Before I was a team member, I wanted to work for wisnet for years.
It’s the “cool” place in Fond du Lac to work. Nearly everyone is heavily involved in organizations around town like Young Professionals of Fond du Lac (YPF), FDL Area Women’s Fund, Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac, and countless others. I first engaged with wisnet team members through YPF and I knew soon after that it was my kind of team. Variety is around every corner and stagnation is a no-no. When I was fortunate enough to join the team in 2016, I knew it was one of Wisconsin’s best kept secrets for growth-mindset people. Little did I know, so did the selection committee for the Bubbler Awards.
The Bubbler Awards are presented each year as part of YPWeek in Wisonsin (an initiative lead by NEWaukee) as a celebration of the ten best companies in the state for young professionals to work at. In 2016, shortly after I officially joined wisnet, we were honored in the class of great companies. At the time, we weren’t expecting it what-so-ever. Yeah, we really love working here and our small yet mighty team is always finding ways to engage each other. Whether that’s through twice-daily bike breaks, cooking meals and treats for each other, working out together in our fitness room, sharing books and podcasts, or any of the other various initiatives that helps everyone unleash their intrapreneurial spirit; we don’t often share about it (in fact, it feels weird just typing this all out). We do these things for growth and constant improvement, not to get pats on the back.
So when we were awarded, it took our modest approach a bit by surprise. Looking back, we now see the added benefit to being named a Bubbler Award winner. It’s not just validation that we must be doing something right or getting that proverbial celebration. It’s about bringing that spotlight of a kick-butt workplace to the bigger picture of Fond du Lac. You don’t have to go to a big city to find an employer who treats everyone like a human being. Who knows that if you have to jet for an appointment or you’re out of the office bettering our community, you’ll still get your stuff done or the team will be there to get your back. Fond du Lac, too, can support employers who want to explore more catered and personal employment experiences. Beyond wisnet, there’s Commonwealth Companies, Society Insurance, Grande Cheese Company, and so many more. By taking this perspective, we really saw a lot of value about this designation being bigger than wisnet. It’s about Fond du Lac.
Now that we’re a second-time Bubbler Award winner as of 2018, we’re super stoked to help bring that spotlight back to our neighbors and partners. Like Transformers, Fond du Lac is more than meets the eye. And we will forever carry the Stubbornly Optimistic flag that highlights our wonderful culture and community.
We’ve never loved the “e” word here at wisnet, and we work hard to avoid it. (We’re talking about the word “employee” if you’re not picking up what we’re putting down.) Despite that, conversations bounced around among team members over the last month about exactly what we could do to celebrate our awesome people today…
As we pondered the right or coolest thing to do for “employee appreciation day,” we ended up talking ourselves out of anything huge, fancy or elaborate. And here’s our reason why…
We feel fortunate to work with a team and in a culture that strives to acknowledge and appreciate each other every day. Not saying it’s easy or big actions every single day. It’s not always spoken either. But, the essence is there. In the grand scheme of things, we attribute it to collective effort to go above and beyond in making sure each person feels engaged, has the opportunity to share his/her voice and be heard – better yet, that they belong, are sincerely cared about and even celebrated. It’s often the little things … an unexpected team member’s quick ride to pick up Gilles ice cream cookies. #yum. Another’s dedication to being an ear to bend, with a friendly voice of reassurance or pep talk. Partnering on our passion projects inside and outside of office walls. Emphasis and care for staying healthy, with a focus on work/life balance, getting moving, and staying active. Hell, even St. Nick and Santa come to our office. (Some may still waiting for the Easter bunny!) Trying to plan something big for employee appreciation day is like waiting to say “I love you” only on valentines day. It just doesn’t make sense.
“Team Appreciation Day” instead = Bacon for everyone!