Who would have thunk.
We set out to benchmark ourselves, nothing more, as we absolutely knew that our assets are our employees. Oh sure, we have assets as defined by accounting rules, but unlike those, these assets never depreciate. We have Intellectual Capital that transcends the demarcation of “goodwill” on a balance sheet. And, most importantly, we have a team of incredibly caring, giving, talented and hard-working people here at ADNET.
The real value of this exercise, conducted in partnership with the Hartford Business Journal and the Best Companies Group, was that by completing the process as an organization, we would receive reports with all of the anonymous feedback provided by our employees. Making the list of Best Places to Work in CT in 2014 was something we considered to be a bonus. Honest feedback is always a gift, even if sometimes you wish it had come with a gift receipt.
We have been on a culture journey for the last several years, and change is something that is difficult for most. My change motto, “2 degrees at a time” is designed to be longer term in nature while allowing everyone to align themselves to a new destination. Beginning our journey was the easy part; we grounded ourselves in our core values and beliefs, rewarded and empowered people, and set them free to take risks, to try new things and even to fail – as long as we learned something from the effort. Commitment to the journey has not always come as easily, but as trust grows, so does our ability to accomplish new things.
High performing teams are self-healing by nature, and maintaining high performance is not a task undertaken lightly. We work hard, we play hard. Why? I promised myself long ago that I would never dread getting out of bed to go to work, and I want nothing less that that for the people on my team – every single one of them. Even when things become stressful beyond belief, I thoroughly enjoy being in that stressful, chaotic, frantic moment with people I call friends and family.
So now we get a glimpse of how we are perceived internally, and this drives the leadership to change. In fact, we all must continually learn to not just survive, but to thrive. While this win is an unbelievably humbling honor, it is ultimately about learning how we can be better and fully empowering our team to be a part of that change.
Where do we go from here? This is on us. It has to be something we want. This is not a plaque we hang on the wall once so that we can step back and applaud ourselves. This raises the bar. This heightens our expectation of ourselves. We’ve got something rare and powerful here. We’ve got to maintain this and work to make it even better. We want to be better than our best so far.
Well, only if you truly want to love what you do. I know I do.
You are all the best.