When I think about my life B.C.G.M. – Before Chicago Glue and Machine – never in a million years did I imagine I would be doing or working where I’m at now. Prior to my days of processing orders and wrangling glue dudes, I was a total “corporate girly” (as the kids say). I really enjoyed my time at the larger corporations I worked at and value the skills I learned but let’s be real, CGM is different. Becky, what is this difference you speak of? It could be the weekly (sometimes daily) celebrations, sure. Or maybe it’s the team that treats each other like family and provides unending support. That’s a huge part of it. Or could it be our dog-friendly workplace that provides endless puppy snuggles from the “goodest” fur boys and girls around? All these reasons make the list, but what really separates CGM from the others? It’s the small things.
Tell Us What You Want, What You Really, Really Want
When I started at CGM, I was heavy on the order processing side. Little did I know, the marketer inside me was waiting for just the right time to make her grand appearance. My team saw the interest I had in marketing and fully supported me exploring that side of the business and developing my skills.
And this wasn’t a one-time thing. The management team at CGM isn’t just managers. They’re mentors who are focused on helping their team discover their passions. No matter what role you start in, the doors at CGM are always open to discover new strengths and evolve your role in saving our customers from the drama of a world without glue. You’ll hear the phrase “people over everything” a lot in our office and it’s the truth. We want our customers happy, and we want our team members to enjoy their role in making that happen.
Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say
How many times has this happened to you – you start a new job and you’re provided some kind of “here’s what we’re all about” policy? Maybe you have to sign it, maybe you have to review it with HR. After seeing it once or twice – POOF, it disappears, never to be seen again! This exact scenario has been my experience a few times B.C.G.M. At CGM, our policies, especially our core values, are a living, breathing thing that we work towards every day.
For example, every day like clockwork, our entire team huddles at 4 pm to discuss the day. We celebrate victories (big and small), we find ways to streamline processes and areas to improve, but most of all, we ensure that we’re living our core values daily through the work we do. Our core values aren’t just words on paper that we sign and store in a drawer somewhere. They’re critical to our organization because they are the foundation we’ve built our culture on.
A Little Less Talk and A Lot More Action
The growing awareness of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles have put the pressure on many companies to take a hard look at all aspects of their business. Instead of focusing on the service or product provided, what about the people that make it? Maybe you’re doing awesome things but at what cost to our planet? There’s a lot of talk out there about making changes and doing better but at CGM, we take action. For every initiative we’re committed to making change for, we have a committee for it.
Currently, the Stuck on Sustainability (SOS) committee is focused on ways we can reduce our water consumption at the office and at home – starting with testing our office toilets for leaks! (Did you know medium leaks can waste 200-250 gallons of water per day? That’s 365,000 gallons of wasted water per year!) The committee tested a total of 53 toilets and identified and fixed five that had leaks.
Our Inglue-sivity committee ensures we practice inclusivity in the office – not just talk about it. Through monthly events, we learn about each other’s cultures and celebrate our differences. Just in the past few months, our team created a beautiful Ofrenda (altar) and taught us all about Día de los Muertos. To kick off our celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrated with a Mariachi band and delicious food! During pride month, we learned how to be advocates for our LGBTQ+ friends and family all the time – not just during the month of June. We learned about traditions while feasting on cake for Roscas de Reyes and tamales for Candlemas. And the list goes on… (BONUS: there’s always good food at the CGM office!)
But doing better doesn’t stop in the office – our team encourages each other to take action in our personal lives and with our families. Just this year, my family participated in the Pumpkin Smash organized by SCARCE. This event helps to divert pumpkins from landfills by composting them. And who doesn’t love the opportunity to smash a pumpkin for a good cause?
The Difference is in the Details
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned since starting at CGM three years ago is that the small things can make a really big difference. Having not just a team, but a community of cheerleaders surrounding you every day who celebrate your accomplishments, learn and grow with you, and push you to seek out your passions changes your perspective on what a great workplace really is.