Welcome back to the Meet Our Team Q&A series. My name is Daniela Williams, Project Manager at ISE, and I’ll be asking ISE team members questions to help give insight into what makes us tick.
Today I'm interviewing Briana Hoffman, Senior Software Engineer, technical lead for the project I'm on, and fellow brewer of kombucha. Read on to hear her suggestions on how to better help team members appreciate each other and to foster a healthy environment for all.
Q. How long have you been at ISE and what did you do prior?
Briana: I have been at ISE for 5 years. Before that, I worked at Motorola developing wide area radio communications systems. I started in software development, and then moved into a network security architect role for the system elements that ran the Solaris operating system.
Q. What's your favorite part about your job at ISE?
Briana: I have had many roles at ISE, so there have been many things I have enjoyed! I have always had a customer-facing role which has given me the opportunity to solve a lot of issues. I really love helping to remove roadblocks so that our customer can achieve their goals. On a personal level, every problem is like a puzzle, and I LOVE puzzles!
As a team leader, I have enjoyed watching my team members grow in many different ways and supporting them in that growth. In general, I really enjoy being part of the ISE team. There’s a strong focus on teamwork and it feels amazing when we succeed together.
Q. As a current member of your team, something I've noticed is that you really take to heart appreciating others. Last year you even wrote a blog post on the Culture of Appreciation. What advice do you have for teams that struggle with appreciating each other?
Briana: First, it’s important to understand WHY appreciation is important. On a personal level, people feel valued and enjoy their jobs more when they know that their work is valued. It’s also good for our own mental health to appreciate the positives in people and life. From a business perspective, it helps improve business results.
Next, actively look for things to appreciate people for and tell them you appreciate what they’ve done. I’m not suggesting you make things up or appreciate people for trivial things. In a healthy environment, there’s usually a lot of goodness going on. You just have to stop, notice it, and say something. Silent appreciation for something a team member did isn’t half as valuable as telling them you appreciate it.
Q. One way to give thanks is by giving back to the community. During work you're a part of the Philanthropy Committee at ISE. Do you also like to volunteer outside of work?
Briana: I do love volunteer work outside of work. I believe the world is what we make it, and I’d like to help make it better. I enjoy mentoring a high school First Robotics team. I am also a volunteer meeting minutes recorder for the Board of Directors at the Crisis Center. When my kids are both at college, I hope to return to being an active volunteer at the Crisis Center as a crisis line and crisis chat counselor.
Q. What do you do for fun?
Briana: I am an online class junkie. You can learn almost anything online these days! I also enjoy going for long walks with my daughter, working on my foreign language skills, and brewing kombucha to share with friends.
Questions or comments for Briana? Comment below or reach out to us if we can help you with anything!