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CultureJan 19, 2017

A Cord of Three Strands is Not Easily Broken

James McCreary

The progressive trend of teamwork is fast-becoming the norm in many professional settings. Teamwork, the growing integration of different individuals, has many benefits. More focused career progression and opportunities to “sharpen one another” are two great examples.

As a new consultant at Credera, I’ve come to further define the benefits of teamwork on a practical basis. I see that success in our technology-focused firm requires three ingredients: individual character, mentorship, and community.

Individual Character

As a competitive runner for most of my life, I’ve always had goals and a desire to achieve. However, there were periods when I was isolated and had no direction. Without the focused guidance from an experienced coach, I was spinning my wheels for the sake of hard work.

Coming into Credera without a significant software background was a new challenge. It provided an opportunity to draw upon my experience of pursuing excellence as a runner. Credera’s talent bar is high, so in my cohort of new hires we found ourselves dedicated to personal improvement to better serve our teams and clients.

At Credera, everyone is enthusiastic about their work and striving to learn new technologies and best practices. Though our “bench” is never very full, you won’t find seat-warmers. You’ll discover an avid group of individuals chiseling their toolset, often with peers serving as the sharpening tools.

Mentorship

This determination and energy, however, would be fruitless without direction. I attended a few software meetups in college but was very discouraged by the vast array of what software entails and the reality of information overload. There was no path, no sense of guidance. It would have been like chasing after the wind if I had set out to become a technology consultant at that time.

Credera completely changed that for me and many others. A formal, experienced mentor and peer mentor are assigned to each new hire before the onboarding process. These individuals gave me a “game plan.” They served as pseudo-running coaches to direct my efforts. Suddenly, software development became interesting, engaging, and realistic. Working together on applications became purposeful and clear.

Recently, my Integration & Data Services practice at Credera created its Professional Development Plan. The plan details specific learning objectives in different technology areas for every consultant. My mentor and I worked through the plan together to create a tailored learning path to efficiently ramp up my knowledge and begin working with our clients.

Credera employees exemplify the fact that mentoring leads to 66% more engagement among mentees. Mentors, in turn, gain valuable managerial experience that leads to 25% higher performance from their teams. Credera’s extremely high employee satisfaction rating is due in no small part to the comprehensive mentoring available to every employee.

Community

Company culture is at the core of what Credera stands for. That culture, of course, is made up of the consultants of the firm. Client projects are often staffed with consultants from no less than three different practices, providing a unique, rich environment to both learn from and contribute to.

It is during the tough moments when our teams truly shine. As an example, we recently began developing an internal tool. A hard deadline was approaching for one of the new hires on the project. My teammate had to learn how to create and integrate a database from scratch, something completely foreign to him.

Even after focusing his efforts and making some progress, he was far short of completing the task in time. However, a fellow co-worker who was not working on the project provided guidance. His guidance helped my teammate deliver the project and provide a cost-saving, comprehensive tool for our company.

Individual drive, mentor relationships, and community are all required to achieve our goals. Mentors give guidance to individuals, while community provides an environment where these individuals can share, struggle, and excel with others.

Integrating these factors results in a cord of three strands. And this cord can lift a challenging load from a low point to the top of a mountain.

life at credera

We’re “open-sourcing” the Credera culture in a series called Life at Credera. We are sharing an authentic perspective on what we are learning and where we are growing. We are talking about friendships and fungrowth, higher purpose, talent and character, leadership, and communication.

We hope this series is a helpful resource on the continuous pursuit of a great culture. And we hope the results are encouraging to our company, employees, clients, and friends.

Looking for more? Check out these great Life at Credera perspectives: