Laura Fairchild and the Supervisor Training Course

For our Computronix employee interviews, we sit down with people from all levels of our company and ask them about their jobs, and what it’s like working for Computronix.

Laura Fairchild had been a supervisor and a project manager at a few different tech companies before she joined Computronix. She says that after she was hired, her first major challenge was “to learn the project methodology here. Computronix just does things a little bit differently.” The challenge was quickly overcome by completing tasks during the course of her job. “The first time doing something was the most difficult, and everyone’s been very great and very helpful. It’s an extremely supportive environment for project managers,” she explains.

That care and helpfulness is something that Laura has come to expect from Computronix employees, and was apparent even in her first interview. Because there’s such an emphasis on thoughtfulness and care towards employees, she found that even though she’s worked as a supervisor for many years, there were still things she needed to learn about being a supervisor at Computronix.

Fortunately, Computronix offers a Supervisor Training course, which Laura was recently part of. She was able to learn the specific roles and requirements of a supervisor at Computronix. Specifically, how supervisors are expected to support their supervisees, “caring for them, challenging them and helping them to grow and develop.” One way that supervisors can do this that really stuck with Laura is to show appreciation for supervisees – both publicly and privately.

Laura recommends the Supervisor Training course to anyone at Computronix who wants a leadership position. As she puts it, “I think if you’re going to be a supervisor at CX, you have to take this course. Even if you’ve been a supervisor for 20 years, you can still learn from this training.”

One of the core values at Computronix is growth. That means that we’re always trying to grow and improve as a company, but also that we value individual growth for our employees. This comes through in training, in mentorship and in a desire to see people overcome challenges, improve, learn, and succeed. As our HR Director, Dave Neumann, says, “Healthy people are going to want to learn and grow. And then a healthy company should make a way for people to learn and grow” So, to foster and encourage learning and growth, there is a set of courses we offer to employees, known as CX Academy.  In CX Academy, employees can deepen their skills in leadership, learn to self-evaluate, discover the best practices for a variety of tasks, and more!

The various CX Academy courses provide in-depth training into broad, general concepts such as “how to have difficult conversations” or “how to get the most out of a meeting,” as well as Computronix-specific information, such as the way we manage projects or handle performance reviews. This allows employees to be equipped not only for their jobs at Computronix, but for their lives outside of work, where they will likely be able to use the concepts they’ve learned.

Class instructors are mostly senior staff who have extensive knowledge and experience in the topics as well as a few external consultants that come in to teach on specific subjects that they specialize in. There are also a few books that students are expected to read that further delve into certain topics. The variety of instruction ensures that the courses provide a very well-rounded learning experience.

Computronix is committed to ensuring that the CX Academy itself is being refined and improved, taking student feedback into account to constantly improve the classes and the format. There are also “Refresher” courses, which are shorter courses intended for those who have taken the class previously and just need the updated information from the current year. Ultimately, we want to guarantee that we are providing the best possible learning experience for our staff.

According to Dave Neumann, the key importance of the CX Academy as part of the company culture is that, “Computronix is deliberate in living out our values of learning and growth. We are not just saying that challenge matters to us. We are going to get employees ready to take on challenges and prepare them for that.”

Wholeness is one of the three core values at Computronix, meaning that we value our employees and customers for who they are as people, not just the monetary value they can bring us. As our business plan states, we are committed to “supporting overall life balance.” One important aspect of a balanced life is health and well-being, including physical fitness. To help our employees stay in shape while maintaining the sense of community that we’ve created at Computronix, there is a new CX Fitness group.  This group organizes various fitness-related events, such as step challenges, which are quite popular among our staff.

Dale Aceron, a Business Analyst, and Shauna Allan, a Project Administrator, are two of the key Computronix employees involved in the fitness group, as well as the step challenges. When asked about the motivation for starting the group, Dale explained that, “when I first came to Computronix, I wasn’t sure if anyone else was interested in fitness or into running. So, when the opportunity came to start a fitness group, I jumped on board.”

The step challenges are run through a program called Stridekick, which allows people to enter the challenge that best lines up with their fitness levels. There are groups for 5 000 steps, 7 500, 10 000, and more! Each person just uses their phone, Fitbit, or another activity tracker to log the steps they take each day and the steps are uploaded to Stridekick so that everyone can compete to be the best stepper!

Shauna hopes that in the future, “there will be more kinds of events and challenges…but I still want to get everyone involved in the step challenges!” Dale echoes her hopes, saying that there’s no plans for the step challenges to stop, and that what he wants to do next is bring in experts to teach about subjects like nutrition, sports psychology, and how to train.

Both Shauna and Dale are very excited about how successful the step challenges have been and all the great competition and connection that’s happened, as well as people making the choice to get more exercise. As Shauna says, “It’s really just a piece of the whole Computronix story, seeing the development and the changes in people and relationships. That’s just so fun and so rewarding to see that and to be part of it.”

At Computronix, we strongly value professional development, meaning that we want our employees to continually learn and grow and improve at their jobs. We talked to developers Chris Newbery and Eissa Pavo, who shared their thoughts on professional development at Computronix.

At Computronix, we value challenging and engaging work. We want our people to constantly be able to increase their knowledge and skills, and to be doing work that encourages that. We talked to Operations Manager Chris Stolte and Solutions Consultant Curtis den Otter, who shared their thoughts on challenging work at Computronix.

For our Computronix employee interviews, we sit down with people from all levels of our company and ask them about their jobs, and what it’s like working for Computronix.

It has been 24 years since Chris Stolte first started at Computronix as a student working a summer job. In that time, he has graduated from university, been hired on as a full-time staff, worked as a Developer, a Project Manager, and for the last 3 years, has been an Operations Manager. Obviously a lot has changed, both for him personally and for the company, which is nearly six times larger than it was when he started.

In every project he has a part in, Chris’s first priority is always “taking care of people.” He says that he’s most successful in his role when he’s “Ensured that there are no roadblocks in anyone’s way,” meaning that both the client and Computronix staff have everything they need to be successful.

Chris describes one particularly challenging project several years ago, where he was personally able to make a difference for a client. The original project manager suffered a massive heart attack and passed away partway through the project.  This created a major setback for the project, to the point where “it was almost impossible for it to succeed.” Chris stepped into the leadership role and worked with the client to rework the schedule and the overall approach. Not only did the project end up on-time and on-budget, Chris proudly asserts that “we were able to hold on to our core values throughout.”

Despite his many years here, he shared that he still enjoys coming to work each day and that things still feel new and fresh and exciting. “There’s lots of interesting challenges every day,” he explains, “you’re always able to learn and grow.” For him, there has definitely been a lot of learning. “Everything I know about the software industry, I’ve learned here. I’ve learned a lot about myself. Really, what haven’t I learned at Computronix?”