I had a professor in my last semester who had worked for one of the big four financial firms, and had a really impressive resume aside from his teaching career. It was a strategies class, so all of our work was application-based with little to no book work. He said something that really stuck with me. He said, "If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers." Happy workers are much more likely to make happy customers. My best example of this is QuikTrip, a Midwest convenience store chain known for their exceptional and unlimited customer service, and for taking excellent care of their employees. From generous PTO for all employees and monthly bonuses to Hawaiian vacations, tuition reimbursement, and above-average pay, they've got it nailed. It's a strategy that he was really passionate about and had implemented before, and it's a strategy I knew I wanted my future workplace to apply when looking for a job upon graduation.
Luckily for me, Tim also fully believes in this. We have a lot of time and space dedicated to creativity, innovation, learning, and overall self improvement at work. I truly enjoy my job and the people I work with, and I think they feel the same way. Because of this, we want our customers to feel the same environment we've cultivated in the office. We spend a lot of time taking care of customers, on Zoom calls, via email, and pre-COVID, in person. We use HubSpot to keep track of everything and communicate both in the office and with customers. It's a great tool that makes our lives much easier!
One thing you can't purchase a software for is motivation. We juggle a lot, and Tim actually has cultivated a reputation of seeming like a larger company than we are by how we present ourselves. How do we avoid burnout? Tim says he makes time each day for four things: inspiration, creativity, playfulness, and curiosity. He says "If I don’t, I don’t like who I become!"
Our best tool to avoid burnout is without a doubt creativity! Around Christmas, Hunter and Jace spent about a month on and off working on a Raspberry Pi project to create a little RC car with obstacle avoidance and the ability to follow a path. This sharpened their engineering skills as well as their teamwork, organization, communication, and analytical skills. This all sounds great, but it was really just a fun project to take a break from SQL queries and XML script. Tim headed the support calls that he had been handing off for the last few months while he got in his creative zone and cranked out ATLAS Premium.
For us, it's all about balance. Sounds incredibly corny, but it's true. Whether Hunter takes on new clients to allow Tim to create, or Tim takes on more to allow Hunter and Jace to go through learning experiences, we rarely all have an equal work load. That's what works best for us, and the creativity (and motivation) stays consistent. The share of work is always changing and sometimes even depends on the day! If Tim gets sucked into a project, Hunter can jump on his other support calls. It requires a decent amount of collaboration and communication too.
What works for our office might not work for yours, but if you're finding yourself and your team getting burnt out, shift some responsibilities around and invest in a treat, whether it's some mind-bending puzzles or a Raspberry Pi project of your own. It helps us stay on our toes and provide better experiences for our customers.
What works for your team? Let us know! If you're interested in talking to Tim about SOLIDWORKS, creativity, or anything else, schedule a meeting or send an email! We can't wait to talk more with you. Believe in The Q!