Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018) and Montreal's Top Employers (2017):
- Bell Canada encourages employees to become owners through a share purchase plan and offers a number of additional financial incentives, including signing and year-end bonuses for some employees and referral bonuses of up to $2,500
- Bell Canada created the national "Let's Talk" initiative to support mental health awareness initiatives across Canada (a total commitment of over $100 million) and encourages employees to get involved in the community with matching charitable donations as well as financial donations to charities where employees volunteer their time (up to $2,500)
- Head office employees at Bell Canada receive subsidized membership to a fully-equipped onsite fitness facility with instructor-led classes (from Zumba to spinning) as well as access to nutritionist, massage therapist and physiotherapist services -- the company also maintains three fitness centres in Montréal that employees can access with their single membership
At Bell, transformation creates opportunities of the future
At Bell Canada, innovating and transforming to stay at the forefront of customers' constantly changing needs is the very fabric that sets the organization apart, and it is also creating an ongoing wave of new opportunities for the people who work there. Its team members, many of whom are long-serving, are eagerly embracing new ways of working -- and already navigating careers of the future, today, at Canada's largest telecommunications company.
Bell's strategic investment in advanced fibre and wireless networks gives employees a variety of options to choose from when it comes to their careers. They may find themselves working on TV innovations, trialling new wireless speeds or developing the latest Internet of Things solutions -- working in fields as diverse as network engineering, marketing, broadcasting, IT, finance, human resources and legal.
That variety, says Bernard le Duc, Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, means Bell can offer employees great career opportunities in a wide range of sectors. "Plus, people can move between groups," he adds. "That's a breadth of experience you don't get everywhere."
To Kathleen Liu, a Product Manager with Bell Mobility, that diversity of opportunity and culture of innovation was a perfect fit.
"I get to do so many different things in an extremely supportive and innovative environment," says Liu, who was introduced to the company in 2015 as part of Bell's award-winning Graduate Leadership Program. "I feel a real sense of pride and ownership in my work and the opportunities to grow are almost limitless."
That's a culture that Bell has worked hard to create, says le Duc. One example is the Network 3.0 initiative, designed to transform the way Bell delivers new products and services to market by innovating more quickly, empowering team members and allowing for experimentation.
"Our philosophy is to create a work environment that's agile and ready to adapt to the next challenge," says le Duc. "Anyone can have that next great idea and our leaders' role becomes one of removing roadblocks and helping people innovate. That's exciting for everyone."
Liu agrees. As a product buyer sourcing the latest mobile accessories, she's worked with vendors to develop new products. "We go through many phases of prototypes and testing and we are encouraged to be creative and challenge the status quo."
That agile approach can also be seen in Bell's approach to communicating its strategy.
"With more than 50,000 employees in locations across the country, we work hard to ensure everyone understands our strategy and their role in it," says le Duc. "We have been successful in having the team pull together around our goal to be recognized by customers as Canada's leading communications company."
Employee engagement is also strong when it comes to Bell's commitment to mental health, most notably the company's ground-breaking Bell Let's Talk initiative.
"Our tremendous support for mental health is one of the many reasons I am proud to work at Bell," says Liu. "You never feel intimidated to talk about it and there are tons of resources and support for everyone."
To date, more than 9,300 Bell leaders have received mental health training, providing them with the knowledge and tools required to foster a healthy workplace and support employees in need.
Whether it's breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness or transforming its business culture, Bell clearly believes that embracing change leads to growth.
Liu, for one, values the ability to make an impact so early in her career.
"Bell is an amazing place to grow," she says. "I get a lot of support from leadership, but I've never been micromanaged. They really give you the opportunity to shine and be part of developing the future."
Bell makes a connection with top talent
Clémence de Robert didn't have a career at Bell Canada on her radar until she attended a session on women in engineering at Polytechnique Montreal shortly before her graduation. After speaking with Bell team members, she quickly decided to apply to the company's new grad program. A few months later, she was hired as a network specialist in Dorval.
Now, after just over a year on the job, de Robert has moved on to a new role where she herself does campus recruiting, informing engineering students about why Bell is such a great place to start their careers, based on her own experience. Nicholas Payant, Bell's Vice President of Connectivity and Infrastructure, knows that attracting the best talent is key to Bell's ongoing success. That means raising awareness about Bell's innovation leadership and development opportunities, he says. "Once students visit and have a chance to see what we're all about, they're blown away and want to work here."
