The 4th Annual Intelex Spri…FORE!

This past weekend marked the 4th annual Intelex Spring Classic! Equipped with Intelex  branded golf balls and tees, over 60 Intelexians made the trip to Ajax where we invaded the Deer Creek Golf Course. The bus unloaded at noon and a fleet of carts awaited the group. With the assistance of the Deer Creek staff (keeping the excited group organized), the tournament began!

The foursomes took off into two separate courses. The skill level varied from very-first-timers to seasoned golfers, allowing everybody to take part. Each team was divided evenly based on their experience but also by work department – the best part about these events is getting to know people you may not get a chance to spend time with at the office.

While the ultimate goal is to have a great time golfing in the sun with fellow employees, some friendly competition always spices things up. Notable accomplishments from the day include:

The winning team with their trophy! (Left to right: Charlie Husband, Steve Ross, Dan Tran, Fraser Dickie and Mark Jaine)

Closest to the pin:
Female: Jade Jaine
Male: Brian Takeda

Longest drive:
Female: Vanessa Ross (Who had never golfed before!) 
Male: Steve Ross

Winning team with 3 under par:
Charlie Husband
Fraser Dickie
Dan Tran
Steve Ross

 

And an honorable mention to Elie Mouzon for his musical performance! 

After 18 holes of golf and 5 hours in the sun, the dinner at the clubhouse was welcomed by all.  Stories were shared between teams over chicken fingers and nachos and the evening wrapped up with a raffle. (Would it be an Intelex event without one?) The much deserving Lauren Craig walked away with a night for two at the JW Marriott and the winning foursome was awarded their trophy. 

It’s safe to say Intelexians were spoiled once again with another memorable employee event! Congratulations to all of the winners, beginners, and golf veterans for a successful day on the course.

The 4th Annual Intelex Spri…FORE!

Baking for a Good Cause: Intelex Donates to Local Charity

We’re pleased to announce that our most recent Intelex Charity Bake Sale raised $458 for local not-for-profit housing provider, Homes First!

For those of you who have never heard of Homes First, they’ve been serving Toronto’s chronically homeless since 1983 by providing stable living environments and access to social services. Sadly, there are over 5,000 people in Toronto that do not have a safe and stable place to live. This is why the work that Homes First does is so crucial, especially as the weather gets colder and it gets more dangerous to be out on the streets.

This is a cause that’s close to our hearts, as one of Homes First’s sixteen buildings is located right around the corner from our offices. Strachan House is made up of seventy-six units for single adult men and women and is a first step for those who are trying to get off the street.

With a home…

  • People can be part of a community
  • People have a place to go to escape the cold
  • People can obtain ID and register for social services
  • People gain the ability to care for themselves

The Intelex Charity Bake Sale team aims to hold one bake sale for every season, selecting a different charity each time. Past charities have included the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Toronto.

 

Baking for a Good Cause: Intelex Donates to Local Charity

Toronto Tech Companies Raise over $15K Towards Cancer Research

Last Thursday night at the Sound Academy in Toronto some of the city’s leading tech companies came together to benefit a great cause and to showcase some of their internal musical talent. The inaugural GTA Tech Leaders Concert Series went off without a hitch seeing a great turn out from Toronto’s tech community and a lineup of talented musical acts from KPMG, Ceridian, Smithson Martin and Intelex.

Kings of Strachan superfan Brett McLennan awaits their performance

The event provided an opportunity to raise funds for The Ride to Conquer Cancer and network with other tech professionals while enjoying night out with colleagues to let loose and have some fun. Intelex’s house band The Kings of Strachan represented and turned it up to 11 with a set of classic rock and new favourites. The Intelex Army was out in full force to support the band and sporting our new stylish Intelex headbands.

In total, the event raised over $15,000 for The Ride to Conquer Cancer which benefits The Campbell Family Institute at The Princess Margaret Hospital, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. Thanks to everyone who came out to support the event and we are looking forward to the next installment.

Intelex’s The Kings of Strachan take the audience for a ride.

