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Best Life Week: How to Empower Employees

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Best Life Week: How to Empower Employees

This much we know: to empower employees to thrive you have to embrace the creativity of your organization.  At Vega, this is something we have always believed in.  As we have grown, and as is natural with every organization, things have always been ever changing.  One thing that has stayed constant is our commitment to our employees and commitment to empowering them to grow with us.

Understand the value of rewarding your employees

Empowering the world to thrive. That’s Vega’s vision. And living these five powerful words includes our (selfish) commitment to giving Vegatopians (Vega’s employees) more than just a job. Why? Because thriving isn’t a one-dimensional idea—thriving is not experienced only by eating well, or staying active, or being physically or mentally healthy. Thriving, by definition, is as multifaceted as the rich life you live.

Valuing Vegatopians as whole people is more than just an idea; it’s an all-encompassing concept that must be proven daily throughout our company. We know if Vegatopians are not thriving in all areas of their life, it’s a lot harder to bring their best to work. And we know that when Vegatopians stay inspired and engaged, they’re ready to do even more of the wonderful work they’re capable of doing—so together we can strive to make this world just a little bit better.

As proud as we are to have Vega recognized as the #1 Best Workplace in Canada, (and for the third year in a row, the #1 Best Workplace for Women in Canada), such accolades are more than mere words on paper. They’re proof that investing in our people—through actions like creating a continuing education fund, maternity leave top-up, or building an on-site kitchen at Vega HQ that’s stocked with plant-based food and snacks—is rewarding beyond just the balance sheet.

Reward Your Employees In Unique Ways

Vega introduces Best Life Week.

Vega is all about constant improvement through small changes. That’s why we try to add or improve one special benefit every year for Vegatopians.  And because we tend to do things a little bit different here, we got creative. How? Rather than doling out a normal year-end bonus when 2016 sales targets were exceeded, we wanted to do something that was uniquely Vega, aligned with our core values, and meaningfully expressed Vega’s whole-person commitment to Vegatopians.

Every one of us wishes for more time to do what we love, the things that help us to thrive. So this spring, Vega gave Vegatopians exactly that—an extra week of paid vacation, plus some extra cash—and Best Life Week was born.

Best Life Week honors every one-of-a-kind Vegatopian as the unique person they are. Because no matter how each Vegatopian describes what living their best life looks like, Vega imagined a way to thank them for their efforts in the most personal way possible—by giving each of them the gift of choice, in addition to the extra time and support to help make magic happen, on their own terms.

Many plane rides, 15+ countries, 172 unique adventures, plenty of hugs, and countless lifelong memories later, these stories show what Vegatopians’ Best Life Weeks looked like:


Life Lessons Learned from Empowered Employees

1. Time Spent with Family Is Invaluable

Mia, Accounts Receivable Manager

What does your best life look like?
“Living my best life means laughing out loud with the people I love.”
What did you do for Best Life Week?
“As a working mom I don’t get to spend as much time with my kids as I’d like. Best Life Week was an opportunity to soak up precious moments and share experiences with them one-on-one.  We took a road trip to Washington State, and made memories that will last a lifetime.”


2. Life Adventures Should Always Be Taken

Tara, Senior Art Director

What does your best life look like?
“My best life involves traveling, exploring new places and spending time with my family and friends.”
What did you do for Best Life Week?
“My husband and I surprised my son (almost 7) with his first trip to the happiest place on Earth: Disneyland! We kept the trip a surprise right up until we were at the airport. He couldn’t quite believe it was happening. We traveled to California and spent almost every minute of the next three days exploring the parks, riding roller coasters, fighting Darth Vader and having an adventure that none of us will ever forget.”


3. Making New Friends is Never Restricted to Humans

Lorelle, Office Manager,

What does your best life look like?
“My best life involves spending time with family and friends, being active, and hanging around animals!”
What did you do for Best Life Week?
“My boyfriend Max (a Graphic Designer who also works at Vega®) and I just moved into a new apartment last year and also recently adopted a puppy, so we stayed local and went to Tofino (on the West coast of British Columbia).  We wanted to go somewhere that was dog-friendly, and it ended up being perfect! We had amazing weather, we stayed in a yurt right on the beach (literally, on the beach). We walked for hours along the beaches, ate lots of amazing food, adventured outside, relaxed with no agenda. It was a perfect little getaway.”


4. New Experiences Can Bring New Confidence

Bernadette, Accounts Payable Clerk

What does your best life look like?
“If most days include family and friends, good food, being active, and enjoying the little moments, then I know I’m living my best life.”
What did you do for Best Life Week?
“Best Life Week was the little nudge that I needed to make my dream of visiting London a reality.  And even though Best Life Week is over, the experience continues to impact me.  I’m more confident traveling on my own and navigating a new city now.  I also have a fresh new perspective of the world around me and all the extraordinary people and places that are out there.”


