April 20, 2023

Investing in Employee Happiness: The Coconut Way

By Aakanksha Nair

Typically, you spend 40 of your 112 waking hours working - that’s 35% of your week.

That is if you’re one of the lucky few that get to sleep 8 hours each day and clock out of work at 5 pm sharp.

With work taking up such a large chunk of our lives, it’s crucial that organizations prioritize employee wellbeing. Claiming that “we’re a people-first company” is easier said than done, right? While Coconut Software’s People team agrees that this feat can be challenging, they have achieved just that.

Prioritizing People: The Coconut Way

Based out of Canada, Coconut Software makes it effortless for customers to connect with their financial institution. Our appointment scheduling, video banking, and lobby management solutions are used by leading banks and credit unions across North America, including RBC, Arvest Bank, Vancity, and Rogue Credit Union. Their solutions put people at the center and help deliver a seamless customer experience, improves  NPS, reduces wait times, and increases conversion rates.

Their people-first philosophy extends beyond their users to their team as well - otherwise known as the Coconut Crew. The Coconut Crew is a diverse team of over 150 individuals working remotely across Canada and in hubs in Toronto and Saskatoon. This crew doesn’t let time zones or geography get in the way of their culture. Whether it’s egg hunts for Easter or weekly Cabanadays which is their version of a 4-day workweek - they find a way to prioritize wellbeing and stay connected. Makes sense that they placed #4 in the 2023 Best Workplaces™ in Canada Ranking, and were named one of the Fastest-Growing Companies in North America on the 2022 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™!

The Coconut Crew at their Pride T-shirt Painting Event


Achieving this is far from a walk in the park. So, we chatted with Paige Pachkowski and Tessa Ross from Coconut's People team to learn how they’re making it happen. Paige is the People Experience and Event Generalist in charge of team cohesion and office well-being, while Tessa leads the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging committee, organizing events like International Women's Day, Pride Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, and more. Altogether, the People team takes care of each individual employee and makes sure everyone has a voice within the company. As Paige puts it, their goal is to “make your experience at Coconut the best it can possibly be”.

Building a Connected Team

As a company, “we really put people first”, shared Tessa. Paige agrees and adds that truly living by their “core values like collaboration, honesty, empathy” is what helps them do so. It’s what helped them create a safe space where ideas, questions, and complaints are all heard and acted on. 

Coconut's Core Values


However, creating spaces like this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes the right intentions and initiatives to bring together a group of people in a meaningful way. Coconut had the intentions, but the initiatives were not easy to execute. Organizing events throughout the year and making sure each event appealed to 150 unique individuals was an uphill battle. 

To achieve this, Paige and Tessa initially turned to Google to find wellness events that could work for their team. But the process of speaking to various vendors, figuring out logistics for the team, and actually organizing an initiative was laborious and inefficient. “It was honestly so much work”, revealed Tessa. While The People team along with the rest of the crew achieved tremendous results despite these challenges, they thought there must be a better way to do this. That’s when they discovered Wavy in early 2022.

Coconut + Wavy

After an in-depth demo, followed by thorough research (including a pros and cons list), Coconut decided to give Wavy a try. The fact that Coconut and Wavy sound like a match made in heaven was just the cherry on top (#islandvibes). What started as a one-off experiment has turned into a lasting relationship. Coconut has utilized Wavy’s marketplace to host over 20 experiences across four categories of events: Arts, Wellness, Games, and Food + Drinks. So far, all events have seen an average satisfaction rating of 94% 👍

It’s making a lasting impact:

94% of Coconuts feel more connected to each other after Wavy events 🫶

97% of Coconuts  say Wavy events have a positive impact on company culture📈

Some Coconut fan favourites from the marketplace

Wellness events help with “team bonding, building trust, and building relationships” according to Paige. Tessa agrees, adding that “team building events bring happiness”. At Coconut, these events have created opportunities for people who normally don’t meet to get together, talk about things outside of work, and truly connect.

Besides the events, Tessa and Paige shared that Wavy’s feature-rich dashboard is a lifesaver for their team and others at Coconut. Wavy has empowered people managers with the tools and resources to plan events for their own departments too! They have estimated that utilizing Wavy’s marketplace and features like built-in polls, easy RSVPs and calendar invites,  and automated event comms saves them at least 3 hours per event

In a (Coco)nutshell

Coconut knows that a positive culture is the secret sauce for success, and boy do they keep that sauce flowing! They've cracked the code on creating a work environment where autonomy and support go hand in hand. They're all about collaboration and trust, which means tackling challenges as a team and celebrating wins together. Plus, they're pet-friendly (cue the collective "aww" from all the pet lovers out there)! If this is giving you FOMO, fear not - the Coconut Crew is growing - they’re hiring across functions, so shoot your shot!

Via Giphy

The Coconut Crew has always prioritized employee wellbeing but executing events was taking more time and energy than needed. With Wavy as their sidekick, they can more easily and effectively live their core values, focus on team building, and just get more done in less time. 

Want to learn how your team can leverage Wavy? Get in touch with us.