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Why CPCS staff value the firm’s corporate retreat

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DOLIRium, a 150-person event, keeps the employee-owned infrastructure management consulting firm moving on target and accountable to its global team.

The four-day “workation” puts deep conversations first, where the entire workforce openly weighs in on company matters like compensation or what entrepreneurial efforts the infrastructure consultancy should invest in and pursue next.

CPCS isn’t a flashy company and its annual retreats aren’t about lavish trips nor luxury resorts. Instead, the focus is on what gets people invested, putting the team center stage and talking about their collective craft for greater impact.

Isabelle St-Jean, who joined CPCS in 2021 and experienced in her first DOLIRium says she’s “never been in a company that candidly invites their people to comment live on what they think of the compensation structure.”

The firm’s strategy is depth, so it naturally leads to in-depth talks like this. Outsiders wouldn’t know, but as part of the onboarding process, new hires see the strategy has a face when introduced to the deep-sea diver mascot they call DOLIR.

DOLIR, CPCS's deep sea diver mascot

Once inside, employees are in a sense taken into DOLIR’s world, hence DOLIRium as a quirky name for the company’s staff retreat.

DOLIRium is when the firm pauses to bounce ideas around, unpack tough subjects, have conversations and bring a whole lot of different perspectives about where to take and evolve the company. All in all, DOLIRium unites CPCSers to keep the firm on track, is a place to crowdsource intel from savvy workers and a chance for community time.

“CPCS is a no fluff business and has the guts, whether internally or with clients, to respectfully get in front of tough conversations to get to the right outcome,” says Eddie Wytkind, whose craft revolves around transportation policy creation, investment advisory, and funding assistance for multimodal transport projects.

“It’s rare that a company with more than 140 people gives all of its employees a say and a role in its future. CPCS does this very well and understands the value of human capital. I’m proud to be a CPCSer!”

Company retreat, a great catalyst for introspection

The retreat’s formula is simple: focus on what impacts people’s job and life at work.

What staff want is being involved in things like high-level strategy planning to how to scale up operations or getting into a new market and even talking about hot topics like compensation.

CPCS staff join the retreat from around the globe. Infrastructure specialist Mamoudou Bocoum, who tuned in from Africa, says the “annual retreat has become something I look forward to each year. It’s an occasion where management reinforces a sense of belonging for all employees by opening the discussion on major topics for the strategic development of the company, confirming that every opinion counts.”

Because CPCS is a flat organization, it’s easy to hear from every employee across the globe and every function. Ultimately, four days of conversation leads to rich feedback, creating a professional place employees are proud of. CPCS taps its people to look at strategic and internal matters from multiple angles, which is key as the firm grew from 20 to almost 150 people.

“This year again, I was very pleased by how much corporate culture was part of our discussions, because I believe it’s the key success factor of our firm,” adds Mamoudou.

US-based senior transportation consultant Maya Rusten praises CPCS for hosting a simple yet compelling retreat like DOLIRium. “We tackle challenging topics, whether as experts or as employees, and learning how others see and interpret things is exciting. The experience of hanging out with colleagues around the world plotting CPCS’s future is absolutely invaluable.”

Contact us if you’re considering a career with CPCS. We’re always hiring and looking for talent. Get a feel for what it’s like to work with us by visiting our careers page.

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