Local Kansas fintech company, Net Pay Advance, hosted their company-wide event, Handler’s Summit. This annual summit provides resources and encouragement to help employees flex their creativity and expand their entrepreneurial skills.
In 2019, Net Pay Advance hosted its first annual Handler’s Summit. The COVID-19 pandemic postponed the company-wide event for two years. But the organization was finally able to host its second entrepreneurial event in 2022 again!
The goal of this annual event is to develop the next big idea. Yet, “the only rule is to have fun”, shares Jason Largent, Director of Operations.
The Handler’s Summit was founded on the three following principles: we seek, we face, and we handle. The lessons from the event are to use a measurable amount of determination when seeking creative solutions, to face opposition with a firm course of action and a unified team, and to treat ourselves and others with a sense of integrity and respect.
Employees are given the tools necessary to bring their ideas to life, thus allowing them to use personal strengths and experiences to succeed. It offers a platform for each individual to try something new, really shine, and grow their confidence.
This year, Handler’s Summit started with employees arriving at 11:00AM sharp, and the race for innovative ideas began!
The office broke into 10 individual teams, each of which developed a product idea and formulated a game plan to bring the item to market. Teams had to answer questions such as:
– What the product does
– Who would use it
– How it should be made
– Where it could be marketed
At the end of the day, each team presented their ideas to the whole group. “The presentations of the product and service ideas reminds me of the TV show Shark Tank” Largent said.
There were two main goals: Keep the audience entertained, and prove that your product or service deserves to be made into a reality.
Teams had the chance to win one of five awards which resulted in various cash and electronic prizes:
– The best team name
– The best presentation
– The best idea
– The best business analysis/market research
– The team that best showcased the company’s values of intensity, innovation, persistence, teamwork, integrity, and respect
It was a day full of socializing with colleagues, delicious food, games, and brainstorming. The entire experience was fun. One person even exclaimed that, “watching everybody’s presentations and just seeing what they came up with,” was her favorite part.
All-day events like these can boost company morale and are a great way to encourage people from multiple departments to meet and collaborate together. Largent explains, “The amount of effort and involvement that everyone put in was exceptional. When groups truly work together, it fosters an environment with open communication and pride in oneself and their team”.
Another person commented, “I hope we do this every year! [It] was a wonderful thing for our company.” Many employees agreed that this function provided the opportunity to meet new coworkers and to have fun.
As a fintech company, Net Pay Advance prides itself in innovation. The team consistently strives to continue improving their products and services. They want their customers to have the best experience possible. Handler’s Summit is a staff development event. Individuals have the opportunity to try out different tools and test their different strengths. You never know what you’re capable of until you try. This event gives individuals from the Net Pay Advance team the platform to do just that. “The level of company-wide encouragement to try something new was incredible to see,” one individual shared.
The Net Pay Advance 2022 Handler’s Summit resulted in tons of excellent ideas, including: innovative flashing house numbers, emergency traveling vets, cooking gloves, typing rings for those with long nails, and more.
On the day of the event, Brian Staver, the president of Net Pay Advance, could be found walking around and visiting each group to see what resources he could provide to help them with their creative process and presentation. He wasn’t alone. All of the directors were very involved throughout the day by providing the teams with thoughtful feedback and helpful tools.
Seeing the owner and directors being so involved left a lasting positive impact. Today, it can be rare to find a servant leader that puts the employees first; but Staver really stands out because he truly cares about others. Staver is known in the Wichita community to help other businesses and leaders find success.
With Handler’s Summit he was able to encourage his own team to step out of their comfort zone and push themselves to be the best they can. For Staver, the Handler’s Summit was his way of offering his employees the opportunity to do just that.
Ultimately the 2022 Handler’s Summit was a success, and even Staver reflected on the day by saying, “There wasn’t anybody that didn’t participate . . . I appreciate all the hard work that went into organizing the event, planning the event, conducting the event, and even cleaning up after[wards]. Just a whole number of things that really makes me proud of the team we have here”.
With the positive response that almost all attendees seemed to have, hopefully the Handler’s Summit will continue being a reoccurring annual event!
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