By Justin Seward
Amy Zuk-Olsen co-owns the F&S Safety Buzz Campus in Dunmore with husband Sheldon and says the majority of her time is spent either managing day-to-day operations or instructing a couple of days a week.
F&S Safety Buzz’s provides quality training in an inspiring environment and leads to a safe workplace.
“I would say most of my time is spent building the Safety Buzz Campus brand and expanding our community outreach (and) making sure our brand is positively displayed in the community,” said Zuk-Olsen.
The Campus tries to get involved in many conjoined community events, provide sponsorship when the right opportunity comes up and take donations for the Women’s Shelter and did a “Shave the Shag” event at the start of COVID.
“Sheldon grew out is hair and shaved his head. The money raised went to the food bank,” she said.
“We try to be quite vibrant in our social media, doing things that are fun and interactive. Just for Halloween we did a pumpkin carving contest and got people voting.”
Like a lot of businesses, Safety Buzz was shut down from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and once the doors opened again, business picked up as people became more comfortable.
“We’ve always made people comfortable knowing that masks are recommended but by no means are they mandatory,” said Zuk-Olsen.
“We have a lot of hand sanitizer pretty much every where you can think of. We reopened in a way that people felt good about it.”
She said, “Business is great. We’re basically sitting at the same profit margin as last year.”
Zuk-Olsen has been a business owner for close to 20 years and has learned the importance of having a team that works with you and not for you.
She became a certified leadership speaker, trainer and coach through the John Maxwell team and opened a sub-business called Elevate two-and-a-half-years ago.
The John Maxwell platform allows for its members who are licensed to speak, coach and train others using content, resources from the top leadership expert, Dr. John Maxwell.
“I decided I’d like to expand my knowledge on how to lead and how to develop a team, she said.
“So I took training through the John Maxwell leadership platform and just really stepped up my game, that not only can I be a leader myself, I can train my team to lead and other companies as well.”
She says building a business and getting customers is always relational.
“There are important skills and techniques and skills we need to use when we’re communicating,” she said.
“And not only just communicating by the verbal communication, but through all of our different communications styles- that’s one thing I enjoy working with is communicating- and also understanding people are very different. The way we leave some people or reward some people is not going to be the same as others.”
She is gratified when she sees companies developing and straying far away from titles and tiered systems and not having bosses tell them what to do.
“They’re going to have greater moral and be more productive and efficient when their team feels valued,” she said.
She likes to teach businesses with a conversation approach.
“I feel the most effective way is always engaging people, so that they’re giving you the answers, you’re not feeding them answers,” she said.
“You’re seeing where their knowledge is and you’re taking positive notes and pumping people up to ensure they continue on that positive stream.”
With Elavate, she is able intertwine with Safety Buzz and dive into a businesses’ safety program and develop their team in a behavioral manner
“When people look at safety, they don’t always think of the fact that it is all about behavior, and people want to have a motivation to be safe in many cases” said Zuk- Olsen.
“Whether it’s training with a team or in the classroom, a very big part of my safety training, when I’m instructing is getting back to what matters to me.”
Dunmore’s Safety Buzz location celebrated 10 years this year.
The business was the recipient of the Medicine Hat and District Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Business Ethics and Award of Excellence Awards last month.