need to be reminded of this! The Leadership Team will endeavor to do its part to recognize exceptional performance across the board. It is, however, everyone’s job to recognize achievement at the agency. Nominating someone is easy! Simply tell Mark what the employee did and why you think they should be recognized in accordance with cj’s core values and beliefs and they may well be one of the top ten employees recognized at the next staff meeting. Another option is to just take the time to tell that person that they did a good job. A few words go a long way!

Our team-driven culture is enhanced by the community projects that the agency supports. Thanks for giving us the opportunity and motivation to help others!

cj is incredibly proud of its involvement in Camels with a Cause. We’ve raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and One Love Outreach, among others, and we hope to see you at the Sumner County Arthritis Walk in April! With cj, you’ll never walk alone!

I love the continuous communication between departments!

So do we!

October 2008

Morale Average – 7.55

Total Number of Participants – 47


Would like the ability to decorate work space.

Individual workspace area décor should be managed by each department head, please let yours know your desire so that you can discuss with them what is acceptable / what you would like to do.

What “perks” do you get as a member of Leadership? Are there any extra benefits or investment options not available to others?

1. The ability to help set the direction for the future of cj Advertising. 2. Each participant receives a bonus based on profits of the company to compensate them for their Leadership service.

How come cj doesn’t have the tuition and childcare reimbursement that LIP has? This would be a nice incentive!

Good question and we are glad someone asked! Since the companies are so very different in many areas, there will always be things that need to be different, including some of the benefits. Most benefits are utilized as recruiting and retention tools, and the needs in those areas can vary for each of our companies. As for these two benefits, and why we do not offer them at cj: 1. Educational Reimbursement – We prefer to focus our education benefits/budget on more specific job-related training. cj will probably spend more than $50,000 this year sending employees to training, seminars, classes, etc. that will further their job specific knowledge & skills! Should a cj employee have a job related educational course they wanted to take, it would be considered under this training budget. 2. Child Care – again, given the difference in work environments, cj employees have the luxury and flexibility of bringing children to work on occasion, and childcare reimbursement is a benefit that could only be enjoyed by a few, and we prefer to direct those benefit budget dollars to things that all cj employees can enjoy/take advantage of (i.e. period and year-end bonuses, book club, etc.)

I really appreciate that we have a lot of ways to participate in making cj a great place to work, but I heard an interesting idea from a friend of mine that we might consider adapting to our own agency. Basically, the employees have the opportunity to submit ideas that will add, change, or improve processes/services/programs, etc. and get paid for those ideas. It is determined by the powers that be approximately how “valuable” the suggestion is and if it is implemented, the suggestion maker receives a bonus. By “value” I don’t just mean how much money it will make – the ideas also included new systems, process and methods as well as brand new services and products. For instance, this idea might earn me $500 for boosting morale and offering our staff incentive to constantly think of ways to push the creative envelope at cj Advertising. That’s worth at least $500, right? I mean, it has the potential to produce other serious money-making ideas that’ll bring in the big bucks. Think about it.

Thank you for a very interesting (creative) idea! This topic warrants some further discussion by leadership, stay tuned.

cj has a rather high turnover rate. We have lots of interviews but no new hires. I understand that we have standards; it’s just frustrating that we can’t seem to hire anyone for some jobs that have been open for quite some time. We believe that any turnover is and our goal is to have none. We all know this is unrealistic, but we must aim high.

The primary way we will improve is having a more careful, structured hiring process which does indeed sometimes slow down the finding of that just right candidate, however we would much rather look longer to ensure the right person in the right seat on our bus than to hire someone for a quick “fix”. By the way, we have hired over 20 new staff at cj in 2008!

I feel that cj needs to improve on communication between departments as well as individual employees. It should be encouraged to seek out solutions to problems or challenges that arise, rather than speak about them to parties that are not involved. Let’s choose to solve issues, not dissolve trust.

Amen to that. We could not agree with you more, there is a need for improvement in this area, we’ve got to get better at it. We will continue to strive to make improvements in this arena! Your suggestions/ideas are always welcome.

Everything is so relaxed around here! Even when times are stressful – everyone is smiling and just keeps on working to get the job done!


I love all the little “morale boosts” that cj does. (Halloween candy, FiSH!, book club) – They are small things, but they can really give you a boost when you’re having a tough day.

We do too. FiSH! rocks!

It is going to be holiday season soon, so I look forward to seeing how cj gets in spirit! I think the canned food drive working in teams is going to be a great start!

Yes, us too.

The agency just continues to grow. There’s a lot happening now and in the near future. It’s very exciting, even if it is a little crazy busy. Despite all that’s going on everyone still appears to be happy and at least outwardly relaxed. Space remains a problem but everyone seems to be making the best of it.