 

Toronto Tech Companies Raise over $15K Towards Cancer Research

Intelex House Band to Rock GTA Tech Leaders Concert Series

The GTA Tech Leaders Concert Series is happening on Thursday May 30th at The Sound Academy in Toronto. The event is in support of The Ride to Conquer Cancer and will feature bands made up of employees from some of Toronto’s leading tech companies. Intelex’s house band, The Kings of Strachan, are on the bill and will be tearing up a set of rock favourites among bands from KPMG, Ceridian and Smithson Martin.

The concert will be an ideal opportunity for Toronto’s tech industry professionals to get out of the office, meet some other industry professionals and enjoy a night of their peers providing some great entertainment. Tickets are $40 with 100% of the proceeds going to Ride to Conquer Cancer.

If you would like to attend you can purchase your tickets here. The password is “Intelex”

 

Intelex House Band to Rock GTA Tech Leaders Concert Series

Fiscal Year 2012: A ‘Social’ Year in Review

As the Fiscal year closes organizations often take time to look back and celebrate the success of the year that has past. One area that is often over-looked (and for good business reasons) is the social calendar.

After a Poll of Random Intelexians, here are what we think are the Top 6 Intelex Social Events of 2012:


  1. Holiday Party RetreatAfter last year’s unbelievable weekend in Deerhurst, this could be the most anticipated event of Fiscal Year 2013!
  2. Vision Meeting Taking place each November Intelex’s Vision Meeting is an opportunity for our organization to gear up and focus on our Goals and strategic plans for the coming year. Below is a link for Vision Meeting 2011!
  3. User ConferenceEvery September we cherish the opportunity to connect and strengthen our bond with our customers. This is an event focused on best practices of our software, and showing some appreciation to our World Class Customer base.
  4. Spring Classic Golf TournamentAn Intelex event for Golfers and people who like to hang out on golf courses!
  5. The Boat CruiseThis was Intelex’s first venture out to sea…well Lake Ontario! It was a very memorable event as we spent the night cruising and dancing on the open water with our fellow Intelexians and guests!
  6. Ted Grunau DayEvery February 16th Intelex gathers to celebrate our Values and the people that embody them. To show our appreciation, we give out Grunau Grams to our fellow Intelexians!

7 Career-Defining Tips

Everyone has their own ideas when it comes to what it takes to have a successful career. That being said, you wouldn’t think it would take an Executive Coach to figure these out and that they would be considered common sense, but they are not!

In a recent Forbes article, an Executive Coach reveals “the best career advice ever”  advice that applies to any industry, any role and fits in nicely with Intelex’s Corporate Values: Leadership, Sustainability, Integrity, Respect for All Individuals, Teamwork & Trust, Stewardship, Hard Work, and Happiness.

1.      Recognize a diamond in the rough – you would be hard-pressed to find an organization that is perfect and of course everyone has their own definition of a “perfect organization”. It is also important to recognize that a career-defining moment can come from helping an organization get out of a tough situation.

2.      Be accountable – be the person who follows up, makes deadlines, and takes ownership. How do you gain respect from your clients, management and colleagues, if you can’t be trusted?

3.      Be honest – recognize when you’re wrong and speak up when you disagree. Standing out means having your own opinion.

4.      Treat everyone equally – no matter what your role is, respect goes a long way. It is as basic as referring to your direct reports as your colleagues rather than your staff.

5.      Be gracious – this one should be the most obvious, but is probably the most neglected. Self-entitlement plagues workplaces. Saying thank you for the opportunities you receive and recognizing a job well done goes a long way.

6.      Take initiative – don’t wait to be asked – be proactive!

7.      Help others – focusing only on your own development is not the only way to be recognized. Mentoring and developing someone else’s career shows your leadership potential.

Career tips based on Kristi Hedeges’ Forbes article, “Executive Coach Reveals Best Career Advice Ever”. 

7 Career-Defining Tips

Are you over-preparing for your job interview?

