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Posts tagged ‘employee engagement’

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

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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.

 

The Fall of Productivity

Labour Day has come and gone, yet the summer sun still lingers on – at least in some parts of the country. But, from a productivity perspective, this September might as well be the winter of your business’ discontent. According to research conducted by leading digital media company, Captivate Network, productivity declines 20% in workplaces during the summer, attendance decreases 19%, and projects take 13% longer to finish. And such results shouldn’t be surprising when you consider the many other studies that reinforce those findings. Read more

Wearing Corporate Culture on their Sleeves: An Interview with Hicham Ratnani and Ethan Song

This article originally appeared in Lēad Magazine, Issue 15: The Value of Brand Attraction.

Boasting more than 100 employees – and growing – after just two years in business, Montreal-based menswear company, Frank & Oak, has made amazing headway in changing how men shop for their clothes. Every month, the company website features new, on trend clothing and accessories, which Frank & Oak itself designs and manufactures. This stunning startup success all began with co-founders Hicham Ratnani and Ethan Song, who sat down with Adecco to discuss how they first acquired the employees they needed to flourish, how their workforce needs continue to evolve, and what they do to adapt to those changes. Read more

The Ugly Side of Employee Feedback and How to Handle Criticism

Often, it’s the employee who worries about the employer’s feedback. But what about when the employer, or even specifically you, the manager, are subject to employee feedback that isn’t so flattering? There’s a lot of advice out there for employees on how to handle criticism from management and even how to deal with a difficult boss. But bosses are people too, and when an employee speaks up about something with which they disagree or are uncomfortable, it’s the boss’ feelings that can be hurt. In fact, because the employee is the subordinate, criticism from them can take a manager by surprise, particularly when it isn’t received via an official, established channel, such as an internal survey or recommendations box.

So what’s the best way to handle criticism from an employee? Well, that depends on what unofficial way the criticism was received. Read more

Engaging the Changing World of Work with Pete Bombaci

This article originally appeared in Lēad Magazine, Issue 15: The Value of Brand Attraction.

According to a 2012 study conducted at the University of Calgary*, the amount of charities in Canada increased by about 21% between 1992 and 2008, while the amount of foundations almost doubled. The same study also reports that, of those many organizations, health related charities made up only 6% of the charities in Canada in 2008, while health-related foundations made up only 14% of all Canadian foundations. What these statistics show us is an increasingly competitive Canadian non-profit market; a market that Movember – the 2004 brainchild of a few Australians that has prompted men around the world to grow moustaches every November to raise money for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s mental health – boldly entered in 2007. Read more