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The makings of a great workplace – Travis Richter’s story and experience of BCBSND

For some, workplaces are just buildings you go to for performing your job’s tasks and activities. Great workplaces may have some nice perks, fun office parties and attractive benefits, but for BCBSND Instructional Designer Travis Richter, a great workplace is much more than that.

In 2018, Richter had a lot on his plate. He was pushing his limits working for a small company roughly 60 hours a week while trying to manage and grow his own personal LLC. On top of that, he and his wife were excitedly expecting their first child. Feeling the pressure for a needed change, he started searching for other employment opportunities.

He stumbled on a post online for an Instructional Designer position within the Continuous Improvement and Perfomance department at BCBSND (now known as the Organizational Effectiveness department). The details of the position seemed to align nicely with many of his skillsets, so he applied for the position and hoped he’d at least get in the door to discuss the opportunity. Shortly after, he received a call from Human Resources wondering if he had time to talk about the position he applied for.

“I remember this day vividly, as my wife and I were in the hospital getting ready to welcome our son into the world. I looked to my wife as she was reclined on the hospital bed and I told her who was on the phone. She responded with ‘Yes! Talk to them, I’ll wait.’ (She wasn’t in labor yet.),” recalled Richter.

After the conversation with HR, a few discussions with the director of the department and a meet-and-greet with the team, he was offered the position and accepted it without hesitation.

As he started his adventure at BCBSND, it was apparent there were some significant changes occurring throughout the organization. In fact, a company-wide systems upgrade project was in progress and the team he operated on was greatly assisting the initiative.

“It’s these types of projects in which you see true leaders emerge, and during this time I was able to build trustworthy relationships with many of them,” shared Richter. “In addition to building relationships throughout the organization, the relationships I’ve built with my closer supervisors have been that of mutual respect and trust.”

Experiencing trust early on in his career and during a time of mass change was very rewarding for Richter. Equally important, it led him to taking pride in what he was doing.

“I’ve had many opportunities to showcase value for the skillset I have to offer,” said Richter. “Furthermore, BCBSND has provided and continues to provide, professional development tools such as Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability and Influencer courses as well as access to LinkedIn Learning to add to my value. These things truly offer a sense of self and professional growth. The work I’m doing is recognized throughout BCBSND and makes a difference both internally and externally. I am proud to be part of team Blue!”

Trust and pride are important in a workplace but enjoying who you’re working with makes it even better. From team building exercises, such as painting your “Business Transformation spirit animal” to casual off-site meetings and team lunches, Richter has enjoyed his work experience at BCBSND.

Another great resource is the employee committee, BlueSquad. They provide employee updates and organizes company events, fundraisers, milestones, volunteer opportunities, photos and much more. Employees can commit to a variety of these activities at their leisure.

“In general, I believe the culture here is thriving with more and more opportunities to get involved in community, fitness and general well-being initiatives, companywide challenges and a variety of internal committees to participate in. The atmosphere at BCBSND is joyful and exciting,” stated Richter.