When most people think of “HR interview questions”, a traditional set of questions come to mind. These questions are predictable, repeatable, and easy to prepare for. Candidates also come prepared to defend their experience and their resumes. They think any gaps in timeline will meticulously be scrutinized. Candidates can over-prepare to answer questions like, “what are your strenghts and weaknesses?” or “do you prefer to work on a team or on your own?” and my personal favourite “tell me about yourself”.

Typically, when these questions get asked, the overly prepared answers are delivered. Answers that can easily be found on the Internet. Candidates are representing not who they truly are, but who they feel the interviewer wants them to be. These questions might be able to secure individuals who can handle the everyday aspects of the roles they are in contention for. However, for companies concerned over their corporate culture, these questions not only miss out on cultural-fit, but also do not accurately predict how well they will do in the role.

Interviews are similar to a consultative sale, there needs to be a discovery conversation to define what a candidate needs in a new role, what are their skills? Their background? What are the intangibles? At the end of it all, the most important question is what do they want to do? The only way to get here is getting honest answers. The goal is to have a relaxed candidate who is not put on the defensive and relying on prepared answers,  but actually thinking and speaking for themselves and relying on their experiences rather than what they think they should say.

At Intelex, our interview process is intended to foster a conversation about what you can bring to our organization, what Intelex can do for you, and what we can pull from your past experiences. For us at Intelex, preparing for the interview process means researching the company, reviewing your experiences and showing us who you are as an individual – not what something on the Internet said you should say!

Bryan Humphries is a Corporate Recruiter with Intelex’s Professional Development Office (PDO). The Intelex PDO posts advice, tips and insight on careers and professional development every second Wednesday.

Training needs assessments help your organization’s training efforts

In many ways, Training Needs Assessments are the backbone of an organization’s development and transformational efforts. It may surprise you to learn that less than 50% of small to medium-sized organizations actually conduct official, robust Training Needs Analyses to gain insight into training requirements, and even fewer actually use the acquired data in any meaningful way.

Training isn’t about people sitting in a classroom; it’s about how effective those people can be once they are released into their respective roles. Training builds contributors; focused training builds focused contributors, and focused contributors provide an increased benefit to any organization. 

Get Started!

Training Needs Assessments begin with understanding your current state, and being able to identify the various requirements of your desired future state. The future state is highly dependent on a clearly defined set of corporate goals that serve to inform all supporting activities, such as training.

At Intelex, we are fortunate to have a clear set of goals that are defined on an annual basis, and help us to move the organization forward. These goals serve as a target for our Future State. One great thing about our Corporate Goals is that we arrive at them together, by pooling our resources and ideas, and deciding on the best course of action for our company. Other companies can benefit from this highly effective model.

Pick Your Analysis Tools

Once defined, a gap analysis can be performed using any number of tools available to the organization. Interestingly, tools used vary widely from industry to industry, and in fact from company to company in many instances as well.

Whenever considering the tools available for your use, always remember that you are attempting to ensure that a) the tool measures what it’s supposed to measure, and b) the tool produces consistent results when used, so that we can trust our findings and make informed business decisions.

Examples of Tools that can be used by your Organization:

  • Employee Satisfaction Surveys (what do your employees wish they had?)
  • Employee Reviews (what are the challenges facing your employees?)
  • Analyzing KPIs and Balanced Scorecards (what do the metrics tell you about current quality and productivity?)
  • Observations (what do you actually see occurring day-to-day?)
  • Informal communication (what do you hear around the water cooler?)
  • Analyzing the allocation of Educational Allowances (in what areas do employees ask to focus this benefit?)

Use Your Data

With your analysis in hand, training requirements can easily be described, along with required budgets and related ROI. The most important thing for an Organization to keep in mind is that Training, when properly vectored using a Training Needs Analysis, helps reduce costs by eliminating costly mistakes and inefficiencies. Effort expended through training is not wasted; it is leveraged exactly where it is needed every time.

Make It Stick!

