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 General Electric Canada / GE was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2016):
- Employees at GE Canada help direct the company's many charitable initiatives through the employee-led "GE Community Investment Council", which meets quarterly and publishes an annual report -- the company also organized a country-wide "Day of Caring" initiative last year to encourage employees to get involved in their local community
- GE Canada's head office employees can keep in shape with subsidized memberships to an onsite fitness facility that features instructor-led classes and personal training, enjoy a game of pick-up basketball on the outdoor court in the summer months or take a break and go for a lunch hour stroll along adjacent wooded trails
- GE Canada employees can plan for the future with retirement planning assistance and a defined contribution pension plan -- and offers employees an opportunity to become shareholders through a share purchase plan
GE employees are on a digital mission
Chris Wong is a young professional engineer who joined GE Canada a little over four years ago anticipating his job would be interesting, challenging and make an impact. And he landed in the right place. "Our group is relatively small," says Calgary-based Wong, Engineering Leader of the Heavy Oil Solutions Team. "We're expected to be nimble, move quickly and be entrepreneurial. We're solving some of the industry's biggest problems."
His team is part of GE's Power and Water business and they provide both products and solutions that allow oil sands producers to make better use of water and to generate power more efficiently. GE's vast array of businesses supply the hardware, software and service expertise that make everything from jet engines, locomotives and power plants to LED lighting, water treatment facilities and magnetic resonant imaging machines (MRIs) operate at top performance.
Furthermore, for a company that has been around for more than a century, GE is far more focused on the future than the past and that is opening the door for more exciting career opportunities, says Sonia Boyle, Vice-President, Human Resources.
GE is on a mission to become the world's leading digital industrial company, which means using software to make machines more productive, to reduce downtime and to cut operating costs. GE envisions being a top 10 software company by 2020. "We want to be ahead of the wave," says Boyle. "That takes people who are entrepreneurial, thrive on change and can apply the skills they have in new and innovative ways."
"We want to be ahead of the wave," says Boyle. "That takes people who are entrepreneurial, thrive on change and can apply the skills they have in new and innovative ways."
GE has remained at the forefront of diverse sectors of the economy by recruiting top talent and by providing employees with top-notch training and development opportunities. Indeed, the company spends over $1 billion per year globally on such initiatives, and its financial management program is now in its 100th year. It grooms employees for senior finance positions by rotating them through the various businesses and exposing them to the scope and diversity of the company.
"The breadth and depth of our employee training is huge and we do a significant amount of work here in Canada," Boyle says.
Last year, for example, GE offered 52 leadership courses across the country. They included a foundations course for high-potential employees who have recently moved into managerial roles or are about to do so, and more advanced courses for those already managing others.
"I've been offered a lot of opportunities to improve my skills and to develop leadership ability," says Wong. "The development programs are really well thought out."
Along with training and development, GE offers employees other ways to expand their horizons and their abilities. The company has a presence in 170 countries, says Boyle, so there are opportunities to work abroad.
As well, employees are encouraged - where possible - to move from one division to another. Boyle adds that many long-time employees have had the opportunity to work in vastly different fields, building their industrial knowledge and enriching their professional networks in a way that encourages innovation through a cross-pollination of ideas across the company.
Wong can attest to the advantages of GE's culture of openness and innovation. "My background is oil and gas, but we're taking technologies from other divisions and applying them to this industry," Wong says. "That's very interesting. And besides that, you get to work with some of the best and brightest."
Leaders support their employees at GE Canada
As corporate trips go, this one was definitely different - and exciting. In the summer of 2013, Heather Chalmers and a team of executives from GE Canada travelled to Bangkok and then on to Rangoon, the capital of Myanmar, one of the world's least-visited nations and one with enormous development challenges.
"Not many people have been to Myanmar," says Chalmers, General Manager of GE Healthcare Canada "It's a country moving to democratic rule and the people need better healthcare, more reliable power and access to clean drinking water. It was an amazing experience and gave all of us exposure to business challenges outside our normal markets."
Travel to faraway places does not happen every day at GE, but Chalmers says employees are challenged daily to be curious, inquisitive and innovative. "You never get the chance to rest on your laurels," adds Chalmers, a 20-year veteran of GE. "We are always looking to innovate, looking around the corner to explore what are the current and future needs of the marketplace and our customers."
GE's various lines of business - including healthcare, aviation, power, oil and gas -supply clients with hardware, software and the in-house expertise that makes power plants and water treatment plants as well as everything from locomotives, jet engines and LED lighting operate at peak efficiency. The healthcare division provides hospitals and clinics with GE ultrasound machines, nuclear cameras, magnetic resonant imaging devices (MRIs) and other equipment as well as the expertise to ensure optimum patient care.
GE is equally committed to providing employees with opportunities to grow and develop professionally. Globally, the company spends over $1 billion annually on training and development through its own leadership programs and by supporting employees who are pursuing educational opportunities through university or college programs.
