We’ve been on a roll! Wednesday night, we won the NFV Innovation of the Year from LTE North America Awards (see how we did it), and yesterday, we were awarded 2015 Business Partner of the Year from Career Tech NJ for our work with the Morris County School of Technology Local Hack Day.
Dan LoPresi, our Applications Engineering Manager, accepted the award from the district superintendent, Scott Moffit, at the Advisory Council breakfast meeting at the MCST High School. Pictured from left to right is Yashwee (MCST Local Hack Day Organizer and a junior year student), Superintendent Scott Moffit, Dan LoPresi, Steve Hendricks (computer science teacher), and Aashka (another MCST Local Hack Day organizer and junior year student).
Early this year, we decided we want to give back to the community. When Steve Hendricks (pictured above), a former Dialogic engineer who now teaches computer science at the academy asked us if we would be willing to help out with the MCST Local Hack Day, we knew this was the perfect opportunity. It was a great experience for us – it got us out of our comfort zone, got us out of our everyday routine, and gave us the opportunity to interact with different people. Despite these benefits, some asked, “what’s the point?” or “What’s in it for the company?” Although, we took this opportunity because we want to support local technology, here are some unexpected, but great benefits we got from helping out:
- Employees feel good about the company: People want to feel good about where they work. If employees know that their company cares about more than just their bottom line, it can forge a stronger connection between the employees and the company.
- You talk the talk AND walk the walk: Many companies say that they value “giving back” and say one of their top values is “social responsibility” but do they actually do anything to show that they really care? You need to actually give back if you want people to believe you value what you say your value.
- More interaction with people from different teams: With this event, teams that typically don’t work together got the chance to collaborate. So, it not only expands people’s connections outside of the company, but it helps foster relationships within the company, which opens doors for more creativity and insight, which is good for business.
- Your business will connect with the community: Giving back gives you the opportunity to connect with the local community. It lets your employees build an emotional connection with the community, and it allows the community to put a friendly face to the company name. And when giving back, you grow your circle of local connections with satisfying speed. For example, with the MCST Local Hack Day, we got the chance to work with 3 other local businesses to put it together – a caterer down the street from the high school, a local printing company for the students’ swag, and a sign company in the town for the banner and other promotional materials for the event.
Although we’re honored and grateful for the award, the relationship we built with the school isn’t anything an award could replace. We hope to keep strengthening our relationship with the high school, and the local community. At the end of the day, everyone who went to the Local Hack Day had a blast, and when people have fun at work, they like work more, which boosts productivity and morale. Remember: people make up the workplace, and relationships make the business grow. We're so excited for Local Hack Day next year, we've already started planning for it. Look out for #MCSTLHD16.