EveryMove was honored last evening (7/2/15) to be recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Seattle for the third straight year. Receiving the honor is a testament to the incredible team at EveryMove. It’s also probably the most emotional honor that we’ve received.
We’ve had a challenging year at EveryMove and have had to make some difficult decisions to re-align our organization to support the opportunity in front of us. We’re in an exciting spot with a clear path forward to change how healthcare is valued in our country but building a new type of business is not a walk in the park. When people join companies that are changing a market they are joining a journey, jam-packed with all the unknowns. So I’m reflecting on this award (and why it’s so meaningful for our team), and here is what is going through my head:
A best place to work is not always fun. Don’t confuse fun with working for a great company. Business can be tough, frustrating, confusing, and ambiguous. There are times when we all get tired, question our direction, our sanity, and our capabilities. Companies go through highs and lows. A best place to work isn’t one that masquerades as “fun all the time”. It’s a place that respects the individual, creates an environment where ideas can be shared, and is willing to celebrate wins but also learn from failure. And yes, a good dose of fun is important.
Communication is everything. When you think that you have communicated everything to the team, communicate it again. It’s important to put the structures in place so that communication is consistent and timely. It’s also important to communicate how change is going to impact each individual. Whether done one on one or in a group setting, eliminate ambiguity. Ambiguity is a killer. Trust me.
Having a vision matters all the time. Did you know that Microsoft just changed its mission statement? Yes, that Microsoft. That made me feel really good. It means that re-aligning a mission may be necessary at any stage of company (phew!) and it’s okay. What’s not okay is not being clear on the “why” of your company’s purpose. When uncertainty creeps in it makes it hard to develop a product roadmap, align the organization, and set objectives. Even if the vision is off the mark, it’s a direction for which momentum can build.
Depend on each other. Great companies have people that depend on each other and come together when times are tough. There are no superheroes in most businesses. The power comes from many, many, many small victories that add up to something substantial. Those victories could be generating revenue, a customer success story, building a backup system, hiring a new person, launching a new homepage, having a great team event, and thousands more small things. Depending on each other is about letting people thrive in their area of expertise and make a mark (no matter how large or small) to benefit the greater whole.
We’ve made some great strides as an organization and we’ll continue to overcome challenges. The reflection I’m having here is not new. It’s what I think about pretty much everyday and what I’ll continue to strive for in helping to make EveryMove a great place to work. I’m grateful for the team at EveryMove and am hopeful that we can continue our streak of being a Best Place to Work in Seattle.