Heather Capps was a single mother when she bought the assets of the marketing firm for which she was working. Today the agency that launched with just two employees has grown to a team of 40. “I love being an advocate for single and working parents,” Capps says. “It’s one of the reasons why we have flex time. I’m OK if [employees] need to have time off to be the room mom or dad for a day. Those are the things that I didn’t necessarily get to do while working my way up.” Another perk of working at Capps’ HCK2 Partners? Being able to bring your dog to work. The CEO says it is a welcomed distraction. “Animals have this thing about them that brings out the greatest energy in people,” Capps says.
What do you look for when hiring account executives at your firm?
“I look for charity. When I see a young person who along with going to school and having a job, has still found time to volunteer for a charity of their choice, that’s a huge indicator to me that they have a steward’s heart to give back to the community. That’s super important.”
How and why did you come up with your company’s flex-time policy?
“You should let a working mom go pick up her kids from school. Allowing them that extra hour with their kiddo each day is a no-brainer, because from the second they walk into the office to the minute they leave, they’re grinding it. You’re crazy if you think that your employees are sitting at their desks 40 hours per week and working all 40 hours. Let’s be human beings about it. Let’s have some grace.”
Why do you encourage your employees to bring their dogs to work?
“You can be having the most stressful day and when a pup comes up to you and wiggles his little butt—all that just dissipates. We’ve also been able to turn the dogs into the stars of our social media. And clients want to have their meetings at HCK2 because they want to bring their own pups in with them.”
What has been the toughest lesson you’ve learned?
“Learning to delegate. When I started at this agency, it was just me and one other person. The only way we’ve been able to grow like we have is for me to learn to let go of things. When you’re not the bottleneck, it helps you grow so much faster. That’s been a hard lesson for me.”
Read an expanded Q&A with Heather Capps in D CEO’s monthly Women’s Leadership e-newsletter.