Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2015)
Here are some of the reasons why BDC / Business Development Bank of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2016) and Montreal's Top Employers (2016):
- BDC supports its new parents with maternity leave top-up payments as well as assistance in finding convenient daycare when they're ready to return to work -- and employees with college or university bound kids can apply for academic scholarships (to $2,500 per child)
- BDC helps employees plan for the future though a defined benefit pension plan and an employee investment savings plan, as well as health benefits that extend to employees through their retirement years
- BDC's head office employees are encouraged to leave the car at home with one free hour (per ride) towards BIXI bicycle rentals during the summer months
- BDC's new employees receive three weeks of starting vacation and all employees have the option to purchase additional vacation days (up to five days) through the flexible health plan
Working at BDC means being a 'force for good'
In Canada's competitive banking field, one financial institution stands out in terms of social impact. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) became the first Canadian financial institution to win the prestigious B Corp certification, one of just 1,000 companies in 32 countries singled out for applying its business power as a "force for good."
"We are more than a bank," explains Mary Karamanos, BDC Senior Vice President, Human Resources. "We are part of the community."
"We support Canadian economic development by helping small and medium-sized businesses. They are the economy's engine, and by helping them everyone benefits."
BDC, a federal Crown corporation based in Montreal, offers loans, investments and advisory services to more than 32,000 small and mediumsized enterprises across the country.
The close relationships with entrepreneurs are what attract employees who "want to make a difference," says Karamanos. One such hire is Kyle Feucht, a Growth and Transition Capital Manager who works out of the bank's Kitchener, Ont., business centre, one of more than 100 BDC locations from coast to coast.
"I get to help some very dynamic and visionary entrepreneurs," says Feucht. "I do a lot more than look at income statements, ledgers and spreadsheets - and it really gets me energized to come to work. I really feel like I'm helping to build a stronger economy."
But the stimulating nature of the work and the positive social contribution one can make are only two of several positives Feucht lists about working at BDC. There's also the opportunity and support for professional development. "The bank listens," he says, citing his own experience.
Explains Feucht: "When I joined, I expressed my interest in working in 'subordinate financing,' helping companies grow and/or acquire other businesses. My managers helped me develop a plan to get where I am now.
"They were very proactive in identifying learning opportunities. It took about 18 months for me to pick up the necessary skills and experience. A lot came through training and shadowing people already doing the job. They showed confidence in me by letting me try new things. They truly made me feel like I was a member of their team.
"It showed me that the bank legitimately cares about my growth. That's something that is hugely important to me."
Also critical to Feucht is the bank's understanding that there is life outside of the office. One tangible way BDC shows that commitment is through five flex days annually, allowing employees to pursue charitable activities or tend to other personal responsibilities. "They appreciate the need for a work-life balance," says Feucht.
For Karamanos, listening to employees is key to BDC's workplace philosophy. As proof, she points to the bank's remarkable 91-per-cent employeeengagement rate, compared to a national norm in the mid-60s.
"We've been on the Top 100 Employers list for a decade now, and I think that's mainly because we pay attention to what our people are saying," adds Karamanos. "A number of years ago, feedback from employees was that we could do a better job of communicating and that leaders needed to be more open and accessible." As a result, engagement became a part of a leader's annual performance evaluation. And the Bank's engagement rate gradually rose to its current high number.
Higher employee engagement levels means more satisfied workers and that, according to Karamanos, translates into better client service. "When employees feel good about their work," she says, "it makes for a more positive customer experience."
Feucht agrees. "BDC has created a workplace where everyone is engaged," he says. "We have a mission, mandate and workplace that everyone is excited about."
This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's Canada's Top 100 Employers winners, published November 9, 2015 in The Globe and Mail. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which did not write or edit its contents.
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 23, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why BDC / Business Development Bank of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016):
- BDC manages an Aboriginal summer student internship program, providing work experience and mentoring to approximately 20 college and university students each year -- the organization also developed "BDC E-Spirit", a 16-week web-based competition for Aboriginal high school students that features interactive business planning resources, online access to mentoring and extensive student networking opportunities (both in person and online)
- In partnership with ACCES Employment, BDC launched "Entrepreneurship Connections", a 4-week program to help newcomers in the GTA expand their professional network and start their own business
- BDC maintains a number of affinity groups that work in conjunction with the organization's national committee to plan awareness sessions and events as well as meetings with local organizations and associations