Bottling Company Culture Like Fairy Dust
By George Boothman, Planit Canada Sales Consultant – Prairies
An old friend, now a LinkedIn connection, asked me how my new job at Planit Canada was going. I said it was good… good culture. He asked me: “So, what makes a good culture? And how do you bottle it up like magic fairy dust and use it during times when things are challenging and uncertain?”
Former military man turned business coach, TEDx speaker, now facilitating small business groups – I knew he wasn’t looking for a canned answer. I took a few days to consider my thoughts and the following was my response to him.
“I think it has been a combination of the small things along with some very focused attention our management team/owner put towards creating the culture. A few examples of what I mean:
1) My interview process consisted of two initial phone interviews. The first with the VP of Operations and the second with the Sales Manager. They really put conscious effort into talking about lifestyle, vision, flexibility and all things related to the psychological wellness of their employees. I was attracted to this right away.
2) The next phase took place at the Head Office in Montreal. This was an extended 24-hour period which included a staff dinner, an in-person interview with both the VP and Sales Manager, a casual meet-and-greet breakfast with the owner, and a staff lunch. I was even included in a staff meeting with the sales team. A lot of this I found strange, outside the box, stretched out, etc.… but my takeaway after I was hired was, they were really committed to their culture and bringing in the correct person to the roll.
The result of this commitment on their part was an immediate cultural fit, a feeling that I had been there for years, a team I genuinely enjoy talking to every day, and now a long-term commitment on my behalf. I had been presented their genuine vision and I had already made it my own. This I take with me in challenging times.
3) On my first day of work I sat with the owner of the company, Peter Mate, for about 30 minutes one-on-one. His message was simple: he was not there to “manage me”, he was there as a resource to support me and to support my growth within the company. He said his main job was to grow the company and make sure we remained the leader in the industry by finding new and related products for us to sell, service and promote. I thought this was refreshing and a tremendous leadership message.
4) The small things… It’s funny how we get older and the small things seem to matter more than they did before. But with that said, there are millennials in this company driving some of these “small things” that matter, so maybe it is more human nature than me just getting older! ha-ha
One recent example is the app we use to send birthday wishes to one another. Like a bigger, better birthday card being passed around a virtual office – we all get to read through the creativity that everyone put into their messages and are inspired be more creative with our own words. It made the distance of all employees working remotely across the country feel smaller.
For Planit Canada, the words Be Awesome are more than just a tagline. For me, me these two small words can be directly translated as “Be Yourself”.