On May 23rd, 2018, one of the owners, Muriel Torchia Shyjak, was featured in the May 2018 Vol.4 Edition of the Who’s Who Women Special Business Edition.
Muriel completed interview questions and working back and forth on the content with the editor, Pat St. Germain, created a beautiful piece that really paints a picture of how she fits into the operations and culture of the company. Having her photo taken was a bit daunting, but Darcy Finley from Finley Photography (photographs in this post were taken by him) made her feel comfortable and at ease in the Asper School of Business Executive Education building on Lombard street. Once both pieces were reviewed, the article went to print. Below is the text and some images take for the publication.
Positively Charged: Bringing Fresh Energy to the Workplace
Owning and operating a business can easily permeate every aspect of one’s life, but Muriel Torchia Shyjak has found a way to make it work, by bringing balance and wellness into the workplace with a positive attitude.
Since Muriel and her husband Caleb took over ownership of MG Electrical/Mechanical Services Ltd. in the fall of 2016, much of her focus has been on creating a healthy workplace culture, one based on transparency and trust. “We have an ‘open-door’ policy — if anyone has an issue or concern, they can come talk to either of us, at any time,” she says. Employees know they are being heard and are part of the conversation. To avoid the common divide that can happen between office staff and field staff, Muriel works hard to foster a culture of inclusion. Her passion for workplace wellness
and engagement shines through in the activities and policies of MG Services.
“I created a fun internal wellness program for staff, that even those working out of town participated in through social media and email. We provide healthy snacks and food options that can easily be grabbed by staff on the go.”
Muriel describes her job as Director of Operations as fast-paced and ever-changing, but being organized, methodical, and attentive to detail keeps things moving along smoothly. “I prepare for everything, take notes, write down ideas. I’ve always loved to learn new things and I spend time researching what I don’t know, reading articles, asking questions, networking, and taking courses,” she says.
After graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Environmental Design in 2005, she entered the electrical field as a commercial and industrial Lighting Designer and later worked as a Marketing Coordinator. Caleb is an electrician by trade, with eight years at MG, most recently as General Manager before the previous owners retired. “We both have very strong but different skill sets so we can each focus on the aspects we are passionate about and cover all the bases,” Muriel says.
She is proud of their 36-employee team and how well everyone works together. “I really want to bring more diversity into our workforce and hired the first two female electricians at our company. Having a team that includes people of different genders, ages, backgrounds, and cultures allows us to better understand and serve our customers since we are always exposed to a wide range of viewpoints. It’s always inspiring to see employees coming up with new ideas for how we do things and really taking pride in their work. We could not be successful without them.”
Muriel gives back to the community wherever she can. For example, she was a mentor at the 2017 Young Women’s Conference to introduce high school girls to trades, and she was a panel member at an event for newcomers to Canada hosted by the Manitoba Construction Sector Council and Manitoba Start.
There is no typical work day for Muriel. She looks after everything from helping with project management, dealing with suppliers and customers, meeting with salespeople, creating and writing policies, planning staff events and training, managing the company’s online presence and of course, fostering employee engagement. “Success isn’t about making a lot of money and having everyone like you. Success for me is being able to answer the question, ‘Am I happy?’ with a ‘Yes.’ ” ❚