In their recent article, “High Performance Computing”, Avenue writer Tracey Johnson outlines her first-hand experience at a Replicon function, celebtrating an employee’s 10th year anniversary with the company.[Exerpted from AvenueCalgary.com]
The casual dress code is a cherished part of the corporate culture at high-tech company Replicon, so it was a little odd when Dan Selinger came to work one day in May all dressed up.
Well, relatively dressed up — he was wearing an ill-fitting white dress shirt with the top button undone, his tie was askew and his navy undershirt peeked through at the collar.
He explained it away by saying he had to meet the principal at his daughter’s school.
All was revealed that afternoon. Literally. Replicon was celebrating Selinger’s 10th anniversary at the company with cake, a slide show and the presentation of an all-expenses-paid trip to Maui for him and his family.
Just before the cake was sliced, Selinger stepped forward to give a speech, which amounted to: “I like it here; it’s a good place to work.” He then paused, smiled at the 60 or so colleagues who filled the stuffy boardroom, and said, “There’s just one other thing.” He then ripped off his shirt and pants, revealing a homemade Superman costume, and ran around the boardroom high-fiving his hooting coworkers.
And that sums up how Replicon sees itself: mild-mannered exterior, superhero underneath.
The company, which makes timesheet software, offers the perks standard to a good workplace: competitive salaries, profit sharing, flexible hours, parties and, of course, generous anniversary gifts.
According to its staff, two things set Replicon apart. First, it has a slightly goofy atmosphere, as evidenced by Selinger’s Superman stunt. Once, to celebrate quarterly profit sharing, $575,000 in cash was brought in and stacked in a pyramid on the boardroom table.
More importantly, Replicon believes in its employees. “The company gives you a chance to shine,” says Michelle Kempenich, a corporate trainer who has worked in four different departments at Replicon over the past nine years.
“You can approach management with goals, and, if it’s at all possible, they’ll make it work.”
Replicon is filled with stories like that. Maggie Deptuck, the director of sales, started as a receptionist. Vien Nguyen-Vu began in software development, became a product manager and then HR manager. Jessica Lee started as a graphic designer and now runs the marketing department.
“Dan and his Superman costume is a good metaphor for our philosophy,” says Ngyuen-Vu.
”We think everyone is a superhero in his or her own role.”