Great observations, thanks!

Leigh Griffin’s brownies rule!

Awesome, but not all of us could agree because we did not get to try them (did you eat them all?). Leigh, an encore presentation is in order!

I think moral naturally ebbs and flows. It’s only human nature. But at cj baseline morale seems consistently high, at least from my perspective. And I make it a personal goal to pump up the volume of colleagues’ morale whenever I see the opportunity. It’s the cj way.

Rock on! Please keep on being a “cj way” cheerleader with your colleagues!

Everything still rolling right along in my eyes. Holidays coming up and plenty of company events have happened and are going to happen.

Yup, we can’t wait to see what they are!

I love cj!

Thanks, we do too!

September 2008

Morale Average – 7.77

Total Number of Participants – 45


Morale seems pretty high – maybe it’s due to so many new people (not complaining) – growth is a good thing. I appreciate that nobody in my department complains to me about anything. It sure is refreshing.

It sure is… thanks!

I love cj, but I feel as though we are trying to become more corporate than what works for the employees of this company. It becomes confusing at times. Some aspects of life at cj are very laid back, and others are very corporate. When trying to combine these two styles of working it tends to get troublesome. It is just an idea to think about, but it helps if you pick either a laid back style and stick to it through and through, or a corporate style and stick to that through and through. It tends to get sticky and confusing otherwise. Thanks for hearing my thoughts.

We don’t strive to be corporate and, in fact, take pride in our more casual environment, however if you have particular areas of concern, we would like you to bring them to our attention. Stay tuned & watch for the “You’re so cj, if” & “You’re so corporate if”…” board in the hallway!

My morale is the lowest it’s ever been for a number of reasons. Before you tell me cj isn’t a place for everyone and that I should go work elsewhere, please know that I am actively looking and I know of several others who are as well.

We regret you feel this way and we want to do everything we can to help make you successful in whatever you choose to do, whether it is staying here at cj or not. It is important for us to know, however, what your “number of reasons” are, to explore all potential solutions. We have to ask, have you done everything you can to be the change you want to happen?

(Comment from ex-cj employee) Hope the conference is going well. I wanted to humbly admit that I’ve missed cj, I have found myself thinking I’ve made an unwise move. I keep finding myself saying, “at cj we did this and that…” An employee in the office asked jokingly, “so why leave cj?” – I couldn’t find a good answer that made sense. October Morale Comment: The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. If in the future you guys have a position that would be a good fit – don’t hesitate to call. (Permission was granted from this former cj employee for us to publish these comments)

I appreciate that cj offers so many advantages that other places don’t such as the Wii. I only wish we had more time to utilize these fun things. This doesn’t include all the work for the cj Conference. I just find it hard to find the time for these things anytime, although work means job security. It just seems like it’s offered but can rarely be used.

Our goal is to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable taking a little time now and then to utilize the pressure relief valves available, whether it be the Wii, or taking a walk down the hall or outside, visiting with a co-worker, etc. If you really feel you do not have time to do this, or do not feel comfortable making the time, we would encourage you to talk with your manager about how to adjust your current workload/timelines.

I’m biased since I haven’t been here that long, but compared to other places I’ve worked, cj ranks very highly in my book. I feel like I am very lucky to be working here.

Us too, thanks!

I haven’t been here long but I couldn’t imagine a place being this productive and having a higher morale.


Great work environment. Always getting a “pat on the back” for good work.

Glad to hear it.

I’ve been really impressed with everyone’s attitude and work ethic. cj is like a big family and it’s great to be a part of it.

Rock on brother/sister!

The great coffee put me in the 10’s!

O.K. Arnie, you’re not allowed to answer the morale surveys!

No kilt, please!

Just for that, Arnie says he’s having the hem taken up.

Still a fun and energetic place to work. Actually enjoy getting out of bed and coming to work.

We’re glad you do!

I really enjoy working here, and there are some very kind-hearted, hard-working employees at this office.

Thank you.

I feel good about the way things are going within the agency. The conference went really well. Lots of positive client feedback. It’s really a shame that a few cj employees weren’t there for the whole experience or chose to treat it as a come and go event. You can really learn a lot about the way we do business from the different segments of the conference.

The conference is THE most important thing we do all year and we do expect 100% participation from all cj employees. The dates for next year’s conference are September 24th-26th, 2009.

I think people (cj employees) really pulled together to make the cj Conference a big success. I think we proved we focus on “Team Driven Culture!”

Agreed, thanks.

