Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 11, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why K+S Potash Canada GP was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2017):
- K+S Potash Canada encourages ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses related and indirectly related to their current position -- the company also reaches out to the next generation with paid internships and apprenticeship programs
- K+S Potash Canada's new head office is located in the city's trendy warehouse district -- the building features modern decor, windows that open, gourmet coffee machines, a rooftop patio and heated underground parking for employees
- K+S Potash Canada supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments of 100% of salary for up to 8 weeks and also offers the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence as well as offering a variety of alternative work options when they're ready to return to work
K+S Potash Canada employees have a pioneer spirit
When Maryann Deutscher arrived at K+S Potash Canada (KSPC) in 2012, she was employee No. 22 in a company that now counts more than 375 permanent employees and 80+ term employees for commissioning and start-up. As a Senior Manager of human resources and a potash industry veteran, Deutscher was involved in much of that hiring for the new Legacy Project potash mine and production facility, the first greenfield potash mine to be built in Saskatchewan in more than 40 years.
"It was literally a field in the middle of the prairie," says Deutscher. "Our 375 employees are pioneers because a pioneer takes the prairie and builds it into something."
For Luc Poissant, an industrial mechanic and machinist who joined KSPC a year ago, the chance to commission a plant from the ground up was a "once in a lifetime opportunity." His team works in the wet end area of the plant, making sure there is a safe and approved product up to company standards. The products are then handed over by the contractor and maintained by KSPC for the future.
"It's fun and challenging, and definitely a big learning curve," says Poissant, who, after six months with KSPC, successfully applied for a Supervisor position in charge of multi-discipline trade groups. "I enjoy working with a big team where everyone helps each other and works together. It's a great work atmosphere."
Deutscher adds that it wasn't just at the Legacy site that things were built from the ground up. The human resources team also started from scratch. "There was no payroll system, no benefit program, nothing."
Whether they are administrators, engineers, mechanics or operators, everyone pulls together, showing, "initiative, dedication and a sense of pride," Deutscher says. "That kind collaboration is pretty unique. I think it comes from building things together. It's an intense experience."
Yet according to Poissant, he's been able to maintain a work-life balance thanks to carefully designed shifts and a generous vacation policy. "I get to come home every night and see my family."
He can also take advantage of what are known as "Plus Days" when the unexpected happens -- such as a child getting sick -- or if you just need a day to take care of a few things.
As she thinks back on everything that's been accomplished, Deutscher says: "To be able to hire the amount of people we've had to hire, our employees have been our strongest ambassadors, telling others that K+S Potash Canada is a different mining company to work for."