May 09, 2019
When most people hear the words ‘answering service’ or ‘call center’, they imagine one of two possibilities: a sea of cubicles in a large, crowded office with entirely too many voices speaking at once, or a small, closet-sized room with three or four idle employees looking bored. Sadly, these visualizations encompass the vast majority of answering services in North America. ASD is proud to be the exception to this rule. Our company has purposely avoided common call center trends such as constantly changing ownership or trying to be a jack of all trades. Our specialized funeral home answering service has thrived through differentiating in every way possible. Simply put, ASD is not cut from the same cloth as other answering services.
What makes this possible? There are many components, including our award-winning technology, commitment to transparency and the fact that ASD has been owned by the Czachor family since its founding in 1972. However, by and large, the biggest reason ASD has been able to successfully distinguish ourselves from other answering services is the experienced and dedicated team of people whose longevity with our company can be directly attributed to ASD’s positive workplace culture. Creating an office environment where team members are passionate about their work, care about co-workers and want the company to succeed has remained a constant goal through ASD’s leadership.
We understand it takes more than basic employee benefits to build a loyal and committed team. While our staff receives a competitive salary, health insurance benefits, performance awards, college tuition reimbursement and 401k with match, we have also endeavored to create opportunities for meaningful connections to be made among our staff. These unique ASD events, job perks and office activities bring employees together and make ASD feel like one big family. We look for as many occasions as possible to encourage staff interaction, facilitate collaboration and provide moments of fulfillment to our team.
Here are 12 Awesomely Unique Team ASD Job Perks & Activities
1. Exercise Work Stations
For many years, ASD made exercise equipment available to our staff in our basement conference room. However, our company’s owners noticed they were not being used very often and decided it would be more beneficial to encourage staff to get up and move around during their work shift. Many doctors have found sitting for hours during the day can lead to stiff and dehydrated muscles, making injuries and fractures more common. By staying active during their scheduled shifts, employees are less susceptible to injury due to idleness.
In 2011, ASD introduced our first treadmill work station and today we now have three treadmills and two recumbent bikes for our Call Specialist to utilize, as well as one treadmill workstation designated for our Supervisor team. The stations help improve our employees’ overall mental and physical health while providing an energy boost to the office. Many of our employees juggle a great deal of responsibilities outside of work and have difficulty finding time to go to the gym. So, by bringing the gym to them, we give our staff the chance to easily make exercising part of their normal routine.
The maximum speed is capped at a slow rate of motion and was designed so ASD Call Specialists can walk or bike 2.5 miles per hour, allowing our staff to talk and type with ease while moving their feet. In addition to providing healthful benefits, employees that take advantage of the exercise machines are actually paid more through incremental bonuses. This helps motivate the staff to work in a less sedentary environment. We also established an “Exercise for a Cause” program so that every hour walked or biked on ASD’s exercise station contributes towards an important cause. When a total of 1000 hours have been worked on ASD’s treadmill or recumbent bike, ASD will donate $1,000 to a charitable organization. This allows our staff to become directly involved in our company’s give back initiatives. Learn More.
2. Volunteer Opportunities
Supporting and giving back to our local community is so important to us here at ASD. We believe we all have to do our part to keep our corner of the world beautiful. Our staff Volunteer Days bring together employees from all ASD departments to work together to achieve an important purpose. From cleaning up liter outside, to mulching gardens in our local nature preserve to sorting school supplies for impoverished kids, these activities allow our team to spend time together while contributing to an important goal. We are so proud of our staff for all of the time and efforts they have donated to these missions and we are always on the lookout for important causes we can get involved with in the future.
3. Gazebo Garden and Koi Fish Pond
In 2016, ASD began construction on what would become our office’s Gazebo Garden and Koi Fish Pond. Featuring a picnic table, stocked Koi fish pond and waterfall, this inviting outdoor space has become a favorite spot for ASD staff to relax and unwind while on break or before their shift. Our employees appreciate having an outdoor space where they can hang out and enjoy some sunshine. We also enjoy spending time with the shiny Koi fish who everyone takes turns feeding. We’re so glad to be able to offer Team ASD this serene and tranquil place to recharge.
4. Awareness Walks/Runs
For the past three years, Team ASD has participated in the Annual Care to Carry On Walk/Run at the Philadelphia Zoo. The event was created to raise awareness about children’s grief and the support they need to carry on in a healthy way. This year, ASD was honored with a special “Top Corporate Team” Award for our continued support of this wonderful event. ASD is proud supporter and champion of Camp Erin, a program created by Eluna, which runs overnight grief camps for children and teens that have experienced the death of a significant person in their life. We believe it is so vital to support our young people who are grieving, and Camp Erin is truly making a difference in the lives of so many children.
Whether it is on our in-house exercise workstations or through the Philadelphia Zoo, we believe in exercising for a higher purpose here at ASD. It’s wonderful for our staff to be able to come together and enjoy some wonderful fitness activity all while giving back to such a worthwhile cause! In addition to our annual Care to Carry On Walk/Run, we have also proudly supported the Starry Night Run/Walk in support of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the Delaware County Suicide Task Force Walk/Run which helps raise awareness for suicide prevention efforts in our local community.
