Gentle Giant Moving Company is the premier moving and storage company in the US. We pledge to deliver the highest quality service in the moving industry, guaranteed. This is a blog about all things related to moving and what is going on at the Gentle Giant Moving Company
Winter is the slow season at Gentle Giant, but with that comes an opportunity to focus on improving employee engagement and expanding skill sets through training. A phrase that has been the key to recruiting Gentle Giant’s unique workforce has always been “We develop leaders, not laborers.” This highlights our commitment to employing articulate, intelligent individuals and equipping them with the soft skills they need to offer exceptional service.
Our Movers & Employees Get Custom Training
We recognize that our continued success is the result of diverse employees well-trained to address and work through the multitude of stresses that may arise on moving day. From guided role-playing with an improv acting group, to monthly external career coaching sessions, Gentle Giant is always looking for creative solutions to improve employee experience and performance.
The Gentle Giant training department works tirelessly to stay at the forefront of workforce improvement, utilizing unique approaches to tackle common challenges, both in the office and on the trucks. For example, improving communication in the workplace is a frequently mentioned goal. The Predictive Index (PI) is a behavioral assessment tool used to increase communication and self-awareness of employees. It is an important part of training that help managers better understand employee needs, improve performance conversations and make informed decisions.
Managers and Movers Both Benefit from Training
Training opportunities are not limited to those in management and leadership positions. Gentle Giant recognizes that our success is largely driven by having a self-aware workforce that can have healthy, transparent conversations, with managers and customers alike. Training classes related to giving and receiving feedback, conflict resolution, active listening, self and social awareness, and how to address sensitive aspects of moving day are available to employees throughout the company. Managers receive specific training on employee development, performance management, and how to create and sustain high performing teams. The goal of our training classes is to ensure that employees can solve any problems that come their way.
An Independent Development Plan is another unique opportunity guided by the training department for high potential individuals to target areas of interest and desired skill development. Gentle Giant recognizes that many employees are not joining the company in the hopes of becoming career movers, but instead as a stop on their way to larger life plans. Employees have gone on to be doctors, lawyers, and Olympic athletes, to name a few. Gentle Giant’s goal is to help all employees, regardless of tenure, reach their maximum potential. Through the variety of management and soft skill training offered employees are encouraged to be their best selves, within the company and beyond.
If you are interested in learning more about the opportunities we offer in developing leadership skills and employment experience, please visit us here.
As another year begins, many people will be sitting down to set forth their goals for the coming months. While resolutions vary between individuals, there are often common threads tying them all together: health and wellness, new experiences and improved relationships. We all hope to improve ourselves in some way.
At Gentle Giant, we like to highlight healthy resolutions and help our employees reach them. Here are five of the most common New Year’s resolutions and how we plan to continue down a path of self-improvement:
Exercise more and lose weight— Whether it is lifting more weight or dropping the pounds, most New Year’s resolution lists include a nod to getting fit. With an extensive gym in our headquarters, frequent trips to Harvard Stadium, and gym membership reimbursement, we make a point to help all employees find their best path to good health. After all, we are a company whose success is based on the fitness of our employees, both body and mind.
Prioritize personal well-being and stress management— Chronic stress can have long-term physical and psychological impact. To address the inherent stressors that occur with managing a work-life balance, Gentle Giant offers monthly meditation sessions, a flexible schedule, quarterly acupuncture and 24/7 access to a robust employee assistance program. We also have a clear job ladder to offer transparency in how to move ahead in your career.
Spend more time with family and friends— Employee surveys show that the number one reason people choose to work and stay at Gentle Giant are the people they work with. The company atmosphere is one of a close knit, team-oriented group, where coworkers often feel like family and old friends. It is an opportunity to work alongside like-minded people you enjoy every day, keeping positive relationships at the forefront.
Travel more— There is no better way to learn the ins and outs of a city than from the cab of a moving truck. Gentle Giant movers are in a new house, neighborhood, and town almost every day and get the opportunity to try the best lunch spots and take a break in the wonderful city parks in the area. With a long-distance moving branch of the business, there are also excellent opportunities to travel throughout the country.
