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Posts from the ‘Employee Relations’ Category

Millennials Want More… Corporate Social Responsibility!

By CEO for One Month, Alana Couvrette

Millennials sometimes seem to get a bad rep as a narcissistic, entitled and self-centered generation. But is this fair to say? I don’ t think so…

For example, millennials expect more from their employers than a paycheck. They have a genuine desire to give back to communities, near and far. For them, purposeful work and the ability to create a positive impact take precedence on profit and salary. In fact, in a recent survey, it was revealed that 45% of student about to enter the workforce would even take a pay cut “for a job that makes a social or environmental impact.” They seek to work for organizations who enshrine good values and ethics into their business model.

Organizations, like Adecco, have taken note of this trend. They know that having an organization-wide aspiration to making a positive difference is part of their value-proposition for attracting and retaining the millennial talent pool.
However, trumpeting your values and ethics isn’t enough. You can’t just talk the talk… The young talent pool is eager to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty and participate in the efforts to improve communities near and dear to them. Organizations need to be able to offer opportunities for employees to truly engage in the change that they wish to make. Millennials seek diverse volunteerism opportunities.

At Adecco, our core values-passion, entrepreneurship, team spirit, responsibility and customer focus- permeate the whole business. As Adecco Canada’s CEO for One Month, I noticed this right away and can testify to their relevancy in our work. These values are also conveyed through our global employee engagement program, Win4Youth. This program encourages participants to clock up kilometers (through cycling, swimming or running) which are turned into donations to help disadvantaged youngsters find employment.

On June 22nd, 2017, Adecco Canada hosted their annual Solidarity Day, a day dedicated to Win4Youth. We spent the afternoon as a team running around Toronto completing a scavenger hunt filled with wacky photo ops and funny tasks. Maybe it’s just me but I didn’t even notice that we each accumulated around 9 kilometers. Multiply that by the total number of employees in the office and you’ve got a healthy donation! Curious to know how the day went? Watch this short video I made!

Still think millennials are self-centered? Deloitte’s Millennial Survey found that 7,800 young leaders from 29 different countries believe that the business world is getting it wrong. Close to 75% say that they feel businesses are “focused on their own agendas rather than improving society.”

Who’s looking self-centered now?

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/06/07/the-future-of-work-corporate-social-responsiblity-attracts-top-talent/#39aca2c33f95

[1] https://www.fastcompany.com/3046989/what-millennial-employees-really-want

The Permanence of Temporary Labour: Learn the Benefits & Advantages

Temporary workers. Contractors. Freelancers. Associates. No matter what they’re referred to, contract workers are a large and important part of many businesses, industries and Canada’s workforce as a whole.

Let’s take a moment to consider the benefits and importance of temporary labour to Canadian families, businesses and the economy.

Temporary labour:

