The holiday season drips with nostalgia for most of us. Decorating sugar cookies, cinnamon and spice candles, the movie Elf and cheesy potatoes are a few of my traditional nostalgia-triggers. Since coming to Worksighted 3 years ago, I have adopted a new tradition that also triggers nostalgia: Our annual client appreciation breakfasts.
Held each year in both Holland and Grand Rapids, we gather together our employees and a few people from each of our clients. We do something counter-cultural in this digital age: We get to meet each other face to face. Walking around you’ll hear things like, “it’s so nice to put a face to a name!” or “I’ve emailed with you a hundred times, it’s great to finally meet you.” Sure, we talk about things like tickets or projects that we worked on this year, but we also get to hear about one another’s hobbies, passions, our families, and hopes for the coming year.
Here are a couple of notes from our employees about connections they made at this year’s breakfasts (names and companies changed to keep our clients safe):
- “Had a great chat with Joe from the Vandelay Industries – hopefully, we will see some of their bean bags in our office soon!”
- “Got to meet a few people that I only had emailed with – that was nice.”
- “Several of our clients gave me positive feedback and thanked me for the work that we do. I also had one client let me know that he would like to work with us about promoting our brand through a case study in the future. A cool idea I could use help on.
- “Talked with the IT Manager at Central Perk. Got to know more about their business and what his day-to-day role is like. Most of the time though, we discussed holiday plans.”
- “I spent some time talking with Frank from Dunder Mifflin. It was nice to put a face to the voice on the phone.”
- “Talked with Sally from Sterling Cooper for a while and found out we have a lot in common (live in the same neighborhood and our kids go to the same school.)
- “I also got to meet Lisa from the Bluth Company, a new client. We talked about our career paths and how we came to be where we are today. It was such a good conversation!”
- “I was sitting with Fran and a few clients and happened to turn and see a woman walking out. She’s my neighbor, and her husband is really good friends with my father-in-law. She recently started with her company, Initech, and I think it was nice for her to see a familiar face.”
- “I had a few great conversations with customers who had several compliments for members of our remote team. Most requested to meet their superhero in person.”
I love that Worksighted values relationship and gives regular opportunities to help build and strengthen them. The holiday breakfasts give us a moment to pause and celebrate what was accomplished, together. We are in the business of building relationships in the day-to-day support requests, when you are ready to throw your computer out the window, to when you trust us to make a big change to your network and everything in between. These relationships are built on trust and trust is won in the small moments like conversations during these breakfasts, a warm hello when one of our engineers answers your call or a thoughtful follow up from a team member.
There is nothing extravagant about these breakfasts, there isn’t even a formal program. It’s a show up whenever, stay however long, eat as much as you want kind of thing. It’s the people who bring the magic and I may be biased but between my awesome co-workers and our incredible clients, I think we’ve got the best people around.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, I’ll put the annual Worksighted breakfast in my list of wonderful things that usher in the holiday season, right next to cheesy potatoes and the greatest movie ever made, Elf.