Offsite 2022: Road to Inspiring B Corp Companies
By not mentioning the destination and schedule of the second Republik Offsite, our president, Vincent Fortin, and our culture manager, Martin Bertrand, surprised the whole team with a full social-inspired getaway. The goal: put together an Offsite that could allow us to reiterate our social standards. Here's how they made it happen.
"I think standards must represent the foundations of a business, rules to live by every day. Hence why ours are actions: not only do they inspire us, but they also guide us daily’’ explains Vincent.
"An offsite is the perfect opportunity to showcase our social standards. We embody them daily, but with the offsite, we were able to experience every one of them individually. With our fast-growing team, it was also the right moment to make sure everyone would process them correctly, understand when to use them and learn to which work aspects they are linked to."
Starting from there, our game master, Martin, had the mission to build a schedule that would do Vincent's vision justice. A program in which each activity would bring something different to the table. "All activities planned were built to represent a different standard. We also briefed each guest so they could understand why we handpicked them."
Starting with our social standards, here's a portrait of each workshop that took place during that one-of-a-kind weekend.
We're all on the same team, and we share a common vision of a better world. We implement that vision on a day-by-day rule. Since 2015, we are B-Corp certified, and year after year, we re-evaluate our ways in the hopes of getting better. Last year, we did a giant step and committed ourselves to give our time and expertise to people that share our values and ambitions, employees and clients included.
Vincent explains the importance of keeping our social standards, even when developing business. "It's thanks to our corporate culture that we were able to reach out to the right people at the right time, and equally to the right clients to honour our engagements."
To illustrate that motto, Martin put together two unique activities. The first one was to reproduce a Lego structure that we never viewed, by only trusting the instructions of our coworkers. "We wanted to work on the team communication skills, and with these exercises, it was easy to confirm that the more you trust your coworkers and express yourself with the appropriate words, the more work becomes easy."
For the second one, he invited Philippe Choinière, from Oneka, to share with us his desire to do better for the environment while being an entrepreneur. He was able to do so with his soap and shampoo company that he started with his beloved wife, Stacey Lecuyer, a few years ago. The entrepreneur couple always wanted to leave things in better shape than when they got their hands on them. Through the years, they declined many business opportunities because it would not fit their long-term vision.
For us, this represents what it means to be committed and driven — committing to delivering the best of yourself for your colleagues, clients, the environment, and society.
We keep evolving. But to be able to learn, we have to give ourselves the resources to do so, and even sometimes, grab us the information we need to stay informed. We keep our eyes peeled and try to go places no one has ever been. To do so is to say yes to newness, difference, and change. It is to juggle our many individual projects.
To make this motto an activity we could all learn from, Martin opted for a workshop that no one ever experienced before. The whole agency met with a specialist from Alveole that shared his passion for bees. Not only did he teach the different steps of honey production, but he also allowed us to take part in it by letting us collect honey straight from the beehives.
For us, this represents being curious and animated by our passions.
Our 9 to 5 doesn’t define who we are, but who we are defines our 9 to 5. We cultivate our passions, we seek discovery, and we stay open to the world. Keeping our fire alive is a full-time job.
The word impossible is not a part of our vocabulary. To represent this state of mind, Martin immediately thought of Fabrice Vil from Pour 3 points. The entrepreneur shared his path from being a full-time lawyer to the owner of his own social business. His vision was to help younger kids succeed through sports. At the time, his idea seemed irrational to his surroundings, but he still followed his inner voice and believed in his approach.
What we remember from this emotion filed conversation is to trust in yourself and go for it, even when you're under the impression to be the only one believing in your story.
We like our stories real, and our facts checked. To illustrate that thinking, Martin and Vincent organized a workshop, in which we answered questions regarding a colleague that was randomly attributed to us. Topics like "what are the five things you like most about me?" and "what should I work on in the hopes of becoming a better person?" were discussed.
For us, "speak real" is not taking any detour and not making up anything. Tell it how it is when it's easy, but also when it's a little harder. We do not sell fiction to our clients, so we mean to stay real within ourselves.
Finally, even if each of our social standards is as important as the other, Martin recognizes that this one is the foundation of a good Offsite.
"I think this is the main reason why we do Offsites. So that people see themselves differently, especially outside of the workplace. Sharing and caring for our coworkers is important, and an Offisite is the perfect environment to ask each other to walk the talk."