Picture this: A group of middle-aged men and women rocking out with a choreographed dance routine to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ at an ’80s-themed event in a local pub.
© Mark Holleron
Titus president and CEO Tim Upton, left, and vice-president of product management Charlie Pulfer.
A raucous weekend karaoke night?
Nope, that’s how Titus’s senior management team ended its annual general meeting last November – with an event called “Titus Rocks the ’80s,” hosted at the Heart & Crown pub on Preston Street, a stone’s throw away from the company’s office.
“It provided, at the very least, a little bit of entertainment,” says Titus president and CEO Tim Upton. “But it also breaks down barriers between management and everyone else.”
Staff at the information security company often have experience at larger technology companies, and employees are frequently surprised by the hands-on role and decision-making power they are granted at the smaller company, says Charlie Pulfer, co-founder and vice-president of product management.
“There’s not a lot of bureaucracy here, not a lot of layers to get approval from,” he says. “We give employees the ability to do some leading-edge stuff.”
Titus’s employee count grew by 40 per cent last year and is on track to do so again in 2013, according to the executives.
Amidst the hard work – which involves winning contracts with companies larger than 50,000 employees – there’s plenty of time for camaraderie around the office. The annual chili cookoff is coming up this month, and the summertime will see workers bringing in bouquets grown in their own gardens to see who has the finest flowers.
These employee-generated team-building contests are examples of the culture that Mr. Upton, a co-founder of the company, has tried to cultivate during his eight years at the helm.
“People seem to like working here,” he says. “To me, the culture is where people are allowed to contribute and are rewarded for that.”
(70 in Ottawa, five overseas)
CLIENTS: Large organizations with 50,000 or more employees. Would not disclose specifics.