A welcoming workplace leads to success on many levels
By Rene LaVigne, President and Chief Executive Officer, Iron Bow
Workplace culture can make or break a business. An organization can thrive in an environment that fosters diversity, charity and thoughtfulness.
In a New York Times op-ed, Adam Grant, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, noted that workplace culture is one of the biggest drivers not only of a business’ success but also the success of its employees.
“The culture of a workplace – an organization’s values, norms and practices – has a huge impact on our happiness and success,” Grant wrote.
At Iron Bow, we foster an open environment that encourages innovative thinking and new ideas from all employees, regardless of position or title. It’s energizing for the group to bring bright minds together to solve client’s technology challenges, develop creative approaches, or pursue game changing opportunities.
This commitment to a free and positive work environment manifested itself when Iron Bow was named a top workplace by The Washington Post three consecutive years, most recently in 2017.
One employee told The Post in the survey that Iron Bow allows their employees to think freely and innovate.
“I am empowered to make decisions. I am not micro managed,” the employee said.
Our leaders encourage their teams to think outside the box, using their unique perspectives to birth the next great idea. When employees take ownership of their work, it leads to a feeling of pride in the work they do, the company they work for, and what they accomplish.
Diversity drives innovation
American poet Maya Angelou said, “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Our workforce embodies that ideal.
At Iron Bow, diversity isn’t just cultural, it’s also based on work experience. We look for the very best people from the private sector and government. We’re especially active in recruiting military veterans and work directly with organizations to help with their transition to civilian life.
Our company mantra resonates with everyone we hire, from engineers and sales people to operations managers who are vital to daily operational efforts.
Iron Bow is built upon its mantra, “Customer first and mutual respect for all members of our community.”
In an organization where mutual respect is embedded in the culture and recognized amongst the peer group as a core value, team members are treated equally regardless of position or function. As teammates, they are encouraged to genuinely collaborate to deliver the best outcomes for our customers.
We empower an entrepreneurial spirit eliminating bureaucracy to facilitate optimal results. Despite our teams being located throughout the country, there is an incredible amount of camaraderie due, in large part, to the fact that we leverage video and collaboration tools that we implement for many of our clients.
Charity extends beyond the office walls
Though workplace culture is often thought of as only those things that happen inside the office, Iron Bow has made a commitment to better lives outside of the office as well. Iron Bow is committed to making an impact in the community.
We support many charitable organizations from local Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs to those focused on supporting our nation’s veterans.
Iron Bow hosts an annual charity golf tournament where all proceeds go to organizations that support veterans. The benefitting organizations have varied from charities such as Snowball Express to our current focus with paws4vets – an organization that provides service dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma.
So far, we’ve raised enough money to fully sponsor one veteran dog team, and about half of another team. Assistance dogs require two years of training prior to being paired with a veteran and cost around $62,000, so the investment is significant but truly worthwhile.
For the last 10 years, Iron Bow has also supported the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), an organization we partner with in support of our relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
We support DAV events throughout the country, including its Winter Sports Clinic and Summer Games, through volunteer IT support, onsite event assistance, equipment donations and sponsorships.
This year we are continuing to expand our reach in support of various nonprofit organizations that are committed to helping others and raising awareness. On October 1st, Team Iron Bow will be participating in the American Diabetes Association’s Step Out Campaign. We also most recently hosted fundraisers for individual support with Iron Bow’s commitment to match donations for Hurricane Harvey relief. We have raised $9,000 in funding to date and are also working with various partners and clients to jointly provide services to aid in relief efforts.
Iron Bow works because employee satisfaction matters
Given that the core of our business efforts is driven by individuals, much of the success of Iron Bow rests on our ability to provide a diverse and nurturing workplace for all employees – an environment that fosters creativity, teamwork and trust.
The company’s recent growth is further proof of this. We opened an office in Tampa early this year in support of a newly awarded contract with CareFirst. For most of the new employees supporting this effort, they had never been part of an open culture whereby they felt they had a voice in the business. We over emphasized that we expected to hear their thoughts and recommendations and collectively we’d decide what made sense to implement.
We want our team members to feel valued, empowered and inspired with confidence to innovate. These gains are passed along directly to our clients in the form of optimal service levels and technology solutions for their businesses. It’s a win-win!
Tags: Corporate Culture > Iron Bow > Philanthropy > Workplace