Dehlia Blanchard, General Manager of Service with GE Healthcare Canada, started 23 years ago as a field service representative responsible for repairing and maintaining equipment. She's come a long way since then. "Leadership supports employees," says Dehlia. "It's part of the culture. I expressed my interest in exploring opportunities and the company supported me all the way."
She, in turn, has mentored and encouraged others. "For me, one of the keys to feeling successful is watching others succeed," says Blanchard. "It's a sign of good leadership at GE."
The company's Leadership Effectiveness Acceleration Program (LEAP) provides training for those who have risen through the management ranks to become executives. GE also works with an employment partner called Career Edge which targets outside talent and provides one-year internships to individuals looking to develop professionally or make career moves, very often leading to offers of permanent employment.
The company is also committed to contributing to the well-being of communities across Canada through its GE Volunteers program, including its signature national event, the GE Day of Caring, held annually in the fall. Blanchard led a group of 75 employees this year that spent a day at a YMCA camp and, among other things, built a mountain bike trail, repaired and painted cabins and prepared an organic garden for the winter.
More recently, GE has launched a mental health initiative aimed at promoting the emotional and psychological well- "We are always looking to innovate, looking around the corner to explore what are the current and future needs of the marketplace and our customers." - Heather Chalmers, General Manager, GE Healthcare Canada Explore a career with the world's leading digital industrial company ge.com/ca/careers being of employees and creating a non-judgmental dialogue around mental health issues. "We want to make sure that these issues are better understood, that we remove the stigma around mental health and that people have access to the services they need when they're not well," says Blanchard. "We also want people to know it's okay to talk about these things."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 10, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why General Electric Canada / GE was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):
- GE Canada helps recent finance grads gain work experience through a Financial Management Program, a 2-year early career program that includes four rotational assignments in areas such financial planning, accounting, operations analysis, auditing and forecasting -- the program also includes coursework, job assignments and interactive seminars
- GE Canada also established a Capital Risk Management Program, a 2-year entry-level program that includes three rotational assignments which are based on business needs and personal interest, and may include underwriting, portfolio management, risk analytics, enterprise and operational risk, and workout and restructuring
- Through GE Canada's CA Training Program, participants gain experience in controllership, compliance, financial planning and analysis, budgeting and forecasting and process innovations, to name a few, and are exposed to various lines of the company's business
GE Canada delivers world-class training opportunities
Jennifer Hay-Roe earned a business degree from Western University in London, Ont. in the spring of 2013, and a day after convocation she went to work for GE Canada. "I wanted to work for a technology company that was building things and solving problems," she says. "There are examples wherever you look at GE. We build airplane engines to move people, locomotive engines to move freight and magnetic resonant imaging machines to heal people. It's inspiring for an employee when you see everyday problems being solved."
Hay-Roe, currently a Staff Financial Analyst with the company's Energy Management division in Markham, Ont., has also been impressed with the training she's received, which exceeded her expectations by a long shot. She started in the company's Financial Management Program in which new graduates, generally with business or commerce degrees, serve six-month stints in four different divisions of the company.
In her case, she had the opportunity to work in the water and process techno- logy division in Oakville, Ont., the lighting division in nearby Mississauga, GE Capital in Montreal and the oil and gas division in Calgary. The program provided a good overview of the diversity of GE's operations and there were other equally valuable benefits.
She worked under four different senior leaders, each with a different management style and found out what her strengths were and where she could best apply them. "It was fantastic, a wonderful introduction to the company," says Hay-Roe.
GE has been offering the Financial Management Program for over 100 years and it's still going strong, but it is just one point of entry for new grads or other young, qualified people. The company hires over 270 interns and co-op students annually and provides them with real work experience as well as exposure to different aspects of GE's diverse operations.
"We look to schools of business, engineering and finance," says Sonia Boyle, GE Canada's Vice-President, Human Resources. "We have a significant conversion rate in terms of bringing them on full-time once they've completed their education."
GE is both a manufacturing and a service company. Besides making engines for aircraft and locomotives, and sophisticated scanning and imag-ing devices used by health care providers, the company designs and builds equipment used in a wide range of industries. The company also provides the expertise to ensure that all this hardware operates at peak efficiency.
GE is equally focused on the future and is on a mission to become the world's leading digital industrial company, which means developing software to make all kinds of machinery and processes work better, conduct self-diagnostic tests
and provide operators with information necessary to reduce downtime.
"That's going to create some really exciting opportunities and new positions," says Boyle. "We're hoping to attract talented and visionary thinkers who want to invent a faster, cleaner future for the world."
GE also offers employees the opportunity to grow professionally and expand their social networks through company-sponsored, but employee-run, affinity networks. Hay-Roe belongs
to the Young Professionals Networks as well as the GE Women's Network, both of which organize workshops, speaker events and recreational outings. She has joined some of her younger peers on social outings that included curling and axe-throwing
and enjoyed illuminating lunch-time talks by the likes of GE Canada Chief Executive Officer Elyse Allan.
Along the way, she's also completed a number of company-sponsored online and in-class courses that have allowed her to hone her financial skills and develop her leadership abilities. "The amount of training I've received has been way beyond my expectations," says Hay-Roe.