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Calendar >  The Growing Ripple Effect of Vista’s Watkins Wellness

The Growing Ripple Effect of Vista’s Watkins Wellness

By   /  November 4, 2021  /  No Comments

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Vista, CA –Watkins Wellness, the world’s leading manufacturer of hot tubs and aquatic fitness products headquartered in Vista, CA, has instilled a company culture rooted in well-being, community, and people in and outside of its offices. Watkins Wellness employs more than 700 people locally and over 3,000 globally, and has been proudly headquartered in Vista for over 31 years. During the last three decades, the company has made it their business to grow with the community, create a dynamic and fresh company culture, and partner with local nonprofits.  

“Our products help people relax and feel better, sleep easier, reduce stress, and soothe their aches and pains,” said Internal Communications and Employee Engagement Manager, Maggie Hammock. “When people feel better, they’re able to be better parents, friends, employees. They enjoy their lives more. That positive ripple effect starts here at Watkins.”  

The family-oriented company takes pride in its people-first culture. Externally, Watkins demonstrates this through local community partnerships.  

“We gain so much from our partnerships with the community. Maintaining long standing relationships with community organizations is important to us. We want to grow alongside our partners,” continued Hammock.  

Watkins Wellness began partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Vista in the mid-90s. Since then, the company has donated well over $200,000 and helped countless local youth.  

Internally, Watkins Wellness exemplifies their organizational values, The Watkins Way, through a company well-being program, generous benefits, and most recently, an internal employee engagement campaign.   

Examples of this commitment to employee well-being can be seen in both large and small ways. For instance, Watkins Wellness’ facility in Vista has two full-time nurses onsite. If employees are injured or feel unwell, they are encouraged to visit the nurse’s office for immediate medical attention. Watkins’ well-being program also promotes healthy behaviors by rewarding employee participation. The company added a walking trail around the facility for employees to exercise during work hours, take breaks, relax or get fresh air.  

“Being headquartered in Vista for so long is an important part of who we are as a company,” said Hammock. “We have been supported by the city over the years and are able to recruit a top-notch team pulling from all of San Diego County and beyond. Where you locate your business makes a difference in who you have access to and what kind of culture you can create. We appreciate balance, are purposeful in mission, and strategic with our growth, and we see those values mirrored by others in Vista too.” 

The average span of employment for a Watkins employee is 12 years; however many employees have been employed longer.  Some current Watkins employees have been with the company for more than 40 years. In February 2021, an employee engagement campaign was launched to encourage a continued focus on The Watkins Way, the company’s values. The campaign includes monthly videos from Watkins executives and town hall meetings with Watkins President Steve Hammock. The town hall meetings are designed to engage employees across all of Watkins’ locations, including their employees based in other states and in international locations such as Mexico, Belgium, Latin America, and the UK, for a presentation on company sales numbers, financials, and a Q&A session.  

The Watkins Way campaign has assisted in bridging the 11 organizational values from paper to practice as well as aided in onboarding new hires virtually. Through the virtual town halls and other events, all employees have the opportunity to be heard and seen. This is especially important as companies continue to navigate virtual onboarding and sustaining company culture while working remotely. At the most recent Watkins town hall meeting, one topic of conversation was the April 2022 retirement of Steve Hammock after a 39-year tenure with the company, 25 of those years as President. Watkins Executive Vice President, VJ Teenarsipur, will take over as President of Watkins Wellness in January 2022.  

“Serving as President of Watkins has been one of the great honors of my life,” said Hammock. “I will miss seeing our wonderful people every day, but I have nothing but faith and belief in our company and VJ. Our team is committed to quality in all we do – how we manufacture our products, how we treat our people, and how we invest in our communities. Watkins will continue to be a leader in wellness with such a strong company culture as its foundation.”  

During Hammock’s tenure, the company acquired three businesses and grew tremendously. During the COVID-19 pandemic alone, the company has added more than 150 employees to their Vista headquarters. Just as other industries are navigating new challenges amid supply chain challenges, Watkins is projecting continued growth as it keeps pace with increased customer demand. 

“When COVID-19 hit, we did not know what was going to happen. But suddenly our demand increased like never before. Once people started spending more time at home, hot tub orders skyrocketed and have not slowed down,” said Hammock.  

Watkins is currently hiring for office, manufacturing, and warehouse positions at their Vista location. For more information on Watkins Wellness and job opportunities, visit www.watkinsmfg.com/careers/.  

For More Information Contact: Kevin Ham, Economic Development Director, City of Vista 
P: 760.643.5244  E: kham@cityofvista.com 

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