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Thank goodness, 2020 is behind us. Already two months into 2021, you’ll probably say it’s best not to look back. “A new beginning”, “out with the old, in with the new”, “the only way is forward”. And although we agree it’s better not to dwell on the past, we believe it’s fundamental to praise those colleagues who gave their absolute best (and more) during such challenging times. Also, we just like to celebrate.

Without further ado, meet the five winners of the 2021 Teamleader Value Awards:

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Be Surprising
At Teamleader, we aim to go beyond expectations. We want to positively surprise our customers and each other. Because being surprising brings a smile to people’s faces and it makes them feel valued.

About Stijn
Stijn joined the company in April 2020, in full lockdown. He has been leading the Customer Success team almost entirely from home all this time. Despite the unusual circumstances, colleagues say he has brought a lot of energy to the company. During a challenging year of remote work, he’s surprised his team with great initiatives more than once.

Congratulations, Stijn!
What does this award mean to you?

That managers are allowed to win awards too, as long as it represents the vote (laughs).

What is your number one learning from 2020?

Success is not a result of 1 silver bullet, but a 1000 silver bullets, all requiring diligent focus and follow up. A seemingly small cross-functional initiative takes a lot of work to get across the finish line excellently, so choose carefully because time is scarce.

Do you think recognition of excellence at work is important? Why?

Humans long to be recognized, to matter. At the same time, the need for approval holds individuals back from greatness. If recognition is a result and not an objective, a nice-to-have and not a need, focused on values vs output, and these important distinctions are clear to the entire organization, I think recognition and appreciation is a beautiful reminder of what we as a team should be striving towards. To be better teammates, to be better humans.

If you could win one other award - any award - in your lifetime, which one would it be? (Dare to dream big.)

I'd rather focus on what I would like to do better. As mentioned above, chasing an award would not help me be a better version of myself. That being said, some focus points for me are strategy, finance, and storytelling. Any CS or leadership related kudos would obviously always warm my heart. I'm a human after all!


Speak the Same Language

At Teamleader, we listen carefully and try to put ourselves in the shoes of the other person. We take a real interest in the needs of whoever’s on the other side, be it a customer or a colleague, so we can truly help them move forward. We aim to be as transparent as possible. We make sure the person on the other end fully understands what we mean.

About Marie
Marie has been at the company for 3 years already. She started as a first-line Support agent and now deals with more technical support cases as Support Engineer. Colleagues describe her as the bridge between customer and product. They say they admire the ease with which she manages to express her ideas and suggestions.

Kudos, Marie! What does this award mean to you?

I feel like the effort I put into my work in the past years has been noticed. The appreciation really motivates me to keep on improving myself in this job. The fact that it was decided by votes makes it even better, because the feedback comes directly from the colleagues I work with on a daily basis. I feel very privileged to work with so many talented and creative people every day. They inspire me to keep on learning and spreading knowledge within the company.

What is your number one learning from 2020?

That collaboration with a select group of colleagues instantly increases the value of whatever project you’re working on. I think in 2019, I was already doing a lot of the things I’m doing now, but mainly individually (back then, we didn’t focus that much on structural collaboration between departments). In 2020 we formalised a big part of those tasks into project teams, recurring meetings, etc. I noticed right away that this new approach leads to a more professional outcome. It also gave me the time and resources to focus on what I’m best at.

Do you think recognition of excellence at work is important? Why?

Definitely; I think it’s worth taking the time every year to think about how your colleagues have contributed to the success of the company. It’s also very motivating to see that hard work is recognised.

If you could win one other award - any award - in your lifetime, which one would it be? (Dare to dream big.)

Dundie award! Just for the sake of being able to say “I feel God in this Chili’s tonight” at least once in my life. (Ed. you need to see the American TV Series / mockumentary ‘the Office US')


Be a Lobster

To understand this Teamleader value, you need to understand the lobster metaphor first. For lobsters to grow, they need to shed their rigid shell and create a new one. ‘Being a lobster’ refers to being adaptable and keeping up with changes. It means having an open mind, seeing the opportunities instead of the barriers.

