Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 11, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Canadian Standards Association / CSA was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2017):
- CSA Group helps employees develop to their full potential through mentoring, leadership training and tuition subsidies for courses related and unrelated to an employees' current position (to $2,000)
- CSA Group also supports the continuing education of the next generation through an academic scholarship program for children of employees who are interested in pursuing post-secondary studies (up to $3,500 per child)
- CSA Group provides maternity and parental leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers or fathers, including adoptive parents (to 90% of salary ranging from 5 to 22 weeks, depending on the employee)
CSA Group has a great standard for work
For nearly a century, the CSA Group, formerly known as the Canadian Standards Association, has been dedicated to creating a safer, more sustainable Canada. It works with industry, consumers and governments to develop internationally-accredited standards for homes, communities, workplaces and healthcare facilities.
And that lofty objective is one of the chief reasons why many people choose to work for the independent, non-profit, member-based association.
"This is a place that balances building a career with pursuing social good," says David Weinstein, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We attract a lot of people who don't want to work for a purely commercial enterprise."
Toronto-based CSA brings together people who represent a cross-section of society, including consumers, industry representatives and government agencies, to develop safety standards for electrical and gas products, as well as the energy and power sectors. The organization's mandate even extends to safety in the home, the community, health care and protecting the environment.
Jonathan Fung became acquainted with CSA Group while pursuing an honours degree in business and environmental science at the University of Waterloo. He worked for the organization twice during co-op terms, first as part of a greenhouse gas group in Ottawa and next with a group in Toronto developing an international greenhouse gas inventory.
"When I graduated, I was offered a permanent position working on environmental and climate change issues," says Fung, who is currently a Project Manager with the CSA's Sustainability Group. "That was something that really appealed to me and aligned with my values."
Since accepting a full-time position in 2012, he has been impressed with the organization's commitment to developing its employees professionally. "They really look for employees to take training to further their skills and to have goals in place to improve," he says. "They provide strong, clear paths to progress."
Weinstein notes that the association has in recent years dedicated substantial resources to mentoring, coaching and management development programs as well as technical training. The association has also developed four paths to career development and has traning materials available for each of them.
"If they are interested in technical subject matter, they can pursue that," says Weinstein. "We have a path that allows them to become more involved in business development and sales. We can get them involved in conducting our training programs and we also have a supervisory and management path as well."
CSA has also introduced flex-time and compressed work weeks to accommodate the needs of its employees. "I wish I could tell you that we have one specific flex-time plan, but it's predicated on a person's lifestyle," says Paul Keane, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, & Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer. "If they have daycare issues or challenges coming in early we have a number of options available and it's worked extremely well."
The organization also allows employees to work from home where it is feasible and many have set up home offices and taken advantage of that option. "We're allowed to work from home up to two days a week, subject to our manager's approval," says Fung. "Many of us commute long distances so it's been very valuable to have that option open to us."
He commutes 65 to 70 kilometres from his home in the suburban community of Burlington on the west side of the Greater Toronto, and on a good day it takes him an hour in the morning, provided he leaves shortly after 6 a.m. "Working from home is very helpful from a productivity point of view,"