The holidays are a great time of year for employees at Koch Eye Associates. It is when the family-run, Warwick-based ophthalmology and optometry practice closes for an entire day, with the sole purpose of celebrating its employees and their hard work. CEO Peter Koch makes it his personal quest to throw a not-so-average holiday work party.
“They don’t know what they are doing until that day. I do all the planning, and I don’t tell anyone,” said Koch, who last year organized a statewide scavenger hunt for his employees.
Other years involved renting a private movie theater, square dancing, bingo and karaoke.
This tradition is followed by the presentation of a bonus check to each employee – an extra thank you that Koch Eye has offered its employees for the past 29 years without fail – and an Employee of the Year recognition to honor outstanding job performance, a diligent work ethic, self-improvement and team spirit. The employee is rewarded with a $500 cash reward.
“Our staff basically works [hard] – and they want two things in return,” said Koch. “A good paycheck and a pleasant, peaceful and meaningful place to work. We try to give them that.”
The holiday season is not the only great time to work at Koch Eye. The company finishes off the summer season each year with Koch Eye Cares Day, a day of volunteering followed by a themed evening party with prizes for the most unique attire.
Staff can choose from volunteer opportunities, such as cleaning yards, working on boats and reading to children at the library.
“People don’t have a chance to do these things very often,” said Koch. “A lot of people live paycheck to paycheck, and this gives them a day to reflect.” •