Being a consultant at CTG for 17,5 years…

Yesterday, we had a team meeting at work and Jochen, our unit manager, had a great idea. Why not tell the public how much you like your company. This is indeed something we should do more often.  He put his money where his mouth was, and did it live on LinkedIn.

I’m going to do it my way… this will end up on LinkedIn anyway 🙂

What does CTG mean to me? Well, obviously a lot, because I have been working there for the last 17,5 years. I have seen many colleagues come and go but I always stayed put and believed in them. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but the main reason is the way they treat their people.
A lot of organizations show off with fancy certifications and awards and you can (and should) be sceptical about these things. CTG also has some… we have been part of The Best Workplaces in Belgium for many years. We have been Investor in People for a long time.

Every year, on my career appraisal, my manager asks the same question… Are you still happy at CTG? And I always respond with the same thing:
If I get to a point where I go to work unhappy, I quit. It’s a simple as that. And this is something I literally mean.

So, what makes me so happy at CTG? It’s a combination of things.
The culture is one thing. We have a very open culture.
In my long career as a consultant, I talked to a lot of people and it amazes me how many organizations are out there that have a culture where people work against each other as part of internal politics and internal competition. I can’t imagine myself working in such an environment. And this is what I like about CTG. People are not working for their customers and their personal gain. They are working for OUR customers and to grow on a personal level but also to grow and mature the company.
Most of the time, I’m working on site with customers. But when I have a day where I’m going to the office, it feels like coming home. You immediately feel the positive vibe. People enjoy what they are doing. It’s difficult to describe this feeling… you need to experience it to understand it.

Another thing is that everybody is trying to help each other. When I started at CTG, there was a thing they called a SIG (Special Interest Group). These SIGs were groups of people getting together occasionally to share knowledge on topics they were passionate about. Fast-forward 17 years and these SIGs have evolved in Centres of Excellence (CoE). But at the core, it’s basically the same thing. Beside these centers we also encourage knowledge sharing by organizing Masterclasses en learning on the job by hosting regular Lunch & Learns where people get together during lunch to discuss specific topics of interest or have a small workshop. These L&L sessions are short, to the point and they work. They enhance the interaction in the different teams and encourages people to share their knowledge. The internal communities are like small ecosystems that live independent from each other but regularly bond and interact to join forces when needed. Not only on a professional level but also after work, these small communities get together to have some fun.

On a personal note, CTG meant a lot to me during one of the most difficult periods of my life. In 2015, after 9 years of trying, we were finally expecting our first child. But we lost our little boy during labour. After the initial shock, I notified my manager and unit manager that I was taking all of my vacation and that I needed time to process this. They immediately acted and relieved me from all administrative burdens. Family comes first. My customers were notified, and colleagues took over some my most urgent assignments without any hesitation. The sheer number of messages I received the first day from colleagues, office staff and management was so overwhelming, it took me 2 days and a lot of courage and tears to get through them. It took me 2 months to find enough courage and energy to go back to work. I was a bit worried I would see a lot of people trying to comfort me and I was not looking forward to those awkward moments. I didn’t feel like talking about it very much at that time. But to my surprise, none of my customers confronted me with this… which meant that CTG handled my absence with the upmost discretion. And I respect that. Says a lot about a company and how much they care about the wellbeing of their employees. They understand it’s the people that make your company, not just numbers and figures.

I currently have the role of Service & Technical Owner (STO) of the Business Productivity Solutions team. This team focuses on Office 365 and SharePoint and assists our customers in setting up modern workplaces or assist customers in transforming their traditional collaboration environments in modern collaboration workplaces. This is a very challenging role because Office 365 is a constantly changing platform where services come and go. Being an STO involves me on a higher level in decisions which are made to grow the company. Our management believes firmly in the importance of having senior consultants in these roles as they have a solid knowledge of their area of expertise and can be a bridge between the management and the people who are doing their best every day to build and expand the services we offer to our customers. This emphasizes the efforts the management do to involve the people in decisions which might affect their professional lives.

No bad memories, no times where the dark side tried to lure me away? Sure, there have been times. I’m not going to lie about it. Everybody has those moments of frustration and irritation. But then I think back to those past 17 years, what are the chances I’m going to find another great company like that? Lots of colleagues left, but a lot of them also came back because they missed CTG and its unique culture. That says it all.

If you want to be part of this family, don’t hesitate to drop a line. Our doors are always open, and we are always on the lookout for people who fit in the organization and are talented in what they do.

Categorized as IT Tagged

By Bart

Bart is a certified SharePoint consultant / architect at CTG Belgium NV with a broad professional experience in IT, a background in software development with a specialisation in Microsoft products and technologies and a solid knowledge and experience in Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies. He started as a COBOL developer on a mainframe environment and grew into software development for Windows platforms. Participated in projects varying from migrations of existing applications to development of Web applications and Windows applications. Became fascinated by the SharePoint 2007 platform and strongly believed in the added business value of this platform. Is since then fully committed to SharePoint and focuses on SharePoint implementations, migrations, integrations, design and coaching. Stays on top of new developments within the SharePoint technology stack and related technologies.

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