  • Helps industries meet production quotas and seasonal ramps. Many industries (including Agriculture, Hospitality, Logistics, Manufacturing, IT and the Broader Public Sector) rely on a mix of permanent and contract workers to meet seasonal peaks and ramp ups based on client or market demand, as well as to hire for project-based assignments. Without temporary workers, entire industries and businesses wouldn’t be able to meet these demands. High volume hiring during peak periods creates jobs for over 2 million Canadians and lets businesses grow and compete—further creating employment opportunities when businesses are able to expand.
  • Provides flexibility all around. Not only do businesses require flexibility in scheduling to accommodate periodically extended hours, shift-work, off-hour projects, fluctuating production plans and changing demands, but workers increasingly prefer flexibility in work schedules as well. Study after study has found that younger workers favour flexible work hours, but employers are learning that employees of all ages prefer more flexible schedules too! Parents need the flexibility to schedule their work around PA days, school vacations, doctor’s visits and extracurricular activities. Freelancers love the option of working periodically in between personal or side projects. Many employees are also pursuing continuing education and training, and need the flexibility to accommodate class times, work and school assignment deadlines. And Gen X’ers know far too well the demands that come with being the sandwich generation; taking care of children and aging parents while working a typical 9-5 has many feeling strained. Employees of all generations want flexible work hours with the ability to ramp up and down as their needs change, achieve work-life balance and choose their own schedules. And businesses need the flexibility to meet their varying scheduling and seasonal requirements. Contract hiring fulfills both of their needs.
  • Exposes employees to varied workplaces and industries. When looking at a stack of resumes (or results from a keyword crawler), Hiring Managers focus on 3 sections: the applicant’s experience, technical know-how, and their “soft skills”. Working for different employers, across varied industries and holding several job titles is a fantastic way to strengthen all 3! Accepting contract roles gives employees a first-hand feel for diverse businesses and roles—all the while growing their experience and skills, and reducing “employment gaps” on their resumes. Taking on a contract assignment also lets first-time or transitioning workers “try on” different positions and responsibilities before deciding which fit their needs best. This can be especially beneficial for individuals with unique and sought-after skills who want to try out multiple employers before committing to one that will give them exactly what they’re looking for. It also allows workers an opportunity to get in with a particular employer who may not be hiring on a permanent basis at the time. When that employer does have an opening for a permanent position, the contractors who have already proven their skills and know their operations are often thought of first to fill the role. In fact, over 1,200 of Adecco’s temporary Associates were hired on a permanent basis by our clients last year alone. Temporary employment lets job-seekers prove their skills and gives employers an opportunity to evaluate the best candidates before hiring the most suitable for longer term assignments.
  • Offers employees skills training, experience, mentorship, and benefits. When the temporary labour that businesses need is supplied by a staffing firm, the benefits to both clients and temporary staff are magnified. Temporary staff receive expert guidance from professional Recruitment Consultants on their resumes, cover letters, interview tips, personal branding and presentation skills. They act as the human link between clients and candidates in a sea of online applications. Once candidates are on or between assignments, they get access to not only on-the-job training but also online training seminars and software tutorials they can complete on their own time and upgrade any skills they want—all at no cost to them! Adecco offers 400 of such training modules online to our Associates, ranging from technical software courses and customer service skills, to Health & Safety legislation and procedures. Our Associates can continue to work while they complete courses that strengthen their skill sets and resumes. In addition to the complimentary benefits mentioned above, our Associates can also participate in our robust Group Benefits Plan (once they’ve completed the required number of hours), which entitles them to extended health, dental, drug and insurance benefits. The benefits of working with a staffing firm extend beyond the job experience and skills development temporary workers receive.  Hiring managers can focus on business while the firm takes care of employer responsibilities, oversight, payroll and guidance of their temporary workforce.
  • Presents employment opportunities to vulnerable populations. Contract and temporary employment gives new Canadians an opportunity to land respectable work opportunities, gain work experience and start providing for their families quickly. It gives motivated parents re-entering the workplace after parental leave or life changes an opportunity to start earning a salary once again and edge into longer-term positions. It lets seniors find part-time work, graduates land their first jobs and students get supplementary work while they’re in school. Temporary employment positively impacts every generation, demographic, and facet of Canadian life.
  • Gives Millennials what they’re looking for. Millennials make up over 37% of the Canadian labour force, and they’re increasingly more open to jumping between projects, companies, and industries for experience and variety. They’re also much more likely to pursue “side-hustles” and passion projects—such as graphic design, baking, yoga instruction or writing. Temporary positions fit in nicely with their varied schedules, changing priorities, love of travel and a strong desire for work that fits in with their lives. And when young job seekers or recent grads are challenged in finding a permanent job in a timely manner, working on a temporary or contract basis fills in the gap of not working at all.

With all the benefits that temporary labour provides to business and the economy, employees and their families, it’s no wonder that it’s the preferred career path for millions of Canadians. A large contingency of temporary or part-time workers in Canada voluntarily choose part-time work due to all the reasons discussed above, including a preference for added flexibility or seasonal work, better scheduling around classes for students, and greater work-life balance. In fact, a CareerBuilder/Inavero survey (presented at the 2016 ACSESS Conference) found that 76% of temporary employees work temporarily by choice! Canada’s businesses and industries need temporary labour, and Canada’s workforce loves its advantages. We hope that’s a permanent match.