As the country's largest communications company, Bell Canada offers a wide range of opportunities at its modern Montreal headquarters and locations across the country. The Canadian leader in wireless, Internet, TV and media services, Bell has 50,000-plus team members, working in fields including network and product development, broadcasting, marketing, IT, finance, HR, legal and regulatory.
Payant explains that Bell innovates in three specific ways -- through its people, processes and technology. "We are constantly revisiting how work takes place. We ask, 'If we were a basement startup, what would we do?' Our team's thinking comes from a diversity of backgrounds, resulting in a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts."
With the latest wireless technologies and most advanced broadband networks, Bell is a communications company built to anticipate the future needs of customers. It's all about adaptability and staying nimble, says Payant.
Sylvie Basque, a 30-year Bell veteran, knows that well. "I've had three totally different careers at Bell," she says. She began as a telecom engineer, then did a complete switch to managing 200-plus local field and cable repair technicians. Now she leads a much smaller team of young recruits like de Robert.
No matter the job or the length of their career, there is a common theme that comes through in the words of Bell team members like Basque, de Robert and Payant: a passion for their work. "It's a lot of fun to work here," says Payant. "There's a true sense of ownership within the Bell team and that's what makes working here great."
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 27, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2017):
- In addition to managing the widely recognized "Bell Let's Talk" campaign, the company maintains an internal mental health policy and offers enhanced benefits coverage for mental health care -- Bell Canada also supported the creation of the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and is the first company to adopt the standard internally, providing all managers with Workplace Mental Health certificate training
- Bell Canada established an LGBT network in 2009 to support the inclusion and professional development of LGBT employees and also developed formal guidelines and resources to support employees, their leaders and their teams through the gender transition process -- resources include information on gender identity at work, an FAQ for leaders and a terminology guide
- For the past 11 years, Bell Canada has sponsored female executives' participation in career development programs such as The Judy Project and the International Women's Foundation fellowship -- the company also maintains the national "Women at Bell" network to provide professional development, mentoring and networking opportunities
Diversity drives innovation, success at Bell Canada
As a Software Architecture Specialist based in Quebec City, Gratiella Nizane works with Bell Canada's software and technology specialists across the country to design and develop solutions for mobile applications.
"They're not only in different cities," she says, "they're often from different backgrounds as well. Getting different points of view from different team members empowers people and leads to better results."
As one of only 5,000 Burundi natives living in Canada, Nizane followed her sister to Canada from their home in the small, predominantly French-speaking East African country to study at Laval University. She joined Bell in 2016 after completing her university degree in software engineering.
"At Bell, you get to collaborate with some of the smartest people in the industry," she says. "You can succeed and be supported to succeed. And working for the biggest communications company in Canada also means that I get to do some really cool stuff."
Bell is committed to building a workplace that reflects Canada's diversity and enables every team member to reach their full potential, says Nanci MacLean, Vice President, In-House Production for Bell Media in Toronto.
"We're all unique," she says, "whether it's because of age, gender, family status, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation or physical ability.
As a gay woman, I can say that Bell's culture of inclusion is much more than a strategy on paper."
MacLean started her career more than 16 years ago as a petty cash clerk. Since then, she says, "Bell has fostered and mentored me up to the level of Vice President. And I've been encouraged to be me from the day I started."
Now a member of Bell's diversity leadership council, MacLean works with representatives from across the company to ensure Bell's culture of inclusion is reflected in activities such as recruitment and talent management.
"We want all employees to come to work as themselves," she says. As part of its diversity and inclusion strategy, Bell has taken a number of steps to actively promote inclusion. The company has created several inclusion networks, such as Bell's LGBT Network, which supports the professional development of LGBT team members. As well, formal guidelines and resources support employees through gender transition, including education for leaders and colleagues.
For the past 11 years, Bell has sponsored career development programs for female executives and has an active Women at Bell network to provide professional development, mentoring and networking opportunities across the company.
