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 Community Trust Company was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2017):
- Community Trust Company offers employees a number of great financial benefits including matching RSP contributions, new employee referral bonuses (from $500 to $2,000) and generous year-end bonuses for some positions
- Community Trust Company supports new parents with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 100% of salary for 4 weeks) and offers a post-secondary scholarship program for employees with older children (to $1,000 per child)
- As part of the company's health plan, Community Trust Company employees receive a health spending account for additional coverage (to $350 annually) and can take advantage of a variety of alternative work options to help balance their work and personal lives
Openness fuels employee morale at Community Trust
Every Monday morning, Christopher Humeniuk tries to join his staff for breakfast in the cafeteria. And once a month, the Community Trust President and CEO likes to have an informal lunch with eight to 10 employees from all levels in the organization. "They are the people on the frontlines, dealing with our clients," he says. "I can learn a lot from them -- and I do."
The lunches, known as Innovation Hour, are an opportunity for staff to share ideas with the boss on how to improve existing services and establish new ones for this Mississauga, Ont.-based financial institution that bills itself as a flexible alternative to the big banks. "Innovation is key to driving growth and overall success," Humeniuk says. "We need new ideas, and we take employee ideas seriously."
The free breakfasts -- yogurt, bagels, fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs and the like -- started as an occasional perk. "But I saw how people were coming out of their offices to engage positively with other employees," says Humeniuk, "so we made it a fixture. It's a great way to start off the week."
There's another reason Humeniuk attends whenever he can. "I believe in a flat organization, and I want people to know that I am accessible, along with my managers," he says.
Along with innovation, Humeniuk says healthy high performance is critical to corporate survival in the rapidly changing and competitive financial sector. "Without incentives and the desire to succeed, people rust out," he says. "With too much pressure, they burn out."
To prevent burnout and nurture a "resilient organization," Community Trust offers a broad wellness program. Experts are brought in to lecture on sleeping tips and managing stress. One-on-one nutrition sessions were offered to all at no charge. And there is also a free onsite fitness facility, built in response to employee feedback, at the company's new Mississauga offices.
Senior Analyst Kyle Howard uses the gym every day after work. "Community Trust really believes in employee wellness and wants you to take steps to live a fuller life," he says. "It shows management cares."
Howard joined Community Trust two years ago as a risk analyst. "This is an expanding organization, and I wanted to be part of that," he says. His current job did not exist when he moved into it earlier this year. "It was created to meet a growing corporate need and my desire to take on new responsibilities," Howard says. "That speaks to how committed the company is to professional development and employee growth."
As Howard prepared to take on his new responsibilities, Community Trust covered all his costs in obtaining a Financial Risk Management Designation. "And they were very accommodating when I needed time to study," he says.
Howard also attends the weekly breakfasts and appreciates the accessibility of senior management. Openness to employee ideas is a Community Trust hallmark. "Even as a relatively junior employee, I saw one of my ideas presented and accepted at a board of directors' meeting," he says. "If you have a good idea, people will listen."
Another source of pride is the annual employment engagement survey. "We're pleased that we consistently exceed industry benchmarks," says Humeniuk. "Last year, we had an 83-per-cent-engagement score. However, we look as much at the employee feedback itself as the scores themselves. It identifies areas for improvement, and we roll that into our business planning."
As part of his commitment to transparency, he shares the survey results with employees at quarterly town hall meetings, part of frank information-sharing that Howard describes as "heartfelt." But Humeniuk says what pleases him most about the survey is that the staff rate "organizational vision" as the top driver of employee engagement. Says Humeniuk: "That tells me we are communicating and sharing information effectively with our people."