Humility and Connection Drive Fervor’s Culture
As one of the newest Fervor team members, Will Severns has a fresh take on our culture.
“It’s one centered on the emotional and physical well-being of one another, at its core,” Will says. “That culture of care is built into every aspect of Fervor’s business,” he shares.
A Culture of Care
For example, Fervor has an unlimited PTO policy: Employees can take time off whenever they need to rest, recover and come back refueled. In less healthy offices, this kind of system could foster distrust or comparison. But at Fervor, Will says it works because the team is committed both to each other and doing great work.
“We’re one unit trying to reach a common goal,” he says. “How can we make sure we’re the healthiest unit we can be?”
That question fuels Fervor’s culture and its ability to take care of its own. For example, one night Will and his wife, Lauren, woke up to the sounds of their young son, Branch, wheezing. They raced him to the E.R. at Children’s Mercy, where they spent the whole next day treating his croup. At other places of work, Will might have had to explain his absence, make up time missed, or check back into the office while dealing with the family emergency. Not at Fervor.
“It was like, ‘Will, don’t even think about work,’” he remembers. “I’m sure everyone on our team could give you a similar story.”
Will shares that another key part of Fervor’s culture is its celebration of humility. Will says he wants to emulate others he’s seen join new teams with as much humility as they can muster: It takes time to listen, learn and soak in as much as you can about a new culture before you try to make an impact.
“That’s something I’ve had to learn over time,” Will says. He says he knows he has the capacity and permission to be a Culture Creator here, but right now he’s more interested in hearing everyone’s perspective and ideas. “Everyone at Fervor is an expert in its culture,” he says.
“I heard something life-changing in college,” Will remembers. “A professor said, ‘Pride walks into a room and says Here I am! And humility walks into a room and says There you are!’”
Will says that phrase flipped the switch for him. It helped him see that everyone has a story and something to contribute, whether you’re talking to the CEO of the company or its janitor.
“If I can bring some of that to Fervor,” Will says, “Whether with our new clients or our new employees, that’s what I want my time here marked by.”
That culture of humility enabled a role switch early in Will’s career: Will came to Fervor to write full-time as a content strategy, but within a few months, the team realized Will’s gifts and passions could help grow Fervor—if he moved to working on business development with Mike Farag, CEO and Chief Strategist. It took humility on both Will’s and Fervor’s part to recognize the opportunity a title change presented and act on it quickly…instead of sticking to the original plan.
“I still get to create content in a different capacity,” Will says. “One that helps promote Fervor and our mission moving forward.”
It’s turned out to be a win-win move: His new role as Business Development Coordinator intersects with his personal love of community building.
“I get to hear people’s stories,” Will smiles. He likes searching for common ground with the people he meets daily on the job.
“My dad told me growing up: Everyone communicates. Few connect…I think we’re all a lot more connected than we think we are at face value,” Will says.
That connection is built with both intention, consistency and follow-up. Will relishes phone conversations and how refreshing they can be in the texting era. He prides himself on a fast e-mail return time and practicing the dying art of writing thank-you notes. And he really loves getting to bring people into the Fervor offices to meet the Fervor team.
“That’s at the crux of my role,” Will says. “Making sure people have a great experience with Fervor, and showing them, should you partner with us, you’re going to be taken care of.”
Which brings us right back to the beginning: Fervor’s culture of care might start at home, but it’s quickly carried outside by culture influencers like Will.