Happy New Year! As my colleagues and I return back to work after the holidays, getting back into the swing of things can be quite challenging. To help ease the transition and set the stage for a successful year, we take these first couple of weeks to reflect on 2016, and plan for the year ahead.
Communication and collaboration is an essential part of this process. We think about what our goals are collectively for the business as a whole, for our team, and for our own individual personal and professional development.
In the spirit of setting us all up for success in the new year, I’d like to share some tips that I feel have contributed to the success of our team here at Trion.
I have never worked in an environment where colleagues hold so many meetings. At first, this was overwhelming – meeting constantly and discussing many topics which I did not fully understand.
But now I realize the significance of gathering in a conference room for an hour or two to discuss the week ahead. We can openly discuss upcoming projects or assignments, our progress and feedback, and suggest ways to be more efficient. It is extremely important that everyone is on the same page. This way everyone has a full understanding of what the team is working on.
There are a variety of projects we work on daily. Some may take anywhere from a day to a month, even a whole year, to complete. There are also ongoing assignments — those that are built into our routine and our marketing plans.
Additionally, we frequently receive requests that are outside of our plan of action. When they come in, we draw up a plan as to what is being requested, how it can be achieved and who will work on the project. This way, the work can be distributed evenly amongst the team. We can also take the initiative to own certain projects if we realize our team members are busy with other assignments.
Put it on the Calendar:
Our team is great about communication! We have a shared calendar, which every team member has access to, where we house all of our projects. These can be anything from email blasts to trade shows to meetings.
We place anything with a deadline in our calendar ‒ this way the entire team can see what we have coming up in the weeks/months ahead and who the project owner is. This is tremendously helpful to have on hand should any questions arise or someone needs assistance with a project.
Keep a Log:
This may be more of a personal task and coincides with our project plans and team calendar. Keeping track of all the assignments and projects I work on throughout the year is valuable. I create a spreadsheet with the name of the project, a brief description, the date I started and completed it, and what worked best or needs improvement.
This gives me a physical document to show to my boss and/or colleagues if needed, and comes in very handy during the annual performance review process. I can also use it as a tool to reflect upon everything I completed and achieved during the year, and look for ways to become more effective for the following year.
Best wishes for success in 2017!
Good-bye waistline, hello Open Enrollment – that’s how I felt at the start of the OE season.
If it isn’t difficult enough to try to lose a few pounds or maintain a healthy weight throughout the year, working in an office setting is ten times more challenging. Most of the time, however, I believe I do a good job making health-conscious decisions when it comes to meals and snacking. Purchasing healthy options at the grocery store is easy. It’s also not that tough for me to avoid the invite for sweets at the office; there is always a birthday or a reason to celebrate. But for the past month, I have been caving in to those dreadful OE carbohydrates.
Open Enrollment is our busiest time of year! My team told me these weeks/months will be chaotic, full of ups and downs, but we survive and come out shining in the end. The workload I can handle; the food, on the other hand, not so much.
During OE, we begin to experience stress, so our boss provides weekly bagels and pizza for comfort and happiness. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by pressure and anxiety, we relax and indulge in bagels and cream cheese. My favorite is the sesame seed bagel with honey almond cream cheese – yum! At least it is reduced fat, but that doesn’t stop me from loading more than the serving size on each half.
Every Tuesday, I tell myself, “You do not need to eat a bagel today, just stick with your yogurt for breakfast.” But when those carbs arrive, somehow I find myself rummaging through the bag looking for that sesame seed bagel. I do the same thing with pizza on Thursdays: “You don’t need pizza; you have this beautiful salad already prepared.”
I’m all about free food and appreciate my colleague’s generous offering every week, but enough is enough. I need to take back control!
There are a variety of ways to manage stress, like exercising or taking up a hobby. I know stress eating is not the best option (or the healthiest). But why do I continue to do it? Why do I cave in? There are many team members here that don’t even bat an eye at those carbs. It’s time for me to focus on helping myself. In the weeks ahead, I am going to work on maintaining my stress and well-being at work through:
Self control – Just because the food is free and sitting there, doesn’t mean I have to eat it. If I already ate breakfast and/or lunch, I don’t need to eat bagels.
Moderation – Allow myself to enjoy bagels or pizza once a month, as opposed to every week. If I forget breakfast or lunch one week, eat only a half a bagel or one slice of pizza.
Keeping busy – On those days where there is actually down time, a moment to relax, I should still occupy my time by finding new projects. If I keep moving, this will decrease my urge to eat.
Get up and move – Make it a priority to step away from my desk and go for a walk. Even if it’s just ten minutes to get outside and take a breather, it’s better than sitting all day.
Today marks my sixth week here at Trion and the time is truly flying by. As a new member of the Marketing and Communications team, I was very anxious to start my first day. Coming from an insurance/brokerage background and recently completing my bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, I knew this would be a great fit.
Before Trion, I did not understand the complexity and all the behind the scenes details surrounding the benefits process. I have appreciated my team members’ patience while learning and comprehending new materials, policies and procedures. While I want to be successful in my role, my team recognizes it is not going to happen overnight. Everyone here understands it takes time to learn new things; they encourage and remind of this every day. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to join an amazing team.
Some might think now that open enrollment is here everyone is stressed and frantic, our team actually has an immense communication strategy for each client. I greatly appreciate all the hard work and dedication the team gives. Here are a few things I’ve noticed during my time at Trion.
Communication all around.
There is constant communication throughout the departments. I have been in many positions (and, I am sure you have too) where there has been a lack of communication between co-workers. At Trion, we have weekly meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. When it comes to projects and assignments, team members are very well prepared. Everyone openly shares what they are working on and when they are unavailable so the next person can jump in. My team members take the time to clearly communicate with me about assignments, products and services to ensure I fully understand.
Collaboration is essential.
Having an open environment where we are free to share our thoughts and opinions, adds value, insight and creativity. My team members are always encouraging me to contribute my ideas and feedback on all projects. Everyone expresses their viewpoints and it’s taken into consideration. Throughout my professional experience, I have worked for many companies where my ideas didn’t matter. When I wanted to speak up and voice my thoughts and concerns, I felt inferior or second-guessed myself. There is none of that here at Trion and I love it. Even if my idea is crazy and doesn’t make any sense, it is good starting point and other team members can run with it.
Clients come first.
We provide above-and-beyond exceptional services to our clients. Making them happy is what keeps us coming in everyday. My team members constantly meet our clients’ requirements and expectations on a daily basis. There are a variety of communication materials for each client; and we customize it to their needs. The team spends a lot of time and effort creating content and visuals to engage readership and educate employees. Utilizing timelines and weekly check ins ensures the materials are presented in a timely manner. We proof and edit all documents multiple times to be certain the content makes sense and there are no errors.
Check out our portfolio page to see previous communication materials for our clients. Let Trion’s communication team help you customize communications to fit your employees’ needs.