Q&A with our CREW Team Leaders, Blog Post
Q: What is the CREW Team?
A: CREW stands for Culture of Respect, Engagement, and Wellness. The CREW Team is the evolution of WCCO Belting’s wellness initiative. We have five elements of engagement - financial, physical, spiritual, career and community. They are the foundation of CREW and we plan to organize activities and events based on these categories to promote involvement and positive change.
Q: How did the name come about?
A: Leadership wanted the wellness initiative to grow beyond what people perceived as only physical wellness so that it could have a greater impact for employees. We know people connect with and understand the word “wellness,” so we knew the name needed to include “wellness.” Respect is WCCO Belting’s core value, so it made sense to include that, too. Along with engagement, which is what we strive for among the employees, the new name brings it all together. Think about it this way: There are a bunch of crews out there supporting WCCO Belting that need to work together successfully. Crew mates, if you will. We are the captains of the CREW Team ship steering it in the direction for success.
Q: What does wellness mean to you?
Dani: For me, wellness revolves around physical activities. I am an athlete; I played softball in college. I love biking and camping. Wellness is the first thing I think about. It also means taking care of your mental health and nutrition. Wellness is about taking care of your full body including taking care of yourself, your community, and those around you.
Reid: Wellness is the pursuit to a happier life. Living healthier will make you happier. I try to live a healthy and happy life. I train mixed martial arts, run, do yoga, and lift weights. I am also a vegetarian. I am excited about and willing to help others on their journey to a healthier and happier life.
Q: How will CREW benefit employees in their career?
Dani: Our goal with CREW is to help our coworkers create and foster healthier lives inside and outside of work. These two things make people work harder, be successful. Having a successful career is more than the eight hours we spend at work. We want to give our coworkers more energy so we can go home and play with our kids, not just sit on the couch. We want to provide resources and a community that helps us live a fulfilling life engaged in our communities and career. This idea of improving all aspects of our life helps us work harder and be more successful in our careers.
Reid: As a family-owned business, the biggest thing our CEO/President, Tom Shorma, says, is that we are a family. When you feel better as a person, mentally and physically, you can learn more and do more at work. As a company, we are offering more training so people can learn more and achieve more.
Q: Can you give us any hints as to what fun events or education are in store?
A: We want to revive some of the fun events that people liked from the past (as the pandemic allows) including “track your steps to Texas” (which is where our sister company is located) and we recently held an awesome tinkering challenge for National Engineers Week. The CREW team is launching a book club and is planning to hold self-defense classes. To support the community, we plan to schedule the second Penny’s Pup Crawl this fall and host our annual “Peanut Butter Can Save the World” donation drive for the local backpack program, among other community activities and events that come up throughout the year. There will be a lot going on!
Q: How will CREW benefit employees outside of work and at home with family?
A: We asked our employees, “What does wellness mean to you? What are you passionate about? What is one wellness event you’d like to see?” The most important thing people talked about is their family. It is through this lens that we are coming up with ideas about how to support our people and their loved ones at home. Employees also wanted to focus on mental health, and our leadership knows this is a priority. Focusing on mental health at work will help people at home, too.
Q: What’s the CREW Team’s strategy to realize success?
A: We’ve created a calendar to make sure we are organized and to give everyone enough time to plan. We also want to give coworkers, and their families, enough notice to participate in activities and events. There’s also a lot of promotion involved for people that are a little shy!
When mental health ranked as the third most popular focus area, we decided to host monthly CREW meetings where we share mental health resources (like our partnership with The Village Family Service Center), education on a variety of wellness-related topics, and host teambuilding activities in a more consistent way to help people feel comfortable together and promote WCCO Belting as a safe space.
One of the first priorities of the team was to increase employee engagement in wellness which had slowed due to the restrictions of the pandemic. We kicked off the year with the “New Year, New You” challenge, which involved healthy decision making and adding more physical exercise – your way – into daily life. This challenge allowed people to do things on their own time and include their families. We also had a week full of Super Bowl activities and recently celebrated National Engineers Week.
Q: Is there anything else you want to share?
A: We are both very active and have a desire to drive positive change. We saw the opportunity for the wellness initiative to grow, so we asked the Leadership Team if we could lead it together. Dani’s strength is competition. Reid’s strength is organization. This team is cross-functional and diverse and plays to each of our strengths. We’re excited about the future of the CREW Team and we’re having fun doing something we are both passionate about.