One of ZSuite’s four values is known as “Serve” and when we get together in person, we donate our time and labor to an organization that is making a significant community contribution. These service projects take ZSuiters (as we fondly refer to our employees) out of familiar environments and bring them together around a common goal. The shared experience of working together forges relational bonds and creates connection opportunities that talking over laptops just won’t do.
All-hands meeting becomes all hands weeding
During the July 2022 Summer Shindig in Simsbury, Connecticut, one of two yearly events when employees are invited to gather in person, we devoted a morning to helping the Simsbury Land Trust eradicate invasive plants on one of their woodland meadow properties.
Invasive species often out-compete indigenous species and can break fundamental strands of the local food web. Since it’s usually humans that introduce invasive species in the first place, we thought it was fitting that humans take part in removing them. Some of the plants we pulled up included burning bush shrubs and Russian olive trees. These plants were introduced from Asia as ornamental plants and are wildly successful across the continental US.
We also did our best to avoid the native, and yet highly antagonistic, poison ivy that was thriving on the forest floor.
Creating a legacy of conservation and preservation
The Simsbury Land Trust is a non-profit organization that protects “the scenic vistas, geological features, and farmland that visually define Simsbury’s character and provide healthy habitats for local wildlife and plants.”
The organization is led by a volunteer board of trustees, and since its inception in 1976, it has grown to 700 member families.
What “Serve” means to ZSuiters
Our “Serve” value is straightforward. That makes it easier for us to internalize the value as a company and uphold it with excellence.
It encompasses four components:
- Serve our partners, their clients, our team members, the company, our shareholders, and ourselves.
- Demonstrate service through words and actions.
- .. really listen.
- Empathize first, then love and serve.
Our goal isn’t to fix all the world’s problems or even just the challenges in our industry. Our goal is to show up and serve with our whole hearts, minds, and bodies!
Serving where we live
The work that the Simsbury Land Trust does is explicitly for the benefit of the surrounding community. By preserving wildlife habitat and farmland in an increasingly suburban environment, they’re supporting the people, animals, and plants that call Connecticut home, which includes a large number of ZSuite’s employees. Working with the SLT was a great opportunity to live our Serve value in a new and long-lasting way.