Jan. 29, 2021
General

Innovation at Fusion is all about people

If the person you spoke to at Fusion today seems particularly cheerful and well-rested, it may be because they just had a massage, or a nap, now that each Fusion branch is getting a massage chair or a nap pod.

“This is the result of an Innovation Den we held in 2018, where teams of Managers presented their innovative ideas to the Executive in a Dragon’s Den format,” says Michelle Mazurkewich, Chief Innovation Officer. “We heard a whole range of great ideas, but the idea of wellness spaces met all the criteria we were looking for, so it was selected as the first project to move ahead.”

Each branch has been given the option to choose a massage chair or a nap pod, and space has been defined in every branch to provide some privacy. Almost everyone chose the massage chairs, but one branch chose a nap pod and as part of their community engagement commitment, Fusion is providing a nap pod to Brandon University as well.

“It was an idea that came from being challenged to think creatively,” said Marlene Heise, Director of Wealth and Insurance Services, whose team’s idea was selected. “The concept was fun to put together and as we were doing research, we were finding statistics that consistently spoke to the fact that taking 20 minutes to refresh was instrumental to a person’s overall well-being, increased energy and productivity. That rejuvenation part of the project supported everything that Fusion is about, with employee wellness being at the forefront. It’s one of the reasons Fusion is a top employer in Manitoba.”

So, while everyone who works at Fusion benefits from this project, the process produced great dividends as well. “We challenged the management team to come up with the ideas, using the book The Three Box Solution, as the basis for the work,” adds Michelle. “It recommends that we 1) manage the present 2) selectively forget the past and 3) create the future. Our management group put this innovative thinking approach to the test in real life.”

Once an idea was selected, the team that presented the idea became the Directors of the project. “As project managers, we put them through the full process, from creating the recommendation that was presented to our board of directors who reviewed and approved the project to working to operationalize it. It really helped the project group learn the process to take a project from concept to reality.”

Although Covid caused some delays, about half of Fusion branches have their massage chairs or nap pods in place and the balance will have theirs in this year. They’ve been very well received.

“We’re getting very positive feedback,” adds Michelle, and Marlene agrees. “Some companies say that they care, Fusion shows it.”