Bell is also a leader when it comes to mental health - the leading cause of workplace disability in Canada. The Bell Let's Talk initiative, launched in 2010, promotes mental health based on four pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. In addition to enhanced mental health coverage for team members, Bell trains all managers to be sensitive to mental health issues and was the first company to introduce a national standard for psychological health and safety at work.
Bell continues to look at innovative ways to reinforce its commitment to diversity and inclusion for all members of the Bell team. In 2016, the company introduced a new, more robust diversity questionnaire to get a more complete picture of its workforce and better shape future programs for team members.
"We are always looking ahead to ensure we have an inclusive environment that helps people achieve their potential," says MacLean. "I was inspired in my career. I hope I can do the same for someone else. I try to impress on them that you can succeed, and Bell will help you to do it."
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 20, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Bell Canada was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2017):
- Bell Canada has added over 40 electric vehicle charging stations for employees looking to plug-in at work and also partners with Add Énergie and the Province of Québec to install e-charging stations at locations across the province
- Bell Canada is an early adopter of green building strategies with its first building certified LEED Gold in 2011 -- the company's property portfolio also includes a variety of uniquely green features such as green roofs, white roofs, solar panels, rainwater collection, native plantings and bird mating protection zones
- Along with local partnerships and initiatives, Bell Canada is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, a sponsor of the Global Compact Network Canada and reports to the Carbon Disclosure Project (since 2004)
Sustainability makes the connection at Bell Canada
Environmental management has been tightly linked to Bell Canada's competitive strategy for many years. Even before the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) began certifying companies for environmental management, the company had a system in place to monitor its performance.
"We're not doing it just because it's ethical, but because it makes business sense," says Stephanie Berger, a Senior Specialist who works with a team of 12 people dedicated to corporate responsibility and environment at Bell. "It's important to pay attention to environmental impact because our investors, clients and team members demand it."
Bell's environmental strategy delivers a number of benefits, Berger says. "It reduces operations costs, for example, by generating revenues from recyclable materials and conserving energy. It reinforces our relationships with government and helps build our reputation as a responsible corporate citizen."
It also attracts talented employees, says Marc Duchesne, Vice President of Corporate Security and Responsibility.
"It's a motivator for someone looking for a job," says Duchesne. "When you're recruiting top talent, they want to know you have a commitment to the environment. Plus, a company that diligently manages risk and environmental issues typically performs better."
Duchesne has seen Bell's approach evolve since he joined the Montreal-based company 20 years ago.
"We are much more proactive," he says. "We take a systematic approach to identifying environmental risk and finding improvement opportunities."
Following a four-step process - plan, do, check and act - the company develops approaches to critical environmental challenges, executes its plans, measures its performance and then takes action to continuously improve. Every quarter, Duchesne reports on environmental performance to the audit committee of parent company BCE Inc.'s board of directors.
The board also monitors how Bell is executing on its annual environmental action plan and ensures that operations comply with company policies.
"We take a 360-degree view of our stakeholders," adds Duchesne, "including our customers, employees, governments, communities and suppliers. All of them expect us to recycle phones, they expect electronic paperless billing, they expect carpooling systems and energy efficiency. We strive to exceed those expectations."
With just over 50,000 employees across the country, Bell also has an internal focus on grass-roots environmental actions.
"Part of my job is internal awareness," says Berger. "It's important to be an internal educator when it comes to sustainability. An installer, for instance, might wonder how he contributes to sustainability, and I'll point out that our modems are Energy-Star certified."
With an MBA from McGill University and doctoral credits in sustainability studies, Berger interacts with as many employees as possible across the country to reinforce Bell's commitment to corporate responsibility and environmental awareness. To reinforce her own commitment, she uses teleconferencing as much as possible to reduce the company's carbon footprint.
"We can all meet, and I can stay in Montreal," she says.
From Berger's perspective, these grass-roots initiatives distinguish Bell as a leader, which generates a strong culture of commitment to sustainability.
"Ultimately, it means we have a team that shares our values and is committed and proud to know what the company does."
Bell's membership in the UN Global Compact, a worldwide initiative to encourage sustainable corporate policies, enables Berger and Duchesne to measure their company's performance against other companies around the world.
"We're ahead of the game," Berger says. "Environmental awareness is part of the fabric of our company."