I recently read an article about gratitude. In this article, the author talked about gratitude exercises; spending five minutes a day to think about or write about what you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be big and earth shattering. Your gratitude can simply be for the cup of coffee you had this morning. It can be about the new band you found that gets you jamming on the way to work. Whatever made you smile, laugh, or just put you in a great mood. Think about those things and reflect on them. What about it made you feel good? How can you bring that back into your life each day and share your experiences with others?
A simple exercise like this can truly change you.
At Clickstop, we love showing our gratitude for each other and for things in our lives.
For the last few weeks, employees had the chance to come to the media room and do a quick video showing appreciation for one or many of their co-workers. And even though many people are completely intimidated by the video camera, we had a good 30 or so people participate. Employees from every team came to express their gratitude towards the many hard-working, dedicated friends they have right here. Being behind the camera capturing these moments is exciting. Not only does it give me a daily dose of gratitude, but reaffirms the reasons I have chosen Clickstop as my career.
Last week we tied all of our gratitude together into one big celebration. For the afternoon, employees came outside to try to dunk a leadership team member in a dunk tank! Employees who recognized someone automatically earned a softball and anyone else could purchase softballs – all of the money going towards Clickstop Cares. We had basketball and bags games going throughout the day and Peppy’s Ice Cream even came to help everyone battle the heat. The day was a success and left everyone feeling refreshed and ready to conquer another week!
So if you ever need a pick-me-up in the middle of your day, just pause for a few minutes and think of the things you are grateful for. Let it soak into you and refresh your mind. Trust us, it is worth it.
Today we continue our core value blog series with our California boy, Sean Waters.
Sean joins Wesley, who showed us what Making Time for Fun and Family was all about; Rhonda, who knows the importance of Communicating Openly with Confidence and Respect; and Justin, who Expects Greatness in Himself and Inspires it in Others. Sean is easy to spot at Clickstop because he is the poster child of our core value Promote a Winning Team Spirit.
Sean started at Clickstop almost 2 years ago after moving to Iowa from California. Since the day he walked through the doors at Clickstop, he has truly embraced the culture, the people, and the work. Sean is a sales specialist on the Bing team, where he helps customers and supports our Eco Foil, Fasteners Plus, Space Savers, and Just Plastic Boxes brands.
“Sean brings energy and positivity with him every day,” said the Bing General Manager Tammy Karr. “He cares deeply about the spirit of the team and will go above and beyond to make sure everyone at Clickstop is having fun while at work. He definitely makes our team energy AWESOME! Each of us brings different strengths to the team and Sean owns and embraces his strengths to make the team successful.”
The core values are our foundation and building blocks. They propel us towards meeting our mission statement. Sean understands the importance and knows the core values influence each and every one of us to be better, in turn making the company better. “Believing in our company and leadership gives me the motivation and excitement to drive a winning team spirit in all others. It’s very exciting thinking about where this company came from and where it is going. Just thinking of this gets me pumped and drives me to creating a fun and entertaining work place. Being able to put smiles on people’s faces is what it is all about. A happy smiling face is contagious, and I feel people are more productive when they are in good spirits.”
Tammy definitely agrees with Sean and sees the core values in action through Sean daily. “Whether it be on Thrive, filling the need of an additional board member for Clickstop Cares, motivating us in the gym, or recognizing when someone needs a smile put on their face, you can count on Sean to jump in and make a difference. And let’s be real. Have you ever met anyone with so much energy?”
Reflecting on being the first ever recipient of the Core Value Award for Promoting a Winning Team Spirit, Sean thinks of the dad from A Christmas Story. “It is amazing, a true honor. I won my own leg lamp!”
Finally, Sean encourages everyone to stay positive and motivated. Embrace the core value by talking with as many people throughout the day as possible. Send funny, positive memes or messages through email, or just make sure everyone knows they are valued.
Congratulations on this “Major Award” Sean! It is well deserved!
So far in our core value blog series we have seen how Wesley McElwee has been a prime example of how to Make Time for Fun and Family. We have also learned how important it is to Communicate Openly with Confidence and Respect through the examples set by Rhonda Giebelstein. Both Wesley and Rhonda show living the core values can help you achieve great things personally and professionally.
Another employee who is a core value champion is Justin Taylor.
Justin Taylor sporting his Expect Greatness t-shirt.
