Terrors of the Ballpit

Fools like to be different, so our unique workspaces here at FoolHQ shouldn’t be all that shocking. In addition to beanbags and height-adjustable desks, we also house a ball pit. Yes – an old-school ball pit that Fools actually use for meetings and work. In fact, it moves around the office because it’s pretty popular.

No matter how much we innovate office aesthetics, our goal of sustaining a productive culture stays put. We keep work fun, which sometimes means that pranking is involved. The most recent scene of the crime was the ballpit itself…

A Foolish Farewell to our Summer Interns

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From our Foolish Recruiting Team:

Here at FoolHQ, it’s our first week of the summer without interns.  The office is a little quieter, the game room is a lot emptier, and the preparation for next year is already under way.  A few of our interns have been crowned full time Fools and most returned to their college campuses… but they all made a significant footprint in our business that will help us help the world invest – better.

An internship at the Fool is a lot like full time employment with the Fool.  We work on hard problems, we are immersed in cross-functional teams, and we strive to deliver the highest impact and best solution to our members.  One of our software development interns helped design and build a centralized platform that will allow peer-to-peer sharing of investing research.  When she wasn’t publishing articles to our Canadian site, our international intern researched the regional stock market that links the exchanges of Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Chile so the team could better understand the Latin American market.  Our investing interns wrote articles for Fool.com when they weren’t preparing for team-wide stock pitches, podcast recordings, and 10-K challenges. 

In addition to team-specific goals, the intern cohort spent lots of time together #collaborating and #learning.  They graduated from Fool University after taking classes on business valuations, retention marketing, global operations, how to build a computer from scratch, and several other courses.  They also spent a lot of time together learning what toppings to put on ice cream sundaes, which surface is most practical for a high volume of push-ups, which of the nine pizza shops make the best pie on pizza day, and how to scale a mountain in West Virginia.  We’re serious about that last one- check out the pics below!
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While the Fool’s Summer 2015 Internship program has come to an end, the magic is in the works to make next summer’s adventure even better.  If you’re interested in spending a summer interning with us, stay tuned for details over the coming months.  We’ll be hosting an open house during winter break so you can talk to the various teams that host interns, learn more about our business, check out our unconventionally sweet office space, and maybe- just maybe- leave with some Fool swag.  To get on the VIP list for that open house, be sure to include the phrase “robots float on clouds” when sign-ups become available.  Trust us, you’ll know it when you see it.

Fool Wellness Makes The Washington Post

Employees at Motley Fool have many options to stay fit, in Alexandria, VA.

While financial health is the base of our business, Fools need strong minds too. As full-time Wellness Director Sam Whiteside revolutionizes Foolish health, her initiatives are quickly becoming ingrained in our culture. During Sam’s time as a Fool, she’s added additional workout classes (yoga, kettlebells, and cycling – oh my!); started a monthly newsletter; created company-wide challenges; and offered multiple private consults to Fools striving for better health. However, these examples barely cover the surface of Sam’s impact on our organization. Her goal is to reach 100% wellness participation across the company and, in just under 2 years, we’ve already hit 89%.

We’re thrilled that Sam was able to represent Foolish wellness in our recent Washington Post feature, which announced their picks for 2015’s Best Places to Work.

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In a world where work is nearly 24/7, wellness is even more important to employees’ happiness. And while it could be intimidating, don’t feel nervous about encouraging health initiatives at your organization. Sam advises, “The trick is to get to know your people first, get their trust. And then they’ll pretty much let you run them into the ground if you want to.”

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To see what other companies made The Washington Post’s list, click right here.

Glassdoor Features our Foolish Recruiters

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As a job-seeker or HR professional, have you ever contemplated the top traits a candidate can offer in today’s job market? Our recruiters, who collectively bring 10 years of experience to the Fool, took a break to tackle hiring’s most-popular FAQ’S for Glassdoor’s “Rockstar Recruiter Series.” Their answers, covering everything from internal branding to cultural fit, are definitely worth a read. 

Our CEO Tom Gardner points out: “Employees spend a third of their lives at work. Make your office a place someone would actually want to spend time.” We’re all about sharing ideas, and thanks to Glassdoor we can start a discussion on Foolish recruiting. Even if you’re not in the hiring industry, we hope our feature inspires ideas that can improve your workplace.

Weigh in on all things hiring via Twitter or by commenting below!

Motley Wellness Gets Mentioned!

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Depending on a company’s approach, the definition of corporate wellness can stretch over a pretty broad spectrum. In addition to offering free 1:1 personal training, subsidized in-house massages, and a variety of fitness classes, Head Wellness Fool Sam Whiteside thinks outside of the box. We couldn’t agree more that our “health and fitness perks are off the charts” and feel excited to appear on Mashable’s list of companies with “amazingly unique wellness programs.”

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Ranking #4 on a list surrounded by companies like Google, Fitbit, and Zappos, The Motley Fool was recognized for our fun fitness challenges, monthly health newsletter, and frequent involvement in area marathons and races. Sam Whiteside also shared that the Fool’s wellness engagement is nearly 86%.

See Mashable’s full feature on Foolish Fitness here!

 

Happy Employees = A Good Investment

Here at the Fool, we spend a lot of time reviewing great investments. These discussions are all over the board, from stocks to wellness to investing in employees’ long-term career paths. Our CEO Tom Gardner focused on investing in company culture at a Worcester Economic Club event citing, “If you make culture, leadership, and workplace engagement a key factor in your investment approach, you do better over time.”

Tom supports his point by chatting about our impressive Glassdoor recognitions, the state of employee engagement in America (it’s low, FYI…), and other companies dedicated to this same investing approach. Find out more about Tom’s visit here!

