D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

What Makes Online Business Systems a Best Workplace in Canada

Thursday, May 17, 2012 1:35 PM

We’re having a shindig at my work today, Online Business Systems, to celebrate making the “Best Workplaces in Canada” list for the 6th consecutive year. This is a big deal for us, as we put a lot of work and effort into ensuring that our workplace is attractive to top talent, offers fantastic professional development opportunities, and provides challenging & meaningful work.

I’ve worked at a lot of technology consulting companies in Winnipeg, and I can honestly say that Online is hands down the best employer I’ve had the privilege of working for. Here are some things we do that make us one of the best workplaces in Canada:

Professional Development for Every Employee

For a company to grow, it’s employees need to grow. While many companies provide occasional professional development and often require employees to take vacation time, Online takes a different view.

Every employee gets a PD budget – approx $3,500 – to spend on courses, conferences, training, etc. This budget gets renewed every year, and while we do have an approval process in place its more to ensure nobody is taking training that is really off base. Also Online provides 5 days of PD time every year. That’s 5 paid days that can be used towards professional development: attending conferences, attending training, taking time off to study for exams, etc.

And I do mean every employee. Whether you’re a billable consultant, a sales professional, or part of the internal administration team, everyone in the company is given the opportunity to further their skills.

Career Mentor Program and Review Process

We believe that developing someone’s career at Online doesn’t just happen at review time but it should be ongoing throughout the year. We have Career Mentors throughout the company who keep in contact with Onliners in their care to ensure they’re engaged, growing, and happy with their employment at Online. Career Mentors are responsible for reviewing feedback for members of their group and perform annual reviews.

The benefit of this – instead of one or two people in HR responsible for everyone we take a “it takes a village” approach, which creates stronger personal/professional relationships and helps us identify/deal with any issues or concerns employees have sooner.

We Foster a Culture of Innovation

At Online we hire great people and give them the freedom to make positive impacts within the company. Ideas can come from anywhere in the company, and are actually encouraged. We’ve set up a program called “Innovation Den”, where Onliners can pitch their idea to our regional management. Ideas that are accepted are given time, budget, resources – whatever was being asked for – to see it come to fruition.

Innovation doesn’t just happen there though, it can happen anywhere and anytime. I noticed we were going to pay for presentation training which I could easily deliver and for a much lower price. I pitched the idea to management and they loved it. An Onliner wanted to put on a Code Retreat, and Online supported it through money for food and prizes.

We want people to be intrepreuners – working within a company but knowing they have the freedom to fully utilize their interests and talents.

We Have Fun

Every company mentions this, and while I won’t suggest we’re an amazing workplace just because we have BBQs, we do have BBQs – and social events, and team recognition parties for hard work, and celebrations for project success, and…you get the idea.

We work hard, we play hard, and we celebrate our accomplishments and success.

We’re Established and Mature

Online has been around for 26 years and employs approximately 260 people across our offices in Portland, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Minneapolis, and Toronto. Our clients include major corporations in the telecommunications, oil/energy, health, finance, and agribusiness sectors.

26 years of business brings a very important trait: maturity. As I mentioned, I’ve worked at many different companies and out of those they top out at about 10 years of age. There is a difference between a company 10 years old and 26 years old – maturity of processes, stronger self identity and culture, and greater capabilities in offerings and skills.

We’re continually striving to be better though, and having fantastic people is the key factor in Online’s evolution over the next 26 years.


We’re always looking for great people to join our team. While technology is a huge part of our offerings (Microsoft, Java, Oracle, Power Builder, etc.), we’re equally as deep in business management services: project management, business analysis, change management, quality assurance and testing, etc.

We’re actively looking for .NET and Java developers currently, but we’re always interested in talking to great talent no matter what the discipline.

So how do we match up against your current employer? Do we sound like the type of organization you’d like to work at? If you’re interested in learning more about Online, what its like working there, and current opportunities, please get in touch with me:

Email: dlussier at obsglobal.com
Twitter: darcy_lussier
Or contact me through my blog (click the “Contact” link in the menu)


# re: What Makes Online Business Systems a Best Workplace in Canada

We are into the business of online food ordering. Online food ordering platforms follow a simple business model. These websites act as a common platform between customers and restaurants. I agree with your points that makes an online business system a best work place to work. Wrap N Roll 2/10/2016 1:58 AM | James

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