Company Culture

What Makes A Good Company Great? The People

Guest blogger Kelly Perkins, CTS is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Vaddio.  They are the leading manufacturer and OEM-distributor of specialty PTZ cameras, high-end camera control systems and custom furniture used in the broadcasting, audiovisual and videoconferencing industries.

Kelly Perkins CTSCrap jobs. Who hasn’t had a bad job? And if you didn’t, well then I’m sorry because you missed out on some amazing stuff. You really did. I mean how could you appreciate a good job if you’ve never had a bad job? Think working at a pizza joint inside of a discount store with a crew of pathological liars, drunken bosses and some guy who stole half the register (and I’m just naming a few). You gain some serious awesome people skills, or at least a better understanding of how to deal with multiple personalities.

Oh, and then throw in all the “free internships”. I mean you’re gaining real world job experience right?

I remember the exact moment I knew I needed a real workplace change. And it wasn’t in high school or college.

It was my first “real” job out of college. Don’t get me wrong – I was beyond excited when I got hired. Like “holy shit this is awesome, I FINALLY HAVE A REAL JOB.  Then reality hit.

I was getting ready for work one morning and was completely, utterly dreading the day ahead of me. And not just that day – every day (well Monday through Friday at least). No particular reason really. I didn’t have a bad job. I didn’t have a bad boss. And my coworkers were fairly pleasant. So what did I have to complain about? Who was I to not value a job in this economy? I was working in my field, had just graduated and was steadily climbing my way up the corporate ladder. What the hell was wrong with me? People would kill to be in my position.

Well I was young and naïve for starters (or was I?) and I wanted more. Looking back I really had nothing to complain about. I was impatient. They took a chance and gave me a great opportunity – and for that I am very grateful. That job laid the groundwork for where I am today, which through some twists, tumbles and turns (maybe fate?) I eventually found my way to the AV industry.

And I am so thankful I did.

At the beginning I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into. I barely knew what AV stood for. I’ve always been a music/film person but by this I mean I like listening to music and watching movies. Who doesn’t?

I had no idea what a BNC connector was. YPbPr.…ummm what? Forget the gazillions of industry acronyms; I was in a whole different dimension.

On one of my first days my boss said, albeit nerdy, “No question is a dumb question.” And I thought, “Shit, is this guy for real?” Yes he was. And this is why I love my company, have stayed with my company and will continue to love the industry as a whole.

I work for an awesome company. Not just because we create killer products – BUT because we have fun doing it. I mean we really have fun doing our jobs. Why? What? How can you have fun at work? Because the importance of the company’s culture is full-on emphasized. People are going to do better at a job they enjoy doing; working with people they enjoy working with. It’s that simple. By promoting creativity, teamwork and an environment where people can feel free to share ideas, work no longer becomes work.

Holy shit. What a concept. I am happy. I don’t mind going to work – in fact I look forward to it.  Forget stability, obligations, benefits, the hoo-ha… I am making a career out of what I enjoy doing, which makes me happy(er).

But people do work hard here, and I mean haaaaaard to get projects not only done, but done on time and done right. I can’t speak for everyone but I do it, yes for some obvious reasons like compensation, etc. – but I mostly do it because I want to. It’s exciting, rewarding and I am passionate about what I do (the office humor isn’t too bad either.) But everyone here is passionate about what they do. People take pride (again holy shit, what a concept.) BUT they do.

We have monthly company lunches where the entire company (including shipping, front desk, engineers, etc.) gets together to talk about what’s been happening, future company/product plans – who’s birthday it is. Jokes, chatting and hallway talk is encouraged. Disc golfing over lunch is not uncommon and attending a coworker’s concert is pretty standard. Stories galore come from the annual fishing trip (think break dancing) and let’s not forget the average amazing nerdy, awesome things people do every five minutes – the-make-me-love-my-job-type – things.

And I’ve learned this:  when you get a group of eccentric, amazing, hard-working geeks (who love what they do) together you’re going to have a great team. And if you’re lucky enough to get leadership that is smart enough to empower this group of geeks (and yes we are all awesome AV geeks) you get what I call a company culture of awesomeness.

And really, when all is said and done, we’re just a group of people who work together to create some cool stuff – and we’re happy. I like it. I appreciate it. And I want to continue to be a part of it. I don’t know about anyone else in the AV industry (because I haven’t worked for any other AV companies) but it seems to be the general consensus throughout.

And that my friends, is why company culture is so important.


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