June Offsite 2017

Finding Our Sweet Spot

On June 16th, the DISHER team set aside their typical work day to deliberately focus on the fundamentals. Members from every team and every office congregated at the HRM Gateway Center for a company-wide offsite. For seasoned team members, the day wasn’t a surprise. It was the continuation of a biannual tradition and a pause to connect and refocus on DISHER’s goals and values. For a new intern, however, it was an incredible snapshot of DISHER’s unique culture and dedication to its mission statement.

Visitors and newcomers quickly learn that DISHER is intentional about their commitment to serving their customers, coworkers, and community. During my first few weeks as an intern, I sensed that the DISHER team doesn’t just talk the talk— they walk the walk. Nothing reinforced this more than my experience at the June offsite.

Offsite Morning Devotional

After a few minutes of social time and a devotional by Phil Dirkse, the day kicked off with a warm welcome from Jeff Disher and an introduction to the theme for the day, Finding Our Sweet Spot. This was a twist on DISHER’s newest Culture Characteristic. Together, we focused on DISHER’s sweet spot in today’s marketplace.

Next on the agenda was an icebreaker activity organized by the intern team. As a rookie to the DISHER roster, the opportunity to contribute to a company-wide event really drove home DISHER’s willingness and desire to invest in every member of its team. Affirmation and praise were abundant as we led the team through fun challenges and activities.

Jeff followed this activity with a detailed progress report for the year and briefly reflected on DISHER’s history. Financials, growth potential, highlights, and opportunities for improvement were discussed as well as a review of DISHER’s vision map. No one was left in the dark.

Goal Setting and Time Management

Employees were given the opportunity to sit in on one of three breakout sessions held by DISHER experts. I opted for the Goal Setting & Time Management session with Aimee VandenElzen and Dave Hooker. I was pleased to walk away with great new strategies for handling my work load at DISHER. Other topics included: Working Virtually on Projects with Kyle McClellan and Soft Skills with Customers by Jeff Disher.

Offsite Stewardship Activities

After lunch, the team split up into several groups to spend the afternoon tackling a variety of stewardship projects in the greater Holland area. Team members carried out tasks ranging from shopping for the food pantry at Calvary Church to landscaping for the Heights of Hope Community Center. My group was placed on a painting project at a property owned by Ottagan Addictions Recovery. Never before have I been given the opportunity to participate in stewardship while at work, and let me tell you— there’s no better way to get to know your coworkers than by serving together. It felt great to put my skills to work for a good cause and to make new connections with familiar faces at DISHER.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

To close out the day, the team regathered at the HRM Gateway Center for a second breakout session. This session consisted of small group discussion on ways DISHER could improve on 10 specific topics. The groups presented their highlights and action plans back to the entire team. Lastly, each team member shared some of their key take-a-ways from the day. As an intern, I was impressed by the intentional investment DISHER makes into these corporate meetings. DISHER offsites leave employees feeling inspired, understood, and better cared for— ultimately boosting their motivation and passion to deliver greater outcomes for the customer.


Written By: Joe Sikma, Marketing Intern
Joe is passionate about people and the planet and the ways business can be used as a tool to make this world a better place. He is currently pursuing his BA in Business Marketing and Environmental Studies at Calvin College and expects to graduate in 2019. Joe is a true outdoors enthusiast who enjoys fishing, hiking, sailing, water sports, and training. His favorite author is Aldo Leopold.