Thankful for Our Team: Thanksgiving Reflections 2019

Behind the scenes

At work, I’m surrounded by a team of people who are committed to each other and to the ongoing improvement of our culture.  This Thanksgiving, I’m most thankful for this special group of people and their continued investment in building the Rival IQ experience.

In a few recent conversations with folks outside our organization about Rival IQ, I realize that what I’ve enjoyed most in these discussions is sharing how we run our business and not what our product does for customers. Don’t get me wrong, I love data and measurement, and I love helping a customer be more successful. But, to get to the core of how we run our business, you have to get into the people at Rival IQ and the behaviors they exhibit that make me thankful to work with them every day.

As people who live in Seattle, working in tech, we’re privileged in that we have a broad set of employers to choose from (and in so many other ways). As a founder, I’m humbled whenever anyone makes a decision to work with us. Even more so, I’m grateful to all of our teammates who continue to choose Rival IQ as the place they want to work.

But most of all, the thing I’m grateful for isn’t that the talented humans around me just choose Rival IQ as a place of employment. It’s that they choose to invest in each other and in our culture. They choose to work toward making our workplace better today than it was yesterday, and doing that work requires the trust and vulnerability that I’ve discussed in my past Thanksgiving reflections.

Though I think that, on the whole, we’re doing a good job at living our values—prioritizing family, embracing diversity, and being data-driven— at Rival IQ, we still have many ways in which we can improve. As you might expect, the best source of ideas for improvement come directly from our team, and that feedback is something for which I’m very thankful.

We have two primary channels for employee feedback: weekly one-on-one meetings and Officevibe (anonymous, quantitative and written survey data). Though Officevibe has been very helpful in highlighting broad areas for improvement, I find that my one-on-one conversations with my team to be where the hard work happens.

In the last year, in a one-on-one setting, I’ve had no fewer than 20 conversations where one of our employees put their trust in me and provided direct feedback about an issue affecting their (or a teammate’s) happiness, satisfaction, or outlook. Having this type of candid conversation is emotional work and requires us to take risks and push us beyond our personal comfort zones. For that reason, I’m grateful to spend my days with people who decide that taking that leap is worth any potential risk.

Beyond providing honest, direct feedback, I’m surrounded by many examples of behaviors where I see our team investing in each other and our culture. Two of my favorite examples right now are things that happen almost daily, and each of them brings me joy.

First, our engineering team engages in a peer-feedback and coaching system they call #dev-design. It’s a Slack channel and post-standup discussion where anyone can ask for help or get feedback on something they’re working on. Though I don’t participate directly (for the most part), I love to watch the questions and discussions in this forum because of the genuine curiosity of the participants and the lack of ego on display.

My other favorite daily occurrence is Fruit O’Clock, our daily 4pm gathering in the office. It’s a chance to chat, connect, and enjoy each other’s company along with a healthy snack. The conversation is always lively, and it’s a way for people across the company to connect outside of their work. Plus, I’m thankful for Team Fruit that puts in the work required to produce this event.

In closing, thank you to all of you at Rival IQ who make our workplace an environment that I’m happy to be a part of. Your hard work is truly noticed, and I, along with everyone else, appreciate it very much.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Seth Bridges

Hey there, I'm Seth, one of the co-founders of Rival IQ, where I stay busy working on product design and marketing! When I'm not working, I'm probably playing with my sons. Follow me on Twitter for rantings and opinions on all the things.

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