In an unmarked building on Ogden’s Depot Drive, Home Depot has a very large and extremely successful call center. “We pushed back against corporate and wanted to have our logo on the outside of the building. The only problem is, if we advertise as a Home Depot, the people might think they could come here and go shopping. So there’s no branding on the outside,” George Van Yperen, the Ogden call center OCC Site Director, said.
One of three contact centers in the U.S., the Ogden center employs 839 employees while remaining open from 4 a.m. to 12 midnight 7 days a week to field calls, instant messages and emails from Home Depot customers nationwide. “We have customer service representatives, a training team, resolution expediters, 57 supervisors who oversee 12 to 15 employees, managers and senior managers in this building,” Carrissa Sinnott said, Senior Recruiter for the contact center. All of those workers are there for one purpose: to provide excellent customer service support for Home Depot shoppers, especially online.
While customer services remains the ultimate focus, Home Depot’s call center has an amazing capacity for retaining high quality employees for years—far surpassing other call centers. Forty-four percent of their employees have been with the center for two-plus years. And much of that is to do with their company culture and amenities for employees. “There’s raffle tickets we give to associates who work overtime and you can enter them for prizes—we even have a Vespa as a prize right now,” Sinnott said. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
“Every year we have the Voice of the Associates (VOA) program which is our temperature check of what the associates like and dislike. We get feedback constantly about how to make things better and put plans in place to make things happen. We also have monthly and weekly town halls where we get feedback about what to do better for both our employees and customers,” Van Yperen said. Associates mentioned they wanted more development in order to move up in the company. So they made it happen. “We created our Growth 2.0 program to teach employees what they wanted to learn so they could grow,” Van Yperen said.
Aside from plenty of opportunities to grow in the company (Home Depot promotes from within 90% of the time), they have a series of amenities one might only think to see in millennial tech companies in San Francisco or New York.
“We have a quiet room where employees can take a short nap or break. It’s darker and silent, no cell phones allowed, and it’s filled with bean bag chairs, sofas and blankets,” Sinnott explained.
They also have two stores on-site: the Homer Store and the Convenience Center. The Homer Store is an in-house shop where employees use Homer Dollars—currency given to employees for a job well done—to buy everything from sodas and chips to electronics and gift cards. If the employee is out of Homer Dollars, they can hit up the convenience store and grab a drink or snack for money.
Aside from shopping options, there is also a Mother’s Room on-site and a fitness center that employees can use before their shift, after or even during breaks or lunches. If you’re just looking to blow off some steam, there is a game room in the center of their common area complete with foosball, ping pong and gaming systems.
More traditionally, the company offers health insurance benefits with medical, dental and vision options. But, like most very large companies, those benefits now start on day one of hire—eliminating the usual 30-90 day waiting period.
For employees who find themselves falling on hard times, the company has the Homer Fund—an emergency fund that employees donate into and can then apply for funds for things like emergency medical costs or unexpected personal expenses. The Ogden location is particularly proud of their 93% participation rate in the Homer Fund. Also included on-site is the Homer Pantry. “If we have an associate who is struggling to buy groceries for any reason, they can come visit with HR and we’ll make sure they can bring home food for themselves and/or their families,” Van Yperen said.
To top off all of these incredible employee benefits, Home Depot participates in profit sharing with employees and offers a website full of employee discounts. Because Home Depot does not offer in-store discounts to any employees because of their price matching programs, Home Depot employees have access to discounts on everything from GM cars to Disneyland tickets, coupons to The Gap and discounts on restaurants.
Not to mention their 6 week paid maternity and parental leave—meaning that new moms can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave after giving birth. No children? You can also get pet insurance for your fur babies through Home Depot’s program with MetLife.
All of this, and new hires start at $14 an hour with annual raise opportunities and cost of living increases. It’s good to be an employee at this Ogden Home Depot call center.