IWCO Direct’s Employee Engagement Committees Build Connections and Encourage Teamwork that Leads to Award-Winning Performance

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Michelle Fuchs

With more than 1,500 employees who work on three campuses plus remote offices, how do you keep your team engaged, dedicated to excellence, and excited to work each day? At IWCO Direct, the answer is our employee engagement committees.

Employee Engagement Committees Create Connections in a Pandemic Environment

When I rejoined IWCO Direct after more than a decade away, in the midst of a pandemic that necessitated working remotely, I found myself feeling isolated and disconnected, despite frequent Webex team meetings. There were several familiar names, but also many changes in technology, structure, and employees. I wanted to reach out to my colleagues and get involved in activities and concerns we all shared, but how could I do that?

And then I read about a charitable event in Insight, our monthly company newsletter. At the end of the article there was an invitation to join the Charitable Giving Committee. I reached out to the committee chairwoman and was warmly invited to join the next meeting. I listened to my colleagues talk about their plans to collectively give back to our communities and was hooked. Since then, I have participated in: Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day Food Drives; Operation Santa, (which, in collaboration with the USPS, delivers presents to needy children during the holidays); and voted to donate company sponsored funds to numerous organizations that support youth activities, veterans, and animal shelters that save homeless dogs and cats, just to name a few.

In addition to the Charitable Giving Committee, IWCO Direct employees are encouraged to join and participate in fun happenings hosted by the Wellness, Events, and Employee Recognition Committees. The Wellness Committee provides helpful tips for keeping your body and mind healthy, as well as improving your financial health. Their wellness challenges teach healthy habits, and reward improvements with chances to win prizes. The Events Committee offers fun activities to get employees involved like Holiday Bingo, and sending Candygrams to colleagues on Valentine’s Day to show your appreciation for all they do. The Employee Engagement Committee recognizes people who go the extra mile to mentor their colleagues, keep our facilities clean and safe, and allows employees to put their teammates center stage for outstanding work. Remote employees are always welcome to join in the fun, and for any committee activity participation, a stamp is awarded on an Employee Engagement Activity Card that turns into entries in a quarterly raffle to win prizes. Highlight, a mid-month company publication, was created to give each committee the opportunity to spotlight current activities and preview upcoming events.

Giving Back to Our Communities

When the employee engagement committees come together to organize an event, the teamwork displayed is inspiring. An example of this is our upcoming company-wide participation in the Walk MS event in May. Teams have been formed in our Chanhassen, Hamburg, and Warminster facilities comprised of employees who want to raise money to support the MS Society’s cutting-edge research to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. This is often a disabling disease that affects approximately 1 million Americans and 2.3 million people globally. The sense of purpose and giving back is strongly supported as IWCO Direct is offering a Company match for the funds raised.

The Rewards of Employee Engagement

The underlying thread that runs through every activity and event hosted by these employee engagement committees is the message that IWCO Direct values their dedicated associates and wants them to feel a part of a community of people whose contributions are acknowledged and appreciated. When we all work together, we are able to deliver an award-winning performance that meets and exceeds our customers’ expectations on all levels.

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