Love in Action: How Munchkin’s Team Thrives in an Empathetic Workplace

Munchkin’s products support families each day — and the company’s culture does the same for its family of employees as well.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on May. 31, 2024
Love in Action: How Munchkin’s Team Thrives in an Empathetic Workplace
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At Munchkin, a company dedicated to creating innovative and safe products for families worldwide, the ethos of love and care isn’t just confined to its merchandise; it permeates every aspect of its organizational culture. 

Munchkin’s heart logo is a familiar part of the day in many homes — marking the products that keep babies and their families healthy and happy. What caregivers may not see while washing sippy cups or snuggling a child is how the company’s mission to be the “most loved baby lifestyle brand” extends to supporting its diverse internal team and building strong communities.

“At Munchkin, we believe there is no room in our world, our communities or our company for actions, words, symbols or any other means of communication that directly or indirectly promote or convey hate,” the mission continues. “We feel a responsibility to create a more loving world in which we raise our children.”

Upon entering Munchkin’s headquarters, visitors are greeted not only by the company’s iconic logo but also by a palpable sense of warmth and affection. Senior Director of Demand Planning and Analytics Doug Lim emphasizes this initial experience as indicative of Munchkin’s overarching culture.

“Right when you walk through the front door, you feel the love,” he said. “We’re about love.”

For Munchkin, prioritizing the well-being of its employees isn’t just a matter of corporate policy — it’s a deeply ingrained philosophy that drives every decision, according to Customer Satisfaction Manager Heidi Torres. She highlighted the importance of this approach, particularly for individuals juggling multiple responsibilities between work and home life. In particular, Munchkin’s 12-week paid childcare leave benefits gave Torres the opportunity to bond with three of her children while working at Munchkin.

“Working for a company that provides great benefits based on the employees’ needs makes me want to do better work and feel more connected to the company values,” Torres said.

Creating opportunities for employees to bond and form meaningful connections is another cornerstone of Munchkin’s culture. From weekly “Snack Baby” events to holiday celebrations, the company fosters an environment where camaraderie flourishes.

“Every Wednesday we have an event called Snack Baby when new employees wheel around a baby stroller full of snacks to introduce themselves,” Lim said. “This helps create fun new relationships — plus everyone loves snacks.”

“These events bring people together,” added Torres, underscoring the importance of social activities in strengthening team cohesion.

When it comes to expanding the team, Munchkin doesn’t just focus on qualifications; the hiring team prioritizes cultural fit.

Lim explained, “Before the candidate’s level of ability is even considered, we first think through how this person would fit in with not only our own teams but the Munchkin team at large.” This deliberate approach ensures that every new hire aligns with the company’s values and ethos.

 

READ MOREMunchkin’s Empathetic Culture

 

True commitment to culture is exemplified by Munchkin’s leadership, who not only espouse the company’s values but embody them in their actions, according to Traffic Supervisor Daysi Cisnero. She recounted instances where leaders stepped in to assist frontline workers, demonstrating solidarity and empathy.

“On numerous occasions, leaders have gone to the distribution center floor to assist in day-to-day laboring needs,” Cisnero said. “They have shown that no matter what your rank is, you can step up to fulfill any role that may be needed. They have certainly set the precedent that inclusivity and empathy are the forefront of a successfully amiable work culture.”

 

Munchkin women employees stand behind dozens of items wrapped in pink and clear cellophane. 
Munchkin

 

 

Cisnero, in turn, seeks opportunities to model similar behavior in leading her own team.

“People are the lifeblood of the business. When employees are happy, retention rate is higher, you are more likely to have a group that works harmoniously and gets the job done,” she said. “In my experience, when people are acknowledged and shown appreciation, they tend to improve their performance. I have had the privilege to incentivize my team when expectations are being exceeded; whether that may be through verbal praise, a team luncheon or an award.”
 

“People are the lifeblood of the business.”

 

Munchkin’s culture has evolved over time, shaped both organically and through deliberate efforts. This blend of organic growth and strategic planning ensures that Munchkin’s culture remains authentic and adaptive.

“The company creates opportunities to create a shared vision, understanding and passion for the business,” explained Torres.

Torres, who founded Munchkin’s employee resource group for Latino team members, sees both visible and invisible diversity as one of the strongest parts of the company’s culture.

“What I appreciate about Munchkin’s culture is that the company recognizes looking at different ways of doing things as a positive,” she said. “Another cultural commitment to diversity is Radiant Colors, which receives 100 percent of every Monday’s profits on munchkin.com.”

Munchkin launched the Radiant Colors initiative in June 2020 to support organizations that teach anti-racist and inclusive education to little learners nationwide. Since its inception, Radiant Colors has provided funding to eight nonprofit organizations through which over 800 classroom projects across all 50 states have been supported.

 

MUNCHKIN’S COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITIES

Munchkin is committed to supporting more than just human babies. When an orange kitten was found in Missouri with Munchkin packaging wrapped around him and impeding his growth, Laura Baker reached out to the company to share the kitten’s story. Munchkin responded to Baker and her Itty Bitty Kitty City rescue with a donation to support the kitten’s surgery and more for the rescue. 

 

Munchkin’s efforts didn’t stop there. The company went on to redesign packaging for over 500 Munchkin cup SKUs, which also reduced company plastic usage by 643,630 pounds annually. 

Chief Brand Officer Diana Barnes said in a video, “Laura asked us for nothing — she simply wanted awareness. She wanted us to do better. I knew that change had to happen in our own backyard.”

Cisnero recounted her personal success story, highlighting how the company’s focus on employee development enabled her to advance in her career.

“It is exciting that our collaborative efforts and focus on developing people gave me the possibility to advance my goals with the support of women in leadership roles,” she said. “With room to focus on culture development, we can invest in long-term team growth that pays off in a tangible way.”

The opportunity for employee growth is a direct result of Munchkin’s culture, Cisnero said — especially on her own team.

“Working in a distribution center, it is our intention to keep our team’s morale high, and we challenge ourselves to prioritize employee growth and development,” she said. “Building and maintaining a culture that motivates team members takes a great deal of commitment from our leadership team.”

As Munchkin continues to grow, its commitment to nurturing a people-first culture remains unwavering. Through initiatives like employee resource groups and ongoing support for work-life balance, the company strives to create an inclusive and supportive environment where every team member can thrive.

Munchkin’s dedication to its employees isn’t just a strategy — it’s a reflection of its core values of love, care and community. By placing people at the heart of everything the company do, Munchkin isn’t just building a successful business, it is creating a family of its own.

 

Munchkin team member stands back to back with his son in front of Munchkin University sign and balloons.
Munchkin

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Munchkin.

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