Foolish Innovation Wins

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Since Innovation is one of our Core Values, Fools looked forward to DCFemTech’s recent reveal of this year’s “Most Powerful Programmers.” Another reason to embrace the excitement? Because not one but TWO Fools were recognized by fellow females in the DC tech scene for impressive achievements in their field.

DCFemTech, a group that supports females in tech organizations, received a total of 79 nominations. Winners were chosen based on the impact they’ve had on their company; the complexity of their coding; and the impression they’ve had on their community. The final list of winners – 30 ladies in all – can be found here.

Congratulations to Fools Lisa Chung and Emily Williamson! Thanks for dedicating your talents to Foolish innovation, both at FoolHQ and in our local community.

The Foolish Way for April Fool’s Day

Though Fools always strive to educate, amuse, and enrich, the amuse part is clutch on April Fool’s Day. In fact, it’s celebrated throughout our office – and on Fool.com. The Motley Fool deemed April 1 a Foolish holiday long ago, and we’re happy to report that the fun is still in full force. But as there’s always a method to madness, we do have a meaning behind our practical jokes.

Fool.com advertised a Kiddie Credit Card, which offered plastic that would charge children an interest rate of 7% plus their age. While its promo video got some laughs, our sincere thought was to inform readers of conniving credit card tricks and unwitting fees. Our team also shared helpful ideas about introducing finance to youngsters, along with tips on building budgets and good credit. If you’re interested in learning more about chatting money with teens, here’s a good start.

Speaking of Foolishness, you may have noticed our “urgent” job posting for Senior VP, Meeting Resolutions. Well…that position doesn’t exactly exist BUT there are plenty of other Foolish jobs just waiting to be filled. We want to discover the best talent – which might be you, falling for our April Fool’s Day joke! In all seriousness, be sure to check out this site frequently for active – and real – job postings.

Since one of our core values is fun, we ended this April Fool’s Day with a party. And Nerf Guns were involved…naturally.

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Oh! And a sword swallower… #Foolish

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Foolish Career Opportunity – Act Now!

Update: Even though we’re a few days late, Happy April Fool’s! This day is always a big Foolish celebration and our recruiters wanted to join in on the fun. We encourage you to check our real open positions here.

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In a growing workplace, the need to spare every free minute is crucial. Meetings are frequent and we want Fools to spend more time doing their best work. Too often these meetings get sidetracked, agendas get muddled, and attendees are left drooling, staring at the ceiling, or peeping cat videos on their phone under the table. The Motley Fool seeks a dedicated, compassionate, and commanding individual to be our full-time Senior VP, Meeting Resolutions. Meetings are a great way to brainstorm, collaborate, and revel in the knowledge and wit of colleagues and friends, and the person to fill this role will know precisely the moment when productivity is abandoned and meaningful contributions have ceased.

So what are our Foolish Recruiters looking for? Here are a few responsibilities and objectives of our Senior VP, Meeting Resolutions :

  • Save Fools’ precious time so they can focus on important projects
  • Recognize the difference between valuable contributions and clap-trap, yammer, and yadda yadda yadda
  • Command attention, regardless of who is speaking, and conclude the meeting with your patented Shut It Down move
  • Review meeting agendas to determine if the meeting even needs to happen
  • Attend meetings of all sizes and levels of importance, from the full-team hullabaloo to the two-person cowfee talk
  • Coach and develop the most egregious violators of meeting etiquette

We hope you’re still interested! A few more details that you may find helpful:

Core Competencies:

  • Great listener
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Perceiver of the unperceived
  • Trusted, credible, and beloved
  • Feared when the time is right
  • Unwilling to tolerate the following meeting no-no’s: pen-clicking, nail clipping, violent foot shaking, bullying, open-mouth chewing, arguing for arguing’s sake, glory-stealing, indecisive leadership, close talking, loud talking, personal space violations, gum snapping, bubble blowing, throwing an absent colleague under the bus, carrying on about last night’s reality TV shows (unless it’s The Bachelor… every Fool loves our weekly Bachelor recaps)

Preferred Qualities:

  • Current colleagues unequivocally trust your instincts
  • Comfortable with combative behavior
  • You first learned how to tactfully interrupt people in pre-school
  • You have mastered the Dikembe Mutombo “No, no, no” finger-wag
  • Unafraid to use squirt guns, Nerf darts, swift kicks under the table, or other Foolish weaponry
  • Handy with the phrase, “Oh no you didn’t!” if confronted with cheekiness
  • Comfortable leading with both charisma and fear

Education and Training:

-An M.S. in B.S.

-Extensive facilitation skills

-Training in Crucial Conversations

Wondering what to do next? Apply! We’re hiring quickly for the Senior VP, Meeting Resolutions position, so don’t let this opportunity go to waste. Click for the job application here!

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March Madness is a Workplace Win

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It’s that time of year again – March Madness is back! Although this month signals an exciting time for sports fans, most companies aren’t as enthused. Research shows that March Madness can be distracting to employees, plus decreased productivity is estimated to cost American companies nearly $2 billion dollars in 2015.

Perhaps the real madness lies behind employers banning the tournament from workplaces. That’s right – just hear us out. Our own Sam Cicotello said to The Washington Post, “”If employers lock things down, what that ends up doing is putting the employee in a very bad spot, where they have to lie and can’t do something they enjoy.”

Like The Motley Fool, more organizations are starting to view March Madness in a positive light. If the tournament is embraced, it can be the perfect opportunity to foster collaboration and build employee relationships.

Still not convinced? Sam Cicotello shared a few more Foolish thoughts on March Madness in The Washington Post’s feature – click here to read on!