The conference was a lift. The players were suited up for the game and we came out with a win. I give a 7 for how much time and effort was put into giving our clients a great and productive conference. I took away 3 points for lack of down time that was greatly needed after. I propose a Monday off after conference from now on. The thanks in the email was appreciated greatly – but the stress level continued to soar and ultimately took the wind out of the sail. We owe it to ourselves and to our clients to come back with energy. Even a half day on Monday signifies a reward and encouragement from leadership that we are deserving of that time to recoup. I witnessed folks coming back to a job well done only to be greeted with high stress levels and frustration to the work load ahead. Even the greatest athletes need time to heal and rest. Job well done cj-ers. We should be proud of ourselves.

Thank you, great ideas, and Leadership has determined this will be a priority to discuss for the planning of next year’s conference to find the way(s) to best address this concern.

Because there can always be room for improvement, I’m going with 7. On many days, however, it could easily be a 9 or 10. The conference was outstanding – very impressive. It was a point of huge pride among my fellow workers.


Everyone did a great job of working together and pulling off the conference. Many extra hours were put into this effort – several departments appear to be overworked and understaffed. Payout of bonus seems incredibly small considering.

We recognize that the timing of these two was problematic, and appreciate your letting us know how you feel. Please recognize that the bonus for 2nd period is not directly related to the work put into the conference.

The conference really made me proud to be a part of the cj team. I felt very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful, structured organization!

We could not agree more!

Congratulations on a job well done on cj Conference 2008. Not only does the cj Conference allow us, as an agency, the opportunity to show our clients the collective talents and abilities we are able to offer them, it allows us, as employees, the chance to “bond” – for lack of a better word. I know I had the opportunity to work with people I hadn’t worked with prior to the conference planning time. It made me appreciate them even more than before! In addition, I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with our clients. Putting names to faces, getting to know them and their staff, understanding their personalities, etc. I think all of this together helps us build better working relationships, which ultimately produces better work. I think that at the end of the day, our clients appreciate the cj Conference for the exact same reasons. I am amazed how cj continues to “rock” every month! Thanks for everything.

These comments “rock”, thanks.

Though the conference was a little stressful, the leadership tried their hardest to take as much of the burden off of us as they could and the teamwork displayed during pre-conference preparation was amazing. All in all, the conference was worth all the hard work put forth. Also, I just want to say thanks for the extra personal day. It just goes to show cj does in fact listen to employees’ concerns.

Thank you.

The conference was a lot of work, but it was worth it! I’m really glad that everyone in the agency now gets to attend. It makes it feel so much more like a team environment!

Go camels!

Conference was a great success and provided many exciting opportunities. Perhaps a post-conference debriefing to discuss and set directions that arise would be a good idea so that we can map ideas into goals and directions.

Leadership team and Department heads met immediately after the conference (Monday), and were asked to go back to their teams and solicit comments from employees as well. All of this feedback is going to be covered in detail at the upcoming Leadership retreat.

Thanks for the new benefits you put into place! Statistically, I’d say the majority of us wouldn’t be here long enough to enjoy all the benefits, but you also added some that we can all utilize and I appreciate it.

Live long and prosper.

Thank you for the extra days off!

You are welcome, enjoy!

Yay for a bonus!


August 2008

Morale Average – 7.89

Total Number of Participants – 41


I think cj has such a positive energy that it is apparent as soon as you walk in the door! My only wish is there were more chances to interact with other departments!

Thanks, we agree! Our very best work comes when we have interplay across departments. That type of collaboration is a goal we continue to strive for, and we will continue to look for those opportunities. We encourage employees to let the FiSH! or Leadership group(s) know if you have suggestions.

Looking forward to 3rd Period!!


I appreciate that everyone covers for the person that is on vacation. Great teamwork!

Glad to hear it, thanks!

Growing pains seem to be being felt across the board. Everyone is very busy. Growth + Busy = Stress but somewhat surprisingly everyone seems to be coping well. Just be careful not to let it burn people out.

Stress levels at conference time are going to be at an annual high. Please trust that the effort will pay off for everyone.

Great work environment!!

Thank you.

I really like that we recognize an outstanding person in the staff every staff meeting. However, can we stop giving reasons such as nice hair, nice shoes and good fashion? That does not make anyone a better employee than the next person that isn’t all that hip. Recognize the real reason why the person deserves that award. Everyone that has received the golden camel has deserved it, but I think those comments kinda dumb down the real reasons why they get the reward.

The Golden Camel Award is certainly intended to be an award to an employee that has exceeded job expectations, and gone above and beyond, however it is also intended to be lighthearted and should contain a balance of good-spirited fun as well.

