Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 12, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Diabsolut Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2018):
- Diabsolut encourages employees to keep their skills up to date through generous tuition subsidies (with no annual maximum), subsidies for professional accreditation, and financial bonuses for the completion of some courses (up to $1,000)
- New employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation allowance to start as well as paid time off during the winter holidays and up to 4 paid personal days, which can be scheduled as needed
Diabsolut helps employees dictate their own future
Seven years ago, when human resources professional Sally De Rosa joined Diabsolut, a technology implementation and consulting firm, she was tasked with streamlining its HR processes. Diabsolut, based in the Montreal suburb of Pointe-Claire, Que., had just landed a big contract and needed to grow quickly beyond just 10 employees.
De Rosa then realized that other small and medium-sized businesses could also benefit from the cloud-based system she devised with a development partner. In 2016, HRWize became one of Diabsolut's four pillar businesses, with De Rosa as President and Chief HR Officer. For De Rosa, the company's encouragement to launch HRWize reflects its nurturing of employees' ambitions.
"What I love the most about Diabsolut is that one of our values is 'intra-preneurship' -- driving innovation within the business," says the 30-year-old, who is also Diabsolut's Vice-President of HR. "We are always hearing out new ideas to see if we can productize them. I'm not the only one in the organization that's been able to see through an idea like that."
But De Rosa notes that Diabsolut supports employee advancement in other ways, too. "I think a lot of companies say, 'Yeah, you can grow,' but at what pace? We've become this organization that really allows you to dictate your own future and provides you with the tools to make sure that it happens."
That is achieved through things like a customized onboarding process for each employee and monthly performance reviews; the latter cut the turnover rate from 26 per cent in 2016 to 13 per cent the following year. De Rosa notes that the firm also has buddy systems, mentors and coaches, as well as subsidies for tuition and professional accreditations.
Diabsolut started an internship program a few years ago that aims to bring students back for part-time and/or summer work and eventually lead some of them to full-time jobs. Stephen Sugumar is one of three former interns who worked at the firm while getting his software-engineering degree at Concordia University. He now has a permanent position as a Solutions Consultant and does some software development in the Field Service Management (FSM) line of business.
While an intern, he was given all kinds of training. "When I joined as a full-time employee, I already had about two years' worth of experience, so I was able to get right into the role," says the 24-year-old, who moved to the company's sales division in 2017. "In the past year, I've grown exponentially. Diabsolut is delightedly willing to help grow personal and career skills to maintain a quality understanding of the software and of being an employee. Whichever way you'd like to grow at Diabsolut, there's an option for you."
After three months' probation, Diabsolut employees can, if they wish, work at home one or two days a week, depending on their role. Still, Sugumar prefers to go to the office five days a week, in large part because of the camaraderie. "People are lovely here. You can go knock on anybody's door, tap on anybody's shoulder, even from another department, to talk. There's no, 'Oh, my boss is going to get angry that I'm not working.' It's a very sort of open office in that we're here to help each other out."
De Rosa says the company actively fosters that environment with regular lunches, pot lucks and happy hours. There are also bi-monthly lunch-and-learns and a breakfast club, the latter featuring a remote employee who talks about who they are and the job they perform via video conferencing. "Those are ways we can bring the company together so that we can get to know each other beyond just our roles," she says.
Diabsolut also offers fitness subsidies, bonuses, profit-sharing and a savings plan. Early in 2017, in the wake of a what De Rosa calls a "killer" 2016 for the company, the annual staff retreat took place in Cancun, so employees enjoyed a winter getaway at the company's expense.