Learn How DPL Changed Their Workplace Culture for Good

Man walking into DPL officeMarc has been with DPL since 1997, however by the time 2013 rolled around it was beginning to be a place he considered stepping away from. There was, in his words, “a culture of fear that lacked initiative, mostly based on a lack of trust and a fear of doing the wrong thing.” It was becoming a drag to go to work and he felt very uninspired. Marc wondered if there was anything he could do to salvage what he had helped to build.

In 2014, Marc decided to give everything he had to turn DPL around. He became the CEO and began to implement his own social beliefs into the core culture of the company. Here we will tell you how he did it and why he was so successful.

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Change starts from within

The greatest turning point for DPL was the fact that Marc put his own social beliefs into how he managed the company. He believed that humility and empowerment were two necessary ingredients for success. He also believed that mistakes were learning opportunities for personal development and growth.

His first step in initiating change was sitting down and talking with employees. “I needed to show that I cared and that I was eager to help employees be better and happy. That came with helping them understand that it was going to be okay to try new things and make mistakes”, he said.

DPL team sitting around a desk in a meetingWant an office like DPL? Check out our Cool Workplaces Blog for Ideas

Rebrand to align with newfound values

Marc knew that a new brand was necessary for the company to move forward. It needed to align with who they are as a company and the old brand just didn’t do that. He engaged Gair Maxwell for the rebrand and with the help of Razor Creative, he introduced a new way of thinking of “No rules. Just results”. The new brand and vision were unveiled at the 2015 holiday party. It was incredibly well received and was a fresh start for the company.

DPL offices get a facelift

From gathering feedback from his employees and his own observation of DPL’s “cubicle land”, Marc knew the workspace needed to be improved. He understood that space sets the tone and he thought a lot about what kind of space was needed. Today, DPL’s workspace is incredible. As soon as you walk in the door you can feel the positive energy such a creative workspace gives off.

To get this done, Marc committed to significantly improving the space. He decided to move the Shediac office to Moncton and began renovations to both the Moncton and Rothesay offices. He worked with Denis Arsenault of SpitFire Designs to totally eliminate the cubicles and replace them with a modern open-office concept, complete with exposed brick walls, hardwood flooring, lots of natural light, and of course, a pingpong table. “I try to spend half an hour a day playing pingpong with an employee. It’s a gathering place of our team. Essentially, the ping pong table is like our watercooler”, he joked.

Team meeting in a trendy officeStanding meetings are a great way to keep everyone engaged. 

Providing for employees

Marc wanted to provide a better life for his employees. He sought to determine what they needed to be successful and how DPL could help. In addition to putting his own social beliefs into the culture of the company, he created a fair compensation package with a higher minimum wage and 5 weeks vacation for all. Marc wanted employees to be empowered to succeed at work, but also conquer new things in their lives outside of the office. A culture where employees root for each other and share in each other’s accomplishments. Born from these values was the DPL Adventure Fund.

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DPL Adventure Fund

The DPL Adventure Fund was designed to invest in employees at the foundational level, to better themselves and take on new adventures. Each employee is granted $1,000 toward an adventure that challenges them and brings more value to their lives. It’s essentially a way to help DPL employees check off an item on their bucket-list. All with the support and celebration of their colleagues watching on. Employees have used it for concert trips, flights, and recently, someone used it to fund their climb of Mt. Rainier. Another employee used the fund for boat equipment for a solo sail across the Northumberland Strait. All the while, Marc and the DPL team get to cheer on each others accomplishments, both at work and in their personal lives.

“I think we’ve done a lot to create and maintain that culture, and I’m pumped about it”, Marc said. DPL has come a long way to become a place where people love to work and support each other. A few weeks ago, the entire Moncton team attended the Canadian Citizenship Ceremony of one of the employees, Jay Lee. “It was an honour to be there for him; to make him feel supported and valued by his team members”. This is a true testament to the kind of company culture you can build when you invest in employees’ happiness and commit to empowering your team.

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