It’s great to talk culture, and being “inclusive” and “enabling” and having an “engaged” workforce. It’s another to see it happen in real time before your eyes. Fourteen months ago a team led by our president, John Stix, introduced the “I’m In!” culture initiative intended to allow Fibernetics staff to be themselves, find their comfort zone and to take their work experience to the next level. The reasons for the roll-out were pretty simple: it’s nice, and it’s good for business.
Yet, after all the work, and besides the vastly improved numbers for sales and month-over-month growth, have the physical changes to the work space, the car rally’s, the BBQ’s, the volleyball tourneys, the Lunch & Learns, everything, made a difference? Are the Fibernetics staff really “In”?
It’s a difficult thing to undertake – making a culture change in a large company. But there are some days when you just know it is working. At Fibernetics, our people are “In.”
The past two events held for the staff have been lunches held for the entire company – and all the food, all the prep, all the supplies, everything, have been supplied by the staff, not the company. They did it themselves. A couple of weeks ago, it was George Mihutiu, our in-house Graphic artist/photographer/videographer who cooked what could only be described as a Romanian Meat-a-palooza. Authentic Romanian sausages, chicken and meatballs were grilled for the entire staff, and he did it, with the ample assistance of Samih Faiz, in about 35° C. Amazing, in a protein intensive way.
Then there was today, where a large group of Fibernetics staff decided to prepare an Afro-Caribbean Feast complete with costumes, music, dance. The menu was nuts: Curried Chicken, Roti, Spicy Patties, Jerk wings, African and Chili Rice…. it just went on and on. Best of all, all proceeds went to benefit the Sick Kids Foundation.
People were lined up out the door, and the food was amazing. The reason this is so remarkable is the team who manage the social and cultural events didn’t even know about it, until we found out there were conflicts with events we wanted to hold.
The people who are supposed to be bringing the fun are being squeezed out by staff who want to bring it on their own. It’s so gratifying and makes everyone on the culture team so thankful. Hopefully, if this continues we all won’t find ourselves out of a job. But we can’t wait to see what the next event some of our Fibernetics teammates comes up with next?