Creating a hub through the ‘Culture Club’
By Kana Coonce
STEVENS POINT – Employees at Skyward have created a way to get to know their coworkers in a space a little more exciting than the water cooler.
Kimberly Brockman is a member of Skyward’s “Culture Club,” a club consisting of a handful of employees from various departments who organize and oversee activities designed to boost coworkers’ spirits and “improve the culture at Skyward.”
“Skyward Clubs,” an initiative that allows employees to create clubs based around their personal interests, is one of the Culture Club’s more recent endeavors.
“Each club kind of directs themselves,” said Brockman.
Clubs introduced by fellow employees so far include volleyball, jiu-jitsu, several book clubs, a crocheting and knitting club, a biking club and a club called the “Companion Club,” which dedicates its time to promoting pet adoption and sharing employee pet photos.
Currently on the docket are a board game club and a photography club.
In the wake of COVID-19, workers across the country have struggled to rekindle their former social lives.
Skyward’s staff consists of both remote and on-site employees, a feature that has allowed employee-led initiatives like the Culture Club to thrive.
Now looking for the opportunity to make connections or find a hobby, company employees have the opportunity to share their passions with one another.
Club creation is simple: As long as employees looking to form a club can find someone to act as a “club captain” – someone who will spearhead the club’s activities – the Culture Club will create a page on the “Club Hub,” a web page run by the Culture Club that allows Skyward employees looking to join a club to browse club activities, schedules, photos and more.
“A lot of people have shown interest in different areas. We really need sort of that, like, expert, who’s gonna say, ‘Yep, I got this,’” said Brockman.
As more and more clubs join Skyward’s roster, people who have worked in the same office for years – some since before the onset of COVID-19 – have found themselves learning more about the people around them to positive effect.
“That’s so cool to see a different side of someone come out,” said Brockman, whose favorite part about the initiative is seeing the creativity of her coworkers – who she otherwise knows as programmers – shine.
Members of the knitting club, for example, refer to themselves as “knitwits’’ and trade “string theory” puns over balls of yarn.
It’s all about “doing something social and having fun.”
Brockman says that the initiative has been met positively by fellow employees and upper management alike.
“We’ve had amazing support by Skyward’s exec staff, as well. They think this is great,” she said.
“I feel like none of this would be possible without the leadership at Skyward. They’ve been so supportive with the different events that [Culture Club has] been doing, and they’ve been so supportive with Skyward Clubs.
“It’s really cool to work for a company that cares about its employees. I think that’s very important.”