Crank Software – a scaling Ottawa software firm and a top employer

Jul 28, 2020

3 mins | 750 words
By: Katie LeClair
Black and white head shot photo of a women smiling

Crank Software is an embedded graphic user interface (GUI) development and services company – the same company behind Storyboard, a cross-platform, embedded GUI software that creates unmatched touchscreen experiences. This rapidly scaling Ottawa firm has been able to secure a list of clients from budding startups to Fortune 500s, even critically invaluable COVID-19 ventilators. How? Their innovative technology enables businesses to go-to-market up to 50% faster, with high-performance, modern GUIs that exceed customer’s touchscreen expectations.

Crank Software was founded in 2007 by Brian Edmond, Jason Clarke, and Thomas Fletcher. In 2019 the firm was celebrated with the Best Ottawa Business Company of the Year award, and by 2020, Crank’s Storyboard was awarded Most Innovative Software at their prestigious industry event, Embedded World.

A photo of 8 people smiling in front of the Crank Software logo. It's a group photo of their team happy and smiling.

A photo of the Crank Software team at their office located in Kanata, Ontario.

Recognition for exceptional products isn’t the only praise Crank Software is receiving; this scale-up ranked as one of Ottawa’s Top 3 Employers through the Invest Ottawa eNPS Benchmarking Pilot Program. The company’s Employee Net Promoter Score was an impressive 76!

Why are Crank Software employees so loyal? Speaking to their team, we were able to gain more in-depth insight into how the firm received such a high eNPS.

What it comes down to is the culture they’ve cultivated.

Professional Growth

From the very beginning, Crank Software was about problem-solving. The company’s founders saw an opportunity to bring innovative solutions to the embedded GUI design industry, and they did. This approach to growth is alive and well. Leadership at Crank Software recognizes that their people are smart, capable. And they focus on providing employees with what they need to do their best work. They also allow exploration and boundary-pushing along the way.

In the eNPS survey, one employee shared, “The culture focuses on professional growth with the intent of encouraging you to try new and challenging things. This company is not afraid of you making mistakes and encourages you to learn and grow from them.”

Communication and Collaboration

At Crank Software, there are frequent team touchpoints. The company regularly hosts town halls, quarterly meetings, one-on-one sessions and more. Even with COVID-19 having moved Crank to a 100% remote-based company, the communication has been maintained, if not increased, ensuring all employees at home still feel connected. This consistent communication is further supported by the leadership team’s open doors policy – from the CEO-down, people are accessible and connected-in with one another.

People doing yoga outside.

The Crank Software team participating in afternoon yoga together outside of their office.

Combining this with exceptional social programming makes Crank Software stand out.

Work and Play

The organization invests resources to ensure that its employees don’t only work but have fun together too. From scavenger hunts and bowling outings to Kanata Cupboard volunteering and Canadian Cancer Foundation fundraisers, the team knows how to have a good time, build community and give back.

 

Our culture is right for me. It’s fun about life and serious about code.” – Crank Software employee.

Company Culture

With such an exceptional eNPS, we asked Crank Software’s Thomas Fletcher, VP, R & D, what advice he had for other startups or scale-ups currently exploring how they can build employee loyalty. He advised his peers to “do what’s right for your employees and your culture.  Don’t force-fit something just because someone else is doing it.”

At Crank Software, they are engaged and in-touch with their employees. They have built an authentic-to-their-team environment where their values, investments, practices and activities all align.

Crank Software Today

Transitioning in the world of COVID-19 – particularly transitioning to work from home – was made easier by Crank Software existing processes and policies; flexibility is built-in. The team pivoted quickly and the global team managed to all work from home from day 1. Remote work for embedded engineers can be difficult, as they’re used to working with hardware on their desk. Crank employees however were able to take advantage of their own software to successfully continue the development and remotely testing of client projects, resulting in little to no impact on productivity. Crank Software is on a path of rapid growth and intends to continue expanding its team here in our nation’s capital.

To learn more about what careers at Crank Software and to keep tabs on open positions, visit www.cranksoftware.com/about/careers/

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