Originally published in the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.
Silvacom Cultivates Careers – and Fun
At Silvacom, the social event of the season is an annual pig roast fundraiser. It brings together employees of the Edmonton-based, environmental consulting and software development firm and their families to support the company’s continued Corporate Social Responsibility efforts with Canadian charity, Classrooms for Africa.
But it’s by no means the only opportunity for Silvacom employees to enjoy each other’s company. Popular events also include a summer family picnic, a monthly catered lunch, an annual awards night, and fun days throughout the year, like their video game night, “The SilvaCup” and their highly competitive Chili Cook-off.
“We’re very results-oriented,” says company President and CEO, Tom Grabowski. “We see ourselves as professionals who respect, care for, and support one another. Whether we’re helping a client complete an ecosystem services assessment or developing a custom web application, we like to have fun doing it.”
Silvacom works hard at bringing out the best in its employees. That begins by listening, says Grabowski. The company conducts periodic staff surveys and tracks employee engagement every year using Gallup’s Q12 product. This year’s results showed Silvacom scored a higher employee engagement rate than 89 pre cent of the companies that completed the survey globally.
Silvacom invests in ongoing employee development by working with employees to find training options that both aligns with their natural talents or passions and that can potentially create new business opportunities for the company. They offer employees tuition subsidies for job-related courses and subsidies for professional accreditation.
The overall result, says Grabowski, is an extremely engaged staff and a vibrant team culture. “We’re not a micro-managed company,” he says. “We rely on our staff to participate and push the envelope. They get a lot of rope to make decisions and make a difference.”
Front-of-house administrative assistant, Lisa Davies, joined the company eight years ago as a new mom and was initially attracted to their family-friendly environment. The fun-loving atmosphere and the excellent benefits convinced her to stay.
Silvacom maintains a $1,000 flexible spending account, allowing employees to customize levels of coverage according to their personal needs like childcare expenses, RESP, RSP top-up, extra vacation time, or additional health care coverage. It also encourages healthy, active living by providing the opportunity to allocate funds towards health and fitness expenses.
“It’s one of those jobs where you never dread coming in in the morning,” says Davies. “There’s a healthy balance. We make sure the work is done, but we definitely make time to joke around with one another.”
The winners were announced on Wednesday, March 22 in a special magazine published in the Edmonton Journal and in the Calgary Herald. Read the full magazine.