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At Patlon Aircraft & Industries, employees can collaborate and connect across departments in its cafeteria.Provided

When Patlon Aircraft & Industries Ltd. was acquired by new owners two years ago, a lot more than the leadership structure changed. Everything from the team’s diversity to its vacation time was re-examined and improved, according to Danny DeLuca, a contracts administrator at the Georgetown, Ont., civil and defence sales organization.

“The culture has improved, our tools and processes have improved, our remuneration has improved, the whole experience has improved,” he says. “And people are more collaborative and interactive with each other, which is a beautiful thing to see.”

The company, which manages Canadian sales for international manufacturers in the aerospace and military markets, has installed a new payroll system, revamped the employee benefits package and upgraded hardware and software systems for staff. “Something as simple as adding a monitor to a desk can make a huge difference to someone’s productivity,” DeLuca says. “It’s simple, but important.”

Jennifer Gebel, who started at Patlon as a contracts administrator five years ago and went on to manage the inside sales team, was promoted to director of operations by the new owners in fall 2022. In fact, two-thirds of Patlon’s executive team is female, which is notable in a historically male-dominated field.

“This group is very forward-thinking, very open-minded, very current in terms of how they do business,” she says. “Promotions are based on a person’s skill set, capabilities and experience, not what gender they are, so it’s been a very impressive change across the board. It makes me very proud to work for a company like this.”

The company has also acted to increase the diversity of its workforce. “We’re seeing people from every corner of the globe, which is incredible,” says DeLuca. “They’re bringing knowledge and perspectives that are so valuable to us and make us more successful. All these things are part of the philosophy of the company.”

DeLuca also appreciates the way the company leaders have created a more comfortable and positive workplace by bringing employees together in social settings.

“We’ve been having more company events, and from a team-building standpoint those have been key,” he says. “You see people from different departments interacting with each other. As a result, people are more engaged, they’re interested in what other departments are doing, and they’re available to help each other and offer insights.”

Among further items in the long list of improvements, Gebel cites Patlon’s education policy, which offers employees $1,500 per year for professional development, as well as increased vacation time, a compressed work week that gives everyone Friday afternoons off, and an improved benefits plan.

“Everything we’re doing has been employee-focused,” she says. “We’ve revamped our entire health benefits plan, including the addition of a personal wellness account, and that’s gone over really well with the employees. They feel like we’re putting their health and wellness above everything else, which is really important.”

Gebel also values the initiatives that have brought the staff together.

“We’re a close-knit team,” she says. “Everybody works together toward a common goal, the success of the company. If you go to somebody in a different department, even on a busy day they will stop what they’re doing to help work through whatever issue you have. I’ve worked at other companies, and I’ve never experienced anything like this before.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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