5. Free Phillies Tickets
ASD is located approximately 25 miles from Philadelphia in the town of Media, a quaint and suburban neighborhood known as “everybody’s hometown.” We have always felt very fortunate to have the best of both worlds by being located so close to a major city filled with history and culture without having to separate from our small-town roots. Despite not being “in” the city, just about everyone who works at ASD supports Philadelphia Sports Teams, especially our beloved Phillies. As an annual treat to all of our staff, everyone at ASD receives four premium tickets to a Phillies game during baseball season.
6. Athletic Competitions
In addition to our annual walk/runs, ASD also participates in three fitness challenges each year. Toughest of them all is the annual Tough Mudder race in May. This grueling, 10-mile, obstacle-packed race is certainly not for the weak. Team ASD participants must work together while climbing out of mud pits, swinging on monkey bars over freezing cold water, army crawling under electric wires and more. In June, we take part in the 5 Mile Run through our town of Media, PA. We often refer to this race as “America’s Longest Five Miles” due to the many hilly roads the runners must travel up and down. Finally, in October we take part in the Spartan Sprint Race at Citizens Bank Park. This 3-5 mile race with more than 15 obstacles requires the most team work of any of our athletic competitions. It is a wonderful fitness and team-building event as there are no score keeps or time tracking. The goal is simply to get everyone to the finish line together.
7. Unique Performance Reward System
There are a lot of different characteristics that make up a good employee. Every person has his or her own strengths to bring to the table. For this reason, ASD does not use a single award to recognize our staff, but several. We have a reward system in place that gives us multiple ways to recognize our employees for a job well done.
Consecutive On-Time Shift Bonuses: A monetary bonus ASD’s Operations Team earns after arriving at or returning to work on time for a consecutive number of shifts in a row. This system incentivizes good attendance habits which is crucial to our company’s success.
Sensitive Save Award: A monetary bonus awarded four times each week to any ASD employee who does an exceptional job saving a new business opportunity for a funeral home.
Superstar Award: This incremental monetary award is given to Call Specialists with a record of high performance. There are several benchmarks we use to determine this, including call scores, CareTracker™ stats, professional attitude, attendance and eagerness to advance within ASD. Employees who earn this award are often promoted to higher positions in the future.
Extra Mile Award: Established in 2017, this award allows ASD employees to nominate one another for a job well done. Extra Mile Award Winners receive a special write up in our newsletter and a cool T-shirt they are permitted to wear on Team ASD Dress Down days.
Check out this recent review on our Indeed Career page from one of our staff. It does a great job of explaining just how much our staff can accrue through performance awards:
8. Music and Radio Privileges
ASD’s Programming Team is often seeking out ways to support, motivate and energize our staff through technology. Several years ago, music stations were programmed into ASD’s software that allow our Call Specialists to listen to any station they choose between taking calls. Call Specialists appreciate this wonderful energizing boost.
9. Donation Drives
Whether we’re collecting toys, food, Christmas cards or lifesaving blood, ASD’s Donation Drives have helped a lot of people over the years. Our team’s generosity has truly made a difference in the lives of so many. From our Adopt-A-Soldier drives back in 2011, to our collections for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, to our more recent efforts in support of our local area, ASD employees never fail to step up when a new donation drive initiative is announced. These give back campaigns unite us all in a single purpose and invigorate our company’s team spirit.
10. Virtual Photo Board
Sharing photos has become a major hallmark of relationships in today’s age. Photographs keep us connected to the things we love most while helping us to give others a glimpse into our lives. ASD has created a new, 21st century version of the office photo board by allowing our staff to add photos to their own Virtual Slideshow. Up to 500 photos can be uploaded and our staff need only text the photo to a phone number to get it added to their own, custom slide show. ASD employees can also view each other’s photos easily by visiting their account page, which helps foster relationships among our staff.
11. Company Contests
A little competition among friends keeps things interesting around here. Every Christmas, we all look forward to seeing who will wear the craziest get up for our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest. Each year, our employees take this to a whole new level with some ingenious attire creations. And don’t get us started on the Funniest Pet Photo Contest we held last year in which two of our long-time employees recruited every person they knew to help their dog win the vote. Yes, we take competition to a whole new level here at ASD and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
12. Continuing Education Opportunities
ASD routinely offers our staff continuing education lectures with experienced funeral experts. By allowing our staff to continually grow their knowledge base and hone their skills, ASD can offer a higher level of service to funeral homes while fostering a supportive company culture. Some of our employees have even used the knowledge they have gained from ASD as a stepping stone to a career in funeral service. In recent years, we have been visited by longtime client, Joyce Torchinsky of Torchinshy Hebrew Funeral Home in Washington, DC, who came to ASD to speak to our staff about the traditions of Judaism and Jewish funeral customs. We have also hosted funeral communication experts such as Lacy Robinson and Julie Burn who provided best practices to our staff on how to speak to funeral home callers and make a positive first impression over the phone. Continuing education opportunities give our staff a deeper appreciation for the work of funeral service professionals while providing them with an opportunity to continually expand their knowledge base.
There are a lot of places to find employment, but we have made it our mission at ASD to offer our staff more than just jobs. We are truly a family and our workplace culture is like nowhere else. So many friendships, relationships…heck, even marriages began inside our building! Those that come to work here often decide to make ASD their long-term career; largely due to the many different ways we work to support our staff and help them to reach their full potential. By promoting solely from within and keeping everyone in good spirits with our numerous “only-at-ASD” job perks, we have built a strong sense of community right within our own walls!
Would you like to learn more about Career Opportunities at ASD? Visit our Career Page for more information.
About The Author
Jess Farren (Fowler)
Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess@myASD.com