Get organized— Hoping to bring a little order to your life and maybe sort through some of those closets and drawers you never touch? There is nothing better than professional moving to learn how to get your life organized and reevaluate what “things” you need and what you could pass on. Plus, you will always be the go-to friend when someone you know is moving.
Among the resolutions above, if you added “Get a New Job’ to your 2018 list, head to our Careers page and join our team of movers and shakers!
In an ideal world, your moving day would fall on a perfectly sunny day, with no ice or snow to distract you from transporting all your precious belongings into your new home. Unfortunately, the weather can be unpredictable, and you may need to move to a new location during an off-season time of the year, such as a winter move.
Regardless of the circumstances, Gentle Giant is trained to offer the best service possible. Here are some our top pieces of advice for moving during the winter months.
Keep winter weather equipment accessible: keep a supply of winter tools on hand – such as ice melt, a small shovel and an ice scraper in case you need to quickly make a path out of your current home or into your new home. You also should pack some towels to wipe down wet or dirty boxes.
Send your furry friends to doggy day care: As much as a new move will be a transition for you, your pets will also have to learn to adjust to a new place. To prevent them from sneaking out or being afraid, consider boarding your pets on moving day and potentially the following day.
Turn your heat off: Since our Giants will be in and out of your home for the day, your door is likely to be open, which will let out precious heat! Instead, save money on your electric bill by shutting off the heat for the day. You can still run a space heater in the main bathroom, so one important room will at least be warm.
Take extra care of your fragile items: The cold temperatures will make your delicate items more brittle, so consider double packing them so they are less likely to break. Remember to keep anything that could be severely damaged by cold temperatures, especially your electronic devices, in your vehicle for extra protection.
Prepare a warm beverage to extra comfort: An easy way to stay warm during your moving day is to enjoy a warm drink like hot chocolate, tea or cider. Keep a CrockPot of your desired hot beverage heating in your kitchen for a quick comfort.
We wish you the best of luck during your upcoming winter move! Remember to give us a call at 800-442-6863 with any additional questions or to book your next winter move with us.
As a business, we strive to be notable leaders in the residential and commercial moving industry, both in the way we treat our customers and our employees. We have always tried to live by a motto of treating our employees exceptionally, and in turn expect them to treat our customers with the same level of respect and service. This rule applies to all types of jobs we come across, from local residential moves to large commercial moving jobs.
Commercial Moves vs. Residential Moves
When it comes to commercial moving, there is a lot more to consider compared to a local residential move. A large volume of people will be affected by the move, so there is a lot more planning to consider during the scheduling process. You need to be up and running as a business the next day, otherwise productivity will be lost on behalf of the business. To save money and sanity, you will want the best movers possible when coordinating a commercial move.
Traditionally, commercial movers tend to have a reputation for sending independent contractors to the site of the move, all arriving separately and potentially at different times. They likely will not be in uniform, and because they are working with unfamiliar faces, the team synergy during the move will likely be absent. Gentle Giant is different.
Our Commercial Movers Make the Process Seamless
When you book commercial moving services with us, you will be hiring a crew of our extensively trained Giants, who have dealt with similar jobs in the past and will be used to working together. They will all show up to the site on-time, together, in uniform and on their best professional behavior. You’ll never catch our movers smoking on the job or slacking off; we hustle hard because we only hire the best in the business.
Before your move happens, you may want to coordinate a packing seminar for employees or receive a tutorial on proper labeling and organizing. We are more than happy to offer these services to your office, as covering these bases will make the actual move operate at top efficiency. Post-move, we still have your back, every step of the way. Our Quality Control department consists of a full-time staff with top-notch customer service experience, and we are happy to solve any minor or major setback.
Remember, commercial moves are a big deal, and you’ll want a moving company with experience to handle all the little details. Relocating offices is already stressful enough, so let us carry the weight – we hire athletes for a reason!