 

From New Immigrant to Superstar: promoting diverse talent is a business advantage

Even though Canada’s Employment Equity Act was instituted 30 years ago (1986) and diversity in the workplace has certainly improved since[i], we as employers still have a long way to go.

Several studies have shown that while “[o]n average, immigrants arrive in this country better educated, in better health, and at similar stages of their careers as those born in the country…the evidence suggests that…they have been much less successful in achieving success than earlier waves of immigration.”[ii] Access to job opportunities, upward mobility, earnings, and income have been poorer for visible minorities than non-visible minorities in Canada.[iii]

While visible minority men and women have higher educational qualifications (more visible minorities have university degrees than their non-visible minority counterparts in Canada), fewer are reaching top income levels. The earnings of visible minorities simply do not match their educational achievements.[iv]

And while we’re making progress in female leadership (women currently hold 19.5% of board seats[v]), other minority groups are still dramatically underrepresented in leadership roles in Canadian organizations– visible minorities hold only 4.6%, persons with disabilities hold only 2.7% cent, and aboriginal people hold only 1.1% of board seats.[vi]  The corporate sector is the worst offender, with only 4% of leadership roles being filled by visible minorities.[vii]  While companies may place a great deal of importance on hiring visible minorities, it is clear that they do not do enough to retain them— often creating a higher turnover rate among visible minorities when they see no opportunities to advance or feel they do not fit in.[viii]

These disappointing statistics do a disservice not only to thousands of highly qualified professionals from minority groups but also to the very companies who are failing to promote them: diverse workplaces have more satisfied workers and lower absenteeism, they tend to be more innovative and less prone to groupthink, and are able to reach a more diverse customer base (i.e., there are tangible financial benefits to having a more diverse workplace).[ix]

Canadian companies need to have effective programs for building and utilizing the talents of a truly diverse workforce and recognizing their hard work. Attracting and hiring diverse talent is only a first step.

shutterstock_344201303Adecco doesn’t have all the answers to solve this systemic problem, but we do have a Diversity Committee who is working on awareness, advocacy, outreach, research, client education and having a multiplicity of voices represented in decision making. We also promote the Power of Workplace Diversity to our clients— some of Canada’s largest employers.

Most importantly, we practice internally what we advocate to clients. Hiring and promoting diverse talent is not just a “best practice” for us; it’s our standard practice and commitment.

Today, Sohail Dossani is the manager of Adecco’s Central Order Management and Corporate Recruitment Centre divisions— but he started a long way out from a managerial role in an office environment. He came to Canada in 2002, and within a decade, worked his way up from a fast food restaurant to leading 2 important departments and being the overall “go to” person for the world’s largest Staffing firm. Below is his story. We hope it inspires employers to recognize the benefits of hiring a diverse and talented workforce and giving new immigrants a real opportunity to succeed.


Hope

Sohail grew up in Pakistan, where he earned a degree in Computer Science and landed a job with IBM— first working in Karachi and then Dubai.

One day, his boss announced that he was moving to Canada. This got Sohail thinking about his own career and future. He decided that he too would apply to immigrate to Canada for better opportunities. His former boss had been successful in getting a job in the IT field, and Sohail was optimistic and hopeful about replicating his success. In fact, he wasn’t the least bit worried about it.

Disappointment

Unfortunately, his hopes were deflated soon after his arrival in Toronto. He applied for job after job in the IT field but came up empty. His degree was of little help for getting hired, and his lack of Canadian experience was a hindrance to landing a job that matched his qualifications—(a bottleneck many new Canadians face, but has since been banned in Ontario and successfully opposed in court in other provinces). Being new to the country, he didn’t know what employment resources were available to him or where to start; he didn’t know the processes for working with various agencies and community groups, or which were reliable.

“There were plenty of electronic resources but hardly anyone you could sit face to face with to get information,” remembers Sohail.

He decided to just go door to door to businesses to try secure work. “It was very hard,” he recounts.

