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Gold Stevie Award Winner 2019, Click to Enter The 2020 Stevie Awards for Great Employers

Company: Goldfish Swim School Franchising, LLC, Troy, MI USA

Nomination Category: Achievement in Workplace Design -for up to 100 Employees


Nomination Title: New Franchise Office Design


Achievement Essay

Goldfish Swim School Franchising's office was spread out across a multi-level building before moving into its new vibrant work space. With steady franchise growth underway, it was important to have a hub for franchisees to complete training for their new business venture and for the franchise office team to feel creative and unified. In line with its core values, Goldfish Swim School is looking to create an unmatched experience both for its members and for its franchise office team when it comes to company culture. Glass walls, bright colors, a pool and Apple TVs in each meeting room promote more team-based work collaboration across departments when it comes to launching campaigns, new programs or community partnerships. As an added bonus, Goldfish Swim School owns and occupies the whole lot making for easy building access and parking for its team.

In some cases, prospective franchise owners or newly onboarded team members have never stepped foot inside a Goldfish Swim School. The team kept this in mind when designing its headquarters, laying out the franchise office to mirror the look and feel of a Goldfish location. Walking through the front door, visitors are immediately met with a comfortable seating area, green plants, and a welcoming reception desk. Behind the front desk on the wall is the company logo featuring a bright orange fish. Portholes play into the water theme and allow visitors to see into the rest of the office while large windows to the outside allow for plenty of natural light. Walking down the main hallway, you’ll see colorful surfboards lining the walls. The location’s vibrant color scheme is filled with shades of blue and orange – the brand’s colors – complimented by clean glass walls and wood tones, similar to the schools. Plus, the headquarters is central to most Michigan schools making it super convenient for check ins and franchisee support.

Another unique feature at the franchise office is a newly built pool, which is used to train team members on The Science of SwimPlay® Curriculum. Franchise office team members and their families are also encouraged to utilize the pool, whether it be for a morning workout or a lunch break activity. The pool deck is bright and warm with the water temperature staying at 90 degrees while in a climate controlled enviornment.

Encouraging teamwork throughout the office, several optimized huddle areas are fitted with Apple TVs allowing everyone to easily share content and ideas through screen mirroring on their devices. You can find the brand’s core values sprinkled throughout the entire building – they are even communicated at the beginning of each meeting. In addition to numerous collaboration rooms, there is a lounge area complete with a ping pong table, corn hole games and couches for those who are looking for a change of scenery or just want to take a quick mental break. A large café-style kitchen houses high top tables, booths and complimentary snacks so that team members can truly take a break for lunch. The occasional team happy hour after five on Fridays also helps to promotes a fun work environment.

The new franchise office design has contributed to an overall increase in team member satisfaction and collaborative projects. The location is a helpful, central hub for training, an essential item the franchise office was looking to streamline given the increased franchise growth on the horizon.

Achievement Summary

-Collaborative workspaces –Ample room for the team to spread out and get creative, plus they’re fitted with updated technology.
-In-house pool –This is a game changer for hands-on training and open to team members.
-Designated café and break area –A great place for the team to gather where there’s room for everyone to eat together, complete with couches to relax and games to play.
-Central location –The building is within driving distance of Michigan schools.
-Branded and consistent design –Prospective franchisees or team members are immediately introduced to the brand and what a school looks like when they walk through the door.
-Core values –These are displayed across the office in multiple locations.
-Transparent –Most walls are glass to promote transparency as part of the company culture.
-Training rooms –There’s a designated space for franchisee training and education, which is helpful for onboarding.

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