Inside Smarty - Staff Meeting

Susan Young
Susan Young
August 24, 2023
Smarty staff meeting fun

In the realm of corporate meetings that should've been an email, Smarty's staff meetings are different from what most would expect. Employees at Smarty frequently name our weekly company-wide meeting as a highlight of their week.

Like many companies, our staff meetings consist of company announcements, and updates you'd expect from any SaaS company. What makes our meetings unique is the lively, interactive, fun atmosphere where laughter is the most common sound and hurting cheeks are the most common symptom.

In this post, we'll explore the current anatomy of our ever-evolving staff meetings at Smarty.

And it should be no surprise that the secret is: the people.

1 Improv Comedian As Host - Unleashing Creativity and Collaboration

Brady Amundson, our Video/Audio Content Specialist, hosts our weekly staff meetings. Brady performs and teaches improv comedy locally at the local Improv Broadway. He's basically Smarty's version of Duke Silver

With the help of other local comedians at Smarty, like Customer Success Representative David Padeken and CEO/CTO Jonathan Oliver, laughter abounds via spontaneous skits, weird cheers, and inside jokes. Brady encourages creativity and collaboration among employees throughout the meeting. These improv moments not only inject energy into staff meetings, but also foster a culture of innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. 

By embracing spontaneity, Smarty staff meetings become dynamic spaces where ideas flow freely, and individuals feel empowered to contribute as much or as little of their perspectives as they want.

According to Trey Rutter, Dev / Ops IT Associate, meetings are: "Totally fun and crazy with a small side of agenda items."


2 Full Team Engagement

While company announcements and updates are crucial for keeping employees informed, Smarty staff meetings take them to a whole new level. Instead of simply relaying information, these meetings transform announcements into engaging and memorable experiences.

We share and celebrate exciting milestones like employment anniversaries or birthdays for every single employee and their spouse or significant other. 

We celebrate product launches and the teams that worked on them. We also celebrate product updates in a way that keeps everyone informed of changes while patting development teams on the back.

We discuss strategic developments such as training, personnel changes, and vision/goal check-ins.

By doing this, the company ensures that each announcement is delivered with enthusiasm and clarity, capturing the attention and interest of the team.

Gianmarco Rosborough, from our legal team, said it best, "[Staff meeting] carbonates our drink!"

3 Building Unity

Smarty staff meeting

Inside jokes have a magical way of bringing people closer together. Smarty staff meetings thrive on these shared humorous moments, inside references, and amusing stories. These jokes act as a bonding agent, fostering a sense of unity among the team members.

These kinds of jokes can be dangerous and exclusionary. However, done right, they create an inclusive environment where everyone feels like part of an inside circle, resulting in stronger relationships and a more cohesive work culture.

Conversations are frequent of a new hire asking for the story behind a joke, providing an opportunity for folks to get to know one another as they share the joke with a new friend.

Our President and COO, Doug Edwards, says: 

"Smarty staff meetings are unlike any I've ever experienced... in a good way! It's more like organized chaos, seriously informational and improvisational enough to fit perfectly with our core values of not taking ourselves too seriously but being serious about the value we create.

How often do you see employees look forward to staff meetings and then see all the employees smiling and laughing throughout? We see it every week."

Smartys playing with legos

4 Dan from HR: The Fall Man

One of those inside jokes is the great performance of Dan from HR.

Dan is an integral and hilarious part of our meetings. He adds a touch of levity, making even the most serious topics more approachable. Dan's presence not only serves as comic relief but also humanizes the HR department, reinforcing the idea that work can be both productive and enjoyable.

Here's an example of Dan and Brady from the HR Minute segment of staff meeting:

Brady: And now let's all give a nice braying like a baby goat as we welcome up Dan from HR.

Audience: *Braying*

Dan walks up in feigned shock and horror.

Dan: Wow. That was…. Horrifying. I guess I'll tell you, guys, about the upcoming company catering we're getting on Friday. And before you bray at me again, don't forget to turn in your company review surveys by Friday as well. Please, please let me go back to my seat without the goat noises.

Brady: Thanks, Dan, let's all make the sound of angry dogs as Dan makes his way back to his seat.

Audience: Growling

Makes you want to attend a staff meeting, doesn't it?

5 Focusing on People

Smarty staff meetings

Amidst all the announcements, inside jokes, improv moments, and stats, Smarty staff meetings remain firmly rooted in their focus on our people. The meetings create a safe and inclusive space where every team member has a voice. They prioritize personal and professional growth, recognize individual achievements, and encourage open dialogue.

Smarty staff meetings are more than just gatherings to disseminate information. They are vibrant and engaging experiences that celebrate the unique culture of the company. Each element contributes to creating an environment where people thrive.

We'll wrap up with a quote that really sums up the essence of our staff meetings: "If staff meeting had any more drip it would be a waterfall." - Landon Fackrell

So, the next time you're sitting in your staff meeting trying not to fall asleep, take some time to check out Smarty's careers page and see if you'd like to join our amazing culture and company.

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