Every company has some kind of kickoff event. Whether it’s an extravagant week long session out of town or a more casual meeting where they announce their goals for the year – there isn’t usually much that makes them stand out.
…or so I thought.
I joined Workhuman® just 3 short weeks ago as a new Business Development Representative. Shortly after completing my onboarding, I was immersed into my first Ignite kickoff event. The team had told me of Ignite events of years past – where they would enjoy a few days of workshops and sessions in downtown Boston during the day, and evenings filled with cocktail hours, meet and greet events, and the infamous dine-arounds where you could sign up to have a more intimate conversation over dinner with our company leaders.
While I knew this year would be different, I was still a little unsure of what to expect. In a nutshell, the experience I had was so energizing and unlike any other company event I had been to.
So, as a new hire, here are my key 5 takeaways from my first Ignite experience!
We ARE a global company
Ok, this one wasn’t really a surprise – I knew we were a global company when I first joined – but to see where everyone was logged in from and how many countries, languages, and backgrounds our employees represent really drove that home. Switching from an in-person to a virtual event couldn’t dull the energy that was felt in the first day kickoff session. I think I learned how to say ‘hello humans’ in almost 7 different languages as people shared their greetings in the chat bar! Getting to participate in discussions and hear from employees across the world really helped to build the bigger picture of who we are globally.
Our employee resource groups mean business
Throughout the zoom sessions that spread across 3 days – our Employee Resource Groups got to present to the company – sharing what their community has been working on and what each of their missions are. For example, our Workhuman Women’s Network shared how we are making an impact on achieving gender equity – both within our own company as well as advocating for others to follow suit. The statistics they shared specifically around COVID-19, and that the pandemic is estimated to have set gender equity back by 51 years was impactful. The need to drive change is evident – and if we are going to be the pioneers of the human workplace, this is an issue we need to address. I’m proud that our platform will help our clients do this by understanding gender equity and how organization think about their total rewards offerings, and glad that it’s something our employees are empowered to take ownership of here.
There’s a new level of demand for our products
Like many companies, our customers had to think conservatively about their budget and spending in the early days of the pandemic. Seeing a 2020 timeline of how customers briefly paused, then re-invested, and even increased their investment in our products as the pandemic continued proved the fact that we are providing a needed service to global enterprise organizations in this new normal of remote working. We’re continuing to exceed our revenue goals and strengthen customer partnerships with some of the most well-known brands in the world, including Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, P&G, Inuit, and many, many more.
We have THE. BEST. HUMANS.
Icebreakers. Everybody does them – nobody really likes them. What was unique about the zoom-arounds (which replaced the most loved dine-arounds) – was just how approachable, personable and… well, human everyone was. Instead of the same old icebreaker questions – my group had meaningful conversations and were able to socialize just as easily as we would have in person. One coworker in my group even sent us some recordings of his music after we all sparked an interest in his story during the session. It’s clear that this is a place filled with people who genuinely care about one another and want to make connections. Even during my onboarding – I was impressed at just how accessible everyone is. I was supported by colleagues who wanted me to be successful, and were prepared to coach me and make sure I had everything I needed to start digging in.
At one point during the conference – our CEO shared a special slide showcasing how many people at the company achieved their 5, 10, and 20 years of service. Yes…there are people here celebrating 20 years with the company (aka – since I was 4 years old). That loyalty shows the kind of commitment we have from our leaders to ensure a long lasting and positive employee experience for all. It’s exciting to know that so many people have witnessed the transformation of our organization and can provide context and insight into how we’ve evolved as we continue to grow in 2021 and beyond.
Ignite reassured me that I had made the right decision by joining Workhuman. This is a place where no matter what time of year it is – everyone is invested in your success. Recognition is in this company’s DNA – and it shows how far people will go to help you be successful. Our values of teamwork, respect, innovation, and determination are evident in how we interact with one another and approach our challenges.
At the end of the day, we are all one team striving towards one goal – making the workplace more human for people across the world. I can’t wait to see where 2021 takes us.