Nov 25, 2021
How a Thanksgiving Tradition Revealed Our Company’s Biggest Strength
Charitybuzz CEO Ben Erwin tells us why he's thankful this holiday season: "...the chance to lead a group of talented, dedicated professionals of all backgrounds who genuinely support each other."
Team Charitybuzz
Charity Network

From the outside, it sounds impractical and even risky to host an all-staff Zoom meeting with every single team member sharing what they're thankful for. But that's just what we did yesterday, and I'm here to tell you that it was beyond heartening. Our pre-Thanksgiving meeting flowed harmoniously and warmed our spirits way more than anyone expected.

"My smart and supportive team."

"The opportunity to work here and make an impact."

"The daily dose of laughter from our a.m. meetings."

Nearly every comment addressed the team and culture – the family we've built at Charitybuzz. That was not my intention with asking people to share their gratitude, but the responses did not surprise me. 

And that is what I'm most thankful for – the chance to lead a group of talented, dedicated professionals of all backgrounds who genuinely support each other.

We have been there for one another through so many moments in life, from celebratory to devastating and every little thing in between. The people at Charitybuzz have built legitimate friendships that go way past just working together. Everyone's really here for each other. This is something that doesn't happen by chance. We can't just hire the right people or get lucky with excellent personnel. We can't just act from a strong company culture point-of-view. We can't just manage in a certain way. We have to do all of this and more thoughtfully and consistently. 

There's a level of effort required to build this type of supportive company – something to which any leader should absolutely be ready to commit. First and foremost, because it's the right thing to do. Secondarily, because it's a vital part of building a good business. A caring, collaborative team is more resilient in trying times and can have tough, honest conversations more easily. People who appreciate each other have each other's backs and want the best result for the group, meaning the best outcome for the business as a whole. Employees stay at companies that are kind. 

That's the type of place I'd like to be, after all. I may be the President of this company, but I am also a human. I'm grateful we've cultivated a team that sees us all as humans, not as job titles. We value each other as individuals beyond the work we produce. 

Yesterday's staff meeting was somewhat of a barometer, gauging how well we embody our company values and culture. The celebratory expression of gratitude is the tip of the iceberg, shining brightly on top of a much larger, stronger foundation beneath the surface. Creating a supportive, caring company is not quick, and it is not easy, so it is energizing to hear firsthand that the work is paying off. Although I've never doubted our commitment to one another, I'm heading into this Thanksgiving with extra motivation and gratitude for what we've built together.

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