So far I have experienced nothing but great things at cj. I believe the morale of the group is so positive and uplifting, that you can’t help but to be encouraged by it. Everyone has gone out of their way to make me feel welcome.

Thank you!

You’ve reached this score (10) simply because undergarments were promised. And because I got such a good belly laugh from the email.

Thanks, hope you enjoyed the show.

When are we going to find out if there will be a change in our vacation/sick day package?

Done, September 11th Staff Meeting.

I’m happy to see all these new people being hired, but I’m concerned about the amount of space. Suite 511 really alleviated the crowded feeling, but we seem to be running out of space very quickly. I feel we have wasted space. I understand that some people need a larger office, but it seems illogical that others are still sharing a desk.

Additional plans/moves are in the works that should help to alleviate some of this. Keep in mind however that our continual growth will continue to challenge us in this area. Please let us know if you are uncomfortable with your individual workspace and we will do everything we can.

I think we should limit CWAC to only once or twice a year. I think it is great we have raised so much for both efforts, but I don’t think we had originally intended for community service to be only about raising money. So much work and time goes into it, we could hire a full time position for someone. What happened?

CWAC is currently engineered to run up to 3 times a year (roughly concurrent with the 3 periods). This is not a mandatory number and we may only do one or two projects a year rather than three. The number of projects, focus of the projects, and goal of the projects are at the sole discretion of the project leader. We encourage all to come forward with potential projects for consideration. The only requirement is that the person who has the cause, must chair the cause. The agency’s commitment is to put a significant amount of agency resources behind the project. The short answer is that you are correct, it is not always about money, but what it is about is at the chairperson’s discretion.

Camels With A Cause was a great investment of time for staff. Mere participation would be a benefit to morale.

We agree! Thank you.

Lights, camera, action! Seeing Dave’s non- profit event for One Love come to fruition was a great morale booster. What a difference it makes to me to see us step out beyond our own accords to help others in need. This makes other issues seem incomparable to what others (Jamaicans) have to endure due to a volatile economy, let alone any company they work for. Thanks for standing in the gap Dave.


July 2008

Morale Average – 8.07

Total Number of Participants – 27


I love Jolly Ranchers and football.

Doesn’t everyone?

Overall, very happy here, but there’s always room to improve. Trust the employees you hired to do what they do best.

Thank you for this reminder!

I’m not too happy with our current vending machine operators. We have asked them on several occasions to have packaged crackers in the machine along with candy and chips. Yet, no crackers have ever showed up. Also what is up with the king sized candy with king sized prices? Could we go back to normal sized food with normal sized prices?

Please see June’s comment about same.

Thank you for addressing the issue of missing food! I don’t know what is going to stop the theft of food besides hidden refrigerator cameras, but the email at least acknowledged the problem. Hopefully the culprit(s) will be embarrassed by the email and make the necessary changes in their eating habits.

Thank you!

Thank you for starting a program like CWAC. I’m glad to know that cj supports and encourages people’s passions outside of the work place! Please keep this a priority within cj’s culture!

Thank you!

I appreciate that Leadership is making the effort to turn around/respond to our comments quicker. Although, I haven’t seen the fruits of this effort yet, it’s already the end of July and has the June responses come out yet?

Thank you and see attached comments.

I appreciate the candid responses from last month. I don’t need sugar coating and I’d rather have a straight answer, even if it’s one that implies I shouldn’t be with the company.

Thank you!

How is it decided who will be chosen for the Leadership team? What are the criteria?

See previous month’s comments

How are people chosen to become Brand Mangers?

Please visit to learn more about criteria required to become a focused Brand Manger and if interested, please submit application.

It seems that we have much more turnover than what I would expect the average to be for a company this size. Viewing this from the outside, I have to question our hiring policies because it appears that we may be hiring people for the sake of filling the position rather than waiting for the right person. I know that waiting can cause strain on a department but it seems to me that hiring the wrong person puts even more strain.

cj’s turnover rate in 2007 was 25%, down from 33% in 2006. While it is our ultimate goal to have a turnover rate less than 10%, we constantly perform reviews, as well as exit interviews to address concerns. If you have more of an immediate concern, please do not hesitate to speak with your department head or to M Scrivner.

I’m happy here, but I don’t think all my co-workers are, so that can be a bummer sometimes. Overall, though, I think cj’s doing a pretty good job as an employer!

Thank you!

I think it’s really cool that cj is so cool about vacations and time off. Even though cj may not allow the most paid time off ever, cj is always really good about letting me do what I had to with family. I’ve worked for many other businesses that aren’t as understanding. I’d rather have less paid days and understanding/flexible employers, than more paid days off and pain in the @$$ employers!

Thank you!

The company morale seems to be great! Yay!

Thank you!

