“In China, when you are one in a million, there are 1,300 people just like you” is a quote attributed to technology visionary Bill Gates. Using the World Population Clock and extrapolating that to the current world environment, there are 7.400 people just like you. Yet in our search for meaning and individuality, we seek differentiation, our uniqueness. I think about the many requests for proposal that ask “what makes you unique?” or “describe your differentiators.”
Andesa often refers to our unique vision or culture; but if truth be told, if we are one in a million, then there are hundreds of other companies out there that care for their employee environment, emphasize client satisfaction, seek quality and balance results with a meaningful experience. So is there truly an Andesa difference?
I recently sat down for lunch with a several Andesa employees who joined our team during the past eighteen months, but whom had previously worked elsewhere in their careers. I emerged from this encounter energized and encouraged, understanding that the Andesa culture we espouse is being carried out day by day. Through recommendations, reputation and research, my lunch compatriots had been drawn to Andesa by a claim of a different approach – one which stresses the importance of the employee, strives for win-win, creates partnerships with clients and emphasizes quality as a personal testimony. For these recent hires, the “reality matches the hype” was the common sentiment.
“I’ve been in environments where the development of software was a cost center,” shared Developer Gerry Krupka. “It is refreshing to be in an environment where the software is the product.”
The group expressed wanting to join an organization where they could grow, but more importantly, where they were needed and could make a difference. Anecdote after anecdote expressed examples of being trusted and encouraged to take initiative; to implement suggestions. “My recommendations are not second guessed,” shared Office Administrator Jessica Gauthier. “I am able to apply my experience and am encouraged to ‘run with it.’ That sense of trust is refreshing.”
The intimate size of Andesa facilitates the sharing of information and willingness to help each other. “Everyone is approachable and welcomes my questions; knowing I want to learn and help the company grow,” mentioned Project Manager Nolan Van Wert. Others chimed in that in larger organizations there are often silos or a sense of fear, which prevents information sharing amongst the teams.
I sensed how rapidly this group had seized on the culture and embraced the Andesa environment. Their prior experience provided confidence and the freedom to drive their own path in making a contribution at Andesa. I heard examples of mentoring and engaging our younger, recent graduates. “We seem to find the individuals who have a strong work ethic, care about their production and possess a desire to learn,” noted Anthony Orlando, Systems Development Manager.
“Skills can be learned, but a work ethic is hard to teach and attitudes are tough to change,” echoed Gerry Krupka. “The team I joined is highly skilled and the work ethic of its experienced leads is one of duty and personal accountability. The culture of an effective organization should encourage mutualism, where both parties benefit. I believe Andesa offers this opportunity.”
As we sat and shared stories, I was struck by how inter-dependent our organization is. Here were administrative team members, project managers and developers appreciating how our collective efforts work together for the benefit of the whole. There was a common understanding that the entire 125-member Andesa team works together as one for the benefit of the employee, the client and the shareholders. It is this balance, and the constant effort to maintain that balance, that is part of the Andesa difference.
“I often say that within a few days I felt at home at Andesa,” shared Gloria Hopfensperger, Manager Project Management. “I know this is where I am supposed to be, and I feel like I have been here longer than I have.”
From my seat what differentiates Andesa is culture, which attracts and is molded by our employees: their quirks and personalities; their commitment and passions; their hard work, and the responsibility-assuming team who never ceases to amaze me in what we can accomplish when we work together. Andesa is blessed to have so many employees who care, who want to contribute and who desire to make a difference –internally and externally. It is wonderful to have Anthony, Gerry, Gloria, Jessica, and Nolan counted amongst us.