Holy Sh!t Mom! We’re a Top 5 Finalist for Best Workplace in BC.

Left is a Top 5 finalist for the Best Workplace in BC.

Woo Hoo! We are a Top 5 Finalist for Best Workplace in BC!

SPOILER ALERT! – Left won! Left won! Left won! [updated Feb 26, 2016]
Four weeks. That is less than one month. My mom used to say, “Count the sleeps” and it will make the time go by faster. As per the wonderful news that was announced today, our team of Lefties has just been named one of the Top 5 in the Small Business BC Awards in the category of Best Workplace.
“The Best Workplace Award recognizes the business that provides the best overall place to work. The business that receives this award provides a supportive, happy and healthy work environment for their staff. It’s a leader in encouraging both mental and physical health in its employees through education, incentives and activities for all staff members.”
How cool is that!
The Awards Ceremony takes place on February 25. That is only 28 days away. To help pass the time, I thought I would share the application that our team wrote explaining what life is like at Left.
So in their words…
“Describe the past, present and future practices in your business that support the mental and physical health of your employees.”
Since inception in 2010, we have been guided by 10 core values that foster and support creativity and employee well being in all that we do. We “Lefties” believe strongly in the philosophy that healthy and happy employees have far greater potential of producing incredible work. As such, our commitment to health and wellness is woven through daily decisions.

  • Relocated office to be closer to employee families
  • Ability to telecommute remains even though employees save 8.5+ hours/week in stress-free commuting
  • Flexible hours to accommodate school & daycare dropoff/pickup.
  • Unlimited Community Days (paid time off) where Lefties volunteer in their community, improve their mental well-being, and give back
  • 18 Vacation/Personal/sick days per year.
  • Competitive Benefits (dental, extended health, life insurance, etc.) provided by Manulife Financial
  • Maternity Policy (includes baby bonus, salary top-up, and RESP contribution)
  • Fresh fruit daily
  • Ergonomic adjustable chairs, optional stand-up desks, and ergonomic keyboards/mice, monitor stands, etc.
  • Large-screen monitors with eye-strain reducing software
  • Free Bootcamp classes twice weekly
  • Company-paid all fees for ToughMudder 19km challenge
  • Informal/structured mentoring available for all employees.
  • Full kitchen, filtered water, and family-style dining
  • Salad/Lunch club – up to 100% participation from Lefties in potluck style lunch club
  • The Dream Program™ where we train, support, and celebrate Lefties achieving personal goals
  • Monthly lunch and learns
  • Continuing education grants for employees
  • Games room for mental/physical breaks complete with ping pong and foosball
  • Library, including books on self-improvement, mental and physical health
  • On multiple occasions, the company has continued to pay full salary for staff who took extended medical leave, both due to physical and mental health issues

“Provide examples of any additional activities and programs implemented that support a dynamic, healthy and happy workplace.”
Our award-winning Community/Team Engagement Program was recognized as ‘Best in BC’ by the BCTIA at the 2015 Technology Impact Awards. In winning, judges cited our:

  • UNLIMITED Community Days
  • Personalized Volunteering
  • Social & Charitable Volunteering

Our sense of pride and achievement is infectious. Lefties know they are making a difference in someone else’s life and their own. Examples:

  • Distributing care packages to homeless of Downtown Eastside
  • Cooking meals at Ronald McDonald House.
  • Supporting “A Boy Named Nicholas” (charity for Maple Ridge boy with a devastating disease)
  • Adoption of a local family through Christmas hamper drive.
  • ToughMudder Whistler, supporting the Wounded Warriors Project, including weekly fitness sessions. We got fit. We gave back. We bonded. Every Lefty gained a sense of pride and personal accomplishment.
  • Beer O’Clock Fridays celebrate our weekly wins
  • Hype Music Mornings
  • 24-hour Global Hackathons between teams in Canada and Bangladesh

“List the company resources dedicated to current activities and programs to create a healthy workplace, including financial investments and staff resources dedicated to your activities and programs.”
We have a dedicated Employee Experience Manager who champions our culture and creates an employee experience that promotes happy, healthy, inspiring, and passionate Lefties.
Programs and financial commitments:
[financial numbers removed from this public blog post]

