Arial picture of people having coffee and brightly colored round tables and chairs

The Tuft & Needle Employee Sleep Program

September 10, 2020

Author: Josie Sivigny

Let’s jump back to March of 2019 (wouldn’t that be nice?) at the Tuft & Needle Headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m a copywriter here on the content team and had just wrapped up work on our month-long campaign for our 8-Hour Sleep Challenge and had the thought, “If we are going to encourage our customers to get a full night’s sleep, shouldn’t we also encourage our employees?”

This felt like something a copywriter shouldn’t get their nose into, but I felt really passionate about the idea, so I spoke to my manager and HR about my idea. To my surprise, they both encouraged me to research and pitch the idea that I thought was best for T&N to our executive management team. Astonished yet encouraged, I gathered my team and set about developing the idea.

Picture of Tuft & Needle Employees standing around the coffee machine talking

We researched and found some companies were offering education on sleep to their employees, but very few were offering a thorough program that rewarded their employees for sleeping. This was astonishing to me considering how wide spread exercise reward programs are, and lack of sleep is such a ubiquitous problem. In fact, it’s estimated that fatigued employees cost employers about $1,200 to $3,100 per employee in lack of productivity per year.

As a sleep company, wasn’t there something that we could do to encourage, and reward, our employees for getting a full night’s sleep? I met with my team and we came up with a lot of ideas—ultimately settling on our Sleep Program. Employees can track every night that they sleep 7+ hours of sleep and then trade in their collected nights for Tuft & Needle products, which we split into tiers according to cost. To keep things challenging, we refresh the program every year.

Why do we reward our employees with our own products? Apart from being very cost-effective for us as a company, we love the idea of rewarding great sleep with even better sleep. On top of that, we love for our employees to truly be brand and product advocates. This allows them to try, and fall in love with, even more of our products, so they can better speak to their own favorites when talking to our customers.

We launched the program on July 1, 2019 and wrapped the first year on July 1, 2020. 35% of our employees participated and we tracked a total of 10,667 nights of 7+ hours of sleep. Our team redeemed just under 100 products with the most popular product being Linen Sheets with the new Quilt close behind. Percale Sheets, the Dog Bed, and our Throw Blanket were other popular products among our employees.

Picture of employees with backpacks and on bikes entering the Tuft & Needle Phoenix office building

So what about those of us who aren’t champion sleepers? Great question. My teammate Shelly created a program for the less sleep-inclined: the Sleep School. Participants of this program can pick a “track” for 30 days to see if this new habit helps them get the sleep they need. Tracks include limiting screen time before bed, working out for 30 minutes every day, a routine swap (ex. showering in the morning instead of at night), meditating before bed, etc. Every day that participants try their new habit and talk about it in a journal, counts as a night toward a product, whether they got 7+ hours of sleep or not. The goal is to help them create a routine and environment that allows them to get a full night’s rest.

We’re well into our second year now and so happy with how much our employees love the program. There’s some healthy competition between teammates at the top of our Sleep Leaderboard, and together, our Sleep Program participants got around 75,000 of hours of sleep last year.

Providing incredible sleep for our customers has always been a priority for our team, and now it’s a priority for each and every one of the people making it happen.

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