PROPELLING GROWTH THROUGH TALENT
For CALIBRE Systems, Inc., success hasn’t just been about huge contracts and skilled professionals. Though factors like these were certainly at play, the foundation of CALIBRE’s growth is its employee ownership culture, say president and CEO Joe Martore and senior EVP and CFO Jeff Giangiuli.
Martore believes that for any company in the services industry, a strong team is the most important resource, and that’s why he chooses to empower employees through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). In putting this benefit in place, Martore not only knew he was setting the company apart from competitors, but also that he was tying employees’ success to the company’s success in an important way. This, he says, has had a significant impact on the behavior of employees. “They behave as if they are owners of the company, not just employees. They make different decisions,” says Martore. It appears as though this strategy has been successful — for the last 27 years, CALIBRE has experienced consistent growth.
CALIBRE’s ESOP goes beyond the traditional arrangement with an open-door, and open-book, policy. “We share all of our financials,” says Martore. “Our employees help prepare our strategic plan and our annual business plans. We have an employee-ownership committee that actually puts an individual from the staff on the board of directors.”
CALIBRE has been able to build not only a strategic plan, but also a detailed roadmap to direct the company toward its goals, with plenty of input from employees. “It’s a best-ideas-win culture,” says Giangiuli. “And so [we take] the best ideas and the best approaches, lay all those out [and] figure out [how to] go forward from there. That’s the approach we’ve used and it’s been successful for us.”
CALIBRE takes care to invest in the futures of its employees in other ways as well, such as its CALIBRE University program. The program aims to train employees in different skills to ultimately help them grow as professionals and adjust to new levels of responsibility. If employees want to pursue education outside of the company, CALIBRE offers tuition reimbursement. “We’ve developed a career-management program which ties skill levels, competencies and achievements to different levels,” says Giangiuli. “We have a fairly generous tuition reimbursement program where we’ll pay well for certifications and bonuses, but we also look at folks staying current in their field so that the SMEs that we employ can remain [on the] cutting edge. … I think that it’s kept highly-charged employees motivated and helped us with retention,” says Giangiuli.
Since its founding in 1989, CALIBRE has used strong talent strategies to propel its growth, and ultimately this has allowed it to help clients execute missions that are crucial to the nation and the world. Through its work, the company supports the government with management analysis, IT solutions and program support. CALIBRE’s corporate motto, “Our success follows yours,” captures the essence of its business philosophy and affirms the integral relationship it has with its clients, employees and local communities. “It’s one thing to survey your clients and take the data back and so on,” says Giangiuli. “It’s another thing to then do the hard work on the data to where you are really successful, figuring out why you’re really successful and where you maybe weren’t as successful as you wanted to be. … Employ those strategies to take action, make change and to drive those numbers where you want them.”
As for the future, Martore is focused on delivering the solutions that make a difference for CALIBRE’s clients. “I think that the future is to continue to grow
the company and the ESOP, getting to new areas,” he says. Over the last few years, through its growth and investments, CALIBRE has been able to work with the Veterans Administration to help transitioning soldiers. And, just last year, CALIBRE began working with the NIH, and is now helping with a number of healthcare analytics that are working to solve issues surrounding the Zika virus. Ten years ago, 99 percent of CALIBRE’s work was in the military sector. Now, more than 40 percent of its projects are focused on new avenues. “That’s where the growth is,” says Martore. “We’ve really had a growth strategy based on diversification.”
Photo (L to R): Jack Mutarelli, Senior EVP; Shawn Gundrum, VP, Training, Infrastructure and Environment; Dorisa Harris, VP, Health and Information Management; Clark Presnell, VP, Logistics and Management Services; Joe Martore, President and CEO; Denise Oberndorf, VP, Performance and Cost Management; Jeff Giangiuli, Senior EVP and CFO; Craig College, SVP, Strategy Development; Phil Rizzi, VP, Human Capital Management