Hawaii Small Business WorkplaceWritten by Janel Lubanski On 24 June 2011
Spotlight on Hawaii’s Best Places to Work: Honolulu Board of Realtors

COMPANY: Honolulu Board of Realtors

BEST PLACES TO WORK 2011 RANK: No. 8, Small-sized companies (15 to 49 employees)



BENEFITS: Company offers paid time off for sick leave, 401K match, pays 100 percent medical coverage premium and offers tuition reimbursements.

According to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, more than the benefits, is the unique environment led by a team of managers that, in practice, recognizes the value and worth of each person who works there. Discipline, when required, is in the form or mentoring, teaching, encouragement and support to assure success. They say, “The goal is to encourage and build individual success.”

While their benefit packages match most other employers around the state, their highlighted benefits are:

  • Acknowledge reciprocal beneficiaries
  • Pay a portion of the family medical plan
  • Provide a sick leave policy that allows paid time off to care for sick children, parents, grandparents and spouses/partners.
  • Offer tuition reimbursements

EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION: The Honolulu Board of Realtors company motto is “Communicate honestly and people will feel your authenticity. Speak from your heart and focus on the good and positive in others.” This motto originated during a promotion sponsored by Becker Communications.

HBR employees were encouraged to submit a statement that they believed best exemplified living aloha. HBR employee, Brenda Kailieha was the winner of the promotion.

MORALE BOOSTERS: Each year, HBR hosts off-site annual staff retreats, which have included visits to Iolani Palace, the Arizona Memorial, Oceanic Institute and the Polynesian Cultural Center.

“Our goal is to have fun, but in an environment that helps us to appreciate the richness and diversity of our island state,” staff says. “Each of these cultural and historical sites has great significance and understanding this as part of who we are, helps us to become better citizens and neighbors.

But let’s not leave out food! At HBR, food is a great power booster. At different times of the year and at their own expense, people bring food to share – manapua, corn bread baked the night before and even specially flavored and homemade SPAM musubi.  The office celebrates the end of a large event with ice cream or other special treats; complete with orchids for the front office from the CEO’s mother’s hot house.

AWARDS & HONORS: Staff anniversaries are recognized monthly in the “Friday Staff News” email and milestone anniversaries (1st year, then 5-year increments) are celebrated at the general staff meetings with a letter, lei, cake, lunch and gift certificate.

WHY ARE YOU A BEST PLACE TO WORK? “Our chief executive officer sets the pace with leadership, experience, flexibility and respect for employees,” staff says.  “Employees are encouraged to pursue professional development to better serve our members, customers and colleagues. Teamwork is an integral part of the corporate culture and internal communications underlie all standards and practices. Staff suggestions are welcomed and always encouraged. The organization is supportive of family situations, understanding when family emergencies and situations arise and provides employees the flexibility to address their needs as appropriate.”

Check out the Honolulu Board of Realtors on Facebook.

In April, Hawaii Business released the results of 2011’s Best Places to Work in Hawaii.

Since this assessment is only conducted once every year, we wanted to follow up with some of the companies to see how they are keeping business booming and employees happy.

Is your company a Best Place to Work? Register for free at bestplacestoworkinhi.com

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About Author

Janel Lubanski

Intern at Hawaii Business magazine. Attended HPU and graduated with a BA in Journalism; MBA in progress. Relocating to Portland, OR in July 2011.

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