Plus Honourable Mention Millennials Splice Software Head office: Calgary CEO: Tara Kelly Number of Alberta employees: 25 Job Openings: 2

Photograph Cooper & O’Hara

Life at Splice is never boring. Whether they’re go-carting on the company dime or competing with co-workers for the honour of “Best Superhero Costume,” employees of the interactive voice software company are never short of reasons to have fun at work. That’s because Splice believes that an open and collaborative environment among employees is the key to its success. Every year, the company flies all its employees from its Chicago and Toronto offices to its headquarters in Calgary, where they take part in team-building exercises like geocaching or rock climbing. It aims to increase the number of these events from two to four each year. That’s in addition to the office parties, costume contests and holiday celebrations at the regional offices. Karolina Staszczak, office manager for Splice ­Software, says these events bring the team closer together. “If we have a potluck, people will stand around the kitchen and we’ll all eat together,” says Staszczak. “If we celebrate a birthday, we’ll stand around and talk to each other about our weekends as we eat cake.” The secret to creating a jovial workplace culture is in the people themselves. Splice knows that just because an applicant has the right skills doesn’t mean they’ll fit in with the team. So, before they make a hire, they send the applicant through a “culture interview,” in which employees ask the applicant questions about their personal tastes and hobbies. Staszczak says applicants who receive a lot of positive feedback from the culture interview are usually the ones who are hired. During Staszczak’s culture interview, she was asked about her favourite kind of pie. “I don’t actually like pie – but I do bake cupcakes. So they really liked that,” she says. “We really like food around here, so if someone mentions they like food, then that’s a plus.” The end result is a close-knit team. Staszczak says she considers herself lucky to have two families. “There’s what you would call my traditional family, consisting of my mom, dad, sister and my closest friends – who I hold very near and dear to my heart,” she says. “But I am proud to say that I have a second family: those I work with.”

The Finalists


Energy Navigator, Calgary Energy Navigator employs a culturally diverse staff, providing employees generous bonuses and benefits and a relaxed, casual dress code. The company emphasizes life-work balance, offering employees food, refreshments and even nutritional supplements.


Collins Barrow, Edmonton Also a finalist in the Training and Development category, Collins Barrow got overwhelmingly positive feedback from its 2014 people survey. Employees indicated that the company provides a family-like social atmosphere, and that they feel respected in the workplace.


Pumpwell Solutions, Calgary Pumpwell boasts a 20,000-square-foot innovation lab that encourages employees to think outside the box and work as a team on technological advancements. Employees are encouraged to enjoy various perks including badminton, mini-putt, foosball and table tennis.


Yardstick, Edmonton Yardstick celebrates employees with regular events like luncheons and “Open Fridge Fridays.” Yardstick provides extended holistic coverage in its benefits, and the opportunity for employees to get an ownership stake in the company after a year’s involvement with the company.