The Little Things That Go a Long Way

By Stream Energy Senior Director of Communications Paul Thies

Okay sure, I’m the PR guy and so you’ll no doubt expect me to toot our horn, but Stream Energy and Ignite really have built a pretty amazing business success story in a short amount of time.

The company has been in business for six years and in that time has become one of the largest electricity providers in Texas (one of the largest energy markets in the WORLD); expanded to Georgia and Pennsylvania (with more states coming soon); and generated several billion dollars in revenue. We’ve won or been nominated for some pretty significant awards, like Platts and Ernst and Young; received a sizeable amount of media attention; and even launched one of the largest New Year’s Eve fireworks displays in the United States.

Pretty “Big Time” stuff, for sure.

There are also the many stories of people who, having gotten into the Ignite Opportunity, have seen their lives and their fortunes enhanced by the residual income generated by their customers’ energy bills. We’re talking about tens of millions of dollars in residual payouts to the everyday people you find living in your neighborhood.

But in giving this some consideration, I think that some of the significant things that separate our firm from other companies are the little things we do.

A specific example that I’m referring to is our practice of giving people the card.

By “the card” I’m talking about birthday and employment anniversary cards.

We have in the neighborhood of 260 Stream Energy employees. And for each one of them our boss, Stream Energy chairman Rob Snyder, personally handwrites a card for their birthday or Stream Energy anniversary.

It may not seem like a big thing at first glance, but I can tell you that this simple gesture has made a profound difference in the spirit around here.

Think about it. How often has your boss even remembered your birthday, let alone given you a card? And when the CEO of the company writes you a personal note – and I mean a real note, not simply “Happy Birthday” – well, I don’t know about you but I haven’t seen many CEOs in my professional career who take the time to do that FOR EVERY ONE OF HIS EMPLOYEES. All the way down the line.

I really hand it to Rob for doing that. Personally, I’m good about writing cards for my wife and kids, but that’s about it. This guy is writing them for everyone in our corporate office. It makes people feel appreciated. And that’s one of our competitive advantages. Our employees know that they matter.