Raleigh, NC, July 14, 2021 – RiverWild was announced as one of the Triangle Business Journal’s 2021 Best Places to Work.
You could almost feel a tangible sense of pride and overwhelming joy in our offices the morning of the announcement. The kitchen was bursting with smiles and chatter as Founder and CEO, Reid Smith, congratulated our team on being men and women worth recognizing. It was a moment of triumphant celebration recognizing not only the award, but just how far our family of brands has come.
“Seven years ago when Jaclyn and I started the company, we did it with a heart of wanting to do it differently. Not really knowing where that would take us or lead us, but just wanting to do it differently for the people we love and the people we work with. Our mission to impact and develop people has been there from day one and is something we’ve been passionate about the whole time.”
This award recognizes companies that received high marks in areas such as team effectiveness, trust with co-workers, manager effectiveness and work engagements. The winners were chosen based on an employee-survey process conducted by Quantum Workplace. Once nominated, a company had to meet a threshold in employee participation – a percentage that varies based upon the size of the company – to be eligible to be honored. Companies receive this award because their organization
“This is an award for you guys” said Reid at a company celebration. “Y’all are the best part about this place and the best parts of what we get to do every day. I’m proud of our team and want to congratulate you for creating a culture worth recognizing”
From interns to full time employees, Tucker and Carter Hobbs work hard each day out in the field. With a will-to-win and self-starter mindset, they stepped up to the plate and applied to work in the construction industry.
Tucker Hobbs is a Field Engineer and Carter Hobbs is a Support Engineer, both for Providence Construction.
“When I first started with Providence, they didn’t see me as a 19-year-old with little experience. Instead, I was given endless opportunities that challenged me and helped me to grow and learn” expressed Carter. Little self-doubt remained as his confidence grew stronger.
With faith and determination, Carter and Tucker continued to enjoy the hard work that they faced each day. Because of the close relationships and hands-on experience, the brothers decided to stay on full-time with PC.
While they are not always on the same job site, their relationship does not weaken. The bond between the brothers is constantly growing stronger and closer. They said it gives them “common ground” to connect with one another.
Throughout their time here at PC, they give thanks to Nick Kerley and Mark Turner for impacting their construction career. Without their help, the brothers would not be as knowledgeable and determined.
Here at RiverWild we love to celebrate employee anniversaries. Each one of these individuals contributes an immense amount of drive, knowledge, and innovation everyday. We are beyond grateful to have these hard-working people in our work family! Congratulations to the following employees that have been with the RiverWild team and family of brands for one year or more:
We’ve all been there. A conversation in the break room, a comment made at a company event, a knee-jerk reaction to a current event; when the dynamic in the conversation shifts because someone says something that someone disagrees with. While that situation may be common, the ability to navigate it with tact and maturity is often anything but common. And how we handle open and honest conversations is one of the pillars of healthy relationships and building culture.
“Being taught to avoid talking about politics and religion has led to a lack of understanding of politics and religion. What we should have been taught was how to have a civil conversation about a difficult topic.”
Historically, politics was a much different landscape than it is now. Politics have not always been the center of people’s worldview. Platforms used to be limited to historically political issues, such as tax laws, immigration, and national budgets. Now, you see people centering their entire belief systems around a party platform. Politics now goes beyond what you think are good policies and values, and insists on everything from health to self identity being politicized. But the greater question we as leaders must ask ourselves is, how are we getting over these hurdles within our organizations? That ability to have difficult conversations happens here; now; it plays into everything, not just politics.
So how do you bring your whole self – your beliefs, your values, and your worldview – to work without having a falling out with a co-worker or family member who you need to be able to interact with again tomorrow? How can we as leaders have clarity instead of cloudiness of thought; to make great decisions based on conviction rather than what we think the public perception will approve?
In order to communicate with candor, we need two things: conviction and trust. If our opinions are based on a party platform, what is politically correct, or what someone told us to believe, we will not be able to withstand the heat of healthy and challenging conversations with others about critical topics. Additionally, if there is not a mutual understanding of trust, neither party will feel safe communicating with honesty and authenticity about their worldview.
When the world is telling you that everything is political, it is vital that we understand how to work, lead, and relate from a place of conviction. We need to have the knowledge and maturity to not be swayed by platform initiatives, but maintain convictions that are rooted in values. And that comes through strength and courage.
It requires mental strength to know who we are, what we represent, and what those beliefs are rooted in; to be able to communicate with clarity from a deep knowledge of the roots of our beliefs. It also takes strength of the soul to know that if I can’t find this topic in the Bible, it’s arguably not worth being found. As tempting as it may be to search for scripture to found our base for an argument (which has tremendous value!), sometimes the Bible doesn’t actually back up my beliefs literally or directly, and it takes a humble and responsible strength to admit that.
Similarly, courage is also vital in communicating with conviction. It is our responsibility to muster the guts to communicate our beliefs without holding back; to put ourselves out there even if our beliefs are met with disagreement, judgement, or opposition. Courage doesn’t always show up as a loud and boisterous shout; sometimes courage is a quiet ability to lean in, trust, and open ourselves up to authentic relationships.
Most people come to the table with convictions and values that are motivating their opinion. So they can, understandably, come across strong. As long as that’s coming from authentic and personal beliefs, it isn’t a bad thing, either! It’s when we come to the table with what sounds like strong convictions but are actually parroting someone else’s platform than we are in danger of unnecessary and disingenuous conflict. As leaders, our convictions cannot be tied to politics. We must conjure the strength and courage to pursue truth relentlessly, personally, and authentically, and let that be the place our convictions grow from.
Authentic candor is rooted in mutual trust. We can’t fully be honest in communicating our convictions without feeling a sense of trust with the other person. Nor can we accept with an open mind and open heart what they are communicating back if we don’t trust that what they are saying is true and real. When we communicate with conviction, we are letting down walls and being vulnerable by showing our true selves and being open to who someone else might truly be.
Trust also requires me to realize that I may not be privy to the full context of someone’s perspective or opinion. Their decision, whether that is who to vote for, how to manage their budget, or how to handle a personal situation, might be a reflection of making the best choice out of less than ideal options, rather than a true reflection of what they would choose given open-ended options.
We are called to listen, and to accept disagreement. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I should hate everyone who doesn’t align with my beliefs. Having convictions isn’t about being rigid; it’s about the undercurrent of my decisions that gives me freedom to respond to people with grace. Communicating convictions with trust is about an open heart and mind.
In summary, while it may not be possible in all workplaces and some people may never feel comfortable engaging in challenging topics, imagine how conversations could be transformed if each of us reading this decided to lean in the next time a divisive topic arises and have a civil conversation.
Live Compassionately: a humble and responsible approach to how we serve each other and our community. It is both internal and external. It’s how we treat each other, being fair and humble.
Tony Maxwell won our December 2020 Wild Factor Award for Living Compassionately.
He has excelled at serving his teammates with a heart of compassion. How we do what we do – how we treat people while we’re going about our work – is at the core of what makes this company different.
In construction sometimes the experienced operator or pipe layer can get overlooked. At PC we embrace this veteran and really rely on their knowledge and experience to help train our other teammates. Tony has trained countless other pipe layers and helped tackle one of the toughest water tie’s on our Tractor Supply Site. Working alongside hwy 42, a busy highway, and against a tough terrain.
Tony has always stepped up to the challenge of mentoring and training new teammates and has helped many of our coordinators get to where they are today. He lives compassionately for his teammates.
We are so grateful to have you on the team, Tony! Congratulations.