Gentle Giant’s employees are moving with peace of mind

Healthiest Employers of Rhode Island Awards 2020 | 2-499 EMPLOYEES
6. Gentle Giant Moving Co.
| Larry O’Toole, Founder and president | Number of employees: 400 

LOTS OF MANAGEMENT people casually use “team” or “teamwork” to describe a group of employees acting together. Gentle Giant Moving Co., headquartered in Somerville, Mass., however, has historic precedent to authentically use the “teamwork” metaphor.

The company was founded 40 years ago by Larry O’Toole, an Irish immigrant who rowed crew as a student at Northeastern University. He hired many of his first employees from the ranks of other student athletes, said Tom O’Gorman, the company’s current CEO.

For a business demanding physical strength from staff, Gentle Giant’s wellness program emphasizes mindfulness and emotional health as the centerpiece of its fitness programs.

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‘When we first tried [in-house] programs, we had really positive feedback. It is a great break in the middle of the day to do a meditation session.’
Tom O’Gorman Gentle Giant Moving Co. CEO

Fitness programs and classes are available at the home office but are not standardized across the whole company. Many of the company’s workspaces have small, homemade gyms on-site. Many employees, O’Gorman said, are reimbursed for local gym memberships, where they often take yoga classes.

Employees “find yoga and meditation classes to be of great benefit,” O’Gorman said. “Many employees are on the phone all day. They take [these classes] during the day to de-stress.”

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