“Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning.” —Malcolm Gladwell
I began working at Crisis Prevention Institute in September of this year, serving as CPI’s first Social Media Marketing Intern. To say that CPI has been different than any other job I’ve had would be an understatement.
As I write this, I’m surrounded by coworkers festively decorating for the holidays. The quiet hum of happy conversation continues as some take a brief break from their work to string up lights, tinsel, and low-hanging snowflakes that somehow most manage to avoid running into as they walk between cubicles.
Brad Hendrix is pretending to be Scrooge, but he's really an awesome guy.
The decoration appropriately follows the theme of our weekly all-company meeting that took place this morning. During the meeting the results of our previous month’s charity drive came in, a sizable donation to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America – Milwaukee chapter
, which directly contributes to a holiday party the organization is to have for Milwaukee boys and girls that are part of BBBS-Milwaukee. Immediately prior to this announcement, representatives from Home Instead’s Be a Santa to a Senior
program spoke about the impact that CPI’s December donations will have on the holiday cheer of over 150 independent-living senior citizens in Milwaukee.
Office bowling! CPI staffers Eric Myers and Matt Danek
raising funds for BBBS
These holiday-themed charity contributions are a wonderful part of the workplace, but thankfully CPI is not necessarily unique in this. So what is it truly that sets this workplace apart from any other? Is it a vibrant, Red Bull-chugging CEO? Is it a remarkably talented in-house marketing team, or a successful, high-energy sales team? Maybe it’s the collection of entertaining company events, or the plethora of food that there seems to be an almost weekly excuse for serving and eating?
BBBS presenting at our Lunch 'n Learn
In my brief work experience, and my even briefer time at CPI, what I’ve seen is this:
CPI is a company with a purpose.
Sure, every company has a purpose, you might say. A purpose can mean anything! A company’s purpose could be to generate revenue, or to produce the best solar generators in the industry, or to provide people with great chicken sandwiches—so how is CPI different in that?
Hosting an advocacy event for Disability Rights WI, Wisconsin Family Ties, WI FACETS, and families
To me, what truly sets CPI apart is that every individual in this company, from the hard-working copywriters to the ever-travelling Global Professional Instructors, is fully and unreservedly committed to educating, empowering, and enriching our clients so that they can create safe, respectful, and positive environments in their workplaces.
Our department head, Marvin Mason, receiving his birthday gift
CPI is different because what we do changes lives.
What motivates people here is that we have the opportunity to see this impact. It constantly drives passion and creativity so that we can keep sharing our training and continue to see how our training prevented someone from being injured, or helped build a beautiful patient-caregiver relationship, or even saved a company significant worker comp expenses so that they can redirect a tight budget towards providing better quality of care.
So in this intern’s brief experience, it has been a privilege to work at a company that is driven by meaning, passion, and a belief in what we do.
Abel Richards is studying International Business and French at UW-Whitewater, entering his senior year. He spends a good deal of time rock climbing both in Wisconsin and around the US, and works weekends at a rock climbing gym in Milwaukee. Abel also enjoys kayaking, and formerly worked as a sea kayak guide in Norway. To connect with Abel, find him on LinkedIn