As another year draws to a close, we join individuals and companies around the world in an end of the year review. It is a valuable time to look back over annual progress and reflect on important measurables. At Gentle Giant, some of the numbers we evaluate include jobs booked, hours worked, revenue gained, stairs climbed and gallons of water consumed to stay hydrated on the job.
Water: one of the very basic building blocks of life. Along with food and oxygen, it is a crucial part of surviving and thriving in daily life. As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “water is the driving force of all nature.”
At Gentle Giant, we spend a lot of time talking about, thinking about and drinking water. As a company founded and built by athletes, we recognize the importance of staying hydrated to stay healthy. On some of the hottest days of the year, our livelihood depends on our ability to keep up with the inevitable dehydration that comes with outdoor manual labor.
Our Giants take a very athletic approach to moving, focusing on hustling and helping our customers transition into their new homes as efficiently as possible. Anyone who has worked outside during the summer knows hustle is paid for in sweat, so we like to make sure movers are breaking early and often to keep up with the hydration. Two gallons a day seems like a lofty goal, but we recommend our Giants strive for greatness.
The winter can be a trickier time of year, where dry air dehydrates and the loss of fluids through sweat is less obvious. That being said, it is no less important to keep energized with appropriate consumption of water. Depending on the weather and the level of activity during these colder months, at least one gallon should be the baseline.
Now time for a little number crunching. During our calculations, we considered number of employees per month, number of days worked per employee per month, and number of gallons consumed per day, assuming adherence to the recommended daily water consumption. That brings us to a grand total of 120,800 gallons of water consumed on the job this year by our thirsty Giants.
What does 120,800 gallons look like? It is equivalent to about 240 8-person hot tubs, 10 moving trucks, 4 large backyard swimming pools, or 1 Boston Aquarium Penguin Tank. That’s a lot of hydration!
Happy New Year and thank you to our Giants for another wonderful year of staying fit and healthy together!
The final box has been unpacked, you’ve finally figured out the quickest way to get to the local grocery store, and your neighbors are becoming new friends. Congratulations on a smooth move! Once you’ve found your groove and started to settle in, you might be eager to get involved and explore your new neighborhood.
When it comes to navigating a new city, it takes some research and a lot of trial and error to find the best spots and events. In your former city, you may have had community websites or a group of savvy friends to turn to, but where should you look for activities in an unfamiliar place?
Here are a few websites and apps to get you started when it comes to finding fun activities in your new neighborhood.
Looking for local events where you can register with ease and search for activities based on your interests? Look no further than Eventbrite, where you can find events close to your zip code from a variety of categories. They offer information related family-friendly events, fitness classes and networking nights, and so much more. The website and app can save your tickets easily, all in one place, and many events are free or low-cost.
You’re already using Facebook to connect with friends and stay up-to-date with current events; why not use the platform to find exciting events? Once Facebook begins to understand your interests and event history, they will often recommend upcoming local events and activities that tend to line up with what you’re looking for. You can also search by specific days and categories for a more personalized experience.
Featured on CNN and in The New York Times, Nextdoor is a website designed by neighbors, for neighbors to help you navigate your city. While the platform is a great resource for finding local events and activities, it serves a dual purpose by alerting you of danger in your community as well, such as car break-ins. For events, simply find your state and city, and the website will redirect you to a page filled with upcoming events. Many of the events are hosted by members of the Nextdoor community, so it’s an easy way to make new friends as well.
This app-based platform allows you to live “like a local” in whichever city you find yourself in. Many tourist attractions can be crowded or overrated, so Like a Local can take the guesswork out of what’s worth seeing and doing in your new community. The app allows you to search by category, and each suggested location offers feedback about why it’s worth visiting and why locals love it.