He eventually ended up getting a job at a factory and was responsible for labeling fire logs. Unfortunately, he saw many health and safety violations going on around him but continued to work there as it was the only job available to him at the time— an unfortunate choice many people in similar circumstances are forced to make.

Promise

Sohail approached a popular fast food restaurant for extra shifts to supplement his income and gain field experience. The manager hired him on the spot; after all, a man with a university degree was standing in front of him asking for minimum wage work. While continuing to work at the factory, Sohail lead the night crew at the restaurant.

Before he moved to Canada, he never imagined himself working at a fast food restaurant, but he appreciated the safety and managerial training they company had in place. The role also helped him make an important decision: to go back to university to attain his master’s degree. He soon became the closing manager at the eatery and was eventually able to leave his factory job.

Opportunity

While studying during the day and working in the restaurant at night, Sohail was living next to a large electronics manufacturer in the north of the city and saw workers coming and going day after day. He decided to drop off his resume and learned that the company was using Adecco to fill open positions.

Sohail wanted to be proactive, so reached out to a counselor in the Skills and Employment program (SEP) at his local mosque for assistance in finding new job opportunities. Serendipitously, an Adecco recruiter had been working with the mosque for community recruitment and job support. When the counselor heard about Sohail’s interest in the electronics firm, he quickly put him in touch with us. At that time, the firm was only hiring for an entry level production worker— a role Sohail was overqualified for. Our recruiter advised him to stay in his supervisory fast food role a little while longer, while she searched for a better-suited position for him.

Success

Soon after, the same electronics company was looking to hire a functional tester and debug operator, which was much better suited for Sohail’s credentials and qualifications. He was hired! While the salary was lower than his previous position, he was grateful to be working in a discipline that let him use his resident skill set and put him closer to his primary field of IT. He was confident that he’d be able to work his way up!

Sohail worked in production at the firm for 2 years until Adecco needed a new on-site manager to supervise our staff working there. While he didn’t have much HR experience, he was skilled and highly respected by his colleagues. We interviewed him for the new role and were convinced of the same: he was experienced enough to manage the on-site staff and could learn any HR skills he was lacking. We hired him as the supervisor for the weekend and night shifts. This was one of Adecco’s largest accounts, so to entrust him with this important responsible really demonstrates his competency and our confidence in him. He exceeded all expectations: he became a full-time Adecco colleague and was quickly promoted to Partnership Manager, supporting 4 of our large partnership clients across Ontario along with multiple service delivery teams. Perhaps most rewardingly, Sohail was able to hire other deserving people in this role.

Leadership

When Adecco had a vacancy for an Operations Manager to support the SW Ontario Region, we didn’t think twice. Sohail had proven his commitment, drive and quick learning abilities. He served as the Ops Manager for over a year and was then given yet another opportunity: becoming the manager of Adecco’s COM department in London, ON. The Central Order Management team provides centralized services for Adecco’s national accounts, particularly those who operate across multiple geographic locations.

Sohail has now led the team for over a year and has worked hard to restructure the team’s responsibilities, processes and customer service delivery. His initiatives have not only streamlined team support across the organization but have also allowed us to pursue and deliver exceptional service to large accounts which we simply would not be able to do without a well-run COM department.

Sohail is in charge of many large accounts, yet still has time to answer questions from across Adecco’s 40 offices, and always seems at ease. He tackles his growing responsibilities and occupational challenges with optimism, tenacity and a smile— much like he did when he first arrived in Canada.

Superstar

It was this attitude and disposition that lead Sohail’s colleagues to nominate him for Adecco’s prestigious Superstar Award—which he very deservingly won. The award is given to 11 colleagues who demonstrate excellence across our core values and comes with an all-expenses-paid trip with a guest.

Despite all his success, Sohail is still humble about his achievements. “I did not ever expect this in a field that I was not primarily educated or trained in,” he says. “It truly feels like success. I feel that the hard work has definitely paid off in building my profile from the ground up. My family is very proud.”

