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 ProServeIT Corporation was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2018):
- ProServeIT helps employees save for the longer term through matching RSP contributions and lets everyone share in the company's success with profit-sharing
- Along with subsidies for professional accreditations, ProServeIT encourages employees to keep their skills sharp with full tuition subsidies for courses related to their current position
Positivity and compassion power ProServeIt
When Heather Hisey fell at home and smashed her heel, she was confined to her home for several months. Her bosses at ProServeIT Corporation did more than send a Get Well Soon card and a bunch of flowers.
Instead, they arranged through a local restaurant to deliver meals for three days to her and her family. "That's typical of their caring attitude," says Hisey. "If people are experiencing a personal emergency, the company is incredibly supportive -- the level of compassion makes ProServeIT really stand out."
For President Eric Sugar, caring sincerely about employees is what makes ProServeIT special. "We are in a highly technical business," Sugar says, "but we focus on the personal, whether it is the customer or the employee. Technology can't help without the person behind it."
He explains: "You can have phenomenal technology, but you will have awful productivity if it is being implemented by unhappy people. To be competitive, you need the magic of a positive workforce with leading-edge technology."
Creating a happy -- and productive -- workforce starts with picking the right people. "When hiring, we always look at the personality," Sugar says. "It's all about attitude. We want people who want to help other people. We want people who want to grow.
"We also want people with a passion for learning, a passion for experimentation and who feel comfortable in a family-oriented office. Rarely do we focus on technical skills -- we can bolt that on later."
Indeed, professional development is integral to working at ProServeIT. "Our business works at a frantic pace," says Sugar. "If we stop learning, we will fall behind. But we also emphasize soft-skills training so staff can grow as a person."
Hisey, officially the company's Administrative Assistant but, according to Sugar, "the glue that binds us," is also involved in the hiring process. She sums up the process this way: "We look for people who enjoy being with other people, someone who would go nuts if they had to sit in a corner alone on their computer."
ProServeIT, specializing in migrating Microsoft technologies to the cloud, is a managed services, custom software development and technology consulting company based in Mississauga, Ont., but with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Paris and Vietnam. That global reach allows for 24/7 customer service so employees everywhere can put in relatively normal shifts.
"Work can get pretty intensive, and it's important for people to unwind at home," says Sugar, who has been with the company almost since Day One in 2002, starting as a consultant and working his way up to the executive ranks before becoming president three years ago in a management buyout.
Sugar makes sure ProServeIT doesn't demonstrate its caring nature only in times of employee distress. Newborns are greeted with baby baskets, and there are also housewarming gifts. "A small gesture or a thank-you can go a long way in creating a positive workplace," he says.
ProServeIT will even reject or dismiss a client who it feels isn't a right fit for its people. Indeed, clients have been dropped if they are rude to ProServeIT staff. "If someone needs to vent, they can pick up the phone and vent to me," Sugar says. "But don't abuse our people."
Employees are also well looked after financially. There's profit sharing for everyone, employee RRSP contributions are matched up to three per cent of salary, and employee referral bonuses can reach $2,000. The health plan is so structured that up to $1,000 of unused benefits can go back to the employee.
However, it's the "personal touch" that Hisey says makes ProServeIT an "amazing" company to work for. She had a varied work experience before joining ProServeIT nine years ago, everything from an HR specialist to an immigration officer. "I've never experienced such camaraderie anywhere else," Hisey says. "And fun -- and compassion."