Last year as I started with Softdocs, I found myself surrounded by a team who had created 23 years of traditions. Joining such an established team was exciting and intimidating all at the same time. What if they don’t like my ideas? What if the local team hates not frying a turkey and bringing in homemade sides now that we’re primarily remote?

*Googles* “how to have a virtual team Thanksgiving”

Googles how to have a virtual Thanksgiving

We opted for the simplicity of gift cards for the team to order in a lunch of their choice and a team Zoom where we came together in a virtual space. We went around the Zoom and posted into the chat all that we were thankful for and spent a solid hour just basking in gratitude with our incredible team. We formed a new tradition.

Hearing your team say they’re thankful for you is both humbling and tear-inducing if you’re a softy like me.

Here are some of the gratitude points I loved the most from our 2023 Thanksgiving Lunch:

  • Moving to remote work allowed our team more balance between work and life. Robert Gunning, our Manager of Professional Services has been with Softdocs for 17 years! Robert shared he’s been extremely grateful for the remote work option since 2020 and that he’s grateful he has been able to see his wife more, and watch his girls grow up.
  • One of our teammates shared how grateful she was for our flexible PTO plan. Leading up to the loss of a parent, she needed time to be with her family and prepare. Following that, she shared how her team had been supportive and showed true care and concern during this time. She said that is one of the reasons she loves Softdocs – she knows her team has her back.
  • Next, a new dad on our team shared how much our new paid parental leave policy helped him and his wife as they brought home their first child. Prior to his leave, we even shared our parental leave policy with his wife to provide an outline for her own company to adopt a leave policy.
Baby in a Softdocs onesie
  • Since implementing our 12 weeks of paid parental leave a year ago, we’ve welcomed six babies into the Softdocs “fam”, and there are a few more on the way!
  • Internal mobility is important to us, and Jason Pfaehler expressed how grateful he was for the opportunities he’s had at Softdocs to grow his career over the last seven years. Jason has worked in nearly every department at Softdocs and is now a Product Owner in our Engineering Department.
  • One of the most consistent shares of gratitude was for the managers of Softdocs. Managing people is tough work! At Softdocs, we expect our managers to be strong mentors and leaders, but also have the technical knowledge to work with their teams. In our most recent survey of employees, on a scale of 0-5, we scored 4.7 in employees feeling they would recommend their manager to others. It was wonderful to hear small stories of how leaders at Softdocs have gone over and above to support their teams.

This year, our Thanksgiving lunch reinforced for me that we’re building and growing a team that is passionate about the work we do to help our clients succeed. When schools use Softdocs products, they increase their efficiency campus-wide, which we hope brings gratitude from their team and students.