About Sophie
Sophie joined the company back in March 2020, when the company first switched to a fully remote setting. Being relatively new at the company, she immediately showed she wasn’t going to let a lockdown stand in her way. She dove right in with a down-to-earth attitude and a healthy share of realism. She has managed to make a big impact within the company in a short period of time. Colleagues say she’s a lobster in heart and soul.

Well-deserved, Sophie! What does this award mean to you?

I’m incredible honoured to have gotten this award only after 10 months of working at Teamleader. It’s great to feel appreciated, but to be honest, the only reason I got this award is because Teamleader is a company that lets me be me and empowers me to try new things in my role and really sink my teeth into a project.

What is your number one learning from 2020?

What I learned in 2020 is how important it is to work in the right environment. 2020 was a year of many changes and many firsts for everyone, but everything is easier when there’s a good fit between your personality, your job and the company culture. I feel I really found that at Teamleader. I love the company culture at Teamleader and it makes a big difference. People are nice, projects are interesting, there’s no red tape and the company culture is fun and caring.

Do you think recognition of excellence at work is important? Why?

Absolutely. It’s great to feel appreciated for the work you’re doing. I love my job and the variety of projects I get to tackle, and it’s heartwarming to see that the feeling is mutual.

If you could win one other award - any award - in your lifetime, which one would it be? (Dare to dream big.)

Mmm... difficult question. I’d love to win the orientation award. I’m really terrible at orientation - I get lost everywhere (seriously). So if I manage to win an award for this, the world must have become a magical place where anything is possible!


Choose Positivity
At Teamleader, we aim to carry a positive vibe. We believe it’s fundamental - even self-evident - to be friendly and helpful in every interaction. It means being aware that working at a fast-paced tech company brings the necessary challenges. But a positive attitude goes a long way.

About Naomi
Naomi has been working at the company for over 3 years now. She started as an Inside Sales Executive and has since progressed to Inside Sales Manager for the Netherlands, leading a team of seven. She’s consistently described by colleagues as the most positive person in the room (even early in the morning). When confronted with challenges, she’s impossible to discourage.

Way to go, Naomi! What does this award mean to you?

In all honesty, a lot. I feel honored to receive this award, especially at this moment. It has definitely not been an easy year, business-wise. I think the pandemic caused some major headaches for all of us and it wasn't always easy to stay positive. Believe me, setting up a new Inside Sales team while working from home is no picnic! The wonderful colleagues around me are the main reason I managed to stay so positive.

What is your number one learning from 2020?

The benefits of speaking the same language are real ;) ! Clear communication - not just within your own team, but also across departments - makes the dream work.

Do you think recognition of excellence at work is important? Why?

Yes, too often recognition is not expressed. Take certain parents, for instance. They will tell everyone that they are proud of you, except they don’t say it directly to you. My advice: share recognition for the accomplishments of others. It might create a smile, happiness or a boost in their self-esteem.

If you could win one other award - any award - in your lifetime, which one would it be? (Dare to dream big.)

The Yes-we-did-it-all-girls-are-going-to-school award. It doesn’t have to be me, but I do hope that, someday, someone will receive this award or at least we will have reached this important milestone. Basic education is important for every child’s development. Today, it’s unfortunately not always possible or safe in some countries for girls to go to school.


Make it Happen
This means we get things done, we deliver on our promise. Moreover, we do everything with energy and passion. We want our customers to rely on us, just as we can rely on co-workers to take ownership. Simple as that!

About Michiel
With more than 3 years on the clock, Michiel has become a cornerstone of the company. As a developer, he’s a silent force doing a lot of work in the background. Fortunately, his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Colleagues say he’s always ready to help, going above and beyond every single time. He takes ownership and sees things through.

Hats off, Michiel! What does this award mean to you?

I am super happy. It's a great token of recognition on top of all the positive remarks I receive from my colleagues.

What is your number one learning from 2020?

Why do you ask? Is it 2021 already?

Do you think recognition of excellence at work is important? Why?

Certainly, it keeps people motivated to learn and do better. And it makes them happy. I believe that we should never take a spontaneous helping hand for granted. A public pat on the back helps people to keep going the extra mile.

If you could win one other award - any award - in your lifetime, which one would it be? (Dare to dream big.)

Personally, I do not tend to look for awards at all. A simple high-five from a colleague at the office will do.

Ready to join Teamleader and win your very own Value Award? Check out our open vacancies on our careers page.