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When a Team Member Leaves and Comes Back

Posted by Carrie Guenther on Thu, Mar 21, 2019 @ 13:03 PM

Culture is central at RBB. We strive to be different, and it is noticed by our team. Last year, we had a team member leave RBB. While this happens frequently in most companies, what’s unusual is that he fought to come back.

Brian Thomas joined the RBB team in 2010. In 2018, he had a job offer. Brian thought hard about this new offer, which included a nice pay raise and sign-on bonus, and ultimately decided to take it. But after only three months at the new job, he started to wonder if what he was promised was really worth the change. 

Brian Thomas

“The other job, they made it sound appealing like it was going to be a great opportunity, and that is why I took it,” said Brian about the new offer. “I began to find out that things weren’t exactly true. They weren’t a family-centered shop. That started to weigh on my mind. The more I experienced it, the more I knew it wasn’t the place I wanted to be.”

“I missed the people and the atmosphere [at RBB], it was like a family,” said Brian. “I enjoyed working there and what I did. I thought that I would have a better opportunity, but it didn’t work out the way I expected. I wanted to go back.”

He had an increasing feeling of dread every morning when the alarm clock went off. He didn’t look forward to going to work anymore. So Brian called RBB and asked if he could return. At the time there weren’t any openings, but Brian didn’t stop trying. Eventually, a position became available, and Brian was enthusiastically welcomed home!

But what makes RBB different? Why would someone fight to come back after leaving? RBB strives to have a positive company culture; good mojo is what we call it. It is one of our four Core Values. To go deeper, we also have RBB’s Behaviors that set the standard for how we act with clients, each other, and as individuals. Every employee is required to follow these criteria, and hold one another accountable to them. It is not just a list of rules, it is who we are! The idea is simple: knowing what is expected leads to success as an individual and as a company. It takes the stress and guesswork out of the equation. See another example of RBB’s Behaviors at work HERE.

“At RBB, you know the expectations from the beginning,” said Brian. “[Leaving RBB] was a learning experience. I like the atmosphere and the culture, how things are done here and how things work. This is one of the better places I have worked. It says a lot [for RBB] to let me come back.”

And now that Brian is home are things really better? Or was the grass greener on the other side of the fence? “It is better,” said Brian. “There is a mutual appreciation. I have a better appreciation for being here.”

And since Brian has been gone, RBB has launched new programs to expand our good mojo. The team has a monthly Mojo Day – a fun activity during lunch or break once a month. These activities are usually centered around a holiday and can be a simple as a carry-in lunch or cookies. The focus of these activities is building community.

The other new program is focused on helping the team, and their family members, overcome challenges they have outside of work. It’s called Workplace Connections. RBB has partnered with The Counseling Center, Goodwill Industries of Wayne and Holmes Counties, and the Commercial and Savings Bank to provide anonymous advice and connection to local resources for non-work-related issues. While in crisis, members of the team may lose focus on work. Workplace Connections offers time during work hours to find solutions for these crisis situations.

“These new programs that weren’t here when I left are great. There is a general caring of people here,” said Brian. “The atmosphere is exciting. They are doing something every month to get people involved and excited about coming to work.”

Brian’s advice to someone looking for another job? “Make sure you are thinking about more than just the money or position.”

“Do some serious soul searching,” Brian said. “Is that the move you really want to make? It doesn’t mean it is going to be a good thing. Culture is sometimes more important than money or the promise of promotion. It isn’t always worth it. You need your mental health, too.”

Want to learn more about being a part of the RBB team? Visit our Careers page for an overview, testimonials and to view our open positions.

Topics: Small Batch Electronics, About RBB, Culture, Company Culture

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