What It Means to Invest in Your People

by

As the head of HR and Recruiting here at Integris, I spend a lot of time thinking about our ideal job candidate. We’re a fast-growing tech company focused on premium service, so we must hire people who are more than just technically proficient. We’re also looking for employees who love their work, want to grow, care about quality, and are a cultural fit. 

But all companies say that, don’t they? 

With a tech talent market that seems to get tighter by the day, it’s not enough to just mouth the words. We must demonstrate that we genuinely value our people in everything we do. Bill McCharen, our Chief People Officer, wrote recently about the “People First” culture here at Integris. Today, I’d like to take the stage to talk in more detail about what we’re doing to recruit—and keep—the best employees. 

Best in Class—Why It’s Important to Us

We’re lucky to be such a young company. In many ways, we’ve got the best of both worlds. We’re acquiring top-notch MSPs around the country and bringing them into our network. Yet, we have this unprecedented opportunity to have a blank slate and build the kind of company where we all want to work. 

As my HR team began building benefits packages and employee training programs, we had one directive from our C-Suite. “Be best in class.” We work towards it every day, and we’re only getting started. For us, being “best in class” means focusing on these goals: 

  • Recognition, through companywide recognition and extra benefits 
  • Development for our leaders and any employee that’s interested in an upward career path 
  • Incentives for employees who go the extra mile 
  • Work/Life balance, through the best vacation and leave policies and a culture that values the line between work and an employee’s life outside work 
  • A consistent, respectful workplace where employees feel safe bringing up issues and empowered to come up with innovative ideas 

So how, specifically, are we doing this? Let’s take a closer look. 

 

Competitive Competition and Benefits

We’ve surveyed each of our markets to ensure we’re offering highly competitive benefits. Integris also provides something else that smaller, one-office MSPs cannot: a path for promotions. Our national structure allows our people to advance as far as they want, which is important to people considering joining the team. 

Here are some of the other perks we offer: 

  • Four weeks of paid vacation—a base for all employees 
  • An additional ten days of paid company holidays for all employees, including a day off for your birthday 
  • Employees layer on an additional week for five years of seniority and again at 10 for six weeks of paid vacation. (Employees from acquired companies can transfer their seniority to Integris.) 

We just implemented this new Paid Time Off Policy and suffice it to say; it’s very popular. But here’s the other thing that’s important to mention. When you’re on vacation, we make it a company policy not to pester our employees who are out. We train our managers to help employees delegate work while they’re out. We want you to take your break, and we want you to enjoy it. 

Of course, we also have generous leave policies for employees who are sick or need leave for caregiving, the birth/adoption of a child, or military service. We also offer national healthcare coverage, so it works no matter where you are in the US. 

When we hire an employee, we consider it a long-term hire. We’re looking for team members who can grow their careers while we grow the company. But pay and benefits are only one part of the picture. 

Growth Opportunities

As we’ve mentioned, we’re striving to offer a proper advancement track for employees. It’s one of the things that sets us apart. But, as we grow, we’re working on ways to make these advancement opportunities more concrete. Simply put, we’re training our people to take the next step in their careers and build our bench strength. 

Right now, many of these opportunities vary from location to location. But we’re diligently working on standardizing these things across all these sites, including: 

  • Paid apprenticeships and internships, where students at local community colleges can work part-time for us while also getting extensive, structured coursework training in IT service 
  • Partnership with the armed forces in all military branches on an internship called Skillbridge 
  • Management training tracks for all managers and anyone interested in their career in becoming part of the management team. We hope to have this finalized in the fourth quarter 
  • Paid reimbursements for advanced IT certifications 
  • Required executive leadership training for existing leadership 
  • LinkedIn Learning courses and tracks for all employees that will be available at the end of this quarter

These perks help us retain employees. But I also believe they send a more powerful message. If you work for us and want to learn, those opportunities will be available and easy to access. Just talk to your manager about your interest. 

Additionally, our emphasis on management training helps us create an environment where our managers have a strong understanding of communication and build a culture of leading by example. It’s the fastest way to empower our management and offer our employees an environment that is safe, respectful, and powered by innovation. 

 

Incentives

Ah yes, incentives—they’re the metaphorical carrot that drives excellence in companies. We’re a sales-based organization, so we will have those. But here at Integris, our incentives are more generous—and more democratic—than you might find at other managed IT service providers. How is this demonstrated companywide?  

 

You, too, can earn a Tesla

If you are a salesperson who brings in an account that totals more than $12,500 in monthly recurring billings, you get a Tesla Model 3. It’s yours to keep and drive for a year. 

While company cars are a significant bonus, they’re not unusual for salespeople. But what does make it extraordinary is that we offer it across the company to any employee at any level. So, if you’re not in sales but bring us a lead that turns into an account of this size, you, too, will get the Tesla. We’ve already ordered a few! The salesperson receives the commission, and you get the car.

 

Recognizing the little things, publicly

We understand that not every employee has the contacts to earn a car. But we still want to celebrate the little things that our coworkers do to make our work easier. We have a recognition portal that awards employees a certain number of “points” to give away every month. Employees can award the points to coworkers with a fun, public message the whole company can see. Then, you can take any points you’ve been gifted and turn them into a large selection of gift cards for everything from Amazon to specific stores to restaurants and entertainment venues. We love this little program and how it promotes a fun and responsive environment at Integris. 

 

Finding the Right People and Helping Them Grow

If I had to sum up my job in HR, “finding the right people and helping them grow” would fit the bill. I’m proud to say that it’s something we’re all working towards every day. Servant leadership drives everything we do at Integris. After all, when you take care of your people, your people take care of your clients. And that may be the very best investment of all. 

 

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