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 (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 24, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Artis REIT was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2017):
- Along with matching RSP contributions, Artis REIT lets employees share in the company's financial success with year-end bonuses and a profit-sharing plan
- Artis REIT is one of the ever increasing number of small and medium sized employers that offer maternity leave top-up payments for its new moms (to 75% of salary for up to 15 weeks)
- Artis REIT encourages employees to recruit friends from their networks with referral bonuses, ranging from $100 to $2,000 for each successful new hire
Artis REIT connects people to purpose
Ivan Varela came to Calgary from Colombia as a refugee four years ago. He struggled to find his footing, working first in asbestos removal and then as a house painter. Last year, after completing a five-month building operator training program with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), Varela served a four-week internship at the Calgary arm of Artis REIT, a Winnipeg-based real estate investment trust that specializes in commercial properties. The company hired him as a full-time building operator last July.
"You can't imagine the change this has made in my life and that of my wife and four-year-old son," says Varela. "As well as letting me provide for my family, the company is helping me develop my skills and knowledge and build my profile as a professional."
Artis REIT, which also has satellite offices in Edmonton, Toronto and the U.S., benefited as well. The company began partnering with the CCIS three years ago, as a way of finding and hiring high-performing individuals to operate its buildings in what is a very competitive employment market.
"For us, technical know-how isn't the be-all and end-all when it comes to recruitment," says Morgan Johnson, Senior Manager, Human Resources. "We will often look at people who may be a little less technically experienced, but who excel at cooperation, team work and customer service. We then help them with training and development programs to bring their technical skills up to where they need to be."
Continuous improvement -- both at the individual and corporate level -- is a core value for Artis REIT. Employees are reimbursed up to $1,800 annually to pay for continuing education they feel would assist them in doing their current job better or to pursue another position within the company.
Employees also take part in an internal training program, Artis Fundamentals, that provides them with a better understanding of the company and their role within it. "The idea is to connect people to purpose," says Johnson. "The message is: everybody's work counts and matters."
That tone is set from the top. Chief Financial Officer Jim Green likens investment in people to the company's improvement of its balance sheet and real estate holdings. "Artis REIT's commitment to learning and development results in a committed team and internal career growth," he says. "Year over year, things get better here because of our knowledgeable, professional team."
While the size of its workforce has grown rapidly in recent years, Artis REIT strives to maintain an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture.
"This is a very open organization where, as an employee, you are encouraged to bring forward any idea you might have to make the company better," says Varela. "The fundamental thing is that we all have respect for each other."
While there is a high expectation at Artis REIT that employees will work hard and perform well, there is also a strong commitment to ensuring a positive work/life balance.
All employees enjoy access to on-site or nearby fitness facilities. The company's health and wellness committee also organizes a wide range of activities, including walking clubs, fitness challenges and "lunch-and-learn" sessions on everything from nutrition to personal financial planning.
In addition to competitive salaries, benefits and vacation time, the company offers "family days" (rather than "sick days") which take into account the need to sometimes be away from work to attend to family concerns -- something Varela particularly appreciates.
"Before joining this company I was, as an immigrant, afraid of asking for time off to deal with a medical situation in the family," he says. "Here, you are told up-front that it's okay to do so. Along with all the other kinds of support we receive, this makes you feel an even greater commitment to the company."