In today’s upside-down world, companies are navigating how to engage, connect, and recognize their remote employees during some of the most tumultuous times we have ever endured. Whether it’s through company-wide fitness challenges, contests for the best zoom backgrounds, gift box deliveries, or recognizing weekly MVP players, organizations are focusing their efforts to both prioritize and recognize their people.
As such, I find myself reflecting on the amount of change that our team has experienced in just a short two and a half months, and more importantly how our team has adapted to these changes. It strikes me as nothing short of outstanding. We grounded travel and closed all of our offices on March 16th, and like most technology companies, have been working 100% remotely ever since. Our employees have been giving 200% these last few months, under incredibly stressful circumstances, and I could not be more proud of what they have accomplished due to their dedication.
At Roadster, we have always had a strong focus on recognizing our employees, but with travel grounded and all communication conducted via zoom, we needed to get creative. We had already implemented some smaller initiatives — company-wide happy hours, bi-weekly town halls, a free uber-eats virtual luncheon, a virtual yoga class, and a meditation session. But the big recognition of the year has always been our DRIVEN Awards.
In the past, we have held our DRIVEN Awards in-person during our All Hands Meeting, where we bring our employees from across the country together in San Francisco for a four-day event. In fact, our Spring All Hands Meeting was scheduled for mid-May, something we quickly canceled with a heavy heart due to the pandemic.
So, while our in-person All Hands would have to wait, we decided to carry forward with a “virtual” version of our DRIVEN Awards ceremony.
DRIVEN is the acronym that we created to represent our culture and defines the values that we live each and every day. We are Dedicated, Real, Inclusive, Visionary, Empowering and Never Boring. Our DRIVEN Awards bring our company values to life and highlight those we think best exemplify these values. Equally as important as having our leaders walk the walk is recognizing our team members that do the same. So we have peers nominate each other for these awards, and the winners are announced at our All Hands meeting.
As you can imagine, recreating these awards virtually was a challenge. There is something quite powerful about announcing these award recipients in front of a crowd of 100+ people. Team members shout, clap, and give high fives as the winners take the stage to accept their award. Hugs are given from our CEO as he passes out trophies. These are things you can not emulate in a virtual world. But we decided it was significantly more important to recognize our people now then wait for our world to get back to where it was.
So we held our All Hands Meeting virtually on May 13th, during the week we were supposed to be together. We made sure to incorporate the winners creatively into our slide deck with pictures and creative stories. Our CEO presented and praised the winners for all they do. Teammates clapped and shouted out congratulations. Winners gave short acceptance speeches. We took Zoom pictures of the winners in all their glory. No, it was not the same as it would have been had we been together in person, but nothing is the same today, which definitely keeps things never boring! But most importantly we made sure not to miss one of our favorite traditions this year, and prioritized recognizing and celebrating six of our amazing teammates that embody our values each and every day.
Congratulations to this year’s recipients – Brynda, Jen, Josh, Katherine, Ed and Nicole, our Roadster 2020 DRIVEN award winners! A little more about each of these outstanding individuals.
Brynda Tsai, an integral part of the design team, never drops the ball and constantly goes above and beyond making her DEDICATED. Not to mention that she has done this all with a genuine and positive attitude. She is always up for a challenge and eager to help everyone at any time. To say she holds down the fort is an understatement.
Jen Chen is the definition of a cool cucumber, always staying calm and “keeping it REAL“. She is one of the most genuine employees and always open to helping out a fellow colleague. While she appears super chill at all times, make no mistake — dealer success is in her blood. You can feel her passion for our dealer partners, giving them her all every single time.
Josh Ho does amazing work supporting other teams and ensuring their success — fostering an INCLUSIVE and welcoming environment. Known to many as the highly motivated “operations rockstar”, he denotes a state of harmonious balance that helps everyone be more efficient and effective in their daily activities. He takes great pleasure in his internal customer’s success!
Katherine Wang, the VISIONARY software engineer, always finds a way to see the future and piece the puzzle together. She works closely with people across the company, taking some of the trickiest projects and finds the most creative solutions to bring them to fruition. She takes ownership of things from the beginning by learning the topic inside and out, often making suggestions for improvement along the way. It’s like she can see the future!
Ed Lau is known as the most hard-working and humble individual at Roadster that exudes compassion and understanding for everyone he comes into contact with. Whether he’s crushing support cases, teaching a new skill or EMPOWERING his teammates to figure out complicated-beyond-belief solutions, he’s patient, efficient and lightning fast — hence his nickname, Fast Eddy!
Nicole Ledbetter, our winner for NEVER BORING, happens to be one of the most memorable storytellers at Roadster. And wow, does she have a way with words! Gratitude, passion and sincerity, with a dose of style, are just a few ways that people have described her. From emailed novella’s showing her appreciation for others to Town Hall presentations comparing some of our business relationships to The Bachelor, she is 100% memorable!
Thank you again to our Roadster 2020 DRIVEN Award Winners! We are grateful for your dedication, amazed by your abilities, and happy that you always keep us focused on what matters most.