| Friday » October 19 » 2007 |
A tale of three good companies and their people |
Melanie Collison |
Saturday, October 13, 2007EDMONTON The idea that individuals are important and can make a worthwhile contribution is front and centre as Edmonton's top companies compete for employees in this labour-short marketplace.To recruit and retain the people of their choice, they're offering recognition, and access to executive ears. They're covering tuition, and investing in safety, health and wellness. And they're building in fun and flexibility.Here are three Alberta companies that embody modern workforce thinking.MICRALYNE INC.A custom electronics components ...view middle of the document...
There's lot of fun and jokes, something funny happens every day; it's a good working environment."The outdoor environment deserves a mention as well. Flooded for noon-hour hockey games in winter, the soccer field draws workers from neighbouring companies to boost the multi-cultural ranks of Micralyne staff.ALBERTA TREASURY BRANCHESAsked what makes ATB Financial a good place to work, senior vice-president of human resources Sandy Chipchar enthusiastically corrects, "It's a great place to work!"The culture is focused on putting the customer first and recognizing that each person in the team makes a valuable contribution.There's a lot of communication, access to leadership, and recognition for individuals' contributions."ATB Financial serves more than 240 communities through an ever-growing network of retail branches plus agencies and business service offices."The culture is consistent across the organization," Chipchar says, which ensures that business growth outpaces Alberta's population boom.The Crown corporation distinguishes itself by its comfortable rural-inspired corporate culture enhanced by urban perks. ATB hires people in their home communities, then provides training and educational opportunities, plus career paths in personal, corporate and investment banking.Its pension and benefits plan -including $500 for each employee to allocate -has been nationally recognized. There's revenue sharing in the good years, which have been plentiful as the company broadens its portfolio.The 4,400 employees "have a sense of having a say in this organization," she adds. "We've had tremendous success with flexible work arrangements, part-time or (working from) remote locations. We never say never."Employees tailor corporate charitable programs to their home towns, and rooted in their experience as ATB's customers, "are great innovators of new products."FOCUS CORPORATION LTD.A recognized safety culture at work and at home, bowls of fruit instead of pretzels and helping raise $325,000 for a children's charity at a recent golf tournament paint a picture of the priority Focus places on people.The engineering firm "truly understands that our success is only as good as the people on our team, people who are truly engaged in their projects," says chief human resources officer Angela Fong.And the projects? The company is proud to have worked on the Kicking Horse Canyon bridge, recently opened as part of the upgrade of the heart-stopping stretch of highway east of Golden, B.C."It's a career-builder to be involved in a project like the Kicking Horse bridge," Fong says.Other career boosters are the mentoring provided to recently-hired graduates and the training and development programs. The company promotes an entrepreneurial spirit, individual autonomy and decision-making in a context of team orientation.An exceptional benefits program, profit-sharing based on individual plus company performance, RRSP donation matching and hefty bonuses for referring new hires...