Giving Employees Space To Grow

How a global telematics leader fosters a healthy culture of work-life balance.

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Courtesy of Getty Images.
Courtesy of Getty Images.

Thanks to the World Health Organization, we now know that burnout is officially a workplace crisis. Although the unemployment rate in the U.S. is at an all-time low, for example, burn-out may be reaching an all-time high in many sectors. Physicians report burnout rates up to 54 percent depending on specialty. In the tech field, it’s even worse. In a survey of 11,000 employees at 30 of the largest tech companies, 57.16 percent on average reported that they feel burnt out, with the highest company burnout rate at 70 percent. In Canada, where Geotab’s worldwide headquarters are located, one survey indicates that 96 percent of managers report their staff experiences some degree of burnout while another suggests up to 95 percent of Canadian workers express feeling somewhat burnt out.

In the digital age of information overload, helping employees maintain a healthy work-life balance doesn’t come easy, but it is something that can be achieved with the right approach and leaders who walk the talk. At Geotab, we focus on building a company culture with the recognition of employees as our top priority. Why? Because at the end of the day, appreciation and respect are what truly drives people to do their best.

Increasingly, studies show that when it comes to inspiring people to put forth their best efforts, recognition has proven to be critical. This is certainly what we have discovered over the years at Geotab. The key to our success is simple: We invest in more than our technology. We invest in a better future by ensuring our people feel appreciated and are given the space to grow in every area of their lives. We value our employees and make sure to show it: Here’s how: 

1.       We strive to represent the core values in our handbook, which includes going above and beyond the norm. We are collaborators with a goal to be transparent, do the right thing and keep it simple.

2.       We inspire through leadership. Our CEO Neil Cawse has an open-door policy in the office. He is still as involved as ever in the technology pieces of the organization just as much as he is the culture.

3.       We support continuous learning. The tech world is dynamic, ever changing and always challenging our staff. In order to keep up and develop the future careers of our team, we subsidize various forms of continuous learning, allowing staff to obtain professional designations, complete online courses, certifications and even additional degrees. Geotab also has a Women in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Mathematics) program in place, which allows our female employees to provide mentorship to aspiring STEM students. 

4.       We work hard and play hard. Geotab encourages its employees to have work-life balance. This means offering employees a subsidized gym membership as well as the opportunity to join softball, basketball, hockey and soccer teams. We also plan a host of social events including game and movie nights.

5.       We offer great benefits including generous medical coverage in many locations, as well as a company matching retirement savings plan. Employees are also encouraged to take advantage of flexible hours, with the ability to work from home and time off for life events.

6.       Everything adds up to a balanced life. We understand the demands that life, work and family can impose. Beyond gym benefits and nap pods for rejuvenation, we provide daily breakfast options and lunch on Fridays.

These are just some of the many reasons that we have been successful in building strong relationships, increasing productivity and fostering company loyalty. After a thorough and independent analysis, Geotab was officially certified as a great workplace by Great Place to Work® Canada. This certification is based on direct feedback from employees, provided as part of an extensive and anonymous survey about the workplace experience. In 2018 we were named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies by Deloitte and made the list of Best Workplaces in Canada for Millennials, for Women, for Inclusion and for Technology .

With 10 employees who were mostly members of our own family, Geotab was launched by my brother, Neil Cawse, from the basement of his home in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Today, it is no different—outside the fact that we are now the largest connected car company in the world with a global staff of over 1,200 employees helping us grow at a rate of 110 percent since last year. We are still a family. And we share a common goal to make a positive impact on the world, in our communities, and more importantly, in our relationships. If success—and a healthy work-life balance—can be determined by that alone, we have indeed achieved it. 

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