Mississauga, ON, Canada
|Editor’s Summary: Work for an IoT and Mobility leader serving almost 20,000 customers with a culture of growth, innovation and fun. You will thrive here if you have raw intelligence, passion, and an aptitude to learn. Employee feedback welcomed. Enjoy amazing healthcare benefits and “Tiger Teams” which get you working outside your comfort zone – even in other departments. In addition, the company focuses on educating the younger generation to code via tech-focused community events in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Finally, you could win peer selected “Your Rock” recognition as well as an MVP program with a trophy presentation.|
Intro: Worldwide, SOTI is a sought-after company to work for due to the organization’s solid reputation as a market leader and industry pioneer in mobility and IoT solutions. The company is known globally for its focus on innovation, high career growth opportunities and an ability to stay ahead of the curve in a fast-paced sector.
Additionally, many are drawn to SOTI because of the company’s clear vision and focus on growth. This vision is articulated by the company’s Founder and CEO Carl Rodrigues and backed by his strong leadership and humble story of entrepreneurial success. Carl has instilled within the company a vision to grow the business centered on empowering employees to build quality products and solutions for its over 17,000 enterprise customers. In establishing SOTI’s core values and goals, the company begins with its most important asset: the people who work here. SOTI focuses on the training and development of all team member at every level, so they can be empowered in their roles and make the right decisions for SOTI, its partners and customers. This philosophy is something that attracts potential candidates to the company and is demonstrated every day in the people who work at SOTI.
Lastly, SOTI’s incredible growth as a company is extremely attractive to candidates. The company has experienced rapid and exponential growth year-over-year (in fact, it increased its revenues by 163% between 2015 – 2018), and as a result, candidates see SOTI as a leading force in the innovation economy, and something they want to be part of. This high growth environment is appealing to candidates as it confirms that there is tremendous potential to grow their career at SOTI and be a part of something big.
SOTI provides opportunities for team members to progress and grow. It is part of the SOTI culture and the company is always looking for high performers within the organization and emphasizes promoting from within. Having open discussions with team members to help them drive their careers forward, remains a top priority for the company.
Additionally, SOTI believes in expanding opportunities for team members within the company. One way this is done is by forming “Tiger Teams.” These teams are formed when a project falls between departments or is new to the company. Rather than hiring outside consultants, SOTI managers will often create a new team from different departments to encourage people to get outside of their comfort zones and learn something new.
SOTI also has a robust internal application program in place for employees to apply for different types of jobs within the company. This program provides employees with new opportunities to grow at the organization, rather than seeking them outside of the company.
In May 2019, SOTI launched its first-ever global employee engagement survey to help inform new initiatives (and fine-tune existing ones) that lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction. SOTI prides itself on being an employer that listens to its people; it is important that every employee feels involved, rewarded, and engaged, and this new initiative further reinforces the company’s commitment to ensuring all employee voices are heard worldwide. The global employee engagement survey achieved a record participation rate of 91% which is an incredible achievement considering the average industry participation rate is under 70%. SOTI’s high level of participation is a testament to the fact that the company’s best assets are its people. They care and it shows; SOTI employees have a high level of engagement and participation with a vested interest in making SOTI their career destination of choice.
SOTI has also set up cross-functional teams and volunteer committees that led to the development of top 5 employee-voted initiatives – from Communications & Transparency to Benefits & compensation – that further enhance and ensure alignment with the needs of all SOTI employees.
SOTI has a traditional office layout and environment but one that contains several communal gathering areas with non-traditional furnishings like bean bag chairs that encourage inclusion and collaboration. SOTI leaders work on the floor and in the trenches alongside their team members. Additionally, SOTI offices are laid out with whiteboards everywhere because you never know when a creative idea or discussion might sprout up.
