Anyone who knows anything about us knows we are not at all shy about singing the praises of our team. After all, our exceptional team is the not-so-secret ingredient to our thriving company culture. And that leads us to what this blog post is about – personal goals, professional growth, and our company culture.

We took a hard look at what company culture actually is and what it means to us. If you subscribe to any business publication, you’ve probably read an article or two about company culture. But have you ever stopped to wonder, “what the heck is company culture?” We did.

We did a lot of research and settled Matt Blumberg’s definition:

“Culture is the collection of business practices, processes, and interactions that make up the work environment.”

If you look at culture from this perspective, it is an inevitable aspect of any company, regardless of whether it’s intentionally nurtured or passively observed. One thing is for sure – our team does not sit on the sidelines. We make things happen! That’s why we decided to take an active role in cultivating and developing our people and foster personal and professional development.

Our goal is to build a culture founded on continuous learning. We asked each employee to set 3 personal and/or professional goals, and we helped fund a portion of those goals. We’re pretty proud of what they accomplished. Check it out.

2017 Team Goal Highlights:

Bethany Arthur (Sr. Logistics Manager) knew that she was most at peace when she was gardening but was unable to maintain one because of her travel schedule. So, she brought the garden to work. She and Liz DeJesus (Marketing Manager) combined their budgets and enlisted the help of Beau Carter (Logistics Coordinator) to make the first ever Stewart Transportation Solutions community garden.

Surprise outcome: Beau discovered he actually has an interest in gardening! And just last week, as we began preparing the 2018 garden, Beau could be found collecting worms in the parking lot.

Jessica Brinks (Program Manager) set out to get her Group Fitness Instructor Certification. And great success! She received her certification in November 2017.

Kym and Roman Thomas (Sr. Account Manager / Program Manager) pledged to live life more fully outside of work, and with their schedules it nearly seemed impossible! But they took a whirl at a cooking class as a more experiential date night and took two proper vacations together to Costa Rica and Cancun.

Jazz Godard (Sales & Marketing Coordinator) read over 55 books in 2017, just 5 books shy of her 60 book goal.  She also set the ambitious goal of buying a rental property and accomplished that goal in February of 2018.

Colleen Chase (Sr. Account Manager) felt a calling to become more of a culture beacon. In doing so, she decided to work on building her coaching and mentoring skills. She is responsible for mentoring several people on the team!

Liz DeJesus set out to get back into running by signing up for a 5K by April 30, 2017. She crossed the finish line on April 15, 2017 and hasn’t stopped running since.

Anke Bieler (Program Manager) is one of those people who wants to learn…and then learn some more. She decided to take MIT’s “Introduction to Computer Science and Programming using Python” and received her certificate of completion in 2017.

Lacy Dainwood (Finance Manager) wanted to grow into her new role by enhancing her knowledge of Quickbooks. She passed her QB course with an A and is on to the next course!

Al Fernandez (Sr. Field Manager) took strides at being more organized at work and home. He even got a personalized planner to help him along the way. He is staying committed to this goal in 2018!

Brandon Terpstra (Director of Nat’l Accounts) had high hopes to read a book a month last year. Instead, he found a love for educational and informative podcasts! We say, FAIR TRADE! He’s now entertaining the idea of audiobooks in 2018.

While 2017 was focused primarily on personal goals and individual growth, we’re designating 2018 as the year of professional development and company growth. Although some individual missions and objectives have continued into this year, we are excited to transition into a new chapter of goal planning: setting SMART goals & KPIs.

Company perks like our garden, afternoon run club, and goal-setting assistance certainly contribute to a healthy company culture and that’s why we offer them to our employees. The evolution of our goals program and an emphasis on continuous learning helps us keep that culture spark alive. So… what does your company culture say about your organization? We want to know!

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