When Ted Tietge, Anderson’s CEO, bought Anderson Mailing Service in November of 1985, the company had just seven employees and the business had yet to establish a strong culture. “It was chaos,” remembered Ted. “When we started, the equipment was dirty, people were coming in late, and the pieces weren’t getting out on time. People just threw the bad samples on the floor and no one cared. It wasn’t a good company to work for until we changed the standards.” Together, Ted and Gary Batchelder (who have both been at Anderson for close to 28 years!) completely reformed the way Anderson was run and created a culture of hard work and integrity.
Fast-forward 28 years and you will find that the example they set has paid off. Anderson now employs over 150 people, 34% of which have been here for over ten years and 62% of which have been here for at least five. By interviewing five of Anderson’s amazing employees, all at various milestones, I was able to discover what about Anderson makes employees want to stay.
William Wilkerson—21 Years
For Bill Wilkerson, Anderson means family. When Bill was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year, the overwhelming support he got from Anderson amazed him. “I have always been someone who takes care of everything for other people. When I was the one who needed the care, my Anderson family took care of me. I feel so lucky to have a group of people who genuinely care about me and a leadership team who makes sure I know I’m not just a number; I really matter.” Bill has seen Anderson move through 4 different buildings, 3 different re-brands and the evolution of services over the past two decades. When asked why he has stayed here so long Bill replied, “Well, Gary never accepted my resignation. I had days when I was fed up and frustrated, and thought I couldn’t do it anymore, but Gary knows me. He knew I just needed to cool down and would remember that I love my job. We’re so close that for a while people thought he was my dad.”
Russ Machus—15 Years
From owning his own retail store to drumming for a rock band, Russ came to Anderson toting a diverse background. When Russ decided it was time to get out of retail, Ted, one of his customers, saw Russ had a knack for sales and brought him in for an interview. Fifteen years later, Russ has not disappointed. “I love having the freedom to do what I need to create new business. I still maintain my entrepreneurial spirit, but at Anderson, I have so many resources that I didn’t have in business before.” When asked why Russ has stuck with us for 15 years he replied, “Anderson stands behind you. We have such talented people that stay here a long time and they really are the best and the brightest.”
Jeff Hayes—10 Years
Jeff loves the fast-paced environment and the opportunity to wear a lot of different hats here at Anderson. When asked what makes the company’s culture successful, Jeff replied, “Anderson is fun! You can always hear people laughing loudly, sometimes too loud. It’s a fun, vibrant feeling that makes our culture so great! Culture is so important to a company’s success.”
Lila Swedarsky—5 Years
Lila came to Anderson when she decided to make a change from the client side to the agency side of the business five years ago. “Coming from the client side of things, I worked with many different agencies,” said Lila. “But Anderson was the best. Anderson never says ‘no, we can’t do that.’ We always find a way to make a tight budget, small timeline, or strict goals work.” Lila loves her job because she is always challenged and gets to take on tasks no one else has tried before. She has loved watching the interactive space evolve and feels that the company is staying new and fresh.
Ryan Dee—1 Year
As one of the new kids at Anderson, Ryan has helped us stay on the cutting edge of new marketing techniques. He has really found his niche as the go-to man for data help in both PowerPoint® and Excel ®. He is committed to Anderson because he feels that even though it is a medium-sized company, it has a small company feel. “The main reason why I’ve stayed has been the people,” said Ryan. “Anderson is a tremendous place to work because we all have a common goal and that is to make our clients look great by delivering a superior ROI. Moreover, we take pride in our work and in each other. When there’s a victory, we celebrate together, and if there’s a challenge we pull together and solve it.”