How a Great Place to Work Becomes Even Better: Part 2
Earlier this week, we gleefully announced that Adecco Canada was included on the Great Place to Work® list of 2016.
The sentiments expressed by Sandra Hokansson, Adecco Canada’s President and Country Manager, represent how all of us as feel about this respected award: “When a venerable organization like the Great Place to Work Institute recognizes what I see every day across Adecco’s offices and branches – staff going above and beyond to help clients and job seekers, laughter and collaboration resonating from offices, a workplace of people who have chosen to make Adecco their home for years and a stream of enthusiastic volunteers for our social programs – it solidifies that Adecco’s culture is working for the people who help find others work. We are truly honored to be recognized once again.”
While we’re still elated and continuing to celebrate, we also wanted to use this as an opportunity to start a conversation about creating great workplaces for all Canadians. Our previous blog noted the importance of transparency, good leadership, listening, employee involvement in decision making, training, career advancement opportunities and an atmosphere of fun as key factors for making workplaces feel like more than a job. The list continues below with themes that Adecco staff and the GPTW Institute reported as being critical to a great workplace:
“Our team is very special and we think of each other as family. We stay accountable because we don’t want to let our team down and that really makes a difference…”
When an organization creates a world-class work environment for its employees, they become better motivated and engaged. And when staff go above and beyond in their efforts, employers need to recognize their contributions to the organization’s success in a way that they prefer. Adecco offers various modes of recognition and compensation so that each employee can feel appreciated in a way that suits them. Managers are given a Recognition Tool-Kit with customizable cards, certificates and vouchers that help them show impromptu appreciation to their teams. Best performing branches and team members receive a special treat like a gift basket, pizza lunch, bouquet of balloons, home cooked meal prepared by a regional vice president or even an opportunity to become a boss for the day. We also have formal Keystone Awards that recognize staff members who best embody the firm’s values, as well as the annual Superstars Contest which includes an all-expenses-paid luxury trip for the winner and a guest. We hand out Service Awards in appreciation of tenure – and considering that 35% of our workforce have been with us for 5 years or longer – we give out quite a few of them. When we win a company-wide award (like making the GPTW list), every branch receives a celebration kit filled with streamers, snacks and swag! Colleagues are also encouraged to recognize one another through nominations and a special section of our intranet site for sharing successes and accomplishments with the entire organization. Our sharing initiatives don’t stop there – we provide generous referral bonuses when colleagues share their relationships and help find the right people to join the Adecco family, offer a profit sharing program across all levels of the company and utilize formalized salary bands for competitive compensation to all staff (in fact, we write the book on it).
“As a single mother I appreciate the work/life balance of working here.”
Smartphones, laptops and virtual networks are ubiquitous among modern working professionals so the need for a balanced work-life schedule and support programs is more important than ever before. Adecco accommodates unconventional work arrangements, work-from-home opportunities and flexible time off for our employees. Staff also receive more vacation time than legally required from the get-go, and increases in vacation time with their tenure. We offer paid sick days and leaves, health and welfare benefits, life and disability insurance and a retirement matching program to ease the burden for staff. Colleagues also have access to an Employee and Family Assistance Program which provides confidential coaching to help with various personal, family, and work-related challenges. In addition, we frequently run seminars for creating better balance and reducing stress, offer a Health and Fitness Reimbursement Program, maintain discounted gym memberships and feature lifestyle assistance services like weight-loss plans and smoking cessation programs. Workplace happiness starts with health.
“This company values and accepts diversity – not always found in companies as large as this.”
Every employee and client should feel welcomed, included and as part of a team. A key part of Adecco’s Leadership Principles is having a “warm heart”, but demonstrating warmth in a large organization can be challenging. To increase integration, Adecco started a Coaching Program to help new hires across our branches and offices receive guidance from a veteran of the organization as they settle in. Adecco has also taken an active role in accommodating disabilities and hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce. We ensure that all our branch locations are accessible, our website material and software applications comply with best standards for accessibility, our mandates identify partnership opportunities across the country to support both internal diversity and client recruitment efforts, and that we’re working with diverse community organizations (read more about this below). Having a multitude of perspectives, ideas and opportunities in the workplace strengthens us all.
“Adecco is an organization that fosters socially responsible initiatives while investing in their people.”
Whether it’s giving back to the community, encouraging workplace health and fitness, or having a strong commitment to achievement by all, corporate social and environmental responsibility is increasingly becoming a benchmark of great workplaces, particularly for millennials. The word “pride” comes up a lot from Adecco colleagues and a large component of it stems from the company’s social and environmental stewardship initiatives that aim to give back. Our Way to Work Program was implemented to help global youth employability through internship opportunities and coaching. And our massively successful Win4Youth initiative has not only raised over $2M for disadvantaged children around the world but also encouraged Adecco’s own employees to lead a more active lifestyle. Our 40 branches are further encouraged to support community organizations in their regions – particularly those focused on improving the employability of marginalized groups such as youth organizations, the LGBT community, First Nations and other ethno-cultural groups, newly-landed immigrants and refugees. Our goal is to help build a diverse and inclusive Canadian workforce through mentoring, presentations, recruitment programs, and offering relevant work experiences to kick start new careers. We’re also committed to preserving the health of the environment and started measuring our carbon footprint years ago. Since then, we have put together an action plan to reduce our environmental impact through work-from-home arrangements, LED lighting, recycled paper, choosing LEED buildings for our offices and equipping kitchens with energy efficient appliances. A workplace doing good is a good workplace.
“Adecco doesn’t just talk about values but acts in all instances to be true to them.”
Even a great workplace can quickly become complacent if their company culture remains static. A workplace is a fluid entity – workplace trends change frequently and yesterday’s values may not appeal to today’s demographics. There are always opportunities for continued improvement. When Adecco first made it onto the GPTW list in 2014, we set up a committee of employees across offices and departments to listen to staff and identify changes Adecco could implement to make their jobs better and easier. Since then, we’ve taken over 75 actions directly in response to their appeals! Our leadership is committed to listening to its people – we continue to analyze the Great Place to Work results every year, hold focus groups with colleagues to offer insights and advice on improvements and we create action groups that are tasked with seeing these ideas through to fruition. We’re always looking for ways to raise the bar and inspire other companies.
“I feel that I am valued for my contribution to the company as a whole and that we work hard as a company to continually strive for the best. I have a real sense of pride in what we do and how we do it.”
While internal culture, giving back and continuous improvement are all important cornerstones in the makings of a great place to work, we believe that there’s an additional element that makes our workforce one of the most engaged in Canada. Adecco is a staffing firm, so not only do we come to work at a supportive, innovative, progressive and fun workplace every day, we also get to help thousands of Canadians find their own great place to work! At its essence, our job is to help worthy people transform their lives and the lives of their families. It is that mission that makes Adecco a truly great place to work.
Adecco Canada is proud to be selected as a Top-50 Great Place to Work® and as the 27th Best Workplace for Women. We would like to once again congratulate the other exceptional workplaces on the list.
So what makes a great place to work for you? Is it a company’s social responsibility? Flexible work arrangements? Game rooms? Mission statement? Tell us in the comments below and on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter by using #whatmakesaGPTW.