The entryway opens up into a comfortably furnished seating area with a fully functioning kitchen and a long, inviting island. There’s a TV on the wall, Just Dance videos stacked beneath it, and a bowl of apples, energy bars, and other fruit for the taking. The kitchen also features a stocked craft beer fridge, which *requires* mentioning.
Scattered around this central community area are off-shooting hallways of offices, and to one side lies a big, open room. Estelle Johnston, Dovico’s Community Manager, greeted me warmly and led me into what they call their ‘Workfit’ space. It’s decked out with rubber mat flooring and exercise equipment. I was a little worried for a second, glancing at their chart of burpees, crunches, and sit-ups. Luckily for me, we just pulled up exercise balls to begin our conversation.
Dovico is a Lifestyle
Company culture hasn’t always been so intentional with Dovico. “We didn’t always have such a great culture, but there’s been a definite effort to build a better place to work”, Estelle said. The shift began when their CEO, Yves Doucet, went through some difficult times and started to become more proactive in caring for himself and for his community. The effects of his personal development also influenced how he ran his company and the environment he wanted for his team. Yves moved the needle on Dovico’s culture to a more holistic approach to work and health. Dovico now tries to maintain a workplace that supports a lifestyle of health and wellbeing for it’s employees.
Cardio and Creativity
Back to that chart of burpees. I asked Estelle if anyone (knowing myself) had been resistant to a shift to a more ‘fit’ workplace. She laughed.
“Yes, of course there were some who were a little uncomfortable with the idea of working out with their colleagues or had their own routines on their own time. Eventually everyone came to enjoy it though, and I can think of (at least) three specific examples of people who were initially unsure but now love the program and see how it brings more energy to their day”.
Realizing that getting out of your comfort zone by exercising together has helped employees relax, have fun at work, and innovate better together. The in-house exercise room, bringing in people to lead classes, office-wide fitness challenges, and special events like their recent ‘Dovico Olympics’ have bonded the team and given people more energy to think and work creatively.
You [work] what you eat
Dovico also invests heavily in a culture of wellness through eating. The fully stocked kitchen was designed partly due to Yves’ passion for cooking, but also with an intention to foster healthy eating at work. I noticed a jar of kefir on the counter when I came in, and a veggie tray. A part-time ‘Food Manager’, Vero, has been contracted to come in and prepare healthy, vegan snacks or meals 2-3 times per week. A peek inside the fridge reveals Dovico isn’t just storing Lunchables and leftovers- there were lots of random cooking ingredients (oils, cheeses, etc) as well. Yves has been known to make spaghetti on-site for everyone to enjoy. Can you imagine working to the smell of that cooking? Yum!
Employees can also prepare meals at the office to take home to their families. Estelle spoke of how, recently, one employee cooked her supper there to take home. This is a great idea, considering the pain many feel of having the time & energy after a workday to provide healthy food for themselves and/or their families.
Always Giving Back
It’s important to also mention that Dovico seeks to support the local community. They participate in fundraisers, collect money on-site for causes, and are partnered with Alongside and Oulton College on the Yu Tech Sales Bursary project. Dovico also gives generous bursaries to their employees’ children for post-secondary education. They also give back to their employees, investing in their training and development for conferences, seminars, and recently a SmartPod desk for an employee who is recovering from an accident.
Another project they recently launched was ‘Dovico Cares’, where reports could be paid for by donations to charity. Dovico’s charity of choice for this program is The Humanity Project, an initiative to address homelessness locally. “We’re so excited to see how this project goes, it’s really something we’ve wanted to do for some time now!”, Estelle said.
Community Culture in Hiring
“How do you share this great company culture with the world?”, I asked. Estelle told me about their social presences, notably Instagram for a look into Dovico’s day-to-day. They also have a company blog. “When it comes to hiring, Yves and Shelley want to meet and hire people who are passionate about something, and willing to learn more”. Cultural fit for Dovico is about finding people who will get out of their comfort zone, love what they do, and of course, love to eat well!
Are you hiring? Get 5 Effective Interview Techniques here!