Sohail got an opportunity from Adecco when he was just starting out, but he has earned his career growth since then by taking advantage of training resources (such as Adecco’s free SkillBuilder application offered to all Associates), and by going back to school. He also took courses in HR to improve his skills when he found himself in an unfamiliar profession. And he turned to his co-workers for advice and support when he needed it.

It’s the same advice Sohail gives to new immigrants today:

“Use the value-added resources available to you and make them work for you. Improve your skills and education in any way possible. Just keep seeking opportunities to learn and grow your skill set. Don’t wait for them to be offered to you.”


Sohail was given an opportunity by an employer who did more than just “value” diversity. We recognized that the talent we hire should be based on merit and commitment, not credentials or stereotypes. When an organization eliminates candidates based on prejudice, they not only break the law, but also hurt their own organizations by smothering varying viewpoints, hindering a diverse workplace culture, and limiting connections to a multiplicity of client groups and talent pools. When they take the time to get to know applicants— and look at what they can do— the organization benefits exponentially.

When asked what has made him so successful in a field he never imagined being in, Sohail cites the same reasons many successful people do— whether new immigrants or seasoned veterans: like what you do and who you work with. “The colleagues within Adecco really helped give me the support that I needed and helped me stay motivated as they believed in me.”

Sohail is such an integral part of the Adecco family, we couldn’t imagine it any other way. We saw the possibility he held, and he has continuously worked so hard to live it up to it. We encourage and advise all our clients and Canadian employers to do the same. Do more than just “value” diversity; practice it and it will reward your entire organization.

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. gptw_Canada_BestWorkplaces_2016_cmyk

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.

How a Great Place to Work Becomes Even Better: Part 1

shutterstock_291602933

When Adecco was first featured on the prestigious Great Place to Work® list back in 2014, we could have just congratulated our colleagues, drafted a press release and continued on as we were. While we certainly did celebrate – with streamers, stickers, a little champagne and a dedicated GPTW edition of Lēad Magazine – we quickly began working on how a great place to work can become even greater.

gptw_Canada_BestWorkplaces_2016_cmykWell, a year and a half later – Adecco and our specialty brands Adecco Professional and Roevin Engineering and Technology –  have once again been awarded a top ranking on the GPTW List of 2016, making us one of the best companies to work for nationwide. Further this year, Adecco was honoured as being the 27th Best Workplace for Women!

The Great Place to Work® Institute has been studying and identifying exceptional workplaces around the world for the last 25 years, and with more than 5,500 organizations surveyed every year, the program is the world’s largest of its kind and is the definitive list for the makings of an exceptional work environment.

Evidence is mounting that when a company cares about their employees’ perceptions of the workplace, it increases productivity, improves sales and aids in retention. But what exactly makes for a great work environment? We set out to survey our colleagues across the country in various roles and stages of their careers about what they value in their workplaces. The themes that emerged from their responses lead the GPTW Institute® to include Adecco on their 2016 list and also informed the list below. The lessons for employers are clear: give your staff a voice, help them to grow, allow them to give back and provide meaning in their day-to-day work.

“We have a lot of great leaders who are willing to provide support and help out whenever needed.” 

In a global organization, leadership decisions can oftentimes be far removed from a company’s daily operations and can sometimes alienate employees. Transparency is critical to counteracting this. Sandra Hokansson, Adecco’s President and Country Manager, and other members of the broader Canadian Leadership Team keep their pulse to the ground by touring every branch in Canada at least once a year. When there, they focus on engaging with each and every team member – not just the managers – in an open forum to gather valuable feedback, listen to suggestions and learn about opportunities from those on the frontlines of the organization. When companies invest in leadership and transparency, everyone benefits.  And that includes financial transparency – when staff can see the direct impact of their efforts and understand what makes their teams financially successful, motivation comes easily.

“The trust and support at all levels of the company and the open door policies show that your thoughts and actions are not only considered but that they are important to the success and growth of the company.” 

No one wants to feel like just another employee in a large corporation. Staff need to be shown that they are individually valued and given opportunities for taking initiative in whatever role they hold. At Adecco, having an entrepreneurial spirit is part of our Core Values. To foster it, we look for employee involvement in decision making in everything from our group benefits plan and test pilots for new software tools to process improvements, operational efficiencies and even job titles for their roles.

