There are myriad reasons to love your place of work, but a few have increased in importance in the past year. During the pandemic and in the aftermath of the summer 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests, employees and job seekers have doubled down on their desire to feel supported and heard in, ideally, remote-friendly roles. Ranked on InHerSight’s best-of lists for Ability to Telecommute and Employer Responsiveness and highly rated for Support for Diversity, Watkins Wellness gets the seal of approval for all of these must-haves. Employees, like senior brand manager Caitlin Woelfel, say the company is listening and responding to the changing needs of these unprecedented times.
One thing that isn’t new, however, is Watkins Wellness’ ongoing support of employees’ growth. Also on our list of Best Companies for Learning Opportunities, the hot tub manufacturer takes pride in offering team members programs to advance their career—something Woelfel has also experienced firsthand. Learn from her what working at the company has been like during the pandemic and why job seekers of all backgrounds should take note of this exceptional employer.
Sr. Brand Manager, Caldera® Spas. at Watkins Wellness with 10 years of experience
Her top-three must-haves at work:
- Learning Opportunities
- The People You Work With
- Sense of Belonging
Tell us about your time at Watkins Wellness. How long have you been at the company, and how have you grown professionally since being hired?
I still remember my first day at Watkins Wellness… After unexpectedly finding myself at home for over a year during the 2008/9 recession, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to reenter the workforce full time. But when the recruiter called, I thought, “What the heck, at least this will give me a chance to wear some of my cute high heels again.” The lack of sophisticated yet stylish footwear was definitely something I had missed as a stay-at-home mom!
Fast forward 10 years, and I can’t even imagine what my life would look like without Watkins Wellness and the people that make up this amazing company.
Over the years, I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity for growth that’s come my way. Business writing class? Great. Marketing seminar? Sign me up. Leadership Academy? I’ll take two! And don’t even get me started on stretch assignments…I live for stretch assignments!
I think what really made each new experience so impactful was the presence of various mentors along the way who were always willing to stop what they were doing and take the time to help me go that extra mile. Now that I’m at a point where I’m able to help others with their career development, I try to take whatever time is needed to do so, because that’s just what we do at Watkins.
Rated most highly for Ability to Telecommute, hot tub manufacturer Watkins Wellness also earns top marks for Culture metrics such as Support for Diversity, Employer Responsiveness, and The People You Work With. These high ratings, and others, explain why this company is on our list of The 20 Best Consumer Goods Companies to Work For. They’re simply the best. Click to learn more about the company, their ratings, and their open positions.
Watkins Wellness is one of InHerSight’s Best Companies for Ability to Telecommute, and those scores have been especially high during the pandemic. In what ways has the company supported flexibility in your life either now or in the past? Give a specific example if you can.
Work-life balance is a key value of the Watkins Way. While it’s easy for companies to say that they encourage this, Watkins Wellness actually empowers their employees to create a balance in their life that works.
I’ve been able to carve out time to be present for the moments that matter to my kids, while also helping to grow the Caldera Spas brand from a name that was virtually unrecognizable to consumers five years ago, to the top-rated brand in the industry, by both consumers and our professional retailers.
I was able to create this flexibility and balance in my life because of the tools and training that Watkins Wellness provides. One of the most important lessons I learned was from our VP of Operations, who taught me not to overload myself with low-impact work. When it comes to being productive, the key is to spend your time on the high impact projects that will make the biggest difference. As a working mom, high productivity is non-negotiable and the only way to create meaningful work-life balance.
What about the company’s response to the pandemic—are there any standout ways Watkins Wellness has supported you or your team?
During the pandemic, Watkins Wellness has gone above and beyond to make sure our team has everything we need to be effective and productive from home. It goes beyond setting us up with the proper equipment and technology. Every once in a while, we’ll get a surprise delivery on our front doorstep. Sometimes it’s a cheese and fruit board, sometimes it’s herbal tea and a set of thought-provoking cards aimed at promoting mindfulness. The gift itself doesn’t really matter, it’s truly the thought that counts as they work hard to keep us all engaged and connected.
Name three qualities about Watkins Wellness’ culture that you think job seekers should pay attention to, aka the things that make this company worth taking a second look.
- Ethics: We have a very strong culture of doing whats right, even if it’s hard.
- Relationships: These are foundational to our culture and core to our “win together” mentality.
- Quality: Each and every one of us impacts quality in various ways, whether it's part of the actual product we manufacture, or the sales and marketing programs we develop. High quality standards are at the core of everything we produce.