Let’s Talk Culture


Service Co-ordinator, Sylai Popal, joined Form1 in 2015. Now, as part of the Culture Team, she is passionate about driving new ideas that benefit everyone in the business.

When I discovered Form1 I was working at another business who were contractors for Form1. I reached out to one of the girls on the team because I wanted to know more about the business.

When I came for an interview Steve Shirlaw (CEO) and Stuart Scott (GM) told me all about the company values and it really struck a chord with me. Organisation culture is my thing – I strongly believe if you can get along with people and have fun, it doesn’t feel like work.

I was working at Form1 for six months when I was asked to join the Culture Team and I said, ‘Yes!’ straight away. I love having a say in what the company stands for and driving new ideas that benefit everyone. Being part of the Culture Team is a great way to help create an environment you’re proud of.

At Form1 the Culture Team is made up of people from all different departments – admin staff, technical staff and management – so there are open lines of communication across all departments. The team was originally created so individual employees could have a say about the kind of things we do as company. We cover everything from organising inspirational activities and monthly Toolbox Talks, to team development days, to setting up trainings and making sure talent reviews and quarterly updates happen when they need to. The team changes every 12 months.

One great team day we ran was with Genevieve Matthews from The Art of Extraordinary. Genevieve uses strategic thinking games and activities, like The Art of Extraordinary cards, to unlock business and personal development needs. The Cards taught us about inner strength, ourselves as individuals and how we behave as a team. We had the Cards framed and they’re hanging on the wall in the entrance to our Sydney office – they’re a great reminder of our company values.

The Culture Map is also a big part of Form1. It was created by selecting keywords that align with our values as a business. Every quarter we take out the Culture Map and it drives our activity. It’s evolved with time and we update and change it as needed.

Steve, our CEO, is like Morrie to me, from the story Tuesdays With Morrie. He’s my mentor, my teacher and my guide – it makes coming to work at Form1 a pretty special place. I believe the internal culture we’ve created at Form1 trickles out to our customers – they’re always seeking knowledge and asking lots of questions. They enjoy knowing what we’re up to.

Personal wellbeing is a huge priority for us and we’re committed to looking after our people. There is always someone here to support you, not just during work but in your personal life too. We provide access to things like counselling and kinesiology. One Christmas, Relationships Australia delivered a session for us to learn more about mental health.

Our staff appreciate knowing someone cares about them. I hope more businesses start taking the initiative to focus on people’s health and wellbeing so we can create better corporate cultures in the future.

Read an open letter from our CEO, Steve Shirlaw, here.