As Canadians, most of us are returning to work this week in a tryptophan-induced fog thanks to another wonderful turkey dinner (or two) at the hands of that amazing friend or family member who spared no effort in bringing their kitchen skills to bear. While reflecting on culinary conquests is almost a requisite of Thanksgiving reflection, this particular edition of the holiday has given many Iridians the opportunity to reflect in a different way. More specifically, to think about what community means to them, and how they can give to it when given a simple means to do so.
Enter Iridia in the Community.
What is it?
Iridia in the Community, quite simply, is an initiative that saw each full time employee receive $100 and be tasked with spending it in a way that would provide value to their interpretation of “community”.
Little guidance was offered, and that was by design. While all Iridians share commonalities, we are also each very different. Our individual interpretation as to what “community” is, and what providing value to it looks like, is completely a function of our own perspective.
What was the inspiration behind it?
You never know when you might have a conversation that will have a profound impact. In February of this year, I was fortunate enough to have had such a conversation. While attending a professional development workshop I sat beside a gentleman that I had never seen before, and have never seen since. We spoke only for about 10 minutes, but that brief exchange led to Iridia in the Community.
He shared a story about a man in the early 1900s who took out an advertisement local newspaper offering to provide $10 to anyone who wrote him a letter articulating why they felt they needed $10. Initially dubbed Angels in the Streets, this idea has since evolved to see companies giving back through their employee teams.
Amazed at the simplicity and beauty of the program, we simply had to do it.
And now, it’s done.
Why did we do it?
At Iridia we aspire to be led by, and act in accordance with, our company values. Each of our eight values contributes directly to the very fabric of our organization. As one of our values is Social Responsibility, we are always on the lookout for creative ways to support our community. We felt that Iridia in the Community fit the bill, and we made it happen.
Thanksgiving is all about, well, giving thanks. As such, we felt was the perfect time for Iridia in the Community.
How will it play out?
To be honest, we don’t know, but we are as excited as you are to find out!
Over the course of this week, we will be sharing highlights of how Iridia dollars were spent through a combination of pictures and videos on our Facebook page. Please check back often to see how your friends and contacts on the Iridia team have made a difference.
We can say, however, that our hope is that this becomes only the first of many versions of Iridia in the Community.
Iridia in the Community Interviews: