Every year gap intelligence hosts its own internal convention, appropriately named gapCon. It’s the most valuable day of the year. This year, the theme of gapCon was Connected. The event focused on becoming even more connected with our coworkers (through an awesome game of gapper-based trivia). It was a gaptastic day and I was genuinely inspired by the speakers and their heartfelt messages.
Here’s my main take-away: our lives are basically made up of a series of connections. Everyone we’ve ever known, every place we’ve ever traveled, every job we’ve ever had – they are all built from little connections that form the complicated webs that are our world. That’s pretty powerful stuff, and gap intelligence knows it. Since we spend about a third of our lives with our coworkers, it’s important that we feel connected. We do a lot of things around here to build those connections. If you’re not doing these things with your coworkers, why not suggest some of them at your next company meeting? You’ll be glad you did.
The Way to a gapper’s Heart
gappers like to eat, and we really like to eat with each other. A lot. There’s no better place to be hangry on the job than here in Liberty Station (gap intelligence's home base). Functional team meeting? Sounds like sushi time. Want to get to know the newbie? Take her for a walk to grab a bite to eat at the Public Market. Got a quarterly review coming up? Make it a date at Soda & Swine. There really is no better way to connect with someone than by sharing some tasty tots or splitting a spicy tuna roll.
Sweat it Out
Our gapWellness program is no joke. Not only do we have unlimited access to Yoga Six classes, but you can also go get you butt kicked in the group workouts at Point Loma Sports Club every other Wednesday afternoon. There’s a special kind of bonding that happens when you all come into the office the next morning and wince in pain while trying to sit down in your chair.
Work Like a Captain, Play Like a Pirate
The company that plays together, stays together. Thanks to our incredible gapCulture crew, playtime includes: volleyball, kickball, camping, beer-making, stand-up paddleboarding, snowboarding trips, Padres games, Gulls games, trivia nights, pumpkin carving, and parade marching. And these are just the things that I could remember off the top of my head. Working at gap is F-U-N. Having fun with coworkers makes you feel more connected to them.
gapU offers several programs to boost employee knowledge and skills, as well as to foster personal growth. gapMBA provides education in manager tools and insights from Mr. gap, our CEO himself, Gary. Lunch and Learn gives gappers the opportunity to gain wisdom from their fellow coworkers. Just recently, Caitlin started her own internal coding school, to teach the basics of coding to us non-developer gappers. The more we know, the more we realize there’s a lot more to know. Learning together with our coworkers also allows us to understand their learning styles, which helps us work together more effectively.
gap’s 3Ts committee helps connect gappers with our community to share our Time, Talents, and Treasures. Volunteer opportunities range from blood drives and dog adoptions to major fundraisers like our annual Drives for Rides golf tournament, which funds our favorite local charity, the Emilio Nares Foundation. gap makes it easy to find ways to give back. There’s no better way to feel more connected than to serve your community together.
gappers are passionate people. In fact, Passion is one of our core values. Let’s face it: with all that passion comes an innate competitive drive. So, needless to say, we all enjoy a little friendly competition now and again. Things have gotten pretty intense with the FitBit steps challenge, and we all had a hoot voting for the best of the best in the Herbie the Hedgehog photo contest. There’s even a phone answering challenge, which I’ve been informed that Matt has pretty much earned the lifetime award for ‘most pickups’. It’s all in good fun, and it keeps our connections going strong.
Drink the Kool-Aid
If you’re on the outside of gap intelligence looking in, you might think we are a wee bit cultish. We have our own T-shirts, which (guaranteed) on any day of the week, at least one gapper will be wearing. Pretty much everyone has a hedgehog stress ball, or two or three, somewhere on their desk, with several other hedgehog-themed paraphernalia peppered in there. Our sports teams and trivia teams always go by the name, “the Fighting Hedgehogs.” We even have our own gap-themed Spirit Week, for crying out loud. While all this might seem a little odd to outsiders, we gappers have completely embraced the Hedgehog Way.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and get connected. You only get back what you put into your relationships, and I know you have so much to contribute. Go forth and connect!