Hitting the "Reset" Button – via the DAXKO Sabbatical

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DAXKO’s always on the lookout for team members’ health and well-being.  Whether it’s nutritious snacks around the office, friendly (or not so friendly) fitness competitions, or free flu shots, DAXKO’s got our back when it comes to living healthier.  That includes our mental health, too.

Everyone needs a break every now and again.  DAXKO understands that and offers a 4-week paid sabbatical for team members who’ve put in 7
years with the company.  Jealous, huh?  The intent… unplug from work and recharge your battery.  The rule… NO WORK!  That means no email and no phone calls into the office.  We don’t want to hear from you for one whole month.  Period.

Here’s the experience of our CFO, who recently returned from his first sabbatical…

“I used my sabbatical to hit the ‘reset’ button.  After 9 years of intense work at DAXKO, I was fairly wound up.  The first part of my sabbatical, my wife and I just headed south by car along the eastern shore of Florida.  After a restful break in Key West, we headed back up the western shore of Florida.  We spent the second part of my sabbatical in Isla Mujeres, Mexico gobbling up fresh seafood.  Here’s what we experienced:

  • Snorkeling and kayaking in the Caribbean Sea
  • Seeing wildlife ranging from wild boars and iguanas to manatees and barracudas
  • Exploring the Kennedy Space Center
  • Watching a fireworks show over Disney World
  • Exploring the island of Isla Mujeres via a gas-powered golf cart
  • Feeding an iguana
  • Waking up at sunrise without an alarm clock for a whole month
  • Watching numerous sunsets
  • Visiting with friends and family in Florida
  • Visiting our parents and grandparents who we don’t see nearly enough
  • Eating more fresh seafood than I have ever  had in my life (octopus carpaccio with habanero slices, anyone?)
  • And even knocking out some long overdue projects at home

Commonplace at DAXKO – from Supporting to Managing the Product

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Remember ‘The Jeffersons’ theme song ‘Movin on Up’?  Well that’s a recurring theme for DAXKO as well – people taking on new challenges and moving into bigger roles, that is.  In fact, over half of our team members aren’t in the same role as when they started.  We’re big believers in giving folks opportunities to grow, take on more responsibility, find a role they love… and rock at!  There’s lot of those kinds of stories here at DAXKO.  Here’s one…

Saranda, Product Manager
DAXKO Claim toFame: Moved from supporting DAXKO’s products to driving the direction of DAXKO Accounting – DAXKO’s answer to accounting for nonprofits.

Q: Where did you start out at DAXKO?

A: I started as an intern on the Support Services Team, providing front line support for our products.

Q: What did you learn during your time on that team?

A: I believe Support at DAXKO teaches you ownership and self reliance. There are some issues that you face that no one else can help you with. Once you get through those issues and determine the best solution for the customer, everyone – you, DAXKO, and the customer – is better off.

Q: What did you love about your time on that team?

A: My favorite thing about Support was the constant interaction with customers. DAXKO’s customers, for the most part, are in their jobs because they genuinely care about their cause and mission. To get to interact with these people on a daily basis makes you feel like you are contributing to their mission as well.

Q: What prompted you to move into a Product Manager role?

A: Let’s face it…not all issues in Support can be resolved. As a support services team member, it is very hard to tell a customer this. While in Support, I helped manage what we then called the “Hot List.” It was basically a list of maintenance items that needed to be updated in a product release. I helped prioritize this list and give the customer’s perspective on outstanding issues. It was while working on this project that I realized how much I love the excitement of resolving big pain points for our customers.

Q: What skill did you learn in Support that have come in handy in Product Management?

A: My time in Support was an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge of our market, our customers, and the problems they face. I also learned the importance of truly listening to what each customer says and asking questions. One simple detail can make a big difference in a resolution or development project.

Q: What have you learned about Product Management?

A: I have been a Product Manager at DAXKO for about three years. During this time, I have learned that Product Management or whatever role you are in is whatever you make it. At the end of the day, Product Management is about leading our products, our services and our company to another level and always striving to do more. I have also learned that you have to truly love your products. Product Management is similar to parenting; you have to continuously consider the daily health and well being, but also future long-term strategy.

Q: What do you love about Product Management?

A: I still sincerely love when I can call a customer and say, “Do you remember when you told me you had X problem? Well we fixed it!”

Q: What does the future hold for you?

A: Now that the task of launching a new product is behind me, it’s my goal to take this new product and make it extremely successful! The more customers benefiting from all the hard work we have put in to DAXKO Accounting the better.

SaaS Here to Stay… Confirmed or Busted?

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At DAXKO, we’re big fans of the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters. You know the show.  Each episode, Jamie and zany Adam attempt to prove or dispel popular beliefs, Internet rumors and other myths.  Acting on his love for the show, DAXKO’s VP of software engineering, Matt C., took a MythBusters approach to a recent TMD he led.  (Find out exactly what a “TMD” is below.)  Check out the slide deck as Matt weighs the pros and cons to determine whether SaaS is indeed the software delivery model of the future.

What’s a TMD?  A couple times a month, DAXKO hosts what boring companies might call a lunch-and-learn.  At DAXKO, though, we don’t use boring corporate words.  Instead, we host team member development sessions – or TMDs.  We bring in outside experts or showcase our own team to share what they know about a particular topic.  Some of it’s related to DAXKO… some of it’s not.  Only requirement is that it’s of interest and value to our people.

Another Interview Question I’ve Never Used that ROCKS…

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I’m a behavioral interviewer, so I really don’t like questions that don’t ask for examples of past behavior.   But this question, tweeted by Harry
Joiner of eCommerce Recruiter and Marketing Headhunter, is one that I will add to my portfolio:

“Tell me one misperception people (team members) have of you.”

Nice.  As Harry says, this tells if the candidate is self-aware.  Additionally, I think it’s a great window to the soul of what the issues might be if you hire the candidate.  For example, the candidate might say, “one misperception is that I’m unapproachable”.

So you get the answer and turn the focus behaviorial with items like the following:

“Tell me about a specific time when you have sensed a team member feeling that way about you.  What did you do?”

I like it.  I’m adding it to my mix.