ONWARD: Appreciating Our Accomplishments

May 25, 2018

By Eric Belcher

As I thought about my next ONWARD piece (progress, we’re up to the letter A!), I couldn’t help but reflect on all the things our collective Cast & Crew team has accomplished over this past year, this past month and even this past week!

And for these accomplishments, I appreciate the committed effort that goes into everything we do each and every day. The thousands of time cards processed each week, the projects that get set up, the help desk inquiries that are answered all day, every day, the technology team “keeping the lights on” … it truly takes a team effort.

Earlier this year, we celebrated National Employee Appreciation Day … and I can honestly say that I am more appreciative of our team here today than I’ve ever been before. I’m appreciative – and in awe – of the hard work, time and effort, and heart and soul our employees dedicate day-in and day-out – not to mention over the years – to Cast & Crew.

In fact, we recently recognized and celebrated our service-award winners, with more than 50 individuals honored for giving it their all for five, 10, 15, 20, 25 – and yes, even 30 – years of service. It is because of these awesome individuals that we’re privileged to say that our payroll professionals average more than 20 years of experience. I have been with Cast & Crew for nearly 15 years, and am genuinely honored to be among such a dedicated group of individuals.

Let me share an interesting side note about appreciation and how important it is in the employer-employee relationship. Lisa Lai writes in the Harvard Business Review that appreciation is deeper than simply providing praise and encouragement.

“As tempting as it is to try to influence employee satisfaction with the use of carrots and sticks, it isn’t necessary for sustained motivation,” she writes. “Far more powerful is your commitment to recognizing and acknowledging contributions so that employees feel appreciated and valued.”

And, I would add, it goes the same when it comes to our clients. No surprise – I also truly appreciate our client partners and their support. Cast & Crew is a successful and rapidly growing company because we have worked hand in hand with our customers, never losing sight of the fact that their satisfaction is our success. And, now, as we move aggressively into digital solutions, we are finding that our early adopters are really important members of the family, as well. The fact is, we’ve made tremendous strides in our digital product development and rollout – in large part due to the fantastic partnership and feedback during our early-adopter phase.

“ stage allows companies to introduce a product or service into the world,” Daniel Newman writes in Entrepreneur magazine. “Both the creator and users understand and accept that the release may contain flaws. The creator makes tweaks as necessary without upsetting anyone.”

I would take this one step further and add that early stages of any product rollout cannot be successful without the trust, honesty and support of the participating customers. And for this, I am so thankful to our early adopters for trusting in our vision of a truly digital production lifecycle that is more efficient and will transform the way all of us do business. And without the honest feedback and support, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish everything we set out to do.

Thank you to the dozens of productions that have digitally onboarded their crew with Start+ and then generated thousands of time cards that have passed through Hours+. More recently, I am really grateful for the growing list of projects that are using Studio+ to better collaborate and share digital assets.

Over the past several months, we have been meeting individually and in small groups with clients and non-clients alike. Sometimes we’re in formal sessions and sometimes we’re in a more social setting where we’re not only discussing what our products do, we’re also getting to know each other better and understand the business better. These interactions put us in a position to listen and better appreciate the concerns and needs of our clients (or potential clients).

Finally, let me close with just one more A word – available – because it ties directly to my own responsibilities as a CEO. I understand that and pledge to keep it at the top of my list of priorities for our customers and our employees.

Together, we all make a difference.

ONWARD!

Eric Belcher is Chief Executive Officer and President at Cast & Crew Entertainment Services. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the motion picture, television, publishing and new media industries.