Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 11, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why D&D Automation Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2019):
- D&D Automation lets everyone share in the company's success with profit-sharing and offers generous referral bonuses for employees who recruit candidates from their personal networks, up to $5,000 for successful hires
- D&D Automation supports local and national charitable initiatives each year and encourages employees to give back to the community with paid time off to volunteer and matching employee donations of up to $500
D&D Automation is a teaching and learning machine
As Sales Manager for D&D Automation Inc. of Stratford, Ont., Keith McIntosh doesn't pretend to have all the answers. "There's plenty of technical knowledge in our building - people who know everything about the industry. I'm not that person. But I can take the technical knowledge that our team has and make sure it's delivered in a way that the customer wants to hear."
D&D Automation Inc. is a specialty engineering firm. It designs and implements industrial automation control systems for industrial conveyors and machinery, manufacturing lines, process environments and other automated facilities.
The company has enjoyed steady growth and expects to hire 20 additional employees in 2019, bringing its total staff to 90-plus. It recently advertised openings for a senior project manager, with training and experience in electrical engineering; controls and automation specialists, with experience in the automotive sector; and accounting personnel, with either post-secondary accounting education or equivalent work experience.
"We're always looking for top talent," says President Michael McCourt. "We try to develop and promote from within, but we are also looking for leadership talent from outside." He is proud that the company's turnover rate is well below the industry s average. "And when people do leave, I want them to remember this as the best job they have ever had," he says.
McIntosh values the trust and flexibility that the company shows its employees. "Everyone around here is trusted to do their job," he says. And a balance is maintained between business travel and home life. "If you've been on the road for a while and need more time with family the next week, of course, go for it."
McIntosh has been with D&D just over two years. His first day included a "new guy/gal lunch," a D&D tradition in which a new hire is introduced to co-workers at an on-site barbecue or at a nearby restaurant on his or her first day. "It takes away the nervousness," he says. "You get that community feeling right away."
Mentorship is a major part of D&D's workplace culture. "Employees need to know they have permission to ask," says McCourt. "Mentoring has to be more than just your boss telling you what to do." McIntosh, for example, helps develop the internal sales process. So on average, he mentors up to 10 employees, including some senior project managers.
D&D is a "teaching and learning machine," says McCourt. The employer pays full tuition when staff pursue external courses in areas such as engineering, project management or leadership skills. "The criterion for reimbursement is, will the course help you in your career," says McCourt. Last August, for example, McIntosh attended a two-day Sandler sales course in London, Ont. that proved valuable.
For its controls and automation specialists, D&D introduced the Tech Leader program, which allows them to progress through five levels to attain guru proficiency in one or more of the industry's technology platforms. The program includes working in the field with a customer as well as instruction in labs in D&D's warehouse.
McCourt has also originated the Platinum Club, where up to a dozen D&D employees select relevant books to read and discuss. "We often discuss the content at a lunch & learn, but sometimes the reading will come up for discussion at a regular staff meeting," says McCourt. The club's selections are even taken on the road. "Because I'm driving so much," says McIntosh, "I often get the book's audio version and listen to it along the way."