Creative meeting places:
Where appropriate, SOTI actively encourages employees to venture out of the familiar confines of the office to hold meetings. SOTI’s philosophy of employee empowerment means offering them the ability to hold meetings in environments that allows the creativity and wellbeing of team members to flourish. Most commonly, employees have conducted meetings while walking in our outdoor office courtyard, at a nearby park as well as on the roof of our own building.
Additionally, SOTI holds an annual conference called SOTI SYNC which is typically held at a different location around the world each year, so it is appealing to the entire global team. Recent SOTI SYNC conferences have been held in Dublin, Ireland, Toronto, Canada, Niagara Falls and the London Bridge.
SOTI offers gym membership discounts and is expanding its health and wellness offering. SOTI hosts free yoga classes for employees over the lunch hour. These classes are offered in the Canada office weekly and the UK office biweekly and are a favorite wellness activity among employees.
Regular weekly activities offered at off-site facilities including basketball, badminton, volleyball and soccer.
SOTI has allocated in its budget team building funds that managers of each departments can use. This has allowed for small teams and groups to bond together very well and contributes to a positive and collegial work environment. There are also various other events organized by the SOTI Social Committee, including cleaning up local parks for Earth Day, Colour Run, Blue Jays Games, and celebrations with cake in the office. These events are held at minimum once per month.
In addition to the Annual Ski & Snowboard Day in Canada, SOTI holds two major events throughout the year to foster comradery and fun among employees; SOTI Day and the SOTI Holiday Party. The SOTI Holiday party is a true celebration of the year’s accomplishments. The company always has a few “acts” from employees joining together to entertain everyone in attendance. SOTI Day is a highly anticipated, all-day company picnic held on a workday and is chockfull of team building activities such as tug-of-war, water pass games, a climbing wall and more. Employees are divided into cross-functional teams to encourage bonding and teamwork amongst different teams and with employees they don’t normally interact with on a regular basis. These teams receive brightly-colored T-shirts the week before SOTI Day so they can start seeing their team members in the office leading up to the event. These teams officially form on SOTI Day but often live on throughout the year. It’s not unusual to see two different employees from different departments fist bumping the hallway saying, “Team Coral”. In addition to bragging rights, there is a trophy and pizza lunch for the winning team.
How corporate vision is communicated:
SOTI believes that every employee is connected to the success of the company. The company has aligned its corporate goals which are discussed in the quarterly town hall, “SOTI Pulse Live”. Employees set goals with their manager that aligns with the corporate goals so they understand how they can contribute to the wider company vision. These goals are discussed in regular 1-on-1 meetings and are visible in the company HRIS system to keep them top of mind and show employees that they really can make a difference at the company.
The company hosts a SOTI Unplugged session, an open forum session held at 11:30 am every other Friday in lunchrooms globally. This is where executives hold an information session whereby any employee can attend and ask questions pertaining to the business. It could be anything from new programs, to new partnerships. At these sessions, the CEO has been known to share stories about how SOTI started, and how the rapid growth of the company has brought the company to where it is today. By sharing such stories, employees feel connected to the organization and believe in the vision of the company. Employees walk away from those events knowing the day-to-day work that they do is making an impact on places here at home but also in distant and remote locations. In the weekly company newsletter, Pulse, a section provides value and inspires employees to develop themselves both personally and professionally. This content ranges from TED talks, to published articles that touch on inspirational and motivational content.
SOTI has numerous formal and informal programs to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to make suggestions which can spur positive change at the company. Formal programs include MyVoice, SOTI Unplugged and SOTI Jolt. MyVoice allows employees to make recommendations for all areas of the business and is posted on the company’s internal site to allow for upvoting. Like a town hall, SOTI Unplugged sessions provides a forum for employees to ask questions and make suggestions to different functional leads in a public session. SOTI Jolt encourages team members to come up with new ideas and innovations and present them formally to a panel. Employees get direct feedback and coaching, and their ideas are often integrated into SOTI’s dynamic workflow.