  • $XXXX a week to purchase fresh fruit for all staff
  • $XXXX in 2014/2015 for twice-weekly fitness classes and ToughMudder event participation
  • $XXXX/monthly to be mentored by an outside “Culture Guru”
  • $XXXX per employee in professional development funds and paid time off, including courses at BCIT, Stanford University, and numerous conferences, and workshops
  •  Uncapped budget for Culture Club initiatives (social committee)
  • Uncapped budget for UNLIMITED Community Days where Lefties are paid to volunteer their time (often during the work day) and make a difference in their community
  • Relocated office to the suburbs = decreased commuting time (i.e. each Lefty saves 8.5 hours per week in commuting vs previous job, which equals 8,000 hours saved annually)

“Provide proof of your company’s commitment to providing a happy and healthy workplace.”
The very essence of our brand is reflected by living our 10 Core Values. With our Legendary Lefty program, employees nominate peers whenever they feel the colleague has demonstrated or lived a core value. Every month, one “Legendary Lefty” is chosen from their numerous peer nominations. It is clear from these commendations that our Lefties truly believe in and relate to the company’s core values.

Our CoreValues.

Be Incredible

Keep Score

Take Responsibility

Think Different

Little Things Matter

Impact Your Community

Imagine the Impossible

Family is Important

Make Your Mark

Failure is an Option

1.       2015 Technology Impact Award – Community Engagement http://www.bctia.org/Resources/News/BCTIA-News/2015/6/4/2015-Technology-Impact-Award-Winners-Announced
2.       People feel valued when they have a sense of purpose and a common goal that they rally behind. Our core product, YO!, is out to change the world and allow every Lefty to make a lasting mark and make their world a better place. Watch this video to see the dream of what our Lefties are trying to create: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj13ZIgHUoA
3.       Our Facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/leftofthedot/photos_stream) where you will find:

  • Christmas Hamper Handout photos (great cause!)
  • Photos of a scary Halloween in the office (coinciding with a visit from MLA Doug Bing)
  • Action Shots of our 2nd Place Tech Pong Champion (Go Josh!)
  • Photo Gallery from our family fundraiser BBQ for ‘A Boy Named Nicholas’ (great cause!)
  • Photos from our talk about Social Media and Digital Marketing at Meadowridge School (kids today!)
  • Corporate outing – Disc Golf (whoohoo!)
  • Photos of our tour for Friends in Need Food Bank (great cause!)
  • Pics of our team celebrating BCTIA TIA Award win for Community Engagement (yay!)
  • 19.1km of our team sweating together at ToughMudder Whistler (look at that mud!)
  • Celebrating Healthy Living Week with wheat-grass smoothies for all (yuck!)
  • Cooking Dinner at Ronald McDonald House (great cause!)
  • Photos of our Community Open House in celebration of Entrepreneurship (party!)
  • Pics from our Family Easter Egg Hunt and Brunch (hop along little bunny!)
  • A few blog posts about how our 10 Core Values are driving our product decisions and recruitment strategies
  • Links, stories, media mentions, photos, and videos about our breakthrough product YO! and how it is allowing every Lefty to make their Mark.


Anchored by our core values, Left of the Dot is a double unicorn-in-the-making. Yes, we are growing, but we are doubly rare as we have always placed an emphasis on “what do we have our people becoming” vs. just “what do we have our people doing”. We feel if our people become more they will achieve more and thus impact more lives. Health and wellness—both physical and mental—is a big anchor for this and one we are very proud of.
Supporting each other through health and wellness initiatives will always result in immeasurable dividends via personal, socioeconomic, and environmental benefits. Although we will grow larger as we continue to expand and innovate, our belief in our people’s health and wellness and our love, care, and hope for the community, will remain a core value.
We sincerely thank you for your consideration to be recognized as BC’s Best Workplace.
While there are a lot of great companies out there, I think our team of Lefties is the best there is. And whatever the outcome, I am sure we will win the after party.

John Lyotier