The Book Club rocks.

Thank you!

Any word back yet on the benefits survey?

Stay tuned…

Another great month. Keep up the good job of caring for the employees.

Thank you!

The fact that we are invited by the leaders to give suggestions and comments is something that is still rather new to me. Only a few times have I been invited in the past to give frank feedback directly to “those in charge,” and that was then I was one of those in charge (middle management). In the big corporations of my past, you simply would go talk to a supervisor about your concerns or dislikes, who in turn would talk to their supervisor, and on up the chain of command, until finally it would get lost somewhere in the corporate abyss completely off anyone’s radar. I just wanted to write this note and say – thanks for listening, even when some comments come to you without tact and all constructiveness has been thrown out the window. (Not mine of course, my momma taught me to some show tact and to be constructive when offering suggestions or criticism).

Thank you!

cj is a great working environment, with allowing the lax dress code and the playing of games in the break room is great. Personally, I have had my fair share of morale issues in the work place, but with stuff to do to take your minds off the busy stuff when you get stressed out is the best way to keep on trucking and still have a productive day.

Thank you!

Seems to me that, while working very hard, most people sense and understand the power that the agency is and what is becoming. Everyone that I interact with always seems to be on top of it – maybe a bit harried – but definitely happy. Everything seems to be coming together and there is definitely a “working toward a goal with friends” atmosphere. Kind of like a long trek up a mountain – when you know there’s strawberries and champagne at the top – hard work but worth it.

Thank you!

I judge my personal morale by how often I find myself whistling on the way to, and while at work. I’d forgotten that at my last place of employment. Now, I whistle all the time!My kids have even noticed it.

Thank you!

I’ve been continually watching the morale at cj. I believe we have a lot to recognize ourselves for, but always room for growth and improvement. If you love your job, you’ll never have to “work” a day of your life. I believe it’s important to see what YOU can do to improve the company and not always look to others to do it.

Thank you!

There’s quite a bit of turnover here which affects morale. I’m not sure what the solution is to get people wanting to stay here long term. Some suggestions: More sick days, Have incentive for each year you work – more vacation earned (instead of the current three years before receiving more.), Have sick/vacation days rollover if untaken, And all the important 401k – taking care of employees after the service they’ve provided for you.

Since we have been redecorating the break room lately with a new TV, a second refrigerator, and a Wii, I have a request for a new addition as well. How about a cj Wine Bar? I bet morale will go up and people won’t mind staying late at work! (Please see attached)

Thank you for the article, however, from a liability standpoint, we will not be implementing a cj Wine Bar at this time.

June 2008

Morale Average – 7.28

Total Number of Participants – 32


The recent departure of two employees that many people really liked has caused some lower morale lately, but cannot be helped and I appreciate the better communication from management about these.

Thank you!

It was disappointing seeing another member of Production go this month. Thank you to Jimmy for notifying everyone, however in February’s survey, this is what you stated would be done: “Moving forward, L Moore, our new Director of HR, will handle all departures in the exact manner – a staff-wide email notifying of any changes.” This has not been done for the last several “departures.” I think you need to revise your response.

Thank you, you are correct. Future changes will come from employee’s department head with a “blessing” from Human Resources. REVISION: That was our decision in policy, but not our practice.

I really wish people would clean up after themselves in the break room. It’s insane that people would leave food in the sink! It’s also insane that people would eat food that is clearly not theirs! People’s food has been disappearing out of the fridge, even though their name and date is on it. Please have respect for the break room and all those who use it.

We agree and think so, too! Please see comment below.

Can we do something about people stealing food that is left in the freezer or fridge? It has happened to me at least 3 times lately as well as some others in the office, and it’s not like we leave the dinners in there for weeks at a time, we’re talking a night or two. One of these days, someone is going to open a frozen meal of mine and they are not going to find a very pleasant treat in there. They might just lose their appetite. Before I have to go to such extremes, can something be done about this?

Amen! Go extreme if need be! On Tuesday, July 29, Lisa sent an email (attached) to the staff of both cj, and LIP to address this problem. We welcome any suggestions you may have.

The fridge has long been a sore spot for a lot of people. If it’s not the lack of space, then it’s the missing food. We have a thief in our midst and I’m not sure how to rectify the problem. I’m not sure at what point it became okay for someone to knowingly eat something that does not belong to them. If you didn’t bring it, you shouldn’t eat it. Period. Name on it or not. I have had my lunch stolen a number of times and it’s not that it’s a great deal of money to replace a frozen dinner; it’s the fact that I have to do it. We are all adults here, in both companies, and I believe that we should all be capable of behaving as such. This includes following the general law of the land regarding stealing. Other than this, my morale is good. I’m not even sure that the lunch issue is something the leadership team can do anything about but I think it should be addressed across BOTH companies in a serious manner, not as a side note during a monthly meeting because we have to cover it.

