One of Launchways’ core values is to be a Community-Builder. Our team is community-minded and constantly looking for new opportunities to foster a richer community within Launchways and in the Chicago ecosystem. This common vision of bridge-building helps us form stronger bonds with our coworkers and more productive partnerships with other businesses in the greater Chicago area.
We approach our role as community-builder in two fundamental ways:
- Fostering the Launchways community
- Building a community outside our office walls
Fostering Community at Launchways
Why We Believe in Building a Launchways Community
In our mission to help our clients build thriving teams of top talent, we often address the topic of how to create a vibrant, engaging company culture. But within our organization, we believe in taking it a step further and creating not just a culture but a community.
Companies have a culture, whether they take steps to shape it or not. Letting it lie fallow can cause that culture to become toxic, and tending to it can help engage team members and make work more meaningful. A company community cannot exist without consistent and dedicated work by company leadership and every single team member. The risk of not putting in this work is not a toxic community, but the lack of any sense community at all. People will still come into the office, log their hours, and go home. But they won’t care about their cubicle-mates or see their work as helping themselves, their coworkers, and their company succeed. Simply put, they’re employees, not team members.
For that to happen, companies have to foster a community in which everyone is invested in helping everyone else grow, succeed, and pursue what matters most to them.
How We Foster Community at Launchways
We know that as an employer, you need to create organizational structures that will become the foundations of an organic and employee-owned community. So, we have implemented several systems at Launchways that help fuel our community and allow it to take on a life of its own. Each step seems simple and inconsequential on the surface but, added together, they completely transform how we interact with and think about each other as teammates.
Meetings are the main formalized touch-points that employees have with each other and with the company as a whole, so we have focused our efforts on creating community-minded meetings. We start each week with an all-hands-on-deck meeting where each team member discusses their number-one project for the week and any roadblocks they need help on. These meetings allow us to see what everyone is working on, celebrate their accomplishments, and seize opportunities to help each other whenever possible.
Another large part of a community is having a sense of working together for a common goal that everyone shares. As we advise our clients, we have integrated our values, mission, and vision into every policy and process in our organization so our team members can become their stewards. But we also hold quarterly all-company meetings to review our goals and progress towards those goals together as a company. These meetings drive home the reality that we are all working together to accomplish the same goals.
Beyond meetings, “shout-outs” are a core part of the Launchways community. Front-and-center in our office is our “Shout-Out Board” where we can recognize our coworkers on a daily basis for doing an awesome job and representing our core values. We also share highlights from the Shout-Out Board at our Monday all-hands-on-deck meetings so that we can celebrate each other’s accomplishments together. You would be surprised at how much a whiteboard builds a supportive and engaged community.
Stepping Outside Launchways: Fostering the Chicago Business Community
Launchways is constantly forming new partnerships with businesses and organizations in the broader Chicago ecosystem so that we can engage business leaders in a strong community. Some of our key business partners have included Hyde Park Angels, FinTEx, and the Illinois Technology Association.
Over the past year, we have worked with our business partners and organizations like FinTEx and ITA to host educational events for business and HR leaders in Chicago and the whole of Illinois. Just this October, we brought together five business leaders and HR experts for a panel discussion on tackling key diversity and inclusion challenges at our D&I Summit. We welcomed over 60 HR professionals for a complimentary dinner and open bar, which certainly got folks networking and community building. And the panel delivered an incredibly comprehensive look at D&I strategies for businesses going into the 2020s.
We also worked with our business partners to host a CFO breakfast that brought growth-minded financial leaders from around Chicago together to learn new actionable strategies to take back to their business, especially around the increasing role that CFOs play in their company’s HR strategy. And on the other side of the same conversation, we partnered with ITA to host an “HR Now” summit for HR leaders to help them form stronger collaborations with their finance counterparts.
Beyond hosting events, Launchways also partners with other businesses and vendors to provide additional resources and value for our clients. This isn’t just the right thing to do to help our client community and form the best relationships we can with them, it is also a great way to create a symbiotic community of businesses in related industries, all working together to meet the whole range of companies’ HR and benefits needs.
Launchways takes its role as a community-builder very seriously because we know that being part of a genuine community makes work more meaningful and rewarding and that every company has the responsibility to help build and uplift their local business community. This core value impacts just about every aspect of how we work and do business at Launchways. These community-building initiatives contribute significantly to our community-building efforts, including:
- Leveraging weekly and quarterly meetings as community-building touch-points through open communication and judgment-free discussion of projects, challenges, and successes
- Publicly celebrating coworker accomplishments on a daily and weekly basis
- Hosting events for business leaders in our ecosystem
- Partnering with businesses and vendors to bring our clients the best range of services possible
If working in a community sounds as good to you as it does to us, we would love to welcome you to our team. Check out current openings and get started with your Launchways journey by heading over to our Careers Page!