Christmas has come early in Whistler this year with endless storms and fresh powder. It is truly a magical winter wonderland right now and the skiing is… well, the skiing is unbelievable.
That’s one of the reasons I haven’t missed a single Christmas in Whistler with my family since the day I was born. But I’m one of the lucky ones. Most people working in Whistler are without their families. And that got us thinking.
About ten years ago our annual Christmas Eve company dinner sparked a new tradition at Gibbons.
We saw how much that work ‘family’ dinner meant to our employees, who lived so far away from their own families. They were together, celebrating with their friends and colleagues, in an environment where they felt valued and comfortable and safe, an environment just like home.
What about having a company family dinner once a week rather than just once a year? What if our employees felt as if their Gibbons family was their Whistler family? How would that impact their work?
We thought we were on to something but we needed to find $100,000 from somewhere in the books.
I slashed our print advertising budget and redirected that money to the new initiative. It was simple decision: I thought we could get a bigger return on investment buying our employees dinner once a week, which in turn would foster and grow a culture of happiness in our workplace, and that would ultimately impact the bottom line in a positive way (More on this correlation between happiness and financial returns in a future blog – stay tuned!).
We were right.
For the last decade, our chefs have been cooking up a special meal for our staff every week, rotating between Buffalo Bills, Tapley’s and the Longhorn. They typically feed more than 100 people.
I believe that by creating this environment in the workplace, we have employees who are happy to come to work, who feel safe and appreciated and valued for what they do at Gibbons.
That love for their work reflects back to our customers. And that’s where the magic happens —happy workers, happy customers, happy balance sheet.
We’ve since returned to advertising in print but we’ve maintained our investment in our people with this simple but powerful initiative — our Gibbons family dinner, not just at Christmas but year-round.
So, from our entire Gibbons family, we would like to take this chance to wish you a safe and happy holiday season.
You already have your Christmas present — more than 4 metres (13 feet) of snow! See you out there.