An excellent resource for those living in major cities in the U.S. and worldwide, Time Out offers suggestions for art and entertainment, food and drink, film, travel and so much more. Each city featured on Time Out features current news and local openings, as well as evergreen articles curated by topic, such as “best pizza in Boston” or “the top 10 best Mexican restaurants in Chicago” so you know you’re getting the best suggestions in a variety of categories. In addition to suggestions for food and leads on upcoming events, Time Out also offers neighborhood guides in cities as well, since the South End of a city has its own flair and gems compared to the North End.
We wish you the best as you learn and navigate your new neighborhood!
This holiday season, we had the pleasure of partnering alongside the Boston Bruins and Walmart to bring a smile to those in need of a little extra joy with their Holiday Toy Drive. The Bruins players picked up toys at Walmart for children receiving treatment at various hospitals in the Greater Boston area, and Gentle Giant assisted by providing boxes and offering storage and delivery.
When the Bruins arrived at Walmart, they were greeted by eager Walmart staff members, other Bruins staff members, our Giants, and many surprised hockey fans taking care of their Christmas shopping. Many players brought their girlfriends, wives, and children along with them to join in on the holiday fun. With big smiles and Santa hats, they were eager and ready to pick out the perfect toys for all the children on their list. Many of the players
This year marked our seventh year being involved with the Bruins Holiday Toy Drive, and each year we are thankful to contribute towards this excellent cause. Our Giants have fun observing all the toys the Bruins select, packing them into our boxes, and striking up conversations with players at the check-out line. Once they have finished loading the boxes, we wheel everything out onto our trucks for storage until toy delivery day.
Special thanks to Walmart and the Boston Bruins for another successful holiday toy drive!
Three years ago, one of our current Gentle Giant managers had just relocated to Boston to start an exciting new phase of her life. This former Yale rower received help moving from her father, a former Northeastern rower. As the family drove the streets of Somerville to her new apartment, he pointed out the Gentle Giant Moving Company warehouse as a part of his own early employment history.
It was probably a moment full of wistful memories as a father shared with his daughter the good ol’ days at Gentle Giant. He was part of a time that is now company lore, working alongside his rowing teammates in the 80s when the company was just starting. Those memories are captured in countless black and white photos that line the staircase up to our headquarters, coworkers laughing and sweating under a summer sun. As a company that now employs over 600 people throughout the year, those days seem like simpler times that are still at the very root of Gentle Giant as a company: friends, teammates, coworkers, and family.
A year later, with thoughts of her dad’s enthusiasm in mind, she decided Gentle Giant might be a good place to take her brains and brawn. Three years later, she is one of our venerable managers who has brought the same enthusiasm to this company as her father did many years ago. When asked what drew her to the company, she shares a story of the birth of her older brother and a difficult time for the family:
“What really stood out to me, and what I believe is an embodiment of the culture here at Gentle Giant, was how everyone rallied around my family when my older brother was born with a rare chronic illness called Lymphatic Malformation. Because of frequent hospital visits, my dad couldn’t work as much, and the Gentle Giant family did what they could to help. This culture of family and of giving back is still so present in 2017, and is what keeps so many of us here.”
She is not alone in this story. There are countless employees past and present who have experienced the generosity, support, and kindness that comes through being a part of the Gentle Giant family. “Once a Giant, always a Giant” as we like to say.
Like this father-daughter pair, Gentle Giant has brothers and sisters, uncles and nephews, husbands and wives, and everything in between. It is a positive work environment that draws generations of employees who know the benefits of working for a company that values family and teamwork above all. Just this month twin brothers, rowers for different university teams, started their employment through an epic race through Harvard Stadium.
With the holiday season upon us, we want to take a moment to reflect on all that we are thankful for and the good fortune around us. Gentle Giant provides a positive work environment focused on employee health and wellness and the greater good of the community where employees can thrive together. As people gather together for good meals and good conversation, Gentle Giant sends best wishes from our family to yours.
As the end of the year draws near, we would like to take a moment to pause and reflect on the many exciting events and blessings we have received throughout the year. We are so thankful to work alongside so many partners and organizations we admire.
Internally, we have been so proud of our family of Giants who have been blessed with new additions to their own families. We have had many Giants expand their families this year, and we join with them in celebrating exciting life milestones.
