Picture this: it’s 2010, and our founder Bin Yu is attending school in the Deep South in the United States. He had an idea, plus the encouragement of his instructors at the LSU Business Incubator Program to start an LED lighting company. LEDs were gaining more and more acceptance with consumers, and the energy savings and innovation in the product were very attractive. One part dream, one part hard work and focus—add thousands and thousands of diodes, a healthy portion of substrate, a pinch of premium mounting tape. This is how HitLights was born.
Being a founder has lots of challenges, one of which is that founders have to be able to switch focus to a variety of tasks—it’s not just the LED lights that need a founder’s attention. There’s marketing, and logistics, don’t forget admin, what about sales (we won’t be a company if we don’t have sales!) You get the idea. A growing company has lots of needs and not a lot of time to fulfill those needs.
Bin Yu quickly learned at the start of running HitLights that he needed a team—a good team. Flash forward a dozen years and HitLights has over a dozen people working in multiple locations around the world. Over the years, many things about HitLights have changed, but the need for a team isn’t one of them.
Why did HitLights pursue this certification?
With the need for a quality team, the types of employees who will make HitLights a leader in the LED lighting world are going to want to work for a company which is on par with their skills and abilities. People with something to offer want to know that they will be valued and appreciated at work. Top employees want some assurances that they will work in a positive and pleasant place.
Those are some solid external reasons for undertaking the certification. What about from inside the company?
Great Places to Work makes it clear that one aspect of their evaluation is to give a company insight about the true sentiments of the employees. It’s one thing to put out bulletins and hold meetings and come up with vision statements, but it’s another thing to gauge the actual thoughts and feelings of your staff. Great Places to Work evaluates the employee experience from the ground level, providing an opportunity to give honest opinions. Plus, thanks to the depth of experience held by Great Places to Work, they know the right questions to ask to get that authentic assessment.
So, what do the HitLights Staff say?
A couple of themes emerge from the responses of our staff in the Great Places to Work survey. Our staff members recognize the HitLights ethos of improvement and growth (personally and professionally.) They also recognize that HitLights is a company that has core values and sticks to those values at every level.
“Everyone always gives their best and helps each other. Sounds cheesy but it is actually very rare for a company.” one anonymous staffer said.
One of the most impactful comments from a staff member recognized that at HitLights, the best idea wins.
"I also love that the BEST IDEA WINS at Hitlights. We work together, decisions and instructions are not solely directed by our executives but there's always an opportunity to present our ideas to the table."
~ HitLights employee
While this might seem like a simple idea, it actually cuts deep. To really produce an environment where the best idea wins, it means that communication must be open, allowing ideas to be expressed. It requires that management listen and weigh ideas, no matter who comes up with them. (Not to mention the humility to appreciate that a good idea can come from any staffer.) It also means we can’t be married to “how we’ve always done it” if there’s a better way.
The Great Places to Work survey statistics produced even more good news. Overall, 93% of employees at HitLights said that our company is a great place to work—compare that to only 53% of employees saying the same for a typical global company. HitLights scored a full 40 percentage points higher!
Some other key statistics were gathered:
- Staff recognizes that HitLights focuses on the customer experience and works to improve processes and quality
- 100% of the HitLights employee respondents said YES when asked if HitLights was “physically a safe place to work.”
- Employee time off is appropriate and supported when the employee makes those requests
- HitLights employees enjoy their compensation and benefits; salaries and conditions are competitive
- Are HitLights employees proud to tell family and friends they work here? 100% said YES!
Those kinds of quantifiable results makes HitLights proud—not just of what has been accomplished as a company, but proud of our whole team, each member since each member is a part of building our culture every single day.
Does being a Great Place to Work matter for customers?
Any professional who has been at their trade for an amount of time learns that certain qualities like integrity, high-standards, trustworthiness can’t be faked. It simply doesn’t work to pretend to have values that aren’t supported by the work. Cutting corners, shoddy work, and deception always have a way of catching up and exposing themselves if permitted to exist.
While this might seem like heady, high-level thinking, it has everything to do with the HitLights customer experience.
It would not be possible to offer our customers the premiere service we strive to produce if our foundation was not strong. Our staff is the foundation on which the customer experience is built.
We do not take for granted that our entire company is operating on a kind of “virtuous circle.” Here’s what we mean: HitLights manufactures high-quality lighting solutions. We love our products and know they will satisfy our customers. Because of the integrity of our products, our team can confidently help and advise our customers because they know the quality is there. We invest in training, management, and compensation to create the kind of place where HitLights staff want to work and thrive. Thriving staff provide an outstanding experience for our customers. Customers who are happy tell their colleagues and come back to shop again.
In light of all that, we can say YES—it matters to our customers that HitLights is a Great Place to Work… CERTIFIED! We hope you see it that way, too. Going forward, we know that we will be able to fulfill our potential as a company and continue to be a recognized leader in our industry. We know what is important, and we work to make sure those core values shine through everything we do.
Our founder Bin Yu says it best—"We come together as a team because we believe in and live by our core values. We are working hard to make HitLights a great place to work for everyone. We continue to strengthen our relationships, stay open and honest with our communication, continuously do the right thing, and be relentless with our goals.”
(Psst—did you read this and think, Wow, I want to work at a place like HitLights! We don’t blame you. HitLights is a great place to work, after all. We’re always looking for great quality professionals to help us reach our goals. Reach out here.)
The next time you shop with HitLights or when you place your next PRO Account order, you’ll know the staff member helping you with your order is working in a great place. We know you’ll experience the difference. And don’t forget, our team is ready to talk to you. Call us now at 1 (855) 768-4135. to get the assistance you need. HitLights – a Great Place to Work AND inspiring the use of eco-friendly LED Strip Lights Globally.