Thanks! See above.

What happens when you get more comment forms back than cj has employees?

This has yet to happen!

Are new vending candy prices a subtle reminder to stick to my diet, or are we just getting the shaft (compared to the last vendors pricing)?

Who is on the leadership team and why? Why are some DH not on the leadership team? Is this team something that all employees should strive to be a part of? How are employees selected for the leadership team?

Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. – Mwai Kibaki
The 6 most important words: “I admit I made a mistake”
The 5 most important words: “You did a good job”
The 4 most important words: “What is your opinion?”
The 3 most important words: “If you please”
The 2 most important words: “Thank you”
The 1 most important word: “We”
The least important word: “I”

Thank you for this inspiring piece! What is your opinion?

A couple of suggestions: 1. To have “cjList” as opposed to “craigslist” of things to sell, buy, services, tips for traveling, etc. It’s great to know what kind of resources are right here with people we work with. 2. Anyone interested in improving health/weight? We have plenty inter-office competition. How about motivating others to “kick a habit” or improve their health somehow?

A little less micromanaging is all I wish were different.

Not much freedom to be creative in our design work.

Morale is good, how about a Mario Kart tournament though?

I think throwing the water balloons at the company picnic really helped the company’s morale.

We agree!

The company picnic was fun! I appreciate all of the hard work that everyone put into it to make it successful! Thanks!

Thank you!


If we had Good Friday off (I’m Catholic) I’d have marked “10!”

Thank you, and stay tuned!

Thank you for working on the paid time off survey. No matter the outcome, at least cj checked into it. Also, thank you for making this such a fun, enjoyable place to work. Causal work environment rocks!

Thank you!

Thank you cj for investing in your employees! I have recently gotten back from training and I completely enjoyed it. As a matter of fact I started implementing ideas and procedures from the training the very next day.

Thank you!

Things are starting to get crazy busy around here, with the conference fast approaching and everything else going on. I appreciate the sub-chair structure to the conference – hopefully it will make life easier down the road.

Thank you!

I think with the conference coming up it’s putting a lot of work on people – good work. I think people enjoy the hustle and bustle at the beginning of all this and helping to get together everyone’s portfolios to show off to the clients. I’m noticing more department interaction, cross department projects, etc.

Thank you!

I’m a little stressed right now, but with the great teamwork that my department has the stress level has been completely manageable!

Thank you!

Why don’t we show the EXP lobby video in our lobby? Clients will see it when they come and hopefully get on board with the idea.

We are working to implement, thank you!

When we place people on hold why not have a client commercial audio playing instead of the standard music that you currently hear?

Thank you for the suggestion! We will consider recording a cj message on hold.

While I understand the reasoning of not choosing the 401k, it is still highly disappointing.

I, Arnie, appreciate your understanding.

More sick / personal days

Stay tuned.

While I understand the reasoning, I was disappointed with cj’s decision to forego a 401k option for employees and postpone discussion for another two years.

See above

Since we have 2 recycling containers for the cans could we also have 2 for plastic bottles as well? Recently I have seen that container overfilling more and more.

May 2008

Morale Average – 7.19

Total Number of Participants – 32


I also enjoy the quiet time (QT) and I’m glad we moved forward to having it twice a week. When everyone adheres to it, I get quite a bit accomplished in that short amount of time.

Thank you!

No more QT!! At least cut it back to 1 hour a week. Putting it in the 1-2 hour time slot is an absolute nightmare. Some departments don’t have “projects” that don’t require email, telephone, or talking. It essentially becomes a mandatory lunch hour that we have to take to avoid breaking the “quiet time” rules. Please take this into consideration.

QT’s policy will remain as-is due to the vast number of employees who benefit from this hour of uninterrupted work. How you spend your time is up to you – we only ask that you do not interrupt others.

The whole notion of QT is getting ridiculous and honestly, almost insulting. Most people (even Admin) don’t adhere to it, some totally forget it (even with the annoying reminder in the calendar), and we all joke about it. We’re not kids. Not to mention, you have 50 employees who “function” and work in different ways. What may be a good “QT” for one person may be totally unacceptable for the next. In other words, I may REALLY need my “time” in the morning, or at 3:00 p.m., or whenever. Also, a lot of my team members use this EXACT time to get together and get caught up on things. Even more annoying was Ashley’s e-mail reminding us what QT is. Bold headings to never meet (well there goes 2 more crucial hours a week we can never get principal people together for meetings), no phone calls, really? I have children. You think I’m really going to turn off my phone in case of an emergency? This is one of the numbers that our teachers and daycare people have to contact us in case of an emergency and you really think that I’m going to “cut” that number off for 2 hours during the week? What if I don’t have a cell? The battery’s dead, left in the car, or what if I just don’t want to use MY minutes on MY phone? I’m at YOUR place of employment on YOUR phone and it WILL be a number that these people have at all times and they WILL have access to me at all times if I’m sitting at my desk and they call that number. And no questions, seriously. I feel like I’m back in grade school.

