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Turning accolades into opportunity - 7 ways to get better

April 14, 2015By

Last Thursday, Traction on Demand was recognized as one of the top 10 places to work in Canada, for the second year in a row by Great Place to Work Canada. Before I dig into anything, I want to clearly articulate how proud I am that we have been recognized by the only data driven HR recognition program in Canada at such a high level.

Many say you can measure your stature based on the company you keep. I am truly humbled to be accompanied by organizations like 360incentives, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, Vega and Habanero. Simply put, this award tells us that people at Traction feel recognized. Engaged. Fulfilled and appreciated. As a first time CEO, to run an organization that’s grown over 1600% in the last 4 years with this level of engagement is two things. Truly humbling and clearly beyond my wildest expectations.

While I do sincerely believe there are so many things that we have done right, it has not been without challenge. Error. Oversight and mistakes. Simply put, there is so much more we can do. Rather than boast about the good, I’ve chosen to focus this blog on what I believe we need to do to continue to improve our organization. To ensure that every person that works at Traction truly feels we are the best place to work on the planet. Period.

  • We will develop our skills. Through our growth, we’ve neglected to invest in soft skills, leadership and life planning. Our team has an incredible appetite for knowledge. We will make greater investments in them and provide them the tools to develop as people, professionals and leaders.
  • We will flatten our organization. As we’ve grown, we’ve tampered with our organizational structure. Changed groups, functions, roles and seating plans. We have not invested enough time in removing unnecessary layers, simplifying structures and providing a more supportive environment.
  • We will give our team members greater control over their time. So much of our work is dependent on meetings, conversations and group work. We will get intentional on grouping people together in a more consistent manner and initiate a more flexible work schedule. That allows our team members to work when they are most effective. We’ll measure our productivity based on output. Not time.
  • We will encourage sabbaticals and dream-chasing. Taking a bit of time off the merry-go-round from time to time can be the best thing for a person’s spirit. It gives them the space to consider course correction, get clear on what they need and what they don’t. Because after all, I don’t want someone at Traction waking up to realize they spent their youth on work and need to spend their money on buying back their health later in life.
  • We will adapt our workplace to be more inviting for women. Traction is 25% women. Although above industry standard, there is room for improvement. This number has not been intentional, more a product of our networks, referrals and social groups. We want greater diversity in thought, experience and skill.In order for us to drive towards a more balanced workforce, we will invest time and energy into finding great veins of talent that may be outside of our immediate networks. We are embracing Lean In and will look to leaders like Vega and RBC to learn how we can improve in this area.
  • We will improve the health of every person at Traction, mentally and physically. We will make our office a place that supports health. We will provide education to our team and support them in their pursuit for a healthy life. We will act as a community, supporting each other.
  • We will continue to bend our organization around the interests of its people. A year ago, we decided to hang our first product company shingle to see if we could do it. Thirty thousand paying users later, we now better understand how to launch companies from a company. We will be making investments in team member’s ideas and move into the next phase of our entrepreneurial vision.

While some may find this post ironic, I believe that our unrelenting desire to improve and raise our own bar is what makes Traction a place that continues to house the most talented group of people I’ve worked with in my life. To the team: Thank you for believing. Thank you for enduring. Thank you for caring so much. Now. Let’s get rolling.

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