Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 28, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Fusion Learning Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2016):
- Located in a renovated warehouse downtown close to the St. Lawrence Market and the city's Distillery District, Fusion Learning's head office features a combination of traditional and open concept workstations, onsite showers for employees who cycle or run to work, and a "Play Space", with television, a beer fridge, darts and a ping pong table
- Fusion Learning offers referral bonuses as an incentive for employees to help recruit candidates in their network (up to $1,000 for successful hires)
- Fusion Learning encourages employees to lead healthy, active lifestyles with a generous health club subsidy of up to $960 per year
Fusion Learning builds fun into the culture
Fusion Learning Inc. takes care of its employees both personally and professionally. Kamita Persaud, Client Solutions Associate, even has a role specially created for her.
"I joined Fusion in 2012 as a project manager but I'm now in a hybrid role which also involves designing client training programs,' she explains. "I wanted to develop within the company so this position was created to help me transition into design."
Fusion is a sales training organization based in Toronto. It has clients nationwide in many industries including financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing. Fusion also has unique headquarters, a brick and beam loft built in 1919 converted into a modern workspace.
The company provides a comprehensive onboarding program for new hires. This program, notes Persaud, was key to her joining. It ranges from three to 15 months and provides guidelines on what employees should be competent in by a certain time and how Fusion will help them get there.
One aspect of the program is for new employees to arrange meetings with their co-workers to learn about Fusion and its products. Once onboarding is completed, bottles of champagne are opened. Management then presents a gift to these employees - stylish luggage for the men, a Tiffany bracelet for the women.
Both floors of the office feature a gong and prize wheel. Following a sale, the successful salesperson hits a gong and everyone congregates to hear the news. Next the salesperson asks the co-worker who helped with the deal to spin the wheel and win a gift card.
"We have a highly engaged and over-achieving culture, but we also have lots of fun," says Aaron Kotick, President. "Everyone has individual targets, including the executive team, which allows us to stay close to the business and make smarter decisions."
In addition to individual bonuses paid quarterly, the company offers monthly and annual rewards for surpassing company goals. Staff have previously been rewarded with trips to the Caribbean, Cancun, New York and Ontario's Collingwood vacation area for exceeding Fusion's annual sales targets.
The organization is heavily involved with CRC, a local charity. Employees have participated in CRC's community meal program serving food to homeless people. Fusion provides staff with one and a half days paid volunteering plus matches their donations.
Last fall they had a dunk tank event to support CRC's summer clothing drive. Staff donated clothes and toiletries and in exchange nominated colleagues for a dunking. Within hours they also raised over $500.
Fusion's social committee arranges a fun activity for employees every month. These have included a tour of Toronto's Distillery district, a dodgeball tournament and chocolate truffle making on Valentine's Day.
In July, a social competition was introduced to further brighten the workday. Staff were asked to compile a bucket list of 10 items which were then designed and displayed on the wall of the Fusion Fun Room. The first employee to tick off their items wins a two-month paid sabbatical.
This competition, notes Kotick, shows Fusion is interested in the lives of its people and not just their work. "All our activities and events are a way for us to connect with staff. We are committed to taking great care of our people," he explains.
There are also Beer Fridays, an afternoon of socializing in the Fusion Fun Room, to help employees relax after the week. And Yoga Mondays to prepare staff for the week ahead, where an instructor comes to the office, subsidized by Fusion. Employees are often allowed to bring their pets to work too.
Other company perks include free parking for the first five cars and paid-for dinner and cabs home if staff are working late. Fusion's benefits package includes an $80 credit for health club membership and a matching retirement savings plan.
"We are a family here," says Persaud. "Some workplaces lack an interpersonal connection but Fusion does well keeping this going."