As I’m settling into my desk and sipping on my hot coffee this morning I find my to-do list and mentally prepare for a game plan to get things done this week. I look to my calendar and see that Thanksgiving is a week away. A week away?? Where has the time gone?! In any case I remind myself that every year it comes as a surprise to me – even though I always know it’s coming. It always seems to creep up on me when I’m the most busy. I sigh out loud thinking about the work I’ll have to catch up on. The thoughts of working through my lunch hour and working late into the evenings sink in as I shift around in my office chair. Those thoughts alone make me feel tired. For a moment. Then, a thought lifts me up. How great does it feel to get back to work after a refreshing long weekend? Oh yes, there are other stressors – the ones that derive from family members that drive you crazy during the chaos of Thanksgiving. But what about the moments during it all? The release of laughter at the table when someone tells an embarrassing story about you? Or the sweet taste of honey-glazed ham that your loved one cooks just right? Or the fireplace crackling over the chatter that fills the room?
That brought me back to thinking about how you should find things that you’re thankful for in the workplace – even if you’ve got a lot on your to-do list. What are the things that put a smile on your face while you’re at work? What drives you to hustle for your team? What are the things that have kept you going and keep you motivated to be the best you can be at your job?
This morning I have come up with 5 reasons to be thankful for your team – and I’ve given a personal account of what that has meant for me and my experiences with EAC Product Development Solutions.
1. A Team That Gives Back
I am so grateful that I am a part of a team that cares about giving back. From the moment I started here I knew it was going to be a great fit. There is a very active presence in the volunteering department. I immediately wanted to get involved. The first month I started, I organized our team to volunteer with Feed My Starving Children for the late part of an afternoon. You get together in groups at each station and work together to pack food into boxes- and as a challenge, you’re timed and it becomes a race to see which group can pack the most food within the timeframe. It’s the perfect team building exercise as well as a great way to give back to those that are in need of food around the world. If you’ve never done this with your team, I strongly suggest doing so.
I’ve also had a few conversations with some team members who felt strongly about the Men’s Health movement so our team got together and launched a Movember project. We currently have a lot of hairy men in the office right now – all of whom are behind a good cause of course. The Movember Foundation lets individuals and teams raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide awareness – all in hopes of stopping men from dying too young. We’ve come together as a team to raise funds that many of us are truly passionate about.
Please donate to our team! https://moteam.co/eac-no-shave-ember
2. A Work Culture That Aligns With Your Values
The first week I started at EAC, our team had a company BBQ potluck where everyone brought something to pitch in for an afternoon lunch. That was where I got to meet a lot of people who work remotely or are just in different corners of the office. So I got to see faces that I normally wouldn’t run into just because of a simple, yet impactful afternoon BBQ.
When football season crept up there was a lot of talk about a fantasy football league around the office for people who wanted to participate. When the fall season peaked, one of our engineers brought in their garden squash to share with everyone. There are plans to have a ‘Teams-giving’ next week to celebrate Thanksgiving in the office. When you run into a coworker, there is more than just work conversation – there is real value in that conversation because your work culture is fun.
Another great example of how fun the work culture is at EAC is the fact that we celebrate people. In our weekly meetings we celebrate work anniversaries and birthdays – and if that person works in the same office – guess what? We go out for lunch to celebrate them. Work for a company that cares about you and celebrates you.
3. Individual Strengths
I can honestly say that everyone that I have met from our company has a strong work ethic. Everyone is proud of their work and wants to do well at their job. It is the little things that each individual does that makes the whole team successful in the end. What is that saying again? Oh yeah – you are only as strong as your weakest link. When everyone works hard to accomplish their goals then the ultimate goal on top is just that much closer to being managed.
So how do we make sure that each individual is on track to meet their goals? We check in on them. And I’m not talking about just one-on-ones when you can talk about your individual progress. We check in on each other. You know – as friends – no, as humans do from time to time. Mental health is important in the workplace too. We even started doing wall-sits, squats, and planks to keep our physical health in check. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone just come up and just ask how I’m doing or just ask what I’m up to out of curiosity. We treat each other like family here which takes me to my next point.
4. Small Wins
I’ve learned not to ignore the small wins. Every day you put forth a lot of effort to get things done. Some days you accomplish more than others. But all efforts mean that you care about your job and that you are willing to do what needs to be done – even if it may not mean more money or more praise. There are always opportunities around the office that may not be on your priority list but if you go out of your way to tend to them, then it can give you a solid reward in the end. So when you’re checking tasks off your to-do list, do not forget to feel good about checking the small tasks off too.
5. One Mission, One Message
I noticed right away in my interview process was that not only was I interviewed with the Marketing Department but I was also interviewed with the Sales Department as well. I had a professor in college who told me repeatedly that in marketing you need to have your sales department on the same page as you or you’ll never meet your goals. He said that it sounds so obvious but you would not believe how often it happens because people get so buried in their own work that they forget to work as a team. It was very clear from the interview process that EAC knew this and that the collaboration between departments was vital to their success. I immediately had thought of what my professor had said and I decided that this company was on the right track.
After being with the company for only four months I can say that I work with sales on a weekly basis – if not daily. It is so important to have the right message – whatever that may mean to your company. This not only helps with consistency but it helps with your company branding too.
These 5 reasons are what have helped me through the busy and stressful times and remind me that I’m working for a great company. What are the things in the office that you’re thankful for?