“What do you do?” It’s a common question. Whether we’re at a dinner party with friends, or we’ve bumped into our former college roommate, what we do for work is often one of the first questions we’re asked. And just how do we answer? That was just one of the questions we explored at this year’s NiceLabel kick-off event.
A chance to gather together
One of the unique things about working for NiceLabel is that, although we might “see” each other on a daily basis in person or over video conferencing, we’re rarely in the same time zone. With 160 employees located in 15 countries in Europe, North America and Asia, we are the definition of a globalized workforce. That’s especially the case for the Sales and Marketing teams. Thus, it’s particularly exciting when we’re gathered under one roof, as we do every year when we convene for our global kick-off event. One of our regional sales managers, Kikko Lee, described it very well, “Meeting my counterparts from other regions, who I haven’t seen for a while, is a bit like the first day back at school. My colleagues are friendly and interesting, and the chemistry is great among the teams, so I love mingling with them.” Austin Schroeder, Inside Sales, referred to it as the event “where everyone, regardless of experience, where they are from, or what their role is with the company, has a chance for their voice to be heard, and their words to become action.”
Harnessing the power of purpose
While a large part of kick-off is about looking back at the previous year’s performance and looking ahead at the coming year’s goals and plans, it’s also about taking a week out of the calendar to focus on the bigger picture. During the course of the year, it can be easy to get lost in the mountain of daily tasks, so it’s important to stop once in a while and remind ourselves why we do what we do. Which brings us back to the opening question, “What do we do?” This was a topic covered by Paul Vogt, Marketing Director at NiceLabel, in his presentation on the kick-off theme, “Your participation, your contribution, our impact”. Paul spoke about NiceLabel’s purpose. Yes, we’re a software company and a valued partner to the world’s leading printer manufacturers, software providers and system developers. Every time companies deploy our software, there will be less waste, more production and improved accuracy. Yet, our impact is so much greater.
“At NiceLabel, we make a meaningful impact on the lives of millions of people worldwide every day,” Paul said. That’s quite a statement, one might think, however, as the session continued, everyone in the room realized that our software is indeed present in nearly every industry, from food and beverage, pharma and healthcare to high fashion, automotive and luxury goods, helping companies ensure that the right products are delivered to the right places at the right time. We help life science companies guarantee that the right medicine gets into the hands of those who need it. We help food and beverage manufacturers give consumers accurate information regarding food ingredients and allergens. And we help retailers and car manufacturers combat counterfeit products using the latest in label technology. Every day, we see how our technology helps businesses solve real problems and provide greater value and safety to their customers.
We all came away from the presentation feeling even more excited about what we do. As Ana Müllner Prosen, Inside Sales, stated, “It’s really inspiring to be a part of a team that is this dedicated to inspiring positive changes in companies worldwide.”
Learning from a winner
The big surprise of the day was a visit from Olympic medalist, Petra Majdic, whose story is nothing short of inspirational. Against all odds, she came home with a bronze medal in cross-country skiing at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. No matter which part of her story you focus on: the fact that cross-country skiing wasn’t even an event in Slovenia before Petra; or that it was Slovenia’s first-ever Olympic medal in the sport; or that she finished third after taking a bad fall that resulted in five broken ribs, you’re inspired. It was definitely a highlight of the kickoff to hear her tell her story first-hand, and translate her experiences into lessons we could apply in our work at NiceLabel. As she drew parallels between the winners in sports and business, she pointed out the importance of knowing yourself, of setting goals and, most importantly, of building a trustworthy team. “Find a team to celebrate with,” Petra said. “It doesn’t help you, if you’re standing on the top alone.”
Strengthening the team
And of course, no kick-off is complete without a teambuilding event. This year’s event was located outdoors at a very atmospheric farmhouse. Our event team had worked hard to create a warm, inviting atmosphere, complete with open bonfires burning around the property. Once we were divided into teams, our first task involved problem solving. We had to figure out how to open the box that was placed on our table. While this may sound like a relatively straightforward task, you would have to see the box in order to understand the challenge. Let’s just say it wasn’t exactly obvious how to open it. Those who were able to open it, could then begin on the main challenge: brewing gin. And, of course, no evening would be complete without a rousing session of karaoke.
With another successful kick-off behind us, we have our sights set on impacting 2020 and beyond.
Would you like to join us in our efforts to make the world safer for us all? Visit NiceLabel’s career page and apply for one of our many open job opportunities around the globe.