The start of a new year allows our entire team a short breather from executing projects in stores. This is because most retailers are busy planning for the upcoming year and regrouping from the hectic holiday season. This brief slowdown opens a window for our management team to bring our team of road warriors, project managers, and office staff together for three days of education, training, and socializing.
We call this the DMax Team Summit.
This year was special for our company because we were able to celebrate the results of an awesome 2019 and bring everyone to our new office and warehouse facility in Howell, MI. We were fortunate that a large majority of our employees were able to attend all three days. A few projects could not be rescheduled so some team members couldn’t make the event.
With the nomadic nature of the retail services business, for many, it was a great opportunity to reconnect and meet for the first time. There were more than several occasions where you heard the phrase, “It’s nice to finally meet you face to face!” Too often, our office staff and field reps only hear the name of their coworker from emails or during meetings with project managers. Everyone is important pieces of what makes DisplayMax successful but the personal connection is sometimes difficult when both people are working and live in different parts of the country.
These personal meetings and new relationships reinforce the concept which our leadership team introduced at the opening of the summit: The DMax Factor.
Our owners, Charlie and Sue Domen, shared their continued vision of creating a company that values and takes care of its employees, acts with integrity, and does what it takes to exceed the expectations of the customer. These virtues have been at the core of DisplayMax Retail Services for over 28 years but putting them into words for our team brought a great sense of pride and an elevated sense of purpose to all.
The goal of our educational course was to give our team members tools and strategies for personal improvement and to grow interpersonal skills. These valuable breakout sessions included topics on leadership, communication, professionalism and team building. Our field reps were able to share their ideas and experiences on a vast range of topics including customer service, maintaining poise, workplace behavior, dealing with difficult people and conflict resolution. Each one of these are critical skills they need as they are traveling from store to store throughout the country to complete projects.
It can be a challenge living with a small group of people on the road for weeks at a time. Sometimes the hotel rooms and vehicles can get a little small and nerves become frazzled. The discussions, stories and examples shared by everyone gave other team members strategies and techniques thy can use to address issues when they arise. A cohesive team performs at a higher level of execution and elevates the DMax Factor.
Safety & Equipment Training
In the retail store environment, basic safety and proper equipment operation is critical for all involved. The courses on workplace safety and proper lifting techniques were extremely valuable for our road teams. As a retail services vendor, we perform many different tasks within a store that require heavy lifting and placement of materials. Without proper training and situational awareness, it is not difficult to twist or turn incorrectly and cause injury. Like a sports team, one a key player goes down it affects the entire team. As a company, our goal is to keep safety at the forefront of every team member when they are on a project in the store. It’s good for us and especially good for our customers.
The same philosophy is required in the operation of equipment on the retail job site. Many of our store remodels and fixture installation projects require using a forklift, scissor lift and pallet jack. Without proper training, these machines can become a safety issue. Each team member was required to take classroom instruction from our safety team then were given the opportunity to recieve hands-on-training on each piece of equipment. We used our store fixture warehouse for practical operation and training. Proper safety procedures where emphasized throughout. Upon completion, each field team member was awarded their certification and can now confidently operate the equipment on the job site.
The Annual Gathering
Each year during the holidays, like many companies, we celebrate the end of the year with a party. This year, the annual gathering was pushed back a few weeks so it could be held on the evening of the second day of the summit. To say a awesome time was had by all would be an understatement. The socializing was full of laughter and conversation.
Every year our project managers award the “Paper Plate Awards” which are given to field reps in jest for funny personality quirks our habits. It’s always a hilarious part of the night because you never know what categories will be or who will win one. Everyone also received a raffle ticket for a chance at winning some great prizes. The Yeti coolers were the most popular prize this year. It was an excellent opportunity for everyone to let loose and get to know one another even better.
Wrap Up of the Summit
On the final morning of the summit, each team member was given the chance to tell what the Dmax Factor means to them. There were many wonderful heartfelt testimonials from our team members. The thread that ran through all of them was that sense of family belonging and caring they feel from the company leadership and coworkers. It is a great feeling to know that you belong to something that makes a difference in other’s lives and is much more than just a job.
The final event of the 2020 DMAX Summit was very some fun team building. After counting off into groups, each table was given a tub of kid’s connector toys and presented the challenge of building the highest tower. The room quickly became full of loud laughter as people who put things together for a living attempted to best their friends. In the end, it didn’t matter who won, only that everyone had a great time and learned to work together.
As the summit closed, we were determined as a company that we would continue to strive to improve everyday and continue being known as valued partners by all of our customers. We are all looking forward to the next year’s event and celebrating the DMax Factor once again.