Monitoring is a necessity if you’re trying to validate your ROI. Check your Key Performance Indicators and listen to what they tell you:

  • Has production increased or decreased?
  • Is production or process quality higher or lower?
  • Are employees more or less satisfied?
  • What does your turnover rate look like?

If you find that required positive metrics are still stalled or in decline, do something about it by adjusting your approach. Once you are clear on the problem you need to solve, it’s that much easier to make the right changes. This is what Total Quality Management is all about.

Always remember that your goal is to be in a more favourable position than you were previously. Track your training; track your results; listen to the information. It will only help you to improve your overall Training efforts, and by extension the efficacy and credibility of your organization!

Decoding corporate culture: key questions to consider when evaluating that new job

As I’m sure everyone has been told, the interview process is not only a way for a company to assess your fit, but also your opportunity to interview the company. You need to ask yourself the question, ‘Is this somewhere I would like to come to everyday?’ We are told over and over again that we spend more time with the people we work with than we do with our families, a fact that makes it all the more important to ensure that there is a cultural fit.

Many companies (especially in the tech industry) are moving towards developing corporate cultures that  set them apart in order to foster employee engagement and thrive in a tight labour market. The problem is, a company’s corporate culture is not something that you can understand from looking at their mission statement or taking someone’s word for it – you need to experience it for yourself! One type of corporate culture is not suited for everyone; different personalities thrive in different cultures. This is why it is so important to ask questions and be observant throughout the entire interview process. 

How do you experience a company’s corporate culture during the interview process? Arrive early for your interview! A lot of a company’s corporate culture can be observed while you sit in the waiting area.

Here are some key areas to take note of throughout the interview process:

Style

  • What is the dress code?
  • What is the energy level in the office? (e.g. is it buzzing, quiet, chaotic?)
  • Where is the office located? Is it a trendy neighborhood or an industrial park?
  • Does the company believe in work/life balance? What are the business hours?

Office Space

  • How is the office space arranged?
  • Who has an office and who has a cubicle?
  • Are senior executives hidden away on their own floor where you need special access?
  • What are the common areas used for?
  • What is displayed on the walls and posted on bulletin boards?
  • What do employees have on their desks? 

Social

  • How do employees interact with one another?
  • How do employees interact with you? Are you acknowledged?
  • What does the company do for fun? What types of social events have they had in the past? How often? (Pictured is a shot from a recent monthly Intelex patio party.)
  • Are employees working in teams or independently?

Professional Development

  • What opportunities and resources are available for professional development?
  • What is the company’s policy on promoting from within?
  • How is success measured?
  • How are employees recognized?

Lastly, ask everyone you meet throughout the interview process how long they have been with the company and how they would describe the company’s culture. Take each opportunity to gage whether you are getting an individual perspective with a consistent underlying message. Most important, don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions!

The Top 3 Resources to check out before your Intelex interview

Interview preparation is everything and truly knowing who you are being interviewed by and what they actually do is critical to making a great impression. At Intelex, doing your research in preparation for your interview is a huge part in showing that you are interested and dedicated to the opportunity of working with us! After all, you are interviewing us, just as much as we are interviewing you.  As a potential employee at Intelex – or any company for that matter – you will be responsible for representing the company and the product or service they offer. That being said, it should be something you believe in!

Here at Intelex we have so much content on our website and as a result it can be hard to focus on the key elements in a short time line. To make things a little simpler, as Intelex’s Corporate Recruiter I’ve put together a list of the top three links that really sum up who we are. 

 

  1. Learn more about Intelex, our products and everything we do by watching this presentation by Intelex President and CEO Mark Jaine. 
  2. Take a look at our Meet the Team page and video, the latter of which provides a great, unscripted perspective into the real world of Intelex. Our employee testimonials provide a great primer on what it’s like to work at Intelex. 
  3. Check out feature interviews with team members Tomas Kuras (embedded below), JP Nadeau and Cheryl O’Connor. Our Facebook Page is also another great way to view these testimonials ad get a sense of our corporate culture.

Got questions? Use the comments area below. And don’t forget to check back every second Wednesday for our Professional Development Office (PDO) blog series.