The Employees' Choice Awards were handed out Feb. 25 at the Marshes Golf Club. From Feb. 29 to March 11, OBJ is profiling one winner a day. Today, we feature Martello Technologies.
© file photo
Martello's executives strive to keep customers in contact with company staff.
Bruce Linton knows all too well the angst that can come with being in the software business.
Unlike car manufacturing, for example, itâs not always easy to stand back at the end of the day and say, âThis is what I built.â The process happens in fits and starts, and it can be a long time, if ever, before an initial idea comes to fruition.
Thatâs why the president and CEO of Kanataâs Martello Technologies says providing employees with constant feedback is so important.
âSoftware is an abstract art,â says Mr. Linton, whose firm makes performance management software for Mitel unified communications systems. âYouâre creating something that is difficult for most people to fully appreciate and understand what youâre working on. Itâs very difficult to know, did I do a great job? Did I build something people need? Have I fulfilled some specific expectation?â
To that end, the companyâs software engineers have âdaily scrumsâ where they talk directly to clients to make sure Martelloâs products are meeting their needs and find out what areas could be tweaked or upgraded.
While at many companies such discussions are theoretical, Mr. Linton says, âOurs are real. Thatâs what gives the energy to everybody.â Itâs easier to create a positive work environment, he adds, if employees are doing âreal work for real end users.â
It must be working. Not only did Martello just receive its first Employeesâ Choice Award, the company also topped OBJâs list of Ottawaâs fastest-growing companies last spring, with three-year revenue growth of more than 600 per cent.
So while the firm does offer many of the typical perks of the tech world such as exercise programs and team social events, Mr. Linton says what really matters to Martelloâs staff is that they are part of a dynamic organization that is delivering practical software solutions to thousands of clients.
âFifteen, 20 years ago, a lot of the work environment stimulus was intended to be that open kitchen and those things, which are all great,â he explains. âThose are nice, but it really is, at least for our sector âŠ what (employees) are looking for is a place that isnât just a concept but has actual traction. The charge in our atmosphere has been driven by getting over the hump and generating profit. That really is a positive thing in the workplace.â
He says the companyâs success has sparked âa chain of events that results in meaningful work done for real clients in an environment thatâs pleasant. I think all those things kind of went together quite well this year.â
Employees: 22 in Ottawa; 28 overall
What theyâre doing right:
Offering employees constant feedback
Making staff feel like theyâre part of a growing success story with a significant upside