Workplace culture key to 2018 Employees’ Choice Award winners

Martello ECA
John Proctor holds the 2018 Employees' Choice Award surrounded by a selection of his team. Photo by Mark Holleron.

Ten of Ottawa’s best employers were honoured at the 12th annual Employees’ Choice Awards Dec. 6 at The Marshes Golf Club.

The awards, sponsored by Ottawa’s Meldrum Horne & Associates, celebrate companies whose employees say they’re engaged in their work and feel connected to their place of employment.

With new research partner Best Companies Group, employees from companies across Ottawa were surveyed about their workplace’s culture, communication strategies, focus on wellbeing and many more markers of engagement and support.

Attending the ceremony was Peter Burke, CEO of Best Companies Group, who flew all the way from Texas to congratulate the 10 award recipients.

Burke says the average level of engagement of the top 10 companies – 96 per cent – is something to be proud of, especially compared to the 86-per-cent average of all the surveyed companies and the 41-per-cent average he says most research firms agree the overall workforce would report.

“This is really an elite group,” he says. “It’s the best of the best.”

That group includes seven tech companies, a service provider, an engineering firm and a family business: Rewind, Martello Technologies, SOLINK, Crank Software Inc., Fusebill, InGenius Software, Decisive Technologies, Keynote Group, Dilfo Mechanical and the Fireplace Center & Patio Shop.

Martello CEO John Proctor says the company’s workplace culture has been top of mind during a busy year that saw the communication services provider make numerous acquisitions and go public via a reverse takeover.

“When you have that vision established, people can buy into it,” says Proctor, adding two words that were key to successfully making Martello’s acquisitions part of the family: “Constant communication.”

When hiring, Proctor says he’s “much more interested in the person than the resume,” and that he often asks candidates about the tech projects that drive them.

“When people tell you about their tech projects, you can then get a feel for that passion,” he says.

One of InGenius Software’s newest hires was there to celebrate her company’s award. Maya Roscoe, who has been a senior account executive at InGenius for just a week, says she felt confident joining the company after hearing nothing but positive feedback about the workplace culture from several other employees.

“I think it’s very well deserved,” she says.

Burke says it’s not about team charity fundraisers, office fitness centres or any of the myriad ways companies today try to keep companies engaged. The top firms, he explains, have one thing in common: they ask their employees for feedback and make plans for improvement based on the results.

“These best places to work, they focus on that word ‘culture,’” Burke says. “They want to know what their employees are thinking and feeling … and then they use the information.”