Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 21, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan / ASEBP was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2017):
- ASEBP supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments of up to 100% of salary for up to 13 weeks, and offers a variety of alternative work arrangements to help them transition to their new roles as parents
- In addition to a flexible health benefits plan, ASEBP offers employees a health spending account (up to 1% of salary) and a wellness spending account (up to $1,000 per year) which can be used for items that support overall health and wellness such as fitness equipment and unique family experiences, from hockey games to family vacations
- ASEBP's supports a number of local, national and international charitable organizations each year, focusing on initiatives for children, the community, animals and health -- additionally, the organization encourages employees to give back to the community by providing paid time off to volunteer
When it comes to wellness, ASEBP walks the walk
Don't be fooled by the name - the Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan (ASEBP) is about much more than just benefits. While ASEBP provides a range of life and health insurance coverage to more than 55,000 members employed by 58 school jurisdictions and 11 associations in the province, it also places a strong emphasis on health promotion.
"What sets us apart from regular insurance companies?" asks Kelli Littlechilds, ASEBP's Chief Operations Officer. "For one thing, we're a not-for-profit organization and we serve one specific population - the public K-12 education sector in Alberta - so we can be creative in delivering our value-added services."
This unique approach is used with external members, and it is also mirrored internally with employees.
"My mother worked as an educational assistant and still has ASEBP benefits to this day," says Jocelyn Reeves, Communications Advisor. "So I already knew a bit about ASEBP and its focus on wellness when I applied here eight years ago."
Employees enjoy sit-stand workstations and many wellness initiatives organized by various staff-led committees. The Fitness for Health Committee recently launched a winter health challenge with "Healthy Choices BINGO Cards", while the Go Green Committee planned a book and magazine swap event to promote the reuse of reading materials. The Spirit Committee ensures the organization gathers each quarter to celebrate employees' life milestones, such as an educational achievement or a marriage.
"We're always looking for new ways to promote employee wellness and continue to foster our workplace culture," says Littlechilds. "Work-life balance is a very important aspect of wellness, which is why we offer several programs in support of this, such as the earned day off program."
Not only does the organization's total compensation package compare well with other organizations, Reeves says, it also supports her in fulfilling her ambitions as a communications professional through a learning and development fund. Courses to upgrade her design skills and learn about advances in design technology are examples of how she's used her fund in recent years.
With extremely low turnover and 21 employees receiving long service awards this year alone, ASEBP is truly a place where people stay.
According to a recent employee survey, most of ASEBP's employees share this commitment to the organization. "We received an overall engagement score of 95 per cent," says Littlechilds. "Most organizations are happy to achieve a rating of about 50 per cent."