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DataKinetics believes ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’

Focusing on people first makes them one of Ottawa’s Best Places to Work

DataKinetics lead image

Why is DataKinetics one of Ottawa’s Best Places to Work?

“For us, it’s one word: culture,” says Allan Zander, CEO of the tech company that’s been serving Fortune 500 financial companies for nearly 50 years. 

It’s why he and his team appreciate management consultant Peter Drucker’s famous quote “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” 

And based on the frequency of unsolicited compliments Zander’s leadership team gets from their staff and customers it’s a winning strategy. 

“We often hear things like ‘I wish all companies were more like you’ and ‘This is the best support I’ve ever received,” said Zander. “These are unsolicited quotes we’ve heard dozens of times over the past 10 years.”

The biggest lesson Zander and his leadership team have learned is this: you’re only as good as your people. It’s why they’ve built a crack team of innovative thinkers to serve their existing customers and new markets as they continue to diversify and chase exciting new opportunities.

People before profits 

At DataKinetics, good pay, benefits and perks are just the beginning to their people-first work culture. 

“We foster our team’s camaraderie by hiring the right people who blend together well,” said Randy McCoy, DataKinetics ‘huggable’ CFO, who also happens to head their HR department.  

They do that with weekly corporate lunches, in addition to offering perks like extra days off at Christmas and on your birthday, RRSP matching, and regular opportunities to nab a couple of Sens tickets, to name a few.

DataKinetics Christmas

The results speak for themselves. “The team’s loyalty says it all,” said McCoy. “Our founders are still active board members and we just honoured four employees for decades-long service milestones.”

This people-first strategy also paid off during the pandemic, with the team’s camaraderie making it easy to pivot to working from home while improving their productivity. 

“Many people in my network struggled with losing staff during the pandemic,” said McCoy. “But DataKinetics benefited from the tremendous loyalty we’ve built over the years and didn’t suffer the turnover that others did.”

What’s clear is that the camaraderie and trust comes from leadership setting the example of leaving their egos at the door. 

“Open communication, feedback, transparency and a true sense of team accomplishments really go a long way to leveling the playing field for everyone to feel comfortable and perform at their best,” said McCoy.  

DataKinetics lunch

They credit Zander’s conversational communication style in particular. “Allan trusts everyone to do the right thing, seeks input, sets a consistent direction and approach and then gets out of the way,” said McCoy. “People respond better when they know what to expect.”

And what the DataKinetics team can expect are opportunities for personal and professional development, as well as an open and flexible communication style and organizational structure.

“Fun and humour go a long way here. Even when things have been challenging, we’ll find a way to get a chuckle out of each other,” said Zander. 

When you take care of your team, they take care of your customers

While Zander is credited with knowing everyone’s name and taking pride in being approachable, he’s no stranger to a punchy line when it’s called for, like the way he encapsulates his team’s commitment to customer service.

”The sun never sets on a customer on fire,” he says. 

Make no mistake, no one on this team — especially the chief products officer Larry Strickland, who happens to be a volunteer firefighter — is dousing flames every day, anything but. 

But if there is a fire to put out, being customer-centric means they don’t care who started it. 

“Sometimes we work hard only to find the problem isn’t with our product, but as long as we’re making our customers happy, we’re happy,” said Strickland. “I often hear, ‘I wish more companies were like you’ for the outstanding quality of the products and the support my team provides.”

DataKinetics party

The sense of pride they feel after a customer thanks them for receiving after-hours support helps set the bar that will take DataKinetics into the future.

“We never stop reinventing ourselves,” said Zander, speaking to how their core values of innovation, drive and execution have kept them in business for 45 years. “We have several irons in the fire with new customers, partners and diversification initiatives that can really accelerate our future growth.”

Top-5 reasons to work at DataKinetics

  1. DataKinetics is almost 50 years old with a successful track record of serving Fortune 500 companies
  2. DataKinetics believes that good pay, benefits and perks are just the beginning to its people-first work culture
  3. DataKinetics founders still sit on the board, decades after it was founded; other employees have hit long-service milestones
  4. DataKinetics employees enjoy weekly team lunches, extra days off at Christmas and birthdays, RRSP matching and perks like Senators tickets
  5. DataKinetics believes in charitable giving, supporting the Ottawa Hospital and the United Way; employees volunteer as board members for charities, help with local churches, work with new Canadians and even help fight fires!

DataKinetics job openings

Openings as of October 2023

  • Finance Director
  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Senior Technical Writing Consultant
  • Dev Ops

If you’re looking to work with great people at a great company, where the CEO knows everyone’s name, you can contact DataKinetics here