At IBVI, our workers aren’t just outstanding professionals, they’re exceptional people that embody our core values. Each person brings unique skills, stories, and experiences that strengthen our culture and make us who we are. If you’d like to truly understand the heart and drive behind what we do as a company, spend some time getting to know Daniel Jones—our feature for this month’s IBVI employee spotlight.
Daniel Jones is our Customer Service Operations Manager, and he’s been with IBVI for a little over a year and a half. He started out as a project manager with our IBVI Spaces team, and he’s been a natural fit from the start.
While he enjoyed his own onboarding and training, he admits it was quite a journey starting out in a new industry:
“IBVI touches so many different sectors and industries, it’s much like having multiple companies within itself. That can be a lot to take in for someone new. I’ll never forget that feeling, and it’s something I’m sensitive to when training new employees.”
Daniel credits the systems in place at IBVI for helping him learn and grow within his roles, and he especially thanks his fellow employees for being such a strong support network along the way:
“I’ve been really fortunate to work alongside some great teams who helped me understand the ins and outs of government contracts and government projects, and the various processes IBVI has in place to connect the two together. I know how much those relationships have meant to me in my own career, so I strive to be that kind of support for others, too.”
It’s All About the Team
Recently, Daniel has worked very hard to establish a culture within his department where the team has fun:
“Yes, we have a job to do, and yes, we have a baseline we have to maintain. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun while doing it. That’s why I try to look for ways to keep things lighthearted and personable around our office”.
For example, one of Daniel’s employees has a knack for decoration, so he’s made it a point to give her opportunities to personalize the team’s working space. He reminisced, “Once she brought in a LED-lit tree, another time a small fountain, and various other decorations. The next thing I noticed, some of the other employees started doing the same, bringing a sense of home and personality to their workspaces. I absolutely love that about my team.”
He shared how another teammate loves to bring in a daily riddle for the team each morning. This gives them all a chance at solving it together (or separately). Daniel jokes about how he is not good at solving them, and the team usually laughs at Daniel’s reaction at the end of the day when the answer is revealed. One riddle has remained on the bulletin board behind his desk for several months, and Daniel is determined to solve it (without hints or clues from the team). He laughed, “I may never solve it, but it’s another fun aspect of the team chemistry we all share and treasure among ourselves.”
Daniel says this policy of keeping things fun and lighthearted serves a dual purpose in the work they do:
“It’s very important. We are the first line that the customer comes to, whether good or bad. When something is wrong, or when the customer is upset, my team meets them where they’re at. They do a challenging job and they do it with professionalism and integrity. Sometimes they take the brunt of the customer’s frustration, and that’s not always easy to do. I want them to know that they are supported, and that they’ll always have that time to breathe, relax, laugh, and be themselves. There’s strength in that.”
Empowering the Workforce
Coming into his current role, the customer service department looked a lot different than it does today. That’s largely due to Daniel implementing changes to help make things operate more efficiently. He’s enjoyed the opportunity to function as a mentor, helping newer employees find their footing while gaining the professional skills needed to grow and develop their careers.
As a result, he’s made it a personal goal to help bolster the employee development cycle at IBVI. This comes naturally as Daniel gets to walk alongside new employees from onboarding, to development, and even through their own growth and advancement. With time, he’s come to realize things that have worked well in that process, while identifying things that he’d like to add in order to better equip his teams in the work that they do.
“For me, it’s about supporting my coworkers. Yes, where they’re at now, but also in empowering them to pursue and reach their own goals, and to see them achieve their fullest potential. That’s what brings me joy.”
Investing in Others
Daniel explains that his department consistently has the youngest tenure, often taking aboard the newest workers and teaching them essentially from scratch. “Most are new to IBVI, new to the industry, and sometimes even new to customer service. We’re teaching what we do and how we do it, but also teaching them computer skills and tech skills they may need, along with customer service skills and basic sales, etc. It takes some time, but my favorite thing is watching these new employees—who at first may be quite nervous as to what they will be doing—only to see them a year later loving their job and growing in their role at IBVI.”
Seeing that journey and development take place, and being a mentor in that process, is truly rewarding for Daniel. For him, it’s all about investing in others. Even when his employees move on to new roles, it doesn’t change who he wants to be for his teammates. “I have a personal policy that says, ‘I may not be your manager anymore, but I’m still here for you if you ever need support, assurance, or whatever else you need.’ It’s important they know that my door is always open and I’ll be the first to encourage them and cheer them on into their new roles, wherever they go.”