Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why General Electric Canada / GE was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2016):
- GE Canada encourages ongoing education and development with generous tuition subsidies for courses related and indirectly related to the current role as well as a range of in-house training options -- the company also reaches out to the next generation through paid internships and a unique scholarship program for women and Aboriginal students pursuing engineering or business degrees
- 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 relies on diversity to spur innovation
Cindy Maharaj missed her family back in Canada. In 2005, after four years working with General Electric Plastics in Holland, the customer service specialist found an opening for an order management specialist at Toronto-based GE Canada's Healthcare Business. She applied and got the job.
By 2008, she was promoted to Order Management Manager. In 2013, she changed roles to become the Proposals Manager for Canada. In 2015, she assumed more responsibility, and stepped into the role of North American Proposals Manager, in charge of Healthcare's submissions to project tenders.
"The great thing about working for a company with the size and scope of ours," she says, "is that you can change roles while staying with the same company."
GE Canada has offices across the country. Its core businesses include healthcare, oil and gas, transportation, power, renewables, digital and energy connections.
"Ours is a performance-driven organization that rewards individuals not only for how they do their jobs but for how they act and lead," says Sonia Boyle, Executive HR Leader.
The company hires engineers and scientists, software specialists, financial professionals and business graduates. "There's a particular focus on hiring employees who can help with GE Canada's digital transformation," says Boyle.
With over 6,500 employees across the country, GE Canada relies on diversity and inclusiveness to foster productivity and innovation. The company has seven Affinity Networks - groups for women, military veterans, African-Canadians, Asians, Hispanics, GLBT and young professionals - to promote networking and professional development.
Maharaj, born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, chaired the African Affinity Forum group from 2013 to 2015. "When I looked at all the affinity groups at GE Canada, I identified most closely with this one because there were many people of Caribbean descent like myself," she says. She is currently involved in the GE Women's Network and as an ally to the GLBT group. "It's a great way to grow my networks and practise my leadership skills," she says.
GE Canada encourages the continuing education of its employees; it offers tuition subsidies for external courses and a range of in-house training options, delivered both online and in-person. Executive leadership training includes the opportunity for selected participants to spend a week at the John F. Welch Leadership Development Center in Crotonville, N.Y.
"I did a course on Innovative Leadership there in April," says Maharaj. "It was a great opportunity to collaborate with peers from around the globe. Much of the training was based on experiential learning. Taking that learning, sharing it with my team of 23 and having them apply it in their jobs was the biggest take-away from my being there."
GE Canada also connects with the up-and-coming generation. In addition to providing paid internships, the company has partnered for the past decade with Actua, an Ottawa-based non-profit that delivers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs to youth across the country.
GE employees engage with Actua through mentorships, volunteering and contributing to program design. GE also offers a scholarship program for women and Aboriginal students studying for engineering or business degrees.
Employees help direct the company's charitable initiatives through the GE Community Investment Council, which meets quarterly and publishes an annual report. GE Canada also organizes an annual, country-wide "Day of Caring" to encourage employees to volunteer in their local communities.
Last year, GE Canada held 444 volunteer events in support of about 250 charitable causes. "We don't just write a cheque," says Boyle. "We want to actively support the communities where we live and work."
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.