Justin Taylor started at Clickstop almost 3 years ago. He started on the Marketing team and transitioned over to the Business Intelligence team, where he has been rocking through data ever sense. Justin is a true Clickstop advocate. The people, the great opportunities for growth, the creativity, and the flexibility all keep Justin engaged in his work and the company. He knows how to pace himself, set big goals, and achieve anything he sets his mind to, which is why he was recognized for the core value Expect Greatness in Yourself and Inspire it in Others.
“Justin shares ideas and asks questions in a way that pushes everyone around him to be better.” said Director of Business Intelligence Krystal Talbert. “To continue producing the kind of results we expect at Clickstop, we have to keep pushing ourselves and the people around us to grow. Justin is a great example of someone who does this.”
Expecting Greatness means leading by example. Promote growth by listening, caring, and investing your time in other people’s development.
“Our core values provide a baseline for bringing people on board.” said Justin “When we can align behind these values, it makes everything else we do operate at a consistent high level. The values challenge people to improve and encourages accountability everyday.”
Justin knows the importance of having core values, such as Expect Greatness. “It is how we continue to accelerate people’s careers to meet their personal goals. It is how we continue to retain high performers and promote collaboration between co-workers.”
Everyone achieves more when we work together to identify our strengths and weaknesses as a team. When we build each other up, we build trust. With trust comes communication and success.
Justin wants to encourage others to expect and inspire greatness throughout the company. “Expecting greatness can take form in several ways. It is demonstrated through taking extra time to explain the process behind a decision. It can also be taking a chance on someone that may not have had the experience but is willing to learn. Additionally, it can be simply asking questions and working with others to achieve the best outcomes.” These are the behaviors we love to see our employees engaged in. When we take the time to learn and grow within our roles and even outside of our expertise, and then communicate what we have learned, the company can only grow stronger.
Justin is a little shy though when being recognized. “To be singled out in a company with so many people that exemplify these values everyday was a bit shocking. It is nice to be recognized and I feel encouraged that taking time to grow our staff and build up co-workers is valued at Clickstop.”
Well, we’re excited to see Justin is our first quarterly winner of the core value award Expect Greatness in Yourself and Inspire it in Others. Congratulations Justin!
Rhonda Giebelstein started at Clickstop in June of 2015. She is our Customer Service Manager and brings her A-Game every day.
Last week, Rhonda was one of six recipients of our first quarterly awards recognition for employees who are living out the core values. Anyone who knows Rhonda would not see this as a surprise. She is an employee that takes the core values to heart and is seen living them out daily. In particular, Communicate Openly with Confidence and Respect.
Great communication is vital to the success of Clickstop. We strive to be great communicators; sharing information, collaborating, being respectful, honest and open – these are all signs of an employee who understands the importance of great dialog. Alex Ledger, the VP of Sales, recognizes this in Rhonda every day.
“Rhonda does a great job of Communicating Openly with Confidence and Respect! She does a great job of being proactive, and is on top of sending important updates and reminders to the team. She holds herself and others accountable. I don’t know what we would do without Rhonda, she accomplishes so much for our team.”
For Rhonda, this is almost second nature. She loves being on a team and part of a company that encourages employees to collaborate on issues. When people are willing to take a moment and discuss problems and work to find the best solution, everyone wins.
“I believe communication is the key to success in most situations.” said Rhonda. “Simply communicating is not enough though. In order to be heard and understood you have to be sure you are being open, confident, and respectful. If you do not exude these qualities, it is likely that your audience will not hear what you have to say, and the line of communication will be hindered.”
We have so many unique and talented people at Clickstop.
When not busy at work building marketing campaigns, making sales calls, balancing the books, or turning out ratchet straps, they are at home with their families, hanging out with their friends, or having fun with hobbies. And we have so many different activities and hobbies that our employees excel at. So today, we will feature an employee that somehow, between work, planning a wedding, and sleeping, still has a million different hobbies. That person is Nate Merrifield.
Nate poses for the camera after an awesome performance of the Toxic Avenger.
Nate has worked at Clickstop for just over 2 years. He works in the small shipping department and his high energy and enthusiasm keeps him ready for anything.
Nate’s hobbies include writing DnD campaigns (for those who do not know, DnD stands for Dungeons and Dragons), singing and songwriting (Nate is in a couple different bands), theater, and is pretty big into the Final Fantasy series. The thing about all of these hobbies… if Nate is interested in stuff, he gives it his all. He spends a lot of time nurturing each of his hobbies, becoming better and more enthusiastic every time he dives in.
