Transparency Means Show Yourself

By | Communication, Culture, Employment Brand, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko | One Comment

I’ll confess: I’m a word nerd.

Words are important. How you put something matters, whether that’s in conversation, email, or just in your own head. I’ll often get wrapped up deliberating the right words to use, validating my struggle with that Thomas Mann quote about writers.

In another blog post, I tried pinning down what we talk about when we talk about engagement and how Daxko embodies it. I want to try that with the word transparency in order to see how it guides Team Daxko in what we do every day.

We’re all familiar with the sense that transparent means “clear or see-through.” Our pals at Merriam-Webster define it as “easy to notice or understand.” And most relevant to the business world is this definition: “visibility or accessibility of information.”

At Daxko, transparency is a guiding principle that defines our culture. Transparency is Open Q&As with our CEO and it’s our open-concept collaborative workspaces. But what does transparency look like for individual team members and what they can control in their own day-to-day?

Another definition of transparent that’s closer to what I’m getting at here is “free from pretense or deceit.” And when you slice the word down to its Latin roots – trans + parēre – you get “to show oneself.”

When a company’s culture is defined by transparency, team members feel encouraged to be themselves when they’re at work.

For professional development last month, I took a course on communication strategies. We focused on creating our personal brand and exploring how we can better show ourselves in our work. Ask yourself this: What is your unique selling proposition, and how does your work show who you are, your background, and your talents? Answering that question is easier when you work in a transparent environment because of the implicit invitation to show yourself.

I also think a lot about our team’s brand, about how we show ourselves. The Engagement Solutions Team implements and consults on Daxko Engage and Daxko Mobile, two of Daxko’s engagement tools. How should our team behave given that we stand for building relationships through engaging interactions, that we’re all about meaningful communication? It means we should be and do exactly those things for our customers and for our teammates across the company. Why the heck shouldn’t we have a reputation as an engaging team?

Here are a few things the Engagement Solutions Team has done lately to better show ourselves:

  • Our team is full of creative types, and we’re always looking for ways to use our skills in design, writing, music, videography, and even Excel wizardry to enhance what we do.
  • We started referring to implementation phone calls as conversations—because words are important.
  • At our team pod, we have a board where we highlight a customer’s “Engaging Conversation of the Week” and hold a weekly poll/conversation-starter like, “Is pineapple on pizza an abomination? Y/N.” (It turns out pineapple is not an abomination.)

The work of transparency doesn’t end. It’s a style, a philosophy, and a challenge – whoever you are. As you go through your day, think about how you show yourself in the work you do. Think about the effortless groove you get into when you’re simply being yourself.

There’s always something good cookin’ on the Engagement Solutions Team. Here we are at a recent team building event, where we whipped up a Tropical Tiki Party meal.


Charlie P., Engagement Solutions Team Lead at Daxko, wakes up early for a good long run, a good book, or just because.

What I’ve Learned About Pre-Launch, Post-Launch

By | Communication, Culture, Free Career Advice, Life at Daxko, Talent | No Comments

In February, I moved into a new role on the Implementation team. I am now a Project Manager, helping our Net Ventures customers come over to the Daxko platforms. Coming from our Post Launch team, on the Customer Success team, I felt like I was prepared for the role change. However, having been through some launches, I know now I could never have been fully prepared! I have definitely learned some lessons that I intend to keep in mind through all of my future launches.

First, nobody is perfect. All of the Implementation team has our customers’ best interests at heart, and I know our customers want their launches to go smoothly, but sometimes files get forgotten or misfiled, or someone’s sick when they were supposed to meet a deadline. The important thing to keep in mind is that everyone is trying their best to make sure this project is completed in time without having quality suffer. I think it really helps to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and make sure you have some perspective to what others are going through. Also, giving people the benefit of the doubt when something is not done correctly will help you maintain positive relationships with everyone you come in contact with.

Secondly, plans change. This is usually because of the first lesson, but sometimes unexpected things just come up and you have to go with the flow. Now, as Project Managers, we are pretty limited to how much these plans can change, since we want to have our customers launch on a specific date, but there is always something that can be moved around. Again, we are all trying our best, and as long as we can come up with a new plan, we will still be achieving our goals!

Which leads me to my final thought, which is that flexibility is key! I think this might be the most important lesson I have learned, since it will flow into the other two. As long as everyone is a team player, and all have the same goals, we can make our dreams of using the Daxko software come true!