5. Travel Can Bring Newfound Appreciation For What You Have

Sami, Event Specialist

What does your best life look like?
“Every day, my best life varies. Some days it means to pause and appreciate how lucky I am to be here in Canada. Honestly though, most days, my best life means going to a job I love, with people that make the day fly by, then heading off to an active event where I get to fuel people to achieve their best.”
What did you do for Best Life Week?
“For Best Life Week I volunteered with a direct-trade cooperative that supports coffee farmers in Guatemala (just outside of Antigua).  I sorted beans, and helped with processing and roasting, as well as putting together orders for customers. (The cooperative supports the farmers in their training and education with shade-grown and organic coffee farms).”

“I cannot explain how I felt after being so welcomed in this country! I was welcomed into the homes of the coffee farmers, met their families, and their children who are working so hard to go to school and help the next generation improve. I have never worked so hard, yet felt so rejuvenated after a vacation. This experience will stay with me forever—as will those relationships.”


6. Being in the Moment is Good for You and Your Family

Amber, Content Marketing Manager

What does your best life look like?
“My every day best life includes being a mom, doing work I love, and the passionate pursuit of creative and personal fulfillment through singing, swing dancing, chasing sparkly, hare-brained ideas down the sewing room rabbit hole with abandon, and dreaming up things to make in my pottery studio.”
What did you do for Best Life Week?
“For me, Best Life Week let me be present to who I am and what I value when I’m not caught up in the manic juggling act of being a working parent, or putting anyone else first. Every moment I spent in London was chosen with the freedom of being able to do it my way—the way no one I know would want to experience it with me. I spent four hours on the top floor of the Victoria & Albert Museum, drinking in their marvelous ceramics collection. I cried tears of joy, stopping several times just to sit and allow myself to be moved in the presence of several thousand years of human history expressed through pottery. I also got misty-eyes over a Leonardo DaVinci drawing; savored a proper afternoon tea with our first London-based Vegatopian; went swing dancing; caught a musical theatre classic; and walked about 20km/day experiencing art, architecture and landmarks that are simply not the same in a book or on a screen.”

“The act of spending distraction-free time in my own company, exploring interests unique to me—and coming home with my nerdy artist’s heart full of inspiration, exhausted from milking every minute for everything I possibly could—connected me with my deep gratitude for my Vega family, and the opportunity to be part of something far more meaningful than a job.”


7. Sometimes a Staycation is All You Need

Disa, Strategic Account Manager,

What does your best life look like?
“My best life is being the best mother, wife, friend, and Vegatopian I can be! I try to appreciate the present moment and take the time daily to think of everything I am grateful for.”
What did you do for Best Life Week?
“I got to cherish the time at home with my family. It was incredible getting to spend the week with my 7 month old baby. She is growing up so fast, learning new things every day, so it was really special to get to spend a whole week just being with her.”


8. Special Life Experiences Don’t Always Need to Be Planned

Melia, Office Administrator,

What does your best life look like?
“My best life is spending time with my favorite people, playing with my dog and getting outside as much as possible.”
What did you do for Best Life Week?
Best Life Week just happened to fall on the same week as our wedding in Italy! We were married at a beautiful private villa in a small town in Tuscany, surrounded by our family and friends. It was such an incredible gift to have that time with people that live in different cities and countries. We did a wine tour in Chianti, ate amazing food, made our own pizza in the wood fired oven (with tips from the chef of course), had a pool party, and rode bikes through the countryside.”

Thriving is Different for Every Employee

Thriving looks different on everyone. It’s not just eating well, or being active, or living in a way that makes you feel good most of the time. It’s never one thing, and in fact, it’s everything. Vegatopians are whole people, who thrive in many different ways in all areas of their life. Best Life Week is one way we were able to show our people that they truly matter to us. When Vegatopians bring their best selves to work, we all win together.

Vega’s approach of honoring the whole person is not limited to Vegatopians. It’s a philosophy we also apply to our consumers and retail partners. And though Best Life Week doesn’t have a literal translation to every friend of Vega, the spirit of it shines through our history as a brand and our relationships with our fans.

We’re here to help you live your best life, no matter what that means to you. Learn more about thriving on your own terms with Brendan Brazier.

What does being empowered look like to you (as an employee or an employer)?


No matter what better means to you, Vega shares the knowledge, nutrition, and inspiration to support your quest to thrive.

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