Adorable Branch Manager Keeps IT Company Busy
If playing together means staying together, Netcetera has it down.
Interviewing the people working in a successful IT company might seem relatively straightforward – all in a day’s work for a writer, but things are a little different at Netcetera Consulting.
And a lot of fun.
Steve Weeks the President and Founder of Netcetera, is a soft-spoken man with a warm smile who keeps a hive of bees at his home in North Vancouver and shares the honey with the office team.
“I’d keep the hive at the office if our building allowed it, said Steve.”
Sharron Weeks, Steve’s spouse is the manager of accounting and admin, and their daughter Emily works in client services.
With a team of six additional employees that includes systems engineers, field technicians, network architects and client care experts, Netcetera has become known as a technology specialist in virtualization, security, networking, storage, wireless and business continuity.
They also score consistently high reviews in customer satisfaction.
And their employees stay for a long time.
We asked about employee retention.
Richard Hamaura has been at Netcetera for over 18 years. How does your company’s culture contribute to the retention of such a highly skilled team member?
“We really pride ourselves on employees staying here long-term. We value what people like Richard bring to the table, and we want those people to feel recognized and appreciated.
Richard, Dave, Tom, and Stephen have all been here for more than 10 years, maybe it’s because we make great coffee!
While we work hard at everything we do here at the office, we also realize that life outside of work is essential and we hope that Netcetera supports staff in a way that allows them to live their best lives outside of the office.
We get together frequently for events and birthdays, and sometimes “just because.” We like going out for lunch together often and planning fun activities throughout the year. Some of the highlights have been fishing trips, a bowling tournament, an archery class, a kayaking trip, and a golf tournament, and over the top Christmas dinners.”
How would your team members describe the office atmosphere at Netcetera?
Field Technician, Amir Jalilian, responded. “Netcetera can be fast-paced sometimes, and other times, more relaxed. Regardless, it’s always collegial and fun. Our office is laid out to function as a communal space, so we are always working side by side when technicians aren’t onsite.
I like working at Netcetera because we all support each other as a team. We can collaborate on projects and assist one another, but no one is being micromanaged, and I appreciate that a lot.”
And then there’s that adorable Branch Manager we mentioned.
His name is Spy, and he’s actually a dog. A very good dog by all accounts, but one that keeps the crew busy tidying up his toys and delivering pats and treats as required. Which is often.
We asked Emily Weeks about the pup’s promotion and primary job responsibilities:
“After over 10 years of dedicated service, Spy was promoted to full Branch Manager. He is still waiting for the day he gets his own office,” she said.
“Spy is a border collie, and his job is to leave his toys strewn about the office. Apparently, it’s our job to clean them up!”
The Netcetera team shares Emily’s passion for rescuing homeless dogs by having new dogs at the office while they await adoption or fostering.
“Our favourites are the border collies and herding dogs. Prim, a 4-year-old Australian shepherd also stays at the office. We have new dogs at the office every 3-4 weeks or so until they get fostered and adopted out. We have even had parrots; there’s never a dull moment.”?
“Yes, Smitty is our adopted rescue bird. We are supporting an avian veterinary clinic called Night Owl Bird Hospital, by doing pro-bono work for them,” said Emily.
“In 2016 they assisted in the largest animal rescue in Canadian history of almost 600 birds from the defunct World Parrot Refuge in Coombs, BC. Conditions there were abysmal, and many birds had severe health problems. Night Owl has donated immense amounts of personal time and money to save these birds.
We wanted to help them out because of all the fantastic work they’ve done, so we are assisting them with their network needs.”
Is there anything you would like to add about Netcetera as a place to work?
“In the beginning, our goal was to figure out our mission, vision, purpose and core values. This has helped us hire likeminded people whose principles aligned with ours. Although each of us is unique, we share common values, which is why we all get along and work well together. As a company, we also try to understand what is important to each person as an individual and do what we can to help each other realize our personal and professional goals and aspirations.
In our experience, happy employees equal happy customers.”