A new retention trick

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Updated Feb 5, 2013

We here at CCJ hear about all sorts of interesting ideas and methods that trucking companies use to recruit and retain their best employees – not only drivers but also administrative staff. Here’s an idea that’s literally gone to the dogs. KTI Inc., a Minnetonka, Minn.-based logistics provider and transportation broker, was featured by a local TV station as one of the “best pet-friendly companies.”

Established in 1997, KTI handles truckload, less-than-truckload, drayage and intermodal shipments for small to large companies nationwide. Since its beginnings, KTI always has had dogs in the office, starting with the founder’s own dog, Jackson. As the company grew and word of the dog-friendly atmosphere spread, more people started bringing in their own four-legged pals.

“Our transportation experts successfully provide our customers with innovative and cost-effective transportation solutions,” says Michael Kroul, KTI president. “Our dogs, however, provide us with not only stress relief and support, but actually help us collaborate more effectively with each other.”

Alan Weiner, chief executive officer, says that allowing dogs in the workplace has been a benefit. “Dogs have a unique way of helping people deal with stress,” Weiner says. “When someone is having a tough day, the dogs just seem to sense it. It really makes a difference.”

However, KTI doesn’t just let its four-legged friends roam the hallways all day long unleashed; there are some guidelines to follow. The canines must be OK’d by leadership to join the team, be trained and socialized and stay out of the kitchen during lunch time.

KTI now is hiring for various sales and operation positions, and Kroul makes no bones about his intentions to inform prospective employees that, if hired, they will have playful coworkers with paws in their midst – some that drool more than others. “As we continue to hire due to our growth, we have no plans to change our ‘dog-loving’ ways,” he says.

If you love dogs, I couldn’t think of a more fun place to work – and you’ll sure know when the UPS van pulls up. Just watch your step.