Here's what my first two weeks as an intern have taught me about work culture.
Before my first day, I browsed the Call-Em-All website and stumbled upon their manifesto, and it was unlike anything I'd seen before. It was clever and easy to understand, but what's the point of a manifesto anyway, I wondered? And do CEA employees actually live by those words?
During my on-boarding, I learned a lot of time and effort was put into curating a manifesto that represented the personality of CEA, but would also serve alongside their values, purpose, and formula. The key to having a highly successful culture and workplace is having values and a purpose that employees can get behind - not one that was dictated to them.
Here's how I've seen CEA embody their manifesto:
- We believe everyone has something important to say
- Whether it’s tech giant, Amazon, or the local Baptist Church down the road, CEA helps customers deliver significant messages, and provides them with the same exceptional customer experience (our NPS score is 85, to be exact).
- From Day 1, I’ve been included in weekly meetings on “the lawn” and lunches outside the office in which I’m asked to provide my input on things.
- We use our powers for good, not evil
- We think the world would be better if nice people finished first
- Although in CEA’s case, this is pretty much true.
- We do the right thing even when no one’s looking
- We’re like that kid who empties the dishwasher without mom asking, and recycles everything. No, really. We have a recycling team and someone nicknamed Captain Planet.
- We think working hard and laughing till it hurts are equally important
- One night, employees are staying up until 5:00 AM finishing a big project. The next, they’re playing an intense game of bowling in which the losing team has to perform a lip sync to Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA.”
- We believe in eating more apples than cupcakes
- Is the kitchen always fully stocked with bananas, apples, and oranges? Yes. Did someone bring in 2 boxes of doughnuts this morning for the office? Also yes.
- We loathe unwanted and annoying interrupt-dinner-with-the-family spam calls
- Over half the employees have families of their own. They know getting everyone to sit down at once is already hard enough.
- We embrace our differences because they make us who we are
- CEA embraces their simplicity, customer experience, and culture, just as they do their intern from China, the military-retiree turned engineer, and the “super-mom” with 2 kids. Meet the team here - diverse skills and passionate people are the keys to our success.
- We think you should fire us if we suck
- No, seriously. They do everything in their power to please customers. On the off chance that’s still not enough, they suggest, even encourage you to find help elsewhere.
- We are crazy about keeping it simple
- We feed off creativity and dreams, passions and good cheer
- Being part of the "small giants" business community means CEA cares about their employees & community first, and profit second. "Coder Dojo," a volunteer-led coding program for kids, and an annual "wrapping party" during Christmas where employees and their families wrap presents for residents at senior living communities are ways the company gives back.
- We try to make the stumble part of the dance
- Fall down seven times, stand up eight.
At the end of the day, my co-workers at CEA are hard-working people who care about making their customers’ lives easier and the world a better place-- and they have fun while doing it. I’m happy to be part of a company who not only
has a manifesto but genuinely lives by it.
Want tips on how to improve company culture? Here are 8 ways to "Unleash the Power of Culture" (Take it from the CEO of a company that's been named one of 25 best small companies in America by Forbes Magazine).
And, to learn more about how and why CEA founders are passionate about work culture, click here.