Our CEO announced that it would be soon. There was so much excitement about it that we had team members offering to resign and be rehired so they could be number 100. I imagined this person walking through an arch of vibrant green and confident blue balloons and streamers, glitter cascading around them.
It’s not the 100th hire that matters. It’s the fact we’re 100 together that’s the milestone. And that is a recognition for everyone. For those who’ve stayed with us and committed after our series B and throughout the last covid months. For those who took a leap of faith and joined virtually during covid, finding their way through the labyrinth of Slack and Zoom, not meeting anyone face to face and still delivering value. For our talent acquisition team who have recruited and onboarded over half of our team in the last 18 months, most without the help of an external agency. For the managers who are managers for the first time, and for those who’ve grown in their skills and confidence.
Becoming 100 is recognition for those scaling their roles in ways they never imagined. Learning how to do something and then unlearning that same thing in order to relearn it again.
It’s acknowledging those who’ve discovered our one team value means deliberately thinking about who we impact and proactively taking them into account because we don’t all fit in a small physical room anymore. And even if some of us do, we want to be inclusive to everyone.
It’s realizing we can no longer overhear everything and applauding those who find the way to echo messages that need sharing. Becoming 100 is a nod to those who’ve built followership, it’s kudos for those who ensure no one is left behind by providing context, coaching and sometimes just a kind word. It’s celebrating those who’ve learned how to let go of things and take on new things, however challenging. It’s every deal closed, every deal closed lost. Every feature released and every bug fixed. It’s the stats on SEO and the contracts approved, and the number of tickets escalated. This is what it means to be 100.
Even those who have moved on to the next great adventure of their lives, I think of them when I think of us being 100. It’s part of my job to listen and learn where we could do better from those who leave. Sure, those who go don’t mathematically add to the total count, but a culture is always more than the sum of the parts.
Our 100 consists of those based in our hub offices who are eager to come to an office and those who work remote from islands. Our 100 includes those who get up regularly at the crack of dawn to be part of our team and those who burn the night oil to stay in touch with our international hybrid team. Our 100 spans from Singapore to Seattle, Ireland to Costa Rica (once number 100 arrives, at least). Our diversity extends to gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. They include those who tell dad jokes and those who love pictionary. They include those with children, dogs, cats, and chickens.
I remember when I first met the Proxyclick team two years ago. There were about 35 people and the headcount forecast was to hire 6 more over the next 12-18 months. Onboarding was by osmosis. You arrived in the brick walled office in Brussels and tried to soak everything in. I felt like the new kid on the block attempting to fit in a new school.
Today my team and I are the privileged few who still know every single person by name and by sight (though I’m convinced everyone could still do that with a little effort). We run a monthly virtual onboarding program, regular informal 1:1 people check ins, and we hear about weddings, babies, new houses and quarantines and loved ones passing away. Our People Experience team does far more than approve holiday or plan Friday lunch; we’re connectors and it’s a role we play with pride and gratitude.
Connecting 100 people who are in turn, connecting others around the world with the places they need to be.