Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 24, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why /N SPRO Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2017):
- /N SPRO encourages employees to become owners through a share purchase plan, available to all employees, and lets everyone share in the company's financial success with profit-sharing
- /N SPRO helps employees keep their skills sharp with in-house and online training programs, subsidies for professional accreditation and unlimited tuition subsidies for job-related courses
- /N SPRO employees enjoy a number of fun social events every year, employee sports teams and even a corporate retreat to a sunny destination such as Cancun, Mexico
/N SPRO consultants can work from anywhere
Gloria To joined Montreal-based /N SPRO Inc. two years ago, shortly after earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the city's Concordia University, and she's found a corporate culture that's a perfect fit for her. Founded in 2003, the company (pronounced "en-spro") delivers consulting services for users of SuccessFactors, a human resources software owned by the German multinational company SAP SE.
"It's a very collaborative environment where everyone helps everyone, whether you're an associate consultant, a practice director or a vice-president," says To, who is an Associate Consultant. "You wake up in the morning and you're excited to go to work because you get this great sense of community."
But as communities go, /N SPRO's is a little different. There is a strong emphasis on virtual collaboration since about half the company's workforce is located outside Montreal. "We leverage an online social platform to ask each other questions and to post blogs or short papers on lessons we've learned from past projects," says To.
As a professional services firm, /N SPRO provides clients across North America with business consulting, implementation and on-going sustainment services for the cloud-based SuccessFactors software -- most of which can be done from any location with an internet connection.
"The hours you work and where you work from are flexible," says /N SPRO President Luc Hedou. "It's not necessary to be in a company office and that's something our people appreciate, especially millennials."
/N SPRO has employees in almost every large Canadian city from Halifax to Vancouver, as well as several employees scattered across the U.S. -- from Boston and Florida in the east to Arizona and California in the west.
The company brings all new hires to the Montreal head office for a week of onboarding. "The office is important as an incubator," says Hedou. "It's very helpful to meet the group, walk the halls, feel they're part of something and to learn the software."
Once a year, Hedou gathers his scattered tribe for an annual retreat, usually at a resort in a warm and sunny location. This year the event was held over four days in late March at a resort in Playa del Carmen on Mexico's Mayan Riviera.
In addition to flexibility and sunny retreats, heavy importance is placed on training and professional development for all team members. This occurs year-round, though a good part of it is delivered online by necessity.
"A lot of our learning comes from a system called the Learning Hub," says To. "All our managers and directors give us time to complete this training. I can meet with my manager and say I want to complete a new section and she will be completely open to it."
Hedou adds that consultants require a broad array of skills in order to be effective. "First, they need to know the software that they're going to implement," he says. "Soft skills, such as assertiveness and being a good communicator, are also extremely important. We've hired external firms to come in and do training on-site and some of it occurs in-house."
Beyond certification courses, /N SPRO covers the cost for employees to take Dale Carnegie leadership courses and provides subsidies for professional accreditations and unlimited tuition subsidies for job-related courses.
"We're a rapidly growing company and with growth comes opportunity -- both personally and professionally -- especially if you're young and like adventure," Hedou says. "We have our eye on Australia as our next market."