In addition to how we approach the sustainability of our agricultural structures and practices, we also approach our organization and our ways of working through a regenerative lens.
We care deeply about the health and wellbeing of both our individual team members and our team as a whole. We seek to care for our team members, to welcome them as whole people, and to honour and appreciate each of their unique talents.
At the end of the day, we can only achieve our goals if we—ourselves and our team members—are healthy and able to contribute.
It was with this spirit that, in early 2020, we evolved to adopt a self-managed organizational structure and move towards more regenerative ways of working.
WHAT IS A REGENERATIVE WAY OF WORKING?
Regenerative work is a way of working that gives people the freedom to do what they love and make a difference in the world. It's about creating an environment where people can flourish, both personally and professionally.
In contrast to traditional work practices which focus on efficiency and productivity at all costs, regenerative ways of working focus on generating value for all involved: customers; employees; society at large, and the planet!
At YYC Growers, we often ask ourselves: why is this important for me, for my friends and family, for society, and for the world? It’s a guiding practice that keeps us focused on what truly matters.
YYC GROWERS WAYS OF WORKING
YYC Growers operates as self-managed organization without a traditional top-down hierarchy. Instead, team members have the freedom to make decisions about how best to accomplish their goals, collaborate with each other and work together as equals; eliminating unhelpful power dynamics that can hinder innovation and productivity.
Some of the characteristics that set us apart from other organizations include:
Encouraging autonomy and responsibility: Team members are given more control over what they do, how they do it, and when they do it. Individuals take ownership over their roles by taking on greater responsibility for themselves rather than delegating tasks outwards.
Decentralized decision making: Team members are empowered to make decisions on behalf of the whole team. Sometimes autocratic decisions--decisions made by one person--make the most sense (e.g. time sensitive). If a decision will impact others, team members will seek advice first or pursue a Generative Decision Making (GDM) process to assess the best past forward.
Culture of openness and trust: Team members feel comfortable talking about their needs, wants, and concerns without fear of judgment or retribution. We’re all considered equals and we hold regular meetings to share our ideas openly--and listen to others! When tensions arise, we practice radical candor to communicate directly but still care deeply.
Less hierarchical, but not without structure
While we promote autonomy and individual responsibility among team members, we still require a certain level of structure to function effectively. We’ve established clear goals and objectives, as well as guidelines for decision-making processes. We have designated roles and responsibilities that are agreed upon collectively by the team. Additionally, we have systems for communication and feedback to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards common goals.
While the structure may be less hierarchical than traditional organizations, it is still necessary to ensure a cohesive and productive work environment.
BENEFITS & OUR EXPERIENCE!
Operationally, self-managed organizations include a more flexible and adaptable workforce, faster decision-making processes, and increased innovation. Since our team members have more autonomy and responsibility, they take ownership of their work, which leads to better outcomes.
Empowering our team members and giving them more control over their work, has led to greater job satisfaction and a sense of purpose.
Everyone is given the opportunity to contribute to decision-making processes and have a greater say in the direction of the organization. This has lead to increased motivation and engagement, as well as a greater sense of belonging and community.
Additionally, we prioritize transparency, honesty, and open communication, which fosters trust and stronger relationships among our team members.
Some of the other benefits we’ve seen:
- Fostering collaboration and innovation: By giving our team members the freedom to take risks, experiment, and collaborate, they’re able to generate new ideas and solutions to problems.
- Improved employee engagement and morale: Happy team members are more likely to stay with a company than unhappy ones; and we want everyone to feel valued!
- Better customer satisfaction: Customers respond positively when they we care about our team--it makes them feel like their dollars are being put toward something worthwhile.
- Increased productivity: When you're feeling good, you work better. Same goes for our team members!
We asked our team members what a regenerative way of working means to them:
To me, regenerative ways of working have been such a breath of fresh air! It means that our team, made of real humans, are allowed to have real human experiences.
It’s a way of being a part of team, yet being ultimately responsible for myself. Being able to showcase my own skills, use them in meaningful ways to help generate success for the business, while also knowing that I am supported by the other team members. The support is shown in lots of ways, but the way I feel it the strongest- is knowing that we have our team members in the positions that they excel at. I trust my team in their positions, to showcase their skills in meaningful ways to help generate success for the business.
Between weekly tactical meetings, morning check ins, and Friday retrospective meetings we are able to address each other and ourselves in the honest, ever changing, way needed to ensure a healthy workplace and lifestyle.
FOR THE FUTURE
We’re immensely proud of the culture we’ve created at YYC Growers, and even more proud of our amazing team members we get to be creative with daily.
Beyond enriching the lives of those we work with, we believe regenerative work is a powerful tool to help create a sustainable and prosperous future. We hope to create long-term value and contribute positively to our community and the world!
Your YYC Growers Team