We are thankful for being able to meet practical needs for our customers and for those living in the communities we serve. Our ongoing partnership with the GBAR furniture drive and Furnishing Hope have allowed us to meet practical needs related to home essentials for those getting back on their feet.
We are thankful to provide those affected by natural disasters. Our Giants assisted with the Greater Boston collection for Hurricane Harvey victims and drove a truck to Houston with donations for those in need. In addition, we assisted with providing materials and volunteer services to gather boxes of supplies for those affected by natural disasters in Puerto Rico.
We are thankful to meet one of the most basic needs – food – through our partnership with Move for Hunger. We collect unwanted perishable food items from customers who are moving with us, and transport the items to local food banks. This simple act feeds thousands over time and keeps us responsible when it comes to minimizing food waste.
We are thankful for all the athletes we have met this year through our partnership with various marathons and road races. We have been at the finish line with fresh fruit, water and smiles to cheer you on, whether you’ve beaten a personal record or just had some fun with your friends.
As 2017 ends, we are thankful for every new customer we’ve met this year, and every repeat customer we’ve seen again. We look forward to a whole new list of adventures to explore and experience in 2018. Thank you for making this year one to remember!
Editor’s Note: Gentle Giant training expert Noah Duarte was recently interviewed by The Bamberger Group, a leading real estate brokerage in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan. They discussed the unique technical challenges that professional movers confront in New York City, and how Gentle Giant utilizes cutting-edge technology, sophisticated training, and strong relationships with their customers to get the job done effectively. The original article can be found on their blog, Bamberger Answers.
The Bamberger Group: What kind of moves require the use of cranes? What is the process of using cranes in a residential move, from planning to execution?
Noah Duarte: I ran our New York office for about five years, and before that I was in Boston. Now, I’m back in Boston. From a craning standpoint, it’s very different from New York than it is in Boston. In Boston, we have our own cranes, [and] we have our crane operators, who are all licensed operators for that type of machinery. And it really is as simple as getting a permit for the parking spot for the crane, and then getting a police detail to direct traffic when we’re operating the crane.
In New York [City], it was a much different experience. We didn’t have the equipment in New York, so we would contract through another company– and there were a couple different companies where we would contact if we needed a crane for a specialty job. And the difference is that in New York, it would involve shutting down one whole side of the street, or shutting down the entire street– which, from a cost perspective, puts the price sky-high. For instance, we were going to be craning a piano, and [blocking off the street] put the labor– which might have been a few hundred dollars to move the piano– adding the crane to it, took many thousands of dollars to do that.
So New York is a very tricky place to move. And the things I grew very accustomed to in Boston, we just didn’t have in New York. Parking permits, for instance, were not a thing; you could not get parking permits. So it was really catch as catch can for parking any type of moving vehicle down there. The biggest difference, from a craning standpoint, is costs, logistics, coordinating with the city, and making sure that safety is observed at all times for all pedestrians.
TBG: Are there specific kinds of insurance that come into play when working with cranes?
ND: [It depends] on the company you use. In Boston, our insurance carrier, our policy covers us for the different services we offer. But if you are contracting with a crane company, that would be something that they would have [with] their carrier, that you would want to check with them to make sure they carry that necessary coverage. It kind of depends on the company that you’re dealing with, and the locale that you’re in. So for instance, Manhattan vs. Westchester County– there would be changes between [different locales] in the State of New York.
TBG: Does your New York office have strong relationships with local crane companies that you regularly use?
ND: There were a couple crane companies that we had contacted when we did need those services, and to be quite honest with you, the number of times that we needed to contract out through a crane company were probably one or two times in a five-year span that I was down there. So the call for craning, for what we typically do within the moving services [we offer], didn’t require us to contract with a craning company very frequently.
TBG: How frequently do you deal with antiques or other specialty items? How often did you involve moving methods and technologies that went beyond the usual packing and moving process?