This past weekend, a couple months of practices, singing, and hard work finally were presented to the masses. Nate co-stared in the musical The Toxic Avenger. This was Nate’s third performance on the MMU stage, so he had worked with the director, Jason Alberty, a couple times before. As soon as the show was announced, he listened to the soundtrack and was sold immediately.
The Toxic Avenger, in short, is about world pollution. It brings light to the subject that we aren’t taking as good of care of the earth as we should. In the show, a small town has become the victim of toxic waste. The corrupt mayor thought she could earn a couple extra dollars by subjecting her town to pollution. The hero, Melvin Ferd the Third, takes it upon himself to save the town to impress the blind librarian. After an unfortunate turn of events, Melvin is thrown into a vat of toxic goo and turns into the Toxic Avenger. Many songs and terrible jokes later, the hero saves the day and wins the heart of his true love.
One of the great and fun things about Clickstop is the amount of recognition we like to give each other. Whether you notice a co-worker stepping up their game and present them with a nice note and gift card, or if you are noticed by leaders as a quarterly Rock Star, we love seeing employees be recognized for their achievements. For going above and beyond and living like a true Clickstopper.
So last week, and the end of the first quarter of 2017, Tim surprised us with a new award program, the Quarterly Core Value Recognition. Together, the leadership team worked to decide which employees truly embodied the core values.
“The discussions we had about the core values and our teammates were incredible.” said Monica Steffeck, Co-VP of Talent Enrichment. “It was so fun to hear about all of the things our employees do everyday, going above and beyond to live out the values. So many good vibes during our discussion, it was awesome.”
Paired with comments from the leaders and seeing these employees embody the core values everyday, Tim set out to surprise 6 people with a custom t-shirt and a $100.00 bill.
The winner of the first quarterly recognition for the core value Make Time for Fun & Family was our very talented Web Developer, Wesley McElwee.
Wesley has been with Clickstop for 3.5 years and works on the Technology team.
“Wesley is great to have on the Technology team.” said Tom Altman, VP of Technology. “He has so many things that fit well with our core values – and he acts them out every day. Wesley is the first to jump into an issue or problem – and makes sure to bring the team along with him. And Wesley expects greatness in himself – he loves to learn and this ties into everything. When you use the core values to guide the way you work, it just super-sizes it all.”
“Having core values paints a clear picture of what it’s like to work at Clickstop and what is important both personally and professionally.” said Wesley. “I think for a business it is easy to disregard having a mission statement and core values and put emphasis on the culture of a company. If you don’t intentionally define the culture and values, you can suddenly become a place that isn’t so great. I’d be shocked if any truly great place to work has a good work culture by accident. It must be deliberate.”
Wesley is someone who takes the core values to heart and shares the desire to make Clickstop a great place to be for everyone. One of his favorite parts about working at Clickstop is being with great people. His colleagues keep him pushing himself to have the biggest positive impact he can.
“Make Time for Fun & Family means that putting emphasis on your personal life will make you happier, more engaged, and more productive at work.” said Wesley
“Clickstop knows that by defining the company culture and putting an emphasis on work/life balance it will create a more successful company and make each employee individually happier and more successful as well.”
Tom sees a lot of potential in Wesley and knows he will make waves at Clickstop. “We need top notch developers and I can see Wesley growing into a role where he can be a leader and a teacher. Wesley is a good listener and very well-liked by everyone he interacts with. I always describe Wesley as quiet-confidence. He knows what is right and wrong – he just handles it. You can see that is also the way he parents. It is not a lot of talk – just quiet confidence.”
The great thing about Clickstop is EVERYONE has the chance to be successful; to be the best versions of themselves. Having work/life balance is critical to this success.
“I’m going to borrow something that a former pastor of mine would say in church. “Keep the main thing the main thing”. In this context, it means don’t neglect your personal life for the sake of work. Yes, we all want to be part of a successful company and want to make as big of an impact as we can here. But the main thing is your personal happiness and family life. Neglecting that will over time lead to less value here at Clickstop as well. Balance is the key and doing well at one will make you better at the other.”
Finally, we had to ask Wesley how it felt to be the first ever recipient of the Make Time for Fun & Family award. “Each and every core value is important to the long term success of the company. Being recognized as fulfilling this value, or any of the core values for that matter, is a great honor. I want to give a big “thank you” to Tim G for being committed to such a great place to work. Also, my co-workers who also embody the six core values and live them out every day… I’d like to thank everyone I have ever met and while I’m at it, all the people I haven’t met yet. That is all.”