Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 28, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Accompass was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2016):
- Accompass encourages employees to save for the future with contributions to a matching RSP plan -- and lets everyone share in the company's success with year-end bonuses for all
- Accompass supports employees who are new moms with maternity leave top-up payments, to 100% of salary for up to 6 weeks
Accompass gives staff 'a lot of little extras'
Since the beginning, in 1997, Michael Worb has always had a vision of building a place where people look forward to doing interesting work and share a commitment to building great client relationships. "People want an environment where they're heard, where they can do some creative work and where they have an opportunity to grow, and we offer that," says Worb, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Accompass Inc., a Toronto-based benefits, retirement and compensation consulting company. "They want more than just competitive compensation."
Worb has made it his mission to deliver on all those elements and it has paid off with a loyal, dedicated and growing team of employees. "We have had extremely low turnover since I started the business 19 years ago, which is rare," he says. "And we are celebrating our first retiree this year."
Accompass consultants provide expertise to some 300 clients, including Harry Rosen, Purdue Pharma Canada and the City of Brampton, and the company has managed to maintain long-term relationships with almost all of them. "Our staff are critical to our success," says President Sarah Beech. "We don't sell pens or paper or books. We sell thought leadership from our team, so our people are paramount to being able to deliver value to our clients."
Accompass recognizes the importance of its staff in a number of ways. The company allows flexible working arrangements. Most employees still come to the office daily, but they can work from home and management makes allowances for those with child care or elder care challenges.
The company covers the cost of educational programs that lead to professional certifications or will otherwise enhance an employee's career development. "We do a lot of internal and external training," says Lesley Wong, a Consultant who specializes in group benefits. "We've had Excel workshops. Our pension team has held workshops for the rest of us in the benefits team, which is really valuable cross-training."
Wong and her colleagues have also benefitted from outside training. She notes that all consultants who deal face-to-face with clients recently participated in a two-day, off-site client relationship and presentation skills training program.
In 2014, the company went through a comprehensive re-branding. It included a name change, and the development of a five-point statement of corporate values. "We took all our staff off-site to explore what our values are and we developed them as a team," says Beech. "One of our core values is, 'You are our only client,' and we treat each client like that."
Worb and Beech also demonstrate in many ways how much they value their team. As part of the new brand's launch, the company hosted a staff-only event at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. All employees could choose between one of five gifts, which included tickets to the 2015 World Juniors hockey tournament, a unique restaurant experience, and a helicopter tour of Niagara. On the first anniversary of the new Accompass brand, each employee received a custom Toronto Blue Jays jersey with the number of years they had been with the company.
"Michael and Sarah try really hard to make it a special place to work," says Wong. "We get a lot of little extras that I haven't seen at a lot of other companies. We get our birthdays off. We get Fridays off on long weekends over the summer and we're closed between Christmas and New Year's."
As much as one of the company's core values is "You are our only client", at Accompass the feeling among staff is that people are treated like they are the only employee.