This post is from Access' Director of HR Gina Yoder. Contact Gina on Twitter at twitter.com/GinaYoder
On December 9th, Access was formally and publicly recognized for something awesome – we received Utah Business Magazine’s coveted Best Companies to Work For award! Jim, our COO, asked me to attend the celebratory luncheon and accept the award on behalf of Access. Honored and excited for the opportunity to represent the company I love, I readily agreed.
This was new territory for me; one of Access’ executives typically accept awards on behalf of the company. Fortunately, Brandon Carter heads Access’ PR in our Corporate Marketing department. He was kind enough to help me prepare what to say as I accepted the award, offering excellent guidance and suggestions. I rehearsed in front of a mirror. I thought I was ready to do my company proud. I was looking forward to enjoying this great moment for Access.
When I walked into the awards luncheon, the first thing I noticed was how large was the room, and that it was lighted and staged for professional filming, and the room was filled with hundreds of people; C- and V-levels from well-known companies; larger-than-life executives that are obviously used to being in the spotlight and speaking to large groups. I felt small and woefully inexperienced.
When introduced, I raced up to the stage, began my acceptance speech, smiled and looked at the audience…that’s when everything I’d rehearsed promptly and completely disappeared from my head, like Houdini escaping a box. I saw 300 sets of eyes and a camera lens focused on me. Adrenaline surged and I heard blood pumping loudly in my ears. I stuttered a semi-coherent “thanks” before hastily retreating offstage. At least I didn't trip and face-plant on camera.
Here’s what I really meant to say. (Feel free to imagine me delivering this with much poise and dignity, and clearly enjoying the moment.)
“Thank you, Utah Business, for recognizing Access Development as a great Utah company and a best place to work in our community. Access is intentional about creating an environment in which our employees feel good, work hard, play hard, and are absolutely valued, and it’s an honor to be recognized for the workplace we’ve created.
“2010 has been a very good year for Access. Our awesome employees created and launched great new products, improved relationships with our customers, and strengthened the family bond among and between each other. Access invested in our employees, facilities and technology. Our employee base grew by 18%, while turnover was less than 1%. Revenues are up. All this in a down economy.
“I’m one of 162 employees who is proud to call Access home and lucky to be part of the Access family, and getting this award as one of Utah’s Best Companies to Work For is pretty cool, too.
“Thank you! “
Because, when I think about it, participating in this award ceremony on behalf of Access, overwhelming as it might have been, really was a moment to enjoy.