It’s a normal Monday afternoon at the Costa Mesa, Calif., corporate headquarters of Solid Landings Behavioral Health. Most of the employees in the main office are hard at work after their weekend reprieve. But instead of being sluggish or lackadaisical, most seem unusually upbeat and quite happy. A case of the Monday blahs? Not here. 

 “Most of our staff is either in recovery, have family in recovery or have gone to school for it,” said Elizabeth Brook, a marketing manager for Solid Landings, in a recent article in the Orange County Register’s online edition. “They are not here to do anything other than to make a difference in someone’s life and hold their hand on this path to sobriety. Because of that, we’ve been very successful.”

 It is that type of pervasive attitude that landed Solid Landings on the O.C. Register’s "Top Workplaces" for 2014 – a notch on its belt it hopes to repeat when the 2015 list comes out later this year.

 In speaking with different employees at Solid Landings, which operates Sure Haven (women only) and Rock Solid (men only) in Costa Mesa, in addition to programs in Long Beach, Las Vegas and Austin, Texas, it’s clear there isn’t a typical company culture where employees can sometimes feel lost in the shuffle and madness of the American corporate landscape.

 “In 25 years, I have worked for many companies, and none of them compare to Solid Landings when it comes to looking out for their employees,” said James Cocco, Solid Landings’ director of communications. “Since my first day here back in 2013, I truly felt like they cared about me and what I had to say. That is something I never felt at other companies for which I’ve worked in the past. And I truly believe that culture is created by the passion and devotion instilled by the company’s founders.”

 Steve Fennelly, the company’s CEO, said he and his two co-founders, Elizabeth Perry and Mark Shandrow, go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that every employee is heard and recognized for his or her accomplishments.

 “We have grown substantially in the last few years, but we never lose focus on the importance of our employees,” Fennelly said. “We know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our clients’ success is directly contingent on the strength and happiness of our staff.”

 Furthermore, leaders within the organization hold themselves to the highest level of accountability and look to Solid Landings’ company values to create a positive work environment for employees, Brook said. The company’s core values include teamwork, compassion, joyfulness, integrity, stewardship, dedication and gratitude. Company leaders maintain an open-door policy to ensure that employees from all levels throughout the organization understand that they can seek assistance with any work-related issue.

Maintaining a positive and encouraging workplace benefits not only the employees, but clients as well.

“When our employees want to come to work and are smiling and happy, this sets the tone for our clients. When they see how our team really enjoys giving back and working together, our clients will be inspired and want the same for themselves,” Brook said.

 Solid Landings began in 2008 when Fennelly, Perry and Shandrow opened a single sober-living house in Costa Mesa. Since then, their company has grown to one of the largest privately owned drug- and alcohol-treatment facilities in the United States with upward of 1,500 employees in California, Nevada and Texas.

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