It’s not often that a company located downtown will give its employees free parking. But that’s exactly what management consulting firm Interis does for its employees, whether they’re at the top or the bottom of the corporate ladder.
© Mark Holleron
From left, Interis practice managers Harry Lake and Kelly Campbell, and regional vice-president and managing principal Carrie Gallo.
What appears on the surface to be a small gesture is part of a broader philosophy that Carrie Gallo, the regional vice-president and managing principal at the firm’s Ottawa office, describes as “the ability to make decisions at the lowest level.”
The idea extends to other parts of the business as well.
Employees at the company have the ability to produce the deliverables that end up in clients’ hands. Ms. Gallo says this contrasts with most other management consulting firms, where the only employees who have such authority are those who have reached the partner level.
It’s another way the firm makes its employees feel that even those at the bottom of the totem pole have a role to play in whether the company succeeds or fails.
“When people feel in control of their lives, there’s a little bit more engagement,” says Ms. Gallo in an interview at the boardroom of the firm’s office, located on the 20th storey of the tower at Slater and Kent streets.
She says this environment also helps the company make good use of the employees it tries to attract: self-starters who don’t like routine and are able to work on multiple projects at once.
Ms. Gallo also sees results from efforts to attract young workers, with a large percentage of co-op students who end up working for the company once their placement is complete.
The firm’s managers also try to create a workplace where employees connect with one another socially through events such as golfing and pool nights.
Women at the company also have a poker night – “the men are invited, they just choose not to come,” says Ms. Gallo with a laugh – and they also make an effort to recognize birthdays.
“We get involved in each others’ lives more personally and there’s a lot of friendships that happen outside the office,” says Ms. Gallo.
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