ND: On a daily basis we deal with antiques or types of furniture that, if you weren’t being conscious or aware of what you’re doing, you were going to damage it. But here’s the interesting thing about moving that I think a lot of people– a lot of customers, a lot of companies– lose sight of: the furniture itself is fairly straightforward. If you have a good head on your shoulders, if you’re paying attention to what you’re doing, if you’re leading the furniture through your hands and through general observations… most people can handle or pick something up without doing damage to it. The real challenge within the moving industry, and the thing that a lot of companies aren’t very good at, or lack– and I wouldn’t even say that they’re not good at it, they just don’t recognize it, so they don’t focus on it– is the fact that the furniture doesn’t change, but the customer does. The customer is a dynamic entity or being, if you will, within the whole move itself. So from an object standpoint, the furniture isn’t a big deal. There’s training that we provide– there’s training both in the field, and in conference– that you go through manuals, tutorials, lecturing, and coaching on how to deal with different pieces of furniture. But the customer changes. [Maybe] the closing starts to get a little shaky. Or they got a phone call from a neighbor or from a relative with either good news or bad news. Maybe they’re downsizing, maybe a life change is coming, and they need to go someplace that they weren’t anticipating. And emotionally, they start to change. And from a moving standpoint, if the crew aren’t aware of that– if they’re not paying attention to that, if they aren’t catering to that– then you could be moving pieces of cement. You know, we could be moving logs. And if you’re not paying attention to the customer’s needs, then their [items] aren’t really the important thing. In terms of technology, we’re constantly looking to where we could add a technological edge, but when it comes to moving things, we’re not at the point where we can pre-program something. It’s still a hands-on, concerted event for us.
TBG: What is a Bocker furniture elevator, and when do you use it?
ND: This is basically a self-contained elevator. It has an arm that extends up to higher floors– I think our elevator goes up to a fifth floor– and this arm that extends up, much like a crane boom, but the difference being that with a crane, you have the cables that lift things up to the boom, [whereas] this actually has a basket that starts at the ground level. We can load [the basket] from the lift gate or from the back of our truck, and then that platform travels up to the window where the furniture is brought in. So if you have a spiral staircase, or difficult access– meaning really narrow stairways or really low overhang on stairways– then a furniture elevator is a good alternative. It can actually speed up the move; it keeps things moving right along.
TBG: How do you decide when the use of specialized equipment will be necessary? Does the customer request these items in advance, or do you have someone who comes to a home to assess the move and advise the customer on what will be required to get the job done?
ND: The customer definitely plays a part in advising us about previous moving experiences they’ve had in this situation. So if we’re going out to a move and the customer alerts us to the fact that a sofa had to be craned into the third floor, or a piano had to be craned in, and maybe we were [planning on] hand-hoisting something, bringing something in from off the porch… that’s something that it’s good to give us a heads up [about]. But we do have outsiders [to the moving process], and there are a number of us that come in at the first inclination that something might not be quite right, or a little suspect. And we’ll go out to a residence to take a look at what we would be walking into, just to make sure that, first and foremost, our crews are safe– that the people we’re sending out there are going to be well connected and well-informed as to what’s going to be required. Secondly, we want to make sure that we’re not running the risk of damaging any property. And third, so that we can create that face-to-face, and that open communication with the customers as to what they should be expecting and what we can deliver on.
TBG: Finally, how do you handle private art installation, sound systems, or home theaters? Where do you draw the line of service for dismantling and setting up these items?
ND: We principally draw the line at hanging artwork or hanging TVs– so, reinstalling the brackets or the actual hardware to set up the artwork. And that’s from an insurance standpoint. We do have a separate division in the company that will come in and install your TV and install artwork as well. So from a moving standpoint, as a moving company, we don’t want to have our people hanging artwork. Within the umbrella of our company, we do have a division that will go out and do that. But that would be a separate service that we offer.
Special thanks to Aaron at The Bamberger Group for reaching out to us for this interview! To learn more about our craning services, please click here. To learn more about our New York office, click here.