Harlem Shake (Woodways)

February 22, 2013   |   Behind the Woodwork, News, Showroom Scoop

Woodways Custom Cabinetry Turns Harlem Shake Dance into Team Building Exercise While Keeping Video Family Friendly

Woodways’ sales and woodworking worlds united on Tuesday afternoon to “Work it like a Woodworker” in their unique rendition of the popular youtube video, the Harlem Shake.

Equipped with power tools, hard hats, and hilarious props, the employees inadvertently learned valuable team building skills and expressed creativity. “It may have just seemed like a crazy dance video, but if you stepped back and watched you saw everyone’s creativity come to life,” Sales Manager Jessica Fitnich said. “As ironic as it sounds, we used valuable teamwork skills trying to make this video.”

Co-owner, Suzanne Rudnitzki, says that these off-the-wall ideas are an essential aspect to the cabinetry company’s success. “A silly video offers us a chance to interact with the people we don’t get to work with every day. Coming up with activities like this creates a bond between employees that will produce a more conducive work environment,” Rudnitzki said. Woodways is constantly thinking of new ways to maintain an entertaining and creative atmosphere throughout their company that can be enjoyed by any age group. Many of Woodways’ employees have families, so keeping the video appropriate while having fun was a main concern while filming. “We wanted to be able to show our kids something that we got to do at work that we know they will enjoy. There are so many inappropriate things out there that they can’t see, so why not keep it PG and let the whole family enjoy it?” Head Engineer Eric Exo said.

Outside of the company, Woodways strives to stay connected and active within the community. Aside from dance videos, their employees frequently run 5k races to support local and national organizations. Woodways also donates their Grand Rapids showroom to charities as a venue to host fundraising events – not only does this help the organization raising money, but the events help people network and stay involved in the community themselves. And these efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Stemming from the Harlem Shake dance, Woodways was featured in the Grand Rapids Press for the innovative activities that Woodways implements into their company, as well as their efforts within the community.

Inspired by this dance video, Woodways is challenging local businesses to have fun for a cause in what they’re calling a Charity Chain Challenge. Woodways will donate $500.00 to their challenger’s charity of choice if they make a Harlem Shake video themselves. The catch is that the challenger has to agree to carry on the process by offering to donate $500.00 to another business’ charity if they agree to make a video as well. Woodways is hoping this will create a “chain” effect that will spread like wildfire throughout the community and outward, which is what Woodways is all about – giving back and having fun doing it.

Harlem Shake (Woodways) on youtube.com

Videographer: Alyson Caillaud-Jones. Contact information: (616) 460-2844 or caillaal@mail.gvsu.edu


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