The word employee is generally defined as one who works for another, usually for compensation, and in a position below the executive level. The downside of this definition is that it doesn’t capture the essence of what it means for a person to invest their minds, passion, skills and most importantly their hearts, towards fulfilling the mission/purpose of the organization.
As leaders, you value your people. You believe in them, you encourage them, and you sacrifice for them. They aren’t just employees, in many ways they’re more like family. It’s been our experience that, as a company grows, the family atmosphere can get lost or watered down. We saw the potential for this inside our company and knew that changes needed to be made.
For us here at Triton, we decided to replace the word “employee” with team member. We realized the Triton team is a close-knit group that is centered on making a meaningful difference together. While “team member” moved us in the right direction, the label still didn’t adequately capture the spirit of what it meant to become part of the family here.
An exciting moment happened when we realized that inviting new people to join our team was a big deal; they didn’t just work at Triton—they became a Triton.
To us, becoming a Triton is not a small accomplishment: It stands for greatness, achievement, respect….and working to be the best of the best. Being invited into our family and becoming a Triton is both earned and rewarded. It’s so important to us that we celebrate new hires that make this journey.
We discovered seven characteristics that distinguish Tritons from employees:
1. An employee punches a clock. A Triton works with passion.
2. An employee thinks about quitting time. A Triton thinks about the customer.
3. An employee lets someone else figure it out. A Triton solves problems.
4. An employee squeaks by. A Triton raises the bar.
5. An employee commits to a task. A Triton surpasses goals.
6. An employee works for a paycheck. A Triton works for a purpose.
7. An employee says I’ll try. A Triton gets it done.
The difference between being just another employee and becoming a Triton is obvious and measurable for us. It influences our hiring decisions, and how we measure performance. As we’ve taken these steps, it has helped us grow together as a company, serve our customers in the best possible way and even advanced us competitively. Most importantly, it has helped build our culture, elevated us as a family, and moved us from being just employees to becoming a band of Tritons who passionately work to fulfill our mission of helping one another, our customers, and our community.
We hope that our journey is helpful for you and that it challenges you to consider ways to raise the bar for your company and your teams.