Having been in business for 35 years now, I would like to think that we have a pretty good company “spirit.” In other words, the values, the passion, the commitment, and the camaraderie we embrace and share as a company all come together in the work we do every day.
This type of effort is important and cannot be taken for granted! Just because you work together with spirit now, does not mean you will continue this way forever… things change, employees change and times change. There must always be the commitment though, to the idea of working together.
As an example of this, we try at C L Graphics to do things that are both fun and important. Every month we get together for a department sponsored lunch that is also known as a Crazy Day. There is a certain theme for the lunch that we are encouraged to participate in, such as our upcoming Chicago Bears day in September, or our recent “Wild West” day. Not only does this give us a chance to dress up (well most of us at least), it is also a break from the regular work and gives us the opportunity to talk with each other about things other than work! This also gives us great content for our social media sites and engages quite a bit of comments. We also make a point every month to do Customer Appreciation notes. Each of us hand writes a note of thanks highlighting a recent customer project. This was something we learned from our many nonprofit clients – the concept of giving thanks! We do several other neat things throughout the year as well, such as anniversary recognitions, company outings, a Halloween Blood Drive, and more.
I have worked hard at promoting this company spirit, although I will also admit that perhaps the best inspiration and greatest example I have ever seen of such spirit, comes from one of our clients – OTTO Engineering ( www.ottoexcellence.com/ ). We have enjoyed working with the people at OTTO for well over 15 years now, and have had the opportunity to work on several neat projects for them. The one that stands out the most, and really tells the story of their company spirit, is their monthly employee newsletter. That’s right, they actually prepare a monthly newsletter that is given out to employees as a way to share information on how the company is doing, new sales/client opportunities, helpful information on health, motivation and other topics, and to highlight employee anniversaries/special recognition. Whether it be 2, 5, 10, 15 or even 25 and 30 year anniversaries, everyone is noted and several get pictures included along with their gift, some of which can be significant!
They also regularly host special events such as Chili Cook-Offs, Bring Your Child to Work days, and Aloha Fridays.
The number of pictures that they highlight in the newsletter from these events are amazing, and do a great job of engaging all employees and even their families!
There is a regular Trivia contest that can win participants special prizes as well.
And while the newsletter does a great job of sharing the spirit, I know there is so much more they do as a company as well. For instance, they have purchased and renovated several buildings in the area surrounding their own campus which has greatly increased the business climate in Carpentersville. Their president, Tom Roeser, has even developed an initiative to purchase and renovate homes within the community that are then resold to residents. This program, called Homes by OTTO, has been highlighted on several television stories and is another tremendous achievement by this progressive business leader. (http://www.homesbyotto.com/)
Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with many successful organizations – admittedly though, OTTO has always stood out to me as an inspiration and a leading example of what a business should be. When I talk of company spirit, this is a great example!
What about your spirit… please share stories of inspiration with us!