The first week on most jobs can be a bit intense, with common hurdles like figuring out how to log time and expenses, slogging through the employee handbook, and navigating your way to the bathroom (the last one is a rarely mentioned perk of work-from-home roles).
Things get particularly interesting when the first week coincides with a multi-day, in-person event of business, team building, and general merriment. That was me last week at CSI’s Chicago headquarters for its annual Winter All-Hands Meeting & Party, joining as the new (and first!) Director of Marketing. Nothing cultivates work relationships like casual conversations over dinner or a ruthless, Machiavellian approach to a White Elephant gift exchange.
While it’s impossible to gather a full appreciation for what it’s like to work at a company in the first week, first impressions are still meaningful, particularly on company culture.
So, let’s cut to the chase. What were my first impressions of CSI’s culture? Three words come to mind:
- Dedicated: We care. It sounds simple, at the risk of being trite and trivial. But what I witnessed was distinct: how much the collective staff care about client partners, care about each other, and care about making CSI a great place to work. The ownership of holistic success for each of those three things was palpable and something I had not experienced before across an entire organization. In Town Hall discussions about CSI’s future and growth plans, staff from the founder on down both spoke up and listened. That’s the type of culture that leads to 13 customer satisfaction awards.
- Honest: There’s no BS here… or least the levels are way below average. What you see is what you get. There was genuine two-way candor during Town Hall discussions from both staff (willing to speak up about opinions and concerns) and leadership (willing to be real about implications and considerations), even on touchy topics like managing work capacity. Additionally, there was no pretense about perfection – no one gets it right every time. But because we care, we’re going to get it right more often than not, and the times we don’t we will own it and make it right.
- Fun: This might sound a little trite as well but stay with me. How many places do you work where you get a pair of socks with the founder’s face on them? It’s a thing here because of course it is. While the White Elephant gift exchange gave me whiplash between being the most and least popular person in the room, the laughter was constant. There is a recognition at CSI that work is important, but it is just one part of our lives that are too short not to have fun along the way.
Why should someone work at CSI? There are three simple reasons I do:
- We do meaningful work helping nonprofits better achieve their mission.
- We have a fun and supportive culture that helps our staff to thrive in all aspects of life.
- We’re recognized as one of the very best at what we do.
If that sounds like your cup of eggnog, apply on CSI’s Careers page, and with any luck, we’ll have some laughs together at next year’s event.
About the Author
Matt Mooney is the Director of Marketing for CSI. CSI has been actively focused on enhancing results for users in the not-for-profit space since 1992.
In his role, Matt leads all marketing and branding initiatives for CSI, including its outstanding iMIS products and consulting services. He is responsible for generating greater awareness of CSI’s award-winning customer service to help more member-based non-profits supercharge their mission.