SOTI is extremely appreciative of the efforts, energy and passion of its employees. A variety of different programs are in place that allow employees to be recognized including a peer-to-peer program called SOTI “You Rock”. This global program is run through the internal Pulse site/community, where an employee can nominate other employees from around the world to thank and recognize them for contributions they made in the areas of Spirit, Overachievement, Teambuilding and Innovation. The blurb written about that person as well as their picture are displayed on the home page of Pulse to highlight and recognize those individuals. Pictures of the most recent Rockstars are also posted in SOTI office kitchens around the world. An internal points system is also attached to this program where points can be redeemed for cool SOTI branded merchandise. Items include clothing, Bluetooth speakers, battery power packs, backpacks, mugs, and much more! The company receives over 460 nominations per year and each one is celebrated in the ways mentioned.
SOTI also recognizes that the soul of the company is its people. The company encourages referrals of team members through the employee referral program, SOTI “They Rock”. Employee referrals can have payouts of up to $12,000 that completely blows away new employees when they hear about such a rewarding program. This program truly rewards employees for bringing in top talent to work at the company. There is also an annual recognition program that recognizes the top 3% of employees globally through the SOTI MVP program. These are very sought-after awards and just being nominated is an honor. The nomination and voting committee consist of the global management team with heavy weighting from the senior leadership team. The MVPs are awarded a trophy at the annual holiday party in front of their peers and partners with a speech by the company CEO/COO and/or Regional HR Leader about the contribution of the MVPs throughout the year. There is a permanent plaque displaying all SOTI MVPs annually in the hallway of our Canadian head office. MVPs also have a banner put on their employee picture that shows in Microsoft Outlook, our internal Pulse site and HRIS system, so they will always be known as a SOTI MVP.
Employees that earn this level of recognition are regarded as mentors and coaches by other employees. From a sales organization standpoint, there is the President’s Club where members who exceed sales targets are recognized for their achievements and celebrated accordingly. This program also extends to non-sales personnel that help support the sales team and revenue generating activities. On a smaller scale, recognition programs also include lunch and dinner outings, gift cards, and team recognition awards.
SOTI has both formal and informal programs in place to ensure that all employees can make suggestions. Formal programs include Suggestion Box/MyVoice, SOTI Unplugged and SOTI Jolt, and Tiger Teams. Suggestion Box/MyVoice, described above, allows employees to make suggestions for all areas of the business and upvote or downvote to gain a collective consensus and assign priority to items. SOTI Unplugged sessions allow employees to ask questions and make suggestions to different functional leads in a public session. SOTI Jolt encourages team members to come up with ideas or innovations and present them formally to a panel. Employees get direct feedback, coaching and often implement their ideas into SOTI’s dynamic workflow. Tiger Teams are formed for special projects where groups of employees from different areas, departments and backgrounds are needed to solve business issues. Informal programs include a culture of open communication and an open-door policy. From these programs, we have acted on great employee suggestions such as instituting an RRSP program, forming relationships with local daycares for discounts, increasing Personal Time Off, improving the customer feature request system, adding a snack table, enhancing the benefits program, creating employee connect forums, and more.
In addition, to regular Lunch & Learn sessions, SOTI offers flexible work hours and time off that employees can use as they see fit, free yoga classes for employees and regularly invites guest speakers to discuss topics like strategies for dealing with mental health issues or learning about the many benefits of emotional intelligence at work.
|Closing company statements: SOTI’s philosophy is centered on empowering employees to build the best products and solutions for its customers. In developing the company’s core values and goals, SOTI begins with its most important asset: its people. SOTI focuses on training and developing team members at every level so they can be the CEO of their role and make the right decisions for themselves and the company. SOTI believes that decisions should be made by the person with the most knowledge and most often that is the employee who is closest to the customer or other key stakeholder. This philosophy has permeated throughout the company directly from the Founder and CEO, Carl Rodrigues, and is embraced by the entire executive team. In order to accomplish business excellence and grow the company, investing in training and being transparent by communicating corporate goals with the entire team are top priorities.|
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