WOW! cj may not be the right environment for you. Please seek employment elsewhere ASAP.

The new Wii game is great! Love Mario Kart racing.

Thank you!

I’m very happy about where we are and seem to be headed.

Thank you!

The conference seems a little close for comfort! Why is the time going by so fast?

Thank you!

I’m excited about the conference and I feel like this organizational structure will allow us to pull together an amazing weekend without (hopefully!) being too stressed out in the months of preparation.

Thank you!

The team spirit being shown for the cj conference is awesome. It is great to know so many folks are willing to jump in and take ownership of the different tasks involved. Great job cj!

Thank you!

The book club website is great. It’s so easy to use. I really appreciate the time and effort that Ryan and Ashley both put into making it great. Thanks guys!

Thank you!

I think that when we have book club meetings that it would be nice to sometimes do them other places than the conference room. There are several picnic tables out back for our use. Or we could walk over to the Frist Center and use their outdoor facilities.

Great idea! We will consider, thank you!

cj Picnic was great success.

Thank you!

Another great month at cj! The picnic was awesome. It is great to know an organization takes itself seriously, but not so seriously that they can’t have fun.

Thank you!

Maybe I’m just the new guy who has been marooned in Corporate America for too long, but cj seems to be a place full of happy, caring, dedicated people who actually enjoy life AND enjoy working with and for each other.

Thank you!

I marked a “10” first, but changed it to “9” so we keep trying! I’m stoked to be here.

Thank you!

Everybody seems to be pulling together.

Thank you!

Has there been another change in the company direction that we are all unaware of? Why did M Scrivner go to a “Creative Directors” conference last month? It seems odd for the Director of Operations (facility stuff) to attend this type of meeting when there are DH’s that actually manage creative teams that could have gained some valuable information? This all came across as a “secret” since no one knew about it ahead of time, which is different than what I know of any other cj employee that goes to training.

No, there have not been any changes, nor are they any planned changes pertaining to Mark’s job. Mark went to a seminar for Creative Directors to better understand their role, to better manage creative people, and to help Mark Trew be more successful in his job. Moving forward, before an employee goes to training, a memo will be sent to the staff stating the following: who, where, why, along with cost.

I think we need more clarification on what M Scrivner’s job description is these days. It seems that he is trying to do everything everywhere. He is covering building operations, hiring, reviews, conference planning, and various creative meetings. Even BM meetings twice a week! Is he supposed to be the “eyes and ears” of Arnie? At some point, we need to TRUST the DH and BM to do their jobs.

Mark’s job, Director of Operations, entails a full gamut of responsibilities. His attendance at meetings is discretionary as the Director of Operations. For your review, I have attached a copy of Mark’s job description. The people we consider the leaders of this organization are trusted, and rarely have a problem with Mark’s attendance at meetings.

Any news on a retirement plan? It would help change the thinking of many here from a “doing this until something better comes along” to a “career.”

Please see attached memo sent by L Moore, Director of Human Resources, on June 17, 2008.

Need 401k plan.

Please see above.

My concern is with the “flex time” benefit offered to us here at cj. It is a GREAT benefit (maybe the best one!) for the employees (especially parents) who sometime need that little bit of extra time to navigate an important personal appointment or crisis during our scheduled work time. BUT it still seems that we are being watched by upper management, and consequently, discouraged from really taking advantage of the benefit. Again, the unique benefit is greatly appreciated. The use of this benefit may be personal to the employee and need not be explained in detail to the world. I have noticed that management may not ask the person directly but instead ask others in the department which makes it uncomfortable for everyone. As long as the employee’s department knows of the time needed away, I do not understand why it needs to go further into investigation. Let’s trust in our fellow employees that they are not abusing a privilege and not judge them or question their motives!

Employees are trusted not to abuse this privilege, and are typically not judged, or questioned for using flex time. If you need to use flex time, you are required to communicate this to your DH. DHs are responsible for their team; the Executive team is responsible for the DHs. If you have additional questions, please refer to your cj handbook.

We must get another refrigerator. It’s ludicrous how completely FULL our lone refrigerator gets. We get two toasters (rarely used), two microwaves, but we can’t get two refrigerators?

