Our journey to becoming a Top Employer
By Pamela Hampel, Bits In Glass
Last year was a BIG one for us at Bits In Glass. (Get it? BIG = Bits In Glass!) When planning our annual corporate priorities, our leadership team unanimously agreed that our #1 priority was our people. We all understood that in order for us to hit our 3-year fiscal goal, it was instrumental that our people were our guiding star.
Not only did we set an aggressive corporate goal of recruiting new team members, but our top HR goal was retaining our incredible team (what we call our Biggies). I knew that being recognized as a Top Employer would be a great step in meeting both goals. Putting our employee programs at the top of our priority list would not only help attract new talent but also help retain our amazing Biggies. So how did we work towards it?
First and foremost, we take our annual engagement feedback seriously. We are lucky to have a highly engaged team, and we listen and make changes based on our Biggies feedback. We know there are always areas we can improve! It’s empowering to follow-up on the survey with “we heard you say [x], and so we’re taking action by doing [x].” This shows our Biggies that we appreciate them, value their comments, and that they can bring ideas forward and we’ll do our best to make changes.
We know that the right type of recognition builds a great place to work. Our online recognition system encourages Biggies to recognize each other in eight different areas that meet our core values of teamwork, trust, learning, leadership, and customer focus. Not only does this program reinforce and highlight the type of behavior we want to foster, but it also meets the intrinsic needs of our team by acknowledging a job well done. We have a Slack channel that posts each recognition given so everyone can see and congratulate each other.
Our team adopted this program immediately and enthusiastically without much prompting from HR. Every quarter I am blown away by the number of recognitions awarded! Our team is a mixture of local and remote employees, and recognition is always well spread across different lines of business, departments, offices, and cities.
As a company, we recognize the person who received the most recognition each quarter and celebrate the Biggie who gave the most recognition. The winners get announced to the whole team and the below awesome trophy is sent to each quarterly recipient to proudly display on their desk!
Diversity & respect
While it’s awesome to have cool workspaces and perks that attract employees (our sit-stand desks/foosball/ping pong/office snacks, quarterly events, and much more), we believe one of the most important components of a great organization is inclusivity and respect.
This is one area within our annual employee engagement survey that we consistently rank the highest in. Last year, 95% of our team agreed we’re committed to providing a diverse and inclusive environment. We have a very diverse group of talented Biggies that bring BIG ideas and unique perspectives to every office, project, meeting, and event; making our team stronger and more connected.
Finally, we make time for fun! We spend a lot of time with our work families, so we make sure we provide an environment where Biggies are encouraged to take a break and have some fun together.
We have a BIG volleyball team, crazy team challenges, silly days of celebration like our combo international sushi and Tupac birthday celebration day, weekly happy hours, in-office massage therapy days, and much more. We also plan quarterly events like nerf wars, brewery tours, and team dinners to help foster employee relationships and thank everyone for their hard work with a fun night out, on us.
We also plan ways for our team to come together and give back throughout the year. We’ve volunteered at our local food banks, rode bikes for the heart and stroke foundation, and sponsored families in need over the holidays.
I’m so pleased and honored to say that not only did we reach our goal of being recognized as one of Canada’s Top Employers, for Small and Medium companies, but the excitement continues to roll in! Over the past year, we’ve also been recognized as one of the overall Best Places to Work, Best Place to Work for Young People, one of the Most Inclusive Places to Work (my personal favorite), and most recently we were recognized as one of the Great Places to work in both Alberta and Denver, for the second year in a row!
We look forward to continuing to be an employer of choice and can’t wait to see how we grow even more over the next year.
About the author
With more than 10 years of Human Resources experience working in interactive marketing and the oil and gas sector, Pamela has significant expertise in employee relations, strategic planning, and consulting. Her diversified experience securing high-performing talent, HR programs, training and development, employee relations, and more has helped the company scale while maintaining our strong team culture. Now she leads a team of HR professionals that share her passion for technology and culture.