Recognized as one of Manitoba's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 29, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Artis REIT was selected as one of Manitoba's Top Employers (2017):
- Artis REIT supports ongoing employee education with tuition subsidies for courses related and indirectly related to their current positions (to $1,800) and offers encouraging financial bonuses for the completion of some courses (from $500 to $2,000)
- Artis REIT provides maternity leave top-up payments to its new mothers (to 75% of salary for up to 15 weeks) and allows them to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
- Artis REIT manages a workplace health and wellness committee to support employee efforts to achieve work-life balance and provides free access to an onsite fitness facility
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 Artis REIT was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2016):
- Artis REIT lets everyone share in the company's financial success with year-end bonuses and a profit-sharing plan
- Artis REIT offers referral bonuses as an incentive for employees to help recruit candidates in their network (up to $2,000 for successful candidates)
- Artis REIT provides maternity leave top-up payments to employees who are new mothers (to 75% of salary for up to 15 weeks) and offers flexible hours for when they are ready to return
Standing up for employee input at Artis REIT
Since emigrating to Canada from his native Romania in 2011, Valy Motei has pursued his passion for information technology (IT). For the past three years, Motei has been part of the IT support team at Artis REIT, a Winnipeg-based real estate investment trust that specializes in commercial properties. It's been an eye-opening experience.
"We are continually accessing and adapting new technology and this is something I love," says Motei, who was employed as a social worker as well as in the IT field in Romania. "And I'm pleasantly surprised by how open managers are to trying new things. In Europe, companies are sometimes resistant to change, but here at Artis REIT they are always looking to their employees to bring new ideas to the workplace."
That input can be wide ranging. "A while back, myself and a co-worker came forward with the idea of standup desks," says Motei. "We thought management might not be open to this because it's an extra cost. But they were, and now it's a kind of trend in our offices. Personally, I've seen a huge improvement in my health after standing up over this past year."
Founded in 2004, Artis REIT today has a $5 billion portfolio of industrial, office and retail properties in select Canadian and U.S. markets. In addition to the Winnipeg head office, the company has satellite offices in Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Phoenix.
While the size of its workforce has grown rapidly in recent years, Artis REIT strives to maintain an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture.
"Employees want to know that what they do is important and that people believe in them," says Tricia Veness, the company's Director of Human Resources. "We take every opportunity we can to hear what our employees say they need in order to do their job more effectively and, in return, have a better work/life balance."
A good example, says Veness, is the health and wellness committee the company established in 2014. "We focused on having employees tell us what we could do for them," she says. "Among other things, they wanted information on fitness, nutrition and how to implement healthier choices in all aspects of their lives."
As a result, Artis REIT opened an on-site fitness facility at its Winnipeg office which provides free access 24/7 (employees in Calgary have access to a similar on-site facility, while those in Edmonton, Toronto and Phoenix are eligible for annual subsidies for gym membership). The company has also sponsored walking clubs, yoga classes led by fitness professionals and brought in outside experts to talk about everything from nutrition to personal financial planning.
Artis REIT places a strong and expanding focus on career development. Individual employees are reimbursed up to $1,800 annually to pay for any outside training or education they feel would assist them in doing their current job better or to pursue another position with the company. Starting in 2016, the company is also rolling out an Artis-branded internal training program that will provide employees a better understanding of the company (Artis REIT 101), how their role fits in and personal effectiveness skills to help them excel in the workplace.
The company also has social committees in each of its offices that organize outside team-building activities that range from bowling and trampoline parks to bike rides that raise money for multiple sclerosis research.
Motei's IT team, for example, holds monthly meetings off-site at restaurants and coffee shops where they have the chance to interact as individuals, not just work colleagues. "We get to know about each other's families and interests," says Motei. "What I like about Artis REIT is they try to make the workplace not just challenging, but enjoyable. I believe that, as a result, we are more productive and the quality of work is that much better."