Kelsi G. is a Project Manager who loves exploring Birmingham with her husband, hanging out with her two crazy cats, and drinking craft beer.

Spring Training

By | Building a Company, Communication, Culture, Free Career Advice, Grow Your Career, Talent | No Comments

There have been some great posts to the Culture Blog recently by relatively new team members, which is so great to see! 

As a Daxko “veteran”of 16 years, I am still grateful for the career, the growth, and the new challenges that come with being part of the Daxko Nation. In the past year, I have had the great pleasure to work much more closely with our People Team. My greatest focus during that time has been collaborating on Team Lead development. As Daxko grows, we are shifting away from star performers who take on team lead responsibilities in addition to their work. In order to get to the next level, we need talented Team Leads who are passionate about developing high-performing, healthy teams. And that is their work. 

Team Lead work is not for everyone. Some people may think that being a Team Lead is a critical rung on the proverbial ladder of success. That’s not true. What makes us successful in our careers is that we love what we do, we are recognized for good work, and we are fairly compensated for the value we provide the company.  Many Daxko team members are absolute rock stars in their own right, and their career path will take them further down the path of expert software developer, major account sales, or critical account management. One of the worst mistakes Senior Leaders make is to take a rock star who loves what they do, and put them in charge of people, when their passion is the work, not the team. But for people who are gifted at the relational aspect of leadership, bringing together a high-performing team is probably the most rewarding work they’ll ever do. And every team member at Daxko, from those just starting out to those who are way down their rock star career path, will benefit from great leadership. 

On Tuesday, we spent an entire day off-site doing “Spring Training” for Daxko Team Leads. We focused on ways to develop a heightened sense of self awareness and social awareness. We broke into small groups and had lots of discussion on understanding our own emotional triggers, how to manage them, how to recognize them in others, and how to manage those. One of the most insightful take-aways from that session (thank you, Charlie Peters!) was that we need to take the time to respond, not react– and they are different. 

Our afternoon was filled with group work facilitated by Melva Tate. The topic was improving communication across teams. A few things became evident in that session: 

  • We all need to remember our responsibility as “Chief Communication Officer” for our teams.
  • We could use more clarity on which communication channels to use and when.
  • Clearer instructions need to be given on when and how to cascade information.
  • Communication skills like brevity, organization, focus, and action are lacking in some areas.
  • Some communication processes between teams need to be established (e.g. Infrastructure Team getting more lead time from Product).
  • Everyone would benefit from a more holistic view of Daxko and what different teams do, so we can better understand interdependencies.
  • Discussion about exercises involving multiple balls would make a great Kick-Off sketch! (you can thank me later) 

We have more work to do to come up with solves for our communication challenges, so more to come on that. If you are interested in being part of the communication solution, come see me any time! My “door” is always open.


April B. is Daxko’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. She enjoys historical fiction, foreign films, good food, and her career at Daxko.

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way

By | Communication, Culture, Life at Daxko, Workplace | No Comments

Recently I was leaving work when a Daxko Team Member (name withheld to protect the innocent) approached. Since I work on the People Team, I assumed this person had a need or issue on their mind. Imagine my surprise when he said he just stopped me to say, “Thank you.” I was speechless (which is rare for me…just ask anyone who knows me). But it was a moment that made my day.

He wanted to express appreciation for the work I do and to say that I am a valuable team member. It was a great way to end my day! This not only made me feel good though, it was also a great reminder that a sincere “thank you” at work can pay great dividends. So, let’s break it down:

  • Cost = 0 dollars and minimal time.
  • Benefits = more engaged team members, positive reinforcement of desired behaviors, and making someone’s day!

What does it take?

  • Willingness to look for people doing something right (and not just catch them doing something wrong);
  • Purposefully reaching out to that person (verbally, via a quick note, etc);
  • Being sincere. Tell them why you are thanking them so they know you mean it.
  • Don’t do it every day, but do it often enough. If you do it all the time, it loses it’s meaning to the person. But if it is so rare that spotting a UFO seems more likely, then you aren’t getting the benefits mentioned above as often as you could.

Daxko gives great, more formal awards as a way for the company to recognize excellent performance, but it is hard to beat a thoughtful, purposeful and genuine expression of thanks from someone you work with every day.

Who can you thank today?