Holiday Volunteering

Part of the team, still smiling after processing almost 5 tons of apples! Earlier this week we volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank.  We wanted to do something as a group to give back and a volunteer activity was our first choice.  Lots of organizations do the same this time of year, in fact while we were there Cisco was also volunteering.

Apples.  Lots and lots of apples.  We sorted the good from the bad and moved apples from huge containers to manageable 25 pound boxes.  As a small group we sorted nearly 9000 pounds of apples in just 2 hours! It was rewarding to help but also exhausting!  Most of the local group was able to participate.  We were joined by one of our ex-employees who had just finished her first quarter of graduate school.  It was nice to have her join us, we miss her!

After volunteering we had our holiday lunch at a wonderful local restaurant.  It was a great morning of volunteering and team building, nice to be together outside of the office environment.  What will your group be doing this holiday season?

First Fall Holiday

It’s quite a day for celebrations here. Of course it’s Halloween.  For those of us in Northern California we are still celebrating the World Series win of the San Francisco Giants as the team returned to the Bay Area and a huge parade.  Plus we have rain, and we haven’t seen rain like this in far too long.  So on all counts it’s quite a day! We did have a client visit our offices today.   The vast majority of our clients are located far away.  It was quite a treat to discover one was local and rather than speak on the phone, would come in for our meeting.  We did warn him, we dress for Halloween!  He was able to meet with a cavewoman, the 49ers Super Fan, and one of the minions from Despicable Me.  More fun than the average meeting!

We were able to kick off the fall season with a holiday, a client meeting, and a bit of fun. Hopefully your company enjoys the holidays too and has much to celebrate in the coming months.

Year end activities begin!

We’re nearing the start of the 4th quarter already! We have many celebrations ahead.  As a team we have the majority of our work anniversaries and birthdays towards the end of the year.  We have a request for cake and potato chips for the next birthday celebration – not a combo we’ve had before but when it’s your birthday you get to choose!   In addition, with a group as diverse as ours is today we will observe a wide range of holidays. This year we’ll be making a point of actively learning about the traditions and holiday observations of everyone on the team. Not only is it a time to celebrate, from a work perspective it’s extremely busy. Many of our clients have fiscal year ends in December.  At quarter and year end there’s always a sales push and that means an increased demand for customer references.  Phones will be ringing off the hook!  The other large year end project is to update agreements with all of our clients for 2015.  They are growing and we expect increased demand for our services.

The quarter ahead will be very busy but also full of fun events, plus the outlook for 2015 is great! We hope the future looks as rosy for you.

Establishing A Company's Culture

Where has the year gone?  Hard to believe November is nearly upon us.  This week we received a year end checklist from our payroll company and we’re not even to Halloween!  It’s good to do year end double-checks early, nice to have it out of the way and to know tax forms and the such should process without a hitch.  Our holiday schedule for the business was set some time ago, but we’ve yet to celebrate holidays together. We began operations as Referential, Inc. in January of this year.  Previous to that H&D Feber Associates had been active in customer reference programs and consulting for nearly 20 years.  So we’re old and new.  As a new company we have to establish traditions.  We celebrate birthdays with cake and song.  Luckily we have some good singers on board!  I suspect at least some of us will dress up for Halloween, though if we have clients in that day it might deserve a second thought.   End of year holidays and the company anniversary deserve recognition as well.  Some companies have a party, others do group volunteer work.  How does your company celebrate?   It would be good to hear from others as we establish our own traditions and company culture.

2014 Holidays

I’m not sure if it’s early or late for this but at Referential we’ve been setting the 2014 holiday schedule. We have eight standard dates each year and then two more are chosen which vary year by year. I see several long holiday weekends ahead! Conveniently the 4th of July is a Friday in 2014. Christmas falls on a Thursday so we will also celebrate Boxing Day, closing the 26th. Boxing Day is a national holiday in the UK and Ireland, and since our founders hail from England it’s quite fitting we should have that as one of our company holidays.

And since someone’s bound to ask, it’s not called Boxing Day because it has anything to do with putting on the gloves and getting in the ring for a friendly fight. Some historians say Boxing Day developed because servants were required to work Christmas day, but took the next day off. As servants left to spend time with family their employers would give them gift boxes. Another theory holds that boxes placed in churches for donations for the poor were opened and the monies distributed on the 26th.

For us, in 2014, Boxing Day will be an extra day to spend with family and friends!