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 Johnson & Johnson Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2016) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2016):
- Johnson & Johnson supports employees who are new parents with maternity and parental leave top-up payments to 100% of salary for up to 18 weeks and offers a number of alternative work arrangements to help them transition to their new role as parents
- Johnson & Johnson maintains a comprehensive wellness program, which includes free access to an onsite fitness facility, guidance on nutrition and healthy menu options at the cafeteria, and resources for mental well being -- the company also identifies health and lifestyle risks of its workforce through a confidential employee questionnaire and analyzes the results in order to plan future programs
- Johnson & Johnson encourages ongoing training and development and manages a "Coffee Connections" program, 20-minute coffee sessions that enable employees to network and receive mentoring from senior leaders
Building the healthiest workforce in the country
When it comes to healthy living, Johnson and Johnson Inc. (J&J) has set an ambitious goal. "Our aim is to have the healthiest workforce in the country," says Louisa Greco, the company's Canadian Managing Director. "To get there, we are committed to a 'culture of health' for our employees that supports wholesome choices and provides innovative initiatives to help drive and sustain those choices."
All employees are encouraged to take a confidential questionnaire that identifies health and lifestyle risks. The results can form the basis of a fitness regime, registration for courses to stop smoking, nutrition advice and cancer awareness, among other measures. "We want all our colleagues to know their numbers," says Greco, responsible for the Markham, Ont.-based operation's sale and marketing of consumer health-care products.
To encourage good eating habits, there are free energy snacks and fruit baskets. To help staff achieve and maintain better physical health, there is an on-site, well-equipped exercise facility. Fitness and wellness consultants help address what employees have learned about their health needs.
Employee well-being is but one of the global company's four responsibilities defined in their Credo. Written by former chairman Robert Johnson in 1943, "Our Credo" has guided J&J for long before corporate mission statements became de rigueur. In fact, the second responsibility, to employees, ranks just behind a duty to consumers and health-care professionals. Third comes an obligation to the community, followed lastly by the pursuit of profitability.
"If you have good products, treat employees well and serve your community, then the profits will come," says Brand Manager John Thompson. "The happier the place, the better the work - you don't need to chase the dollar directly. It's a great way to run a business."
Thomson says that he studied the Credo in business school well before joining J&J. "At the time," he recalls, "I thought it was all talk, but now I know better. This is the only company I know where if you are on the treadmill at 2 p.m., no one will wonder why you aren't at your desk."
While Thompson had his MBA when he moved to J&J five years ago, the company subsidizes others to take that degree and other educational programs. It's one way J&J encourages professional development, but in Thompson's case he appreciates even more that he has been given so many opportunities to learn and grow through new responsibilities. "People have put a lot of trust in me," he says. "It's been great."
Adds Greco: "This year, more than 25 per cent of our employees will take on new roles as part of their career development, either in Canada or at one of our 250 operating companies around the world."
Employee health is only one part of J&J's consideration for worker well-being. Benefits are generous and employee lifestyle is taken seriously. Maternity and paternity leaves include 100-per-cent salary top-ups for 18 weeks. Compassionate care leave is topped-up to full salary for eight weeks. Employees also get two days off with pay to devote to a charity.
There is enough flexibility in work hours to suit almost any personal need. Daily start times can be adjusted if people need to leave early. During the summer, employees have the option of working longer hours Monday to Thursday in order to take Fridays off.
J&J values employees who share both its corporate culture and its broader goals. "If you want to help Canadians make the right choices about their health, then J&J is the right place for you," says Greco.
Adds Thompson: "J&J is a perfect match. It fits my outlook both on life and my career. I can't imagine being anywhere else."
Career development opportunities abound at Johnson & Johnson
When Andrew Kalmuk walked nervously into his boss's office to raise a difficult question, he received a surprising answer. Kalmuk was a relatively recent marketing hire with Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Johnson & Johnson company), and he was considering applying for a promotion at Johnson and Johnson Inc. (J&J) Consumer in the Greater Toronto Area.
Kalmuk wanted to move from pharmaceuticals, where he had just helped launch a new diabetes drug, to consumer products. "I expected to be told, 'Not yet,'" says Kalmuk. "But my boss encouraged me to apply. Not only that, he got Janssen's HR people to work with their equivalents at Johnson and Johnson Inc. Consumer to ensure that I got a shot at the position."
He adds, "The response way exceeded my expectations."
Kalmuk got the job, Group Brand Director, and is now responsible for the marketing and promotion of several signature J&J consumer health and wellness products. He also supervises a staff of seven.
"It was one thing to give me the go-ahead, but the active support that followed was the difference in making it happen," says Kalmuk. "It shows how the company is committed to helping people develop professionally."
Indeed, multinational J&J encourages staff to move around the organization and take on new challenges. All job postings are open to anyone in the company, anywhere in the world. In the Toronto area alone, there are three major divisions: Janssen, along with separate medical device and consumer product operations. Says Kalmuk: "Not only can you progress vertically, but you can also move horizontally under the same umbrella. That's unique in the healthcare product industry. It shows that J&J not only values diversity of talent, but actually facilitates movement across business sectors."
Adds Louisa Greco, the company's Markham-based Canadian Managing Director: "This year, more than 25 per cent of our employees will take on new roles as part of their career development, either in Canada or at one of our 250 operating companies around the world."
Dedication to its employees is one pillar of the company's signature four-part Credo. Written by former chairman Robert Johnson in 1943, "Our Credo" comprises J&J's guiding principles or responsibilities that have long been singled out as examples of successful corporate behaviour. The responsibility to employees ranks just below Number One, a duty to consumers and healthcare professionals. Third comes corporate responsibility to the community followed, lastly, by being profitable.
Responsibility to employees includes more than their professional development. The company is also dedicated to their health and general welfare. All personnel are encouraged to take a confidential questionnaire that identifies potential health and lifestyle risks. The results often trigger a fitness regime, registration for courses to stop smoking, nutrition advice and cancer awareness, among other measures. "Our aim is to have the healthiest workforce in the country," says Greco.
A fully equipped onsite fitness centre with fitness and wellness consultants, all free to staff, help address what employees may have learned about their health needs. And to encourage good eating habits, there are free energy snacks and fruit baskets - organic bananas are a special hit - along with a cafeteria dedicated to healthy foods, including a daily fresh salad bar. "Instead of a sandwich, I can have a dinner-quality meal at lunch," says Kalmuk.
Beyond employee health, J&J shows consideration for its personnel's wellbeing in other ways. Benefits are generous and employee lifestyle is taken seriously. Maternity and paternity leaves include 100-per-cent salary top-ups for 18 weeks. Compassionate care leave can also be topped-up to full salary for eight weeks. As well, the company matches charitable giving and employees get two days off with pay to devote to a charity of their choice.
Ergonomic office features include high-quality chairs and sit/stand workstations. For his part, Kalmuk likes working at his desk's high position. "I would rather stand than sit," he says.
And walk rather than stand. "To stay healthy, we're considering walking meetings," he says.