Each year in January, Firmatek brings the whole team from around the country to our San Antonio headquarters for a week of learning, training, and fun. This is a very worthwhile investment for us. It not only gives us the opportunity to go over Standard Operating Procedures, but more importantly, it gives us the opportunity to spend some much needed and enjoyed face-to-face time.
This year, we got to have the meetings in our new Headquarters in downtown San Antonio. It made them extra special and fun this year. It already feels like home.
Creating a useful, fun, and engaging week in the office can be a challenge. Here are some of the things we did this year that got the team engaging with one another and having some fun:
Values Stories: In our opening session, we took some time to discuss each of our core values: Team First, Trusted Advisors, Innovation, and Stewardship. Each team (we were broken into 5 teams for the week), spent a few minutes discussing stories of colleagues living those values, and then presented them to the whole group.
Vision: We also talked a lot about where we are going, setting priorities for 2018 and big goals for the future. To go along with that, we talked about our current tech research and marketing efforts, to name a few. In a dispersed organization, it can be hard to keep everyone on the same page about where we are going. This is a great opportunity to do that in an in-person setting that makes it easy for everyone to engage and ask questions. You can feel the energy and excitement about what we have going on.
Safety Jeopardy: Safety is a huge priority at Firmatek. (Check out our Chief Drone Officer, Andrew Maximow‘s post on safety here.) Just running through a powerpoint or videos about safety can get a little boring, so we made it a competition this year. We talked about obscure MSHA regulations and the details of Part 107, as well as Firmatek’s own safety guidelines.
Innovation Competition: Innovation is a hallmark of Firmatek’s legacy. It was really fun this year to work in our teams to come up with new ideas for the company. Our teams were comprised of employees from all functions and levels of the company which lent to unique and fun perspectives on discovering and solving problems. We came up with everything from drones in a box, to a Firmatek app, to integrated software redesigns. Safe to say the legacy lives on.
Socials: Arguably the best part of the week. We found out our Director of Engineering, Caleb Cass, is a ringer at the Bowling Alley, confirmed that Whiskey Cake’s onion dip is really bad for our new year’s resolutions and that the new office is a great Happy Hour venue. Most importantly, we had fun together.
It was an amazing week. We left on Thursday feeling tired, but also re-energized and excited about being a part of this company.
We asked a few of our Firmatekies what they thought of the week and here’s what they said:
“Though us Firmatekies are spread out across the country, once we are back together in one room, I am reminded of how great a community we have and what awesome people are in this company.” – John “JP” Cannon, Geospatial Field Specialist
“We had an opportunity to not only celebrate the prior year successes, but also to share exciting plans for 2018, including employee development, customer focus, new technology, and expansion into adjacent markets. To kick off the New Year, our move to a new company HQ in downtown San Antonio, provides the Firmatek family a new home equipped with advanced data processing capabilities enabling us to focus on delivering confidence in data analytics.” – Andrew Maximow, Chief Drone Officer
“Working remotely can make you feel disconnected at times, so I loved getting to meet new Firmatekies and reconnect with colleagues I don’t often get to see in-person. Plus, the week was a ton of fun!” – Callie Elmore, Marketing Manager
It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day lives and jobs and forget that we are part of the whole. This was a wonderful reminder of what we are part of.