At IssueTrak, if an employee can't be found at a desk or in a conference room, bets are they're playing a game of pingpong or chess or perhaps working on a puzzle spread over a table in the common area. It's not unusual to see an employee's wife or children in that common area or to see co-workers taking a moment to chat in each other's offices.
Located in the heart of Virginia Beach's Town Center, IssueTrak is more than a software development company; for employees it's a family. The company has built a philosophy around simply "doing right" by everyone.
Chuck Baggett, human resource and office manager, said, "Everyone has an open-door policy. Staff meetings take place every two weeks and every department says what's going on so that everyone knows. We talk about sales, income and how we're doing with profit year to date. I can't think of much we don't tell the staff."
Baggett added, "People step up and are encouraging and try to support everyone as a team."
The emphasis on communication helps employees feel closer to the company.
This type of communication led to the creation of the common room, a lounge area complete with refreshments, games and a couch, the result of an employee suggestion taken to heart by the leadership team.
Like most companies, IssueTrak felt the weight of hard economic times during the recent recession. Money was tight but the senior leadership team came together to opt for a salary reduction so that layoffs among the staff were not necessary. In the same way, when changes were made to the health benefit package for employees, IssueTrak stepped up to offer options, one of which included paying the majority of a deductible.
Dan Flowers, a technical support analyst who's been working with IssueTrak for two and a half years, stated, "They are always working to help the employees; they have us in mind."
Flowers is convinced he's working hard for a company that's working hard for him. The open communication policy has allowed him to express his desire to be more IT-geared and resulted in opportunities for him to grow and learn in that area.
Said Flowers, "I make suggestions and they implement them immediately. They listen, which is really powerful. When you have a bunch of happy people working for you, everything gets done properly."nib
- Esther Keane
About the company
IssueTrak Inc. designs, develops and supports software for tracking business processes and operations. Its signature software package is a platform for internal and external customer service and support, IT help desk, workflow and process management, and issue tracking. Large and small companies in 35 countries use the software.
Address 249 Central Park Ave., Suite 200, Virginia Beach 23462
Top local executive Owner and president, Hank Luhring III
Number of employees 42 full-time and 5 part-time.
* Health care options are presented to each employee. One option is a high deductible of $5,000 a year but IssueTrak pays $4,000 of that.
* "Brewdiggities" are held on the last Friday of every month. Employees are encouraged to invite families and friends to eat, drink and be merry together. A slideshow recognizes and celebrates their most recent milestones and successes, such as birthdays, graduations, healthy recoveries, employee anniversaries and big sales/saves/project completions. Whenever timing and finances permit, they build and decorate the monthly "Brewdigs" around special themes or contests.
* The office space at IssueTrak has several common areas devoted to stepping away from the grind without leaving the office. In these areas employees can challenge a co-worker to a game of pingpong or chess or they can just sit back and relax.
Fun factor It's not uncommon for a "Nerf War" to break out. Although it started out as a "team-building exercise," it has evolved into a favorite pastime and frustration buster. Almost every employee now has one or more state-of-the art Nerf guns and some even have hundreds of rounds of "ammunition."
Community service IssueTrak takes part in about 10 company-initiated community service events every year. These include the United Way Day of Caring, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Save the Bay Day, Habitat for Humanity efforts, Hampton Roads Corporate Volunteer Council, Tidewater Youth Services School Supply Drive, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia Holiday Food Drive, as well as the Annual Family Volunteer Day at Virginia Wesleyan College that presents the opportunity to help pack up food supplies for families in local homeless and domestic abuse shelters around Thanksgiving time. There are also different events and initiatives they engage in as often as possible throughout the year, including ongoing efforts to help support and encourage the overall stability, health and well-being of children and families through the Mission of the Holy Spirit and ForKids organizations. In addition, the company provides two paid volunteer days per calendar year, which employees may use to engage in any type of volunteer work that needs to take place during normal business hours.
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