We build leadership through proper support, training and opportunities that develop employee talents. New employees at Adecco receive thorough on-boarding and orientations that help them settle in and prepare them to perform their jobs successfully.  Our national training team also arranges one-on-one coaching calls, video tutorials, and interactive customer service courses. Additionally, we provide online job aids, a virtual Adecco University LearnCentre for all colleagues to expand their knowledge-base and skill sets and offer tuition reimbursements, a Management Trainee Program and an opportunity for executives to attend training programs in leading business schools in Europe. Career advancement is also very important for job satisfaction – particularly to millennials – so every year Adecco promotes approximately 10% of our workforce and allows 25% more to advance their careers laterally. Those who do not receive the promotion in a particular year are presented with aids and exercises which help them refocus and strengthen their skills so that they can succeed the following year. Another program offered is the Short Term Exchange Program which lets an employee switch places with a colleague in another country for a set period of time, capitalize on exciting travel opportunities and learn from teams across the world. When you invest in your employees, they return the investment tenfold through their dedication to the company and talents they bring.

[Adecco] cares about providing the right information and tools to fellow colleagues so that they can perform their jobs properly.”  

Knowing how a company runs, the resources it has available to it and the challenges it’s facing allow a dispersed workforce to perform their jobs effectively and better serve clients, builds mutual trust and creates camaraderie. Effective and frequent communication is key. Adecco colleagues not only have direct contact with senior level executives, but also receive quarterly all-staff calls with the Canadian Leadership Team, a monthly President’s Message outlining strategy, results and colleague success stories, weekly Corporate Communications delivered to their inboxes, and daily 10 minute Branch Meetings as a quick hip-check with their teams. And as part of our global innovation efforts, we also utilize a mass text messaging tool for important alerts.

“Employees are encouraged to bring forward new ideas and opinions.” 

Communication needs to be a two-way street to create a community-oriented corporate culture. Making sure employees’ voices are heard is critical to ensuring a company culture is representative of a multitude of opinions and on the right track. That’s why at Adecco, each colleague has a formal monthly one-on-one meeting with their direct manager to discuss their projects, contributions, challenges and individual goals.  We also hold employee focus groups annually, listen to employee feedback on how to improve work experience and challenges – and follow up with concrete action plans.

“I love working for a large company that makes everyone feel like we are a part of something special.”

We spend most of our time at work so there should be a fair dose of fun involved. And when you attract and hire the best, most entrepreneurial and positive individuals – fun happens organically. But to give the natural fun a boost, Adecco’s Social Committees – found in our larger offices – organize entertaining events that allow colleagues to get to know each other better and have fun through year-end celebrations, bake sales, pumpkin carving contests, scavenger hunts, team lunches and delicious potlucks. We also have light-hearted initiatives like ringing a bell when orders come in, making dance videos and taking part in singing contests, costume parties, sporting events and local charity events. And when there’s a birthday or milestone occasion like a wedding or baby, there’s an expense policy in place for colleagues to share in the celebrations at work. A workforce that plays together, stays together.

Fun picsWe’ve covered the importance of transparency, good leadership, listening, employee involvement in decision making, training, career advancement opportunities and having fun in creating an exceptional workplace. But we’re not done yet. Our next blog post will feature the rest of the list, covering the other critical elements that make up a great place to work – as deemed by both Adecco staffers and the GPTW Institute.

Until then, keep the conversation going on social media and in comments below. Tell us what you think makes a great workplace on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter by using #whatmakesaGPTW.Newspaper
Congratulations to all the other great workplaces on the 2016 list! The full list is published in a Special National Report in today’s Globe and Mail.

 

Things to Learn from Canada’s Top 100 Employers List of 2016

Attention all Canadian companies: Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2016 have been released. The annual competition compiled by Mediacorp Canada, now entering into its 17th year, is a national project that showcases exceptional workplaces that set industry leaders apart from the rest. Plus, the 2016 winners have been featured in The Globe and Mail – talk about additional exposure!

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