A Forbes article said it best; “People are what matter most in business.” Behind every great organization is a group of incredible, passionate, and hard-working individuals; iQmetrix is no different. Our goal is to create a great experience for our clients, their businesses, and their customers and to do that, the right people are needed in the right roles to make projects come together to generate success. But what makes it possible to have those “right” individuals come together? If you guessed ‘company culture,’ you just might be onto something.
When it comes to fostering a positive company culture, the word “perks” comes to mind. But this doesn’t have to mean bean bag chairs and getting every second Friday off. Perks can range from your workplace having values that align with your own to working with people who you would consider to be friends. Here, some iQmetrix employees — fondly known within the organization as iQers — outline their favorite “perks” that make their roles at iQmetrix more than ‘just a job’.
Pairing Personal Growth and Professional Development
Jacquie Foster, Holacracy Rollout Leader
“There’s always been a notion at iQmetrix that if you see a gap and you have an idea of how to address it…you should pursue that idea!” Jacquie is a Holacracy Rollout Leader and Implementer who helps teams identify different ways to find needs within the organization and use their skills to help fill that need, whether it requires “a single action (a simple example: the coffee creamer bowl is empty so I’ll fill it!) [or] it could be a must larger gap” where a job or role might need to be added. “Often gaps and opportunities are identified by people that are unable to take on the work themselves (for a multitude of reasons). That doesn’t make the idea any less valuable, it just means that there’s a new opportunity for someone!”
Jacquie has worked for iQmetrix in a variety of roles in many different areas, so when she speaks about the opportunities her workplace provides for personal growth, you can trust she knows what she’s talking about. Moving from Graphic Designer to Creative Director to Marketing Manager, to being a part of the People and Culture team and to her current role (break for a breath) in Holacracy Implementation, Jacquie offers a unique perspective on growth in the workplace, both personally and professionally.
“What you’ll find at iQmetrix is that opportunities for personal and professional growth happen when people are paying attention to what’s going on around them, putting forth ideas and/or putting their hand up! It also means that new opportunities come up almost all the time, making it almost impossible to reliably plot out a definitive career path and timeline.”
Jacquie goes on to say that “it’s always been the notion at iQmetrix to pursue ideas, but it hasn’t always been as explicitly stated or documented as it is now that we’re using Holacracy. There’s now a defined and shared set of rules for how to identify and address gaps (known in Holacracy as tensions). Now, not only are individuals able to identify gaps and create opportunities for themselves (or others) but they are also explicitly expected to do that!” On her first day at this software development company, Jacquie truly had no idea that 14 years later she would have experienced so many different titles, jobs, accountabilities, and corporate management structures, and can’t wait to see what’s next.
The Year Seven Sabbatical
Nevin Danielson, Holacracy Coach
Every seven years, iQmetrix employees are asked to take seven weeks off to relax, refresh, and recharge their working minds. Holocracy Coach Nevin Danielson will soon be taking his leave and has planned to make the most of every minute away from the office. In his own words, Nevin wants to make sure his sabbatical is meaningful. “The sabbatical is more than a break. It’s an invitation to take a large step back and evaluate what I’m doing for my career, for iQmetrix, and for my limited number of trips around the sun. It feels like a scheduled mid-life crisis (at 42, I’m probably due). If I don’t use it right, I might look back at the next seven, 20, or 40 years with regret.” Not one to shy away from life’s toughest questions, Nevin often finds himself evaluating his professional path, something he feels is important to his personal growth. “That’s why I’m at iQmetrix. I’ve already been through the agony of work without purpose. I’ve already pretended to be one person at work and be another person at home. I’ve done work I didn’t believe in to climb corporate ladders.” Through those days of workplace discomfort, Nevin found himself valuing a commitment to a healthier way of working. “iQmetrix was (and still is) proof that work can be purposeful; people can be authentic.”
Over the past six years leading up to this seven-week break, Nevin thought long and hard about what he would do with his time that felt just as meaningful as the work he does during the week. “I’m pleased to share with you that in June 2018, I’m traveling to Silicon Valley…[to experience] as many progressive organizational cultures that will invite me in. Learning and sharing along the way, it’s my Cross-Pollination Tour. I’ve already experienced invitations, generosity, and openness that confirms I’m onto something.” He hopes to bring these other cultures and processes back to his role at iQmetrix, and strengthen his work, day to day.
Clients? More like friends.
