I Met ‌Every Employee at My Company: Here’s What I Learned

I Met ‌Every Employee at My Company: Here’s What I Learned
Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

It was December 2022. Another year was coming to a close, and I began to think about what 2023 might have in store. As I considered my personal and professional goals, one idea kept me ruminating: how do I learn more about the people I spend most of my time with? In the fast-paced world we live in, our interactions with coworkers (mine being mostly virtual as I work remotely 80 percent of the time) often surpass those with our own family members. It occurred to me that in some cases, I knew very little about my fellow InfoTrusters. If we never worked on a project together, there was a good chance I hadn’t had a reason to speak with them—and this didn’t sit well with me.

And so, to dig a little deeper, I tapped into my CliftonStrengths “connectedness” theme and decided I’d take the next year (or however long it took), to have a one-on-one conversation with every coworker I had at InfoTrust. I put 30 minutes on each coworker’s calendar and whether virtual or in-person, I gave them my undivided attention with the sole purpose of learning about them. In fact, I began each chat admitting that this endeavor was quite selfish: as Head of Content Marketing, it was beneficial to me to learn about everyone’s backgrounds, skillsets, passions, and areas of expertise so that I could know who to turn to for various content needs and questions. But, the truth is, I also genuinely enjoy talking to people. With a background in journalism, asking questions is one of my favorite things to do. I wanted to learn more about my coworkers beyond just their day-to-day roles at InfoTrust. I wanted to know what they enjoyed doing in their free time, what life was like for them outside the office, and most importantly, make a personal connection.

What followed was quite possibly one of the most enriching experiences of my 17-year career. Here’s what my rockstar coworkers at InfoTrust taught me.

Everyone Has Something to Offer

Regardless of position or role, every InfoTruster told me something I didn’t know previously—I could feel my brain expanding with every conversation. Whether it was details about a new project or strategy, or simply that they knew the ins-and-outs of a particular hot topic, I quickly solidified my opinion of my coworkers—they are simply brilliant people. I promptly compiled an extensive roster of subject-matter experts whom I could consult whenever necessary. 

Anna knows all-things project management. Dan is a data visualization wizard. Pam will answer my questions about data science—and even taught some digital analytics courses at the University of Cincinnati. 

Everyone Wants Personal Connection

I could have met with small groups or even entire departments in one swoop—it certainly would have saved me time. But something in my gut told me to meet with everyone one-on-one. There’s just something about a personal conversation, isn’t there? You’re more likely to open up and share what’s on your mind. As Head of Content Marketing, it was also my desire to make sure my coworkers knew I was available as a resource to them for writing, editing, brainstorming, you name it. I wanted to develop a personal rapport and trust with those who didn’t know me as well, and I’m hopeful this paid off. 

Thanks to these coffee chats, individuals told me some of their personal goals that immediately inspired me. 

Kevin is a new homeowner learning to build his own fence. Silvia plans to begin pure barre classes. Grady is actively working to get his manuscripts published. 

Had I not made the time to ask about their passions beyond their 40 hours/week at InfoTrust, I would have never known about them. Now I can be a cheerleader. 

Everyone Has a Past that Helps Shape Our Future

One of the most fascinating things I learned when speaking to all of my coworkers was that a great majority of them didn’t have a background in analytics—or anything related to analytics. Some could see this as a negative. Not me. These “always-be-learning” individuals pivoted their careers and upskilled themselves to be some of the best of the best when it comes to analytics and privacy. This lesson proved to me that we have a hunger to learn at InfoTrust, and nobody is satisfied with being idle. Knowledge-sharing is in our DNA and being at the forefront of our industry is ever-present. InfoTrusters aren’t afraid to take risks, and I lost track of the number of people who admitted they weren’t happy with where they were in their careers before InfoTrust and decided to make a change. How inspiring! 

Salik was almost a doctor. Melanie organized private events and served in wedding planning. Hong was a librarian. Zara taught ESL in the Philippines and Japan.

These exceptional individuals poured into their own self-education by going through intense, comprehensive training and upskilling at InfoTrust to become the analytics experts they are today. And they now ‌partner with some of the top brands on the planet to deliver world-class analytics and data governance solutions.

Connection + Challenge = Change

Let’s face it: life is busy—we’re inundated with emails, Slack messages, and Zoom calls daily. It’s easy to lose touch with the heartbeat of your organization—the employees. As companies and teams continue to expand, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a personal bond with each employee. Due to limited time and multiple responsibilities, it is not feasible for everyone to have individual meetings with every employee. But here’s my challenge to you: make time for one coworker each week in 2024. Get to know them on a personal level and get out of your comfort zone. You may just learn something you never knew before. 

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Author

  • Natalie Shawver

    Natalie Shawver is the Head of Content Marketing at InfoTrust and is a skilled and innovative marketing creative. She is responsible for guiding the direction and execution of all content-related initiatives. Drawing on her expertise in journalism and diverse experience in areas such as storytelling, video scripting, and social media, Natalie is a highly motivated individual who prides herself on her ability to meet tight deadlines. She describes herself as a passionate lover of words and thoroughly enjoys writing, editing, and generating new ideas. You can most often find her with a cup of tea and a good book in hand.

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Originally Published: March 18, 2024

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March 18, 2024

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