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Catching Up With Tim: Employment And Inclusion At Shopify!

Three years ago we brought readers a story about Tim Siebrasse and his journey into paid employment at Shopify headquarters in Ottawa (Shopify is one of the world’s leading companies for ecommerce platforms). LiveWorkPlay’s tagline is “where possibilities take flight” and this is one of those stories that really lives up to the concept. By connecting Tim and Shopify, many lives have been changed for the better.

For more than a decade prior to being hired on at Shopify, Tim’s employment life had been limited to work experience programs and small honorariums. Having known Tim for many years, LiveWorkPlay staff and volunteers had always commented that he seemed to have the potential to be a huge asset to the right employer (where he could also earn good pay!).

When LiveWorkPlay got the opportunity to work with Tim on his employment goals back in 2015, a connection with Shopify provided the opportunity to identify that his work ethic and personality might be the perfect fit. Three years later, Tim not only remains gainfully employed, but his status as a respected, valued, and included member of the Shopify community (Shopifolk) continues to grow and evolve.

Tim is an Office Assistant who has taken on a series of important responsibilities. He completes all incoming mail sorting, and notifies Shopifolk of their deliveries (there’s a lot of them). When Tim isn’t managing deliveries, he has a number of duties related to maintaining an efficient office space, from re-stocking printer paper, to monitoring battery boxes and preparing meeting rooms. 

Just prior to his three year work anniversary, Tim had the opportunity to participate in a Town Hall event with Chantale Sauvé (Internal Solutions Lead for East Region Shopify). These gatherings provide opportunities for employees to learn more about the roles of their colleagues, and how their contributions fit into the greater effort (the company has more than 3000 staff, more than 25% in Ottawa, and the Town Hall events are broadcast to all of their locations).

“Tim got up on stage and absolutely nailed it,” says Chantale. “We did a Q&A together and they all learned about what Tim does and the high impact it has on everyone within our office. I received so many amazing messages from people afterward and noticed a significant shift in quality and quantity of interactions Tim was having with other Shopifolk.”

But that was just the beginning!

“On Monday (November 12) I sent out a communication about our mail delivery system and reminded everyone about Tim’s role and the importance of waiting for his notification email when they receive packages.  I had attached a link to Tim’s unicorn (a token of recognition given to Tim by a member of another team, a Shopifolk practice for employee recognition) and people rushed to like and comment on it. The response was overwhelming and has now broken records within our company!”

Tim is a cool customer, but he was pretty pumped up about the experience, and more than a little impressed by his ability to influence his co-workers.

“I told the chef here that we should have spaghetti and donuts on the menu sometimes, and guess what…it happened!” says Tim.

It has been said that diversity is being invited to the dance, whereas inclusion is being invited to dance.

Shopify embraced diversity when they hired Tim, but through his inclusion in company rituals, appreciation of his gifts and talents, offering of growth opportunities, and authentic valuing of his role, Tim is not just “in attendance” at the Shopifolk dance – he’s moving and grooving with the best of them!

Inclusive employment leaders like Chantale can be found in every business in every line of work – even if they don’t know it yet! Maybe you are next? Click here to learn more about how LiveWorkPlay provides employment services through the Ontario Disability Employment Program – we are here to help businesses thrive by hiring great workers like Tim!