Laura Duddy will review the proposed plan with LIP for the purchase of a second refrigerator. More information to come.

Thanks for putting up the fire extinguishers! It was a small cost for added safety.

Thank you!

I am a little concerned with how the bonus structure is presented to us. When we are hired on to cj we are told pretty enthusiastically that our bonus structure results in substantial additional income if we work extra hard – Mark pitched it to me as “a couple extra grand a year in bonuses.” This is simply not the case. I understand last period was a record breaker, but to me it sounds like either last period’s bonus was just way too much money that management had to find a way to make sure that never happened again; or our goals were way too unrealistic this time around, that most departments were set-up to fail from the start.

Goals are designed to be difficult! We regret that you or anyone in the agency would be concerned about our bonus program or how it was presented to you. We also don’t believe the bonus program is rolled out to incoming employees in a way that you state. The leadership group is glad that M Scrivnertipulates to all new employees that there is extra earning potential here with extra hard work. By you saying that cj/Arnie/the Leadership Team was disappointed to pay out a substantial bonus for excellent results in the third period is simply untrue. Each and every department head has the ability to argue with any goal presented and if successful they can and have been reduced or eliminated. There is always one freebie goal involved as well.

Whenever anyone complains about their compensation plan, usually the first thing we hear back is that our bonuses usually add up to a couple thousand dollars. Also now that we’ve moved to a 3 period system instead of 4, I would think each period’s bonus check would be slightly more than they were before (something divided by 3 > something divided by 4, right?).

We began the bonus program in 2005 as a way to incentivize our employees to push themselves and their departments to achieve more. In 2005, cj paid out an average of $2,602.57 in quarterly bonuses to 22 eligible employees, in 2006 that amount was $1,329.95 to 30 eligible employees and in 2007, we switched to the period bonus plan and paid an average of $2,334.50 to 43 eligible employees. This amount actually represents an 18.7% increase in the bonus payout since going to periods. The departments have actually done better achieving their goals as well and cj having to hire more employees to get all the work done. None of these factor in that the company over those past three years has also paid an average of $952.38 in year-end holiday bonuses that are all based on tenure with cj.

So here we are, beginning of June and our reward for working extra hard to meet our goals – because our goals across the board have gotten significantly more difficult to achieve – falls a little short of what I would think the general expectations of the staff is. You wonder why the morale drops and people become unhappy; I believe it’s because a lot of the time we’re expected to just accept whatever you give us, and if we don’t like it then we’re simply not being appreciative. Perhaps I wouldn’t feel so strongly about this if Mark hadn’t specifically told me upon hiring me that my base salary would be significantly padded with bonus checks, provided we worked extra hard and achieved the goals we all agreed upon at the beginning of each period. By the same token, if we are forced to agree to unrealistic goals that we have no control over, how hard we work in this agency means very little in the grand scheme of things. Once that happens, bonus checks no longer become a good reason to go above and beyond.

As far as the third paragraph is concerned, the goals should and will always get harder as our staff continues to mature and get better at what they do. Everyone has a choice with everything that they do. If you are unhappy with the bonuses, your salary, the candor of this response, and don’t believe that cj is allowing you to achieve your full potential; cj may not be the right environment for you.

I’d really appreciate an honest, well thought-out answer to this, rather than the automated corporate response we always seem to get to these kinds of concerns, such as, “we’re looking into it” or “our policies are on par with similar agencies of our size in this industry.” Ultimately these bonuses are in place as incentive to work extra hard, bring in more money for the agency, and provide better service for our clients – which is an excellent idea – but when we go above and beyond and do achieve those goals and don’t feel like we’re getting a comparable reward, the bonuses act as a de-motivator instead of a motivator. Please let us know your thoughts on the matter. Thanks.

We hope this response serves to answer your questions. However, if you are being de-motivated by the current bonus plan, cj may not be the right environment for you.

April 2008

Morale Average – 7.69

Total Number of Participants – 29


FiSH! cheering us on at the half/full marathon was awesome. That was so kind of everyone to take time out of their day to support us. THANK YOU!! It gave us all that extra boost of energy to keep going.

Thank you!

I think it was great to see the office come together and support CWAC. Especially supporting Mark and all those who participated. As a company, we have helped touch and possibly save so many lives.

Thank you!

Great job cj! It must be stated that I never give 10s. I always feel people or companies can always improve and should continually strive to do things better than before. The team spirit around this place is awesome. It’s nice to know cj has a group of talented individuals supporting each other in everything they do, not just in work alone. The marathon was a great example of that supportive spirit.

Thank you!

There are some of