From the beginning, I thought it would be fun to have a video company that could produce video content powerful enough to win awards. Back in 2005, I...
StoryTeller’s core values (problem solver, lock-down reliable, driven to mastery, inspire by example, and get shit done) are at the center of everything we do as a company. From internal meetings to the strategies we deploy to help clients win, these core values cultivate a work environment that is built upon respect and trust, allowing us to work highly effectively “together” even though we are mostly remote.
Each month employees gather (in person for those who can) and nominate one another to receive the Thumbs Up Award, a trophy recognizing a team member who exemplifies all five StoryTeller core values. Nominations are read aloud and the person with the most votes is awarded Thumbs Up Winner of the month.
Creating company culture in a virtual environment can be challenging. Due to the nature of virtual work, it's hard to see and recognize the great accomplishments your employees are doing day in and day out. The Thumbs Up Award is one example of how StoryTeller applauds hard work and recognizes the importance of maintaining strong core values.
In addition to the Thumbs Up Award, this year we started a new StoryTeller tradition and created three distinguished Impact Awards; The Lencioni Award, The Dweck Award, and The StoryTeller Leadership Award.
Each recipient is honored for bringing certain leadership values to life day in and day out. Beyond the verbal recognition, there is a monetary contribution given to both the winner as well as to a charity of their choice!
“We wanted to recognize the tremendous work of our team through the celebration of our core values and the annual Impact Awards provides that outlet. On top of that, we can honor the various charities that our teammates are passionate about by supporting them with donations in the name of our StoryTeller award winner,” shares CEO and President Ed Heil.
“Creating great culture is so much more than having a cool office, or even hybrid work environments. For us, it’s about finding people with the same set of values and beliefs and bringing them together. We do that by hiring people who align with our core values. When you build an environment with like-minded individuals, you create a powerful and dynamic team,” explains Ed.
For Team Health and Culture
The Lencioni Award is named after the business consultant and author, Patrick Lencioni. Lencioni has written several books on team health, team culture, and leadership. He advocates that team culture starts with developing a culture of trust. This occurs through clear and healthy communication, lockdown reliability, and a willingness to step into difficult situations and conversations with the intent to solve important issues.
To foster a successful team culture, tangible trust must be established. Doing so requires transparent communication that allows everyone to voice their opinions in difficult conversations and contribute toward creative problem-solving. In turn, reliability from every member of the team will not only boost morale but also ensure matters can be handled with ease without sacrificing quality or standards.
This year, we are proud to recognize Web Designer and Developer, Melissa Nault as the Lencioni Award recipient. Like the Thumbs Up Award, nominations come anonymously from peers and are read aloud during the annual holiday party.
“Melissa continues to add arrows to her quiver and always hits a bullseye with her work. She is already a master of design, but has grown so much in web development that we can now take on bigger projects with confidence thanks to her.”
“In addition to the growth mindset and get shit done attitude, Melissa takes on support roles whenever possible, making her arguably the best team player there is.”
For Professional Growth and Improvement
The Dweck Award is named after Dr. Carol Dweck, psychologist and author of personal and professional growth and self-awareness books. Dweck wrote the book Growth Mindset where she points out that there are people with fixed mindsets and growth mindsets–those who see their life as it is, as though they are wired a certain way and there is little that can be done to change, and those who believe they are constantly growing. Her work and books inspire and support the idea of cultivating a growth mindset.
Matt Eckholm is a beaming beacon of professional development, embodying an extraordinary drive for excellence and ceaseless curiosity to become the very best at his craft. His dedication has not gone unnoticed by the team this year as he was rightfully recognized as the Dweck recipient.
"Matt Eckholm lives and breathes his passions. This is clearly not just a job to him. He is continually improving himself, shows a love for what he does, and shows commitment even when living that passion isn't easy."
“Matt Eckholm lives his craft and it's been so fun to watch his skills sharpen in the time he has been here. He is an integral part of the video team and brought our capabilities to the next level with his editing and animation chops. He's also open to conversations that make the team better.”
Well deserved, Matt!
StoryTeller Leadership Award
The last, but certainly not least, Impact Award goes to the team member who is an inspirational leader of the company. This person personifies the StoryTeller core values and lives them out loud, all the time for all to see (even when no one is watching). Their example is positive and supportive of team members, raising up others around them while executing their responsibilities at the highest level.
Content Director, Matt Haugen was deservedly elected for the StoryTeller Leadership Award.
“Matt Haugen is the definition of ‘Leads by Example.’ Matt's work ethic, client-first and team-first mindset, and drive to constantly improve not just himself but the team are all evident. I think what's easy to overlook is his steadiness and quiet leadership. He doesn't boast, complain, or exude any negativity, yet he knows how to work through problems. He leads by example. It's in the way he shows up for everyone. That's the most effective but least talked about form of leadership.”
The opportunity for monthly and annual core value recognition keeps everyone on the team trying to achieve their best. While there are not enough awards to go out to every team member, Ed shared that, “One of the most rewarding aspects for me was not only seeing the team nominate our winners, but to see all the people who were nominated. We’re a small team, and still, every single person who was eligible to win the award in the inaugural year was nominated. It’s a special group of people, no doubt.”
Our team is looking for more special people; people who stand out among the crowd and embody our core values. We've taken all the things that make StoryTeller an amazing place to work and distilled those into a few stated values. If those values resonate with you, consider whether you’re a good candidate for one of our job openings. If so–let's chat!