Experts in organizational development have long touted the importance of traditions in the workplace, noting benefits such as building meaningful connections among employees, creating a shared history, and strengthening an organization’s identity and culture. It doesn’t take an expert, however, to tell us that workplace traditions–in addition to their myriad benefits–are also just plain fun.
The ShipCompliant team has created various traditions, large and small, throughout the company’s history. We’ve chosen three of the most meaningful and iconic to share with you here.
Tradition: Breakfast Club
Author Michael Pollan writes, “the shared meal elevates eating from a mechanical process of fueling the body to a ritual of family and community…to an act of culture.” It is this sentiment that motivated the creation of one of ShipCompliant’s most treasured company traditions: our weekly Breakfast Club.
Each Friday morning, a different member of Breakfast Club cooks or brings breakfast for the other members of the club. Started in 2011, Breakfast Club has grown from just a couple members to nearly 50 at present.
Creations range from the “made from scratch” to the “order in” variety. The team always looks forward to Product Strategist Patrick Barratt’s homemade grits and Customer Success Manager Alex Umbhau’s bacon and pancakes, while our VP of Customer Support, Luke Eckenroth, is notorious for his Chick-Fil-A.
On the healthier end of the spectrum, Customer Success Manager Petra Stumpf, once created an epic smoothie bar, complete with a selection of fruits and vegetables. Recently (and perhaps less healthily), Breakfast Club members were treated to a selection of donuts, courtesy of UX/UI Designer Frances Munoz.
The one Breakfast Club constant? Plenty of steaming hot coffee to go around.
Tradition: Weekly 9:01 and 4:04 Meetings
As a growing company with multiple projects and initiatives happening simultaneously, it’s important for our team to stay connected through regular communication. Our weekly 9:01 and 4:04 meetings (named, aptly enough, for the time of day at which they occur on Tuesday morning and Friday afternoon, respectively) are one of our primary methods of keeping everyone informed.
On Tuesday mornings at 9:01am, the whole team gathers in our common area and team members from each department report on their 3-5 most strategic priorities for the week, which are then documented on our whiteboard (known affectionately as the “Spirit Board”). We focus on making sure the goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). On Friday afternoons at 4:04, the team gathers again to go through each goal and report on whether it was achieved or not.
By committing to and reporting on these weekly goals out loud to our colleagues, we accomplish two important things: 1) ensure visibility and transparency into what’s happening throughout the company; and 2) reinforce a culture of accountability for results.
We also use the Friday 4:04 meeting to acknowledge team members who embodied the company’s core values that week, with specific examples of how that person “Felt It,” “Shaped It,” “Owned It,” “Scaled It,” or “Crushed It,” as well to celebrate personal events (birthdays, engagements, etc.), recognize new hires, and acknowledge internal promotions and other milestones.
We always end the 4:04 with a team huddle. We rely on our Product Strategist, Sam Straka, to break the huddle with some kind of inspirational word or phrase. After we break, it’s time for our weekly wine hour, which leads us to the next cultural tradition…
Tradition: Friday Wine Hour
ShipCompliant team members pride themselves on working hard throughout the week, so on Friday afternoons, we like to take some time to connect on a more informal level. We all look forward to our Friday afternoon wine hours as an opportunity to socialize with various team members and enjoy some wine, beer, spirits, and snacks!
Oftentimes, we use the opportunity to taste our clients’ products. We have also occasionally been fortunate enough to have clients on-site during wine hour to educate our team about their products and conduct organized tastings.
In addition to enjoying food and beverages, team members enjoy showcasing their competitive sides through games of foosball, ping-pong, darts–and the occasional dance-off. Friends, family members, and dogs are welcome to join us for wine hour. It’s always a packed house!
We hope you enjoyed learning about some of the traditions that contribute to ShipCompliant’s unique company culture. We’d love to hear about your workplace traditions, so drop us a note in the comments!
Think you’d be a great fit with our culture? Apply to one of our job openings!