Juan Sanchez, Client Manager
In his role of Client Manager, Juan finds himself engaging daily with iQmetrix customers. Whether it be long-standing partnerships or brand-new users, Juan is a friendly and supporting life-line for any and all issues a customer may have. He says that the manager/client relationship can, at times, be a challenging one where “communication is key, and this includes [needing to have] difficult conversations pertaining to services or product issues” but with a helpful team of client managers and support technicians on his side, he isn’t worried.
Juan goes on to mention that:
“We are all human (for now), and to me that is a great and positive opportunity to create a strong business relationship that goes beyond trading goods and services.
iQmetrix has given me the privilege to be able to attend customer events in the past and future. These events can focus on different issues and topics ranging from software training to informational sessions and networking. But all these events have one thing in common; you get face-to-face time with clients. This is an invaluable experience that strengthens our client relationships in many ways.”
In a business to business world, Juan’s role provides him the unique experience of getting to know his clients on a more personal level. “I feel these [following points] are advantages that come with meeting clients in person with outcomes that are difficult to replicate in other settings.” Here are the things that Juan loves about his role:
- Meeting in Person
- Being able to shake someone’s hand and introduce yourself, allows you to engage with them in a stronger way. After an event is finished and you are both in your regular settings, you can now better visualize your clients in the setting they describe — “I’m tired, happy, frustrated, excited, etc.” This may seem trivial but it humanizes your client and allows you to offer a better service. But this has other effects as well; your client also remembers you, and this can help your relationship greatly as you both empathize and understand each other that much better.
- Connecting Outside of Work
- Clients are work friends, but like other work friends, you can enjoy outside-of-work activities with them that do NOT include just work talk. Enjoying a meal and drink(sss) with clients increases the relationship beyond work. It connects you both with interests/topics you have in common, experiences, laughs, and memories (albeit very few) of a fun night spent with each other. You remember having fun, and this will help both of you in future conflicts, issues, and communication.
- They Meet Your Friends
- I do not mean your ride-or-die pets. I mean they can meet other friendly clients with similar needs, issues, and solutions. At these events, you’re able to introduce clients to others you have a relationship with. You are able to leverage those relationships to help other clients with problems and this helps build newer ones. Introducing and discussing issues with other clients allows us to find common ground and solutions together.
- Getting to the Point
- Being able to come to an agreement on issues happens much faster when you cut the noise from everyday work life. There are no barriers such as time zones, busy schedules, errands to run, etc. There is only us discussing and reviewing whatever decisions we need to get done. One-on-one conversations allow us to reduce the ‘noise’ and make decisions with my clients — whether positive or negative, we at least get it done!
Not only has Juan been able to create a network of friends in his in-office coworkers, but has been able to get to know his clients on another level and truly appreciate and understand the impact his role makes.
Helping Our Communities
Melissa Kendall, Business Analyst
Melissa is a Technical Writer and API Business Analyst for iQmetrix whose love of all things tech extends beyond the workplace.
“When I was a kid, I spent countless hours helping my father build computers. As the head of the IT department for the air force base in Winnipeg, he had a tendency to bring his work home with him. We’d sit in the basement and I would marvel at all the different components — undoubtedly making more of a mess than [being a help]. I remember saying many times — this is what I want to do when I grow up.”
While Melissa’s involvement with computers was founded at a young age, she quickly realized that not all kids or young adults have the same opportunity to immerse themselves in such a specialized interest. Her elementary school self, that had longed for computer science classes, saw that it was majorly male-dominated, and it wasn’t until high school that she found an outlet in which she felt welcome; Girls In Gaming. “I remember the exact day – we had a speaker, a developer from Microsoft named Sandy Desataults who showed us a brand new programming language called C#. He taught us how to make a button that changed color when we clicked it. It absolutely blew my mind.” Since then, Melissa has been instrumental in providing coding discussions, programs, and classroom talks to countless children who may just be looking for the invitation to join in. “ If we can ingrain that passion, that excitement in these kids — girls and boys —they will remember it. Just like I did, they will think back to what they accomplished and maybe give computer science a shot…Using volunteer days offered by iQmetrix [to stay engaged and involved in these programs allows me to give back,] and from what I have seen, the sessions have the most impact at the elementary and middle school levels.”
Melissa hopes that, through her volunteer efforts, she is able to affect change in even just one child, inspiring them to see the potential in themselves and pursue a career in tech.
Your career shouldn’t be ‘just another job.’ Greatness is spurred when the right people have a positive environment where their ideas can flourish.
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