ITG hired its 200th employee this month. More than a milestone, it is a staggering threshold to have crossed when I consider our 30-year history and the events of the last two years.
The International Transportation Group was purchased in 1993 and became ITG Transportation Services. At the time, we were a small but talented team of fewer than 20 people. That team worked hard together and looked out for one another. In those early years, our core-est of core values was born: We Are A Family Business. For the next 20+ years, the business grew steadily but gradually enough that it was easy for each new hire to become part of the family.
When we were over 100 people, I could still introduce new hires to every existing team member, and Sherry, our Operations Manager, would make the rounds each morning to greet everyone by name. Our close-knit culture made it easy to recruit friends and family to the business and to keep them here. 22 of our team members have been with us for ten years or more. Three have been with us for more than 25.
The last few years have brought the twin challenges of explosive growth and remote work. Even pre-Covid, we couldn’t office our entire team and had to develop a remote work infrastructure to allow half the team to work from home each day. We found early on the flexibility of remote work was a driver, not a hindrance, of engagement. That infrastructure and experience allowed us to work through the pandemic without missing a beat.
As for growth, 75% of our team has been with us for less than five years. Ninety-six of those joined in the past year. Yes, half of our team is brand new.
Growth is a fun challenge, but it poses an important question: How can we operate as a Family Business at scale? We aren’t willing to compromise on that value. Looking out for each other and pitching in to help when needed is the only way we can maintain the quality of our service, especially in the current industry environment. More importantly, it’s just who we are.
We’ve had to make our core values systemic and institutional. It starts with onboarding, where new hires receive thorough training on ITG’s mission and values. We have rolled out an engagement platform called Motivosity that enables the team to learn one another’s strengths and interests, express gratitude, and even give company-funded bonuses tied to specific values. We have instituted policies around regular 1:1s to provide celebration and coaching opportunities. We host parties so that our team can gather in-person to enjoy each other’s company. We regularly run anonymous surveys to identify and address roadblocks to inclusion and engagement.
As hard as we’ve worked to innovate and optimize our services, we’ve worked just as hard on innovating how we support our company culture. We’re always looking for the next improvement.
We started this year with an ambitious, unprecedented revenue goal. The team has rallied around it, and thanks to their efforts, we’re on track to obliterate it. It will be an incredible accomplishment. But hitting that revenue goal—and all the goals and milestones to come—without giving an inch on our core values is what real winning will always look like at ITG.