EMPLOYEES' CHOICE AWARDS: Veritaaq benefits from full disclosure

Peter
Peter Kovessy
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While companies all over Ottawa look for creative ways to give back to the community, Veritaaq president Paul Genier does so with recipes for borscht and Olivier salad.

Veritaaq president Paul Genier.

The secrets behind both Russian dishes are his contributions to an upcoming cookbook containing family recipes from Veritaaq employees.

All the proceeds – along with funds raised through company penny drives and other employee-driven initiatives – will go towards a fundraising campaign to “adopt” a village in the Mwangaza region of Kenya and construct a water and sanitation system as well as a school.

“The excitement and enthusiasm really surprised us,” says Mr. Genier. “This went beyond our own expectations.”

Whether it’s raising money to help African villages or rocketing past corporate sales targets, Veritaaq employees frequently rally around collective targets. And it’s that ability to collaborate that has allowed the IT staffing and consulting firm to rapidly grow and become a leading supplier to the federal government, says Mr. Genier.

“In order to compete against larger companies that have more employees and more resources, we need to work better as a team,” he says.

At the start of each fiscal year, company managers set a revenue-related internal target. They also set a “super-stretch” goal that’s typically 10 per cent higher. If the company hits the latter, all the employees and their spouses are treated to a tropical vacation.

Staff attend monthly breakfast meetings during which they’re briefed on the company’s performance to date, including profitability and margin figures. Mr. Genier says such disclosure gives employees ownership of the company’s targets.

“We’re in this as a team,” he says.

In the last four years, company staff have hit their “super” target twice, most recently earning a trip to Mexico last fall. While Mr. Genier says it is a reward for a year’s worth of hard work, he concedes it also helps foster a sense of teamwork that helps set the company up for success in the year ahead.

“When you can go away for four days and have a margarita or a cerveza with your colleague on the beach … it just brings the team that much closer together.”

VERITAAQ

FOUNDED: 1983

EMPLOYEES: 50

CLIENTS: Canadian federal government, Bell, Rogers, TD Bank, Scotiabank and Telus

ECAs: 1

Organizations: TD Bank, Scotiabank

Geographic location: Kenya, Mexico

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