Ben Stephens

Daxko Nation Spotlight on Community: Ben S.

By | Community, Professional Development, Technology | No Comments

The Daxko Nation Spotlight highlights the character and varied interests of Daxko Team Members outside of the office. Check out some of the ways members of the Daxko Nation are engaging with their communities.

Please, introduce yourself!
Ben S., Jr .Net Engineer

Tell us about some of the things you do when you’re not at work.

  • I am a part of Ardent Church. We are a 2-year old church, and we meet in the gym of Glen Iris Elementary. Every Saturday, I help set up for our church service in the gym, and most Sundays I run the soundboard and then tear down after the service.
  • I actively participate in Birmingham Open Source Software. We meet every Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. and then on a night once a month. We work together on coding projects and talk about what we have been learning.
  • I also participate in the Birmingham JavaScript group. We meet on a weekend every couple of months and try to bring in a speaker who is big in the JavaScript community.

If you had to choose three words to describe these volunteer activities, what would they be?Church, software, community


Learning to Fly

By | Building a Company, Culture, Life at Daxko, Workplace | No Comments

I admit to being a fan of the great rock band Pink Floyd and their song, “Learning To Fly”. The title track reminds me of the “onboarding experience” at Daxko. In June of this year, I became the People Team Orchestrator in charge of the onboarding of new hires. It is the perfect job for me because I love to connect with people and watch them succeed.

For me, the onboarding of a flight is my favorite part of air travel. There’s something spectacular about the plane’s initial ascent when I feel weightless and astounded; as Pink Floyd says, “Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies, Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I.”  In my opinion, there are six ways the onboarding of new hires is like flying.

  • Connect is the vital first step of onboarding. Whether you’re a new hire or flying for the first time, it is reassuring for people to intentionally reach out and connect. Connecting with new hires eases some of the stress and anxiety of the first day of work.
  • Impress is the necessary second step of onboarding because impressions speak louder than words. At Daxko we would say that culture speaks louder than words. Through connections and culture, new hires and first time flyers form the first impressions of the company, so it is important to give the right initial impression of your company.
  • Provide for the needs of new hires by giving them the tools they need to begin a successful career at your company. Provide training that is not only informative but innovative. Providing for the needs of new hires and flyers gives them confidence for the journey.
  • Blend is the fourth way to improve the retention rate of new hires. A common fear among new hires is that they will not fit-in with the team. Help your new hires blend well on their new team. No one wants to feel as if they don’t belong or have nothing to contribute. Team leads and coworkers who take the time and provide opportunities for new hires to blend are rewarded.
  • Engage new hires as soon as possible into the vision and culture of the company. People love to feel that they are contributing to the success of the company. Quickly engage new hires through special events and celebrations to thank them for their contributions. Engaged team members will be more productive and more likely to stay.
  • Excite new hires and flyers by having more peaks in the onboarding process than lows. While new hires, or anyone for that matter, can’t remain at the highest peak of excitement, it is vital to offer opportunities for excitement.

The onboarding experience should be fun and welcoming with the aim of team member engagement.

Deb E, Daxko People Team Orchestrator and avid traveler.


YMCAs in the News: Missoula Family YMCA Reaches Out to Sierra Leone

By | Events & Happenings, Industry, Mission Delivery | No Comments

When confronted with a problem as widespread and scary as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa many are quickly daunted by the enormity of the outbreak and don’t understand how they can help from so far away. Not so for our friends at the Missoula Family YMCA. Board member Chris Siegler has a long bond with the people of Sierra Leone that began as a peace corps volunteer in the 1960s. As board member for the YMCA in Missoula, Montana, Siegler formed a partnership with the YMCA in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown. Now, the Missoula Family YMCA is reaching out in any way it can to help the people of this country wracked by the recent Ebola outbreak. Their campaign recently made national headlines on National Public Radio and is an example of a community reaching out in a more personal way to impact victims so far away.

Reach more about the Missoula YMCA and the Sierra Leone YMCA read the full story on the NPR blog.