“We practice management from the heart; that’s our greatest strength. We don’t have a hierarchy. Each person just has different responsibilities based on the position they hold.”
– Annik Lachance-Gravel, CEO, Lachance Gravel
A young CEO transforms the household maintenance sector
A diversified offer
In 2014, Annik Lachance-Gravel bought the family business with the goal of updating it to ensure it endures. Today, Lachance Gravel offers complete household maintenance services for all types of buildings and premises, whether stores, clinics, plants, or office buildings. Determined to make her business a one-stop-shop for her clientele, the young CEO developed a service offer that includes janitorial services, post-renovation cleaning, floor maintenance, training in sanitary planning, as well as the distribution of cleaning products and equipment. Something else new: residential maintenance service offered exclusively to commercial and industrial clients, which can benefit its employees. A plus for talent retention!
A step forward for the environment
The industrial maintenance sector is not known for its environmental efforts. But Annik Lachance-Gravel, who has committed to sustainable development, sees things differently. In distributing a line of organic cleaning products, her company educates clients to encourage them to make choices that respect the environment. Another initiative: installing dosing stations in the premisses of most clients, which are filled on site with ultraconcentrated products, which reduces plastic packaging. Finally, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to transportation, Lachance Gravel works exclusively with regional partners and encourages car sharing.
Annik Lachance-Gravel puts employees at the centre of her business model, with her management principles based on an inverted organigram, where managers are at the bottom of the chart to better support the team, which is placed at the top. It is a point of view that, she believes, changes the business’s efforts, and leads to a whole host of innovations. To reduce candidates’ stress, interviews are conducted in a relaxed atmosphere in the company of Maverik, the golden retriever who is the office’s animal therapist. The working conditions are much better than average, which enables employees, even those without much education, to have an appropriate standard of living. A production coordinator works full time on the team’s mental well-being, and when a personal problem arises – grief, addiction, financial problems – employees are supported without judgement.
Inspiring by example
Lachance Gravel, which is growing quickly, is not suffering from the labour shortage. The excellent retention rate is explained by the engagement and pride of the teams, which are treated well and reciprocate with the CEO. It is a success that no doubt has something to do with the dynamic, generous attitude of Annik Lachance-Gravel, who is, by her own admission, a dropout who carved out a place for herself on the labour market. She inspires colleagues for whom school was not an option by showing that there are no limits when you have self-confidence.
You too can move from words to action and make a commitment!
We have 1001 reasons to want to see our society and economy evolve to be more respectful of people and the planet.
Sign the declaration of agents of change and get free access to training on having an impact as a business.