Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Keyera Corp. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018) and Alberta's Top Employers (2017):
- Keyera Corp. cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan and encourages employees to save for the longer term with a defined contribution pension plan
- As part of the company's health benefits plan, Keyera Corp. offers a health spending account equivalent to 4.5% of their salary plus an additional $3,500 each year, which can be used to top up existing levels of coverage or allocated as savings, cash, share purchase options or RRSP
- Keyera Corp. focuses its charitable efforts on initiatives that support community enhancement, the environment, health, wellness, youth and education -- and encourages employees to give back to their local communities by providing paid time off to volunteer and matching employee donations
Teamwork fuels success at Keyera
When Tanis Wong graduated from the University of Calgary, she hoped her degree in electrical engineering would help her secure a job in Alberta's energy sector. But it was 2009, a tough year in the oil patch. When Calgary-based Keyera Corp. offered her a position in its HR department, she jumped at the opportunity. "I saw it as a chance to get my foot in the door, and am grateful to be part of such an extraordinary company," she says.
As one of Canada's largest midstream energy companies, Wong saw the business grow first-hand, and learned the value Keyera places on career development within the company. "Keyera is a great place to work because they're open-minded in helping employees progress their careers."
Three years later, there was an opening where she could apply her technical skills. A senior executive encouraged her to consider the position, which she accepted and has since grown her skills in business development and operations.
Today, Wong is a Business Development Representative for Keyera's Fort Saskatchewan storage and fractionation facility 40 km northeast of Edmonton. Her responsibilities include liaising between operations and management as well as working with commercial customers for the plant's natural gas liquid (NGL) products.
To aid her transition, Wong worked in Fort Saskatchewan for eight months. Wong relished the opportunity to see first-hand how the complex facility functions. And the highly skilled workers were generous in sharing their expertise. "Everybody was so willing to teach me," Wong says. "They knew that when I got back to Calgary, I could use that knowledge in my work every day."
That warm reception exemplifies a team culture found throughout Keyera. President and CEO David Smith notes that teamwork features on the list of the company's values, which was developed by employees themselves and embraced by senior executives. "We do better work when we work together to accomplish our goals," says Smith.
Smith was one of a group of executives at Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. who seized an opportunity to enter the midstream market when the oil giant decided in 1998 to sell off some of its non-strategic assets. They formed a spinoff focusing on natural gas gathering and processing, as well as NGL processing, transportation, storage and marketing. The company, which went public in 2003, continues to grow and evolve as it makes further investments and acquisitions.
Nearly all of Keyera's infrastructure, including over 4,000 km of pipelines, is in central Alberta. Many of its 24 facilities for storing, processing and/or transporting its products are located in small communities, like Fort Saskatchewan and Drayton Valley.
Since its inception, Keyera has worked hard to be a good neighbour. As well as placing a high priority on health, safety and the environment, its charitable initiatives focus on community enhancement. Most recently, Keyera supported a local elementary school outside of Houston and near the company's only U.S. terminal, by purchasing new curriculum materials following Hurricane Harvey.
In addition to its supportive workplace environment, the company also offers its employees industry-leading training, and competitive pay and benefits. Altogether, it's a winning combination. "We have one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry," says Smith. "A lot of our employees have been with us for 10 to 15 years."
Wong is one of those staying put. "These days in Calgary, it's easy to jump ship for a job that pays as well or better," she says. "But a satisfying career is one of those things that money can't buy. That's where Keyera is second to none."
Open doors create a special buzz at Keyera
If you want to know why Keyera Corp.'s employees love working for this midstream oil and gas firm, just check out Jarrod Beztilny's office in Fort Saskatchewan. If you can squeeze in.
"I'm in the same office I was in when I started there as an engineering co-op student years ago, except back then, I had it by myself ? now I share it with somebody," chuckles Beztilny, Vice President, Operations in Keyera's Liquids Business Unit. "We don't have a corner office culture at Keyera."
Keyera Corp. provides processing, storage, transportation and marketing services to producers in the energy industry. Headquartered in Calgary, it has facilities across Alberta and just over 1,000 employees.
Along with an open-door management style, the company emphasizes leadership training and constant communication to foster a culture of cooperation and teamwork.
"What makes Keyera a top place to work is people know they're valued here and their opinions matter," says Beztilny.
"That creates an energy that just carries into their work. It shows up with higher engagement and lower turnover than other companies in our space. It's like a buzz around the company that's different than a lot of other firms."
Julie Gunderson can attest to that difference. An Asset Manager in Keyera's Gathering and Processing Business Unit, she says the positive, cooperative corporate culture sets it apart from other workplaces.
"I've worked for two or three other companies along the way and Keyera is the one I can see staying with until I decide to hang up my work boots in 20 years or so," she says.
Gunderson adds that the company's leadership program provides her and other employees with the tools they need to excel and benefit the entire organization. Over 200 employees have been through the program since it started six years ago.
And the Keyera crew keep on the same page with communications initiatives like KEEN (Keyera Employee Engagement Network), where employees from different units give presentations on their work and the projects they have in development. It creates a special sense of community.
"Every day you enjoy the people that you work with, you enjoy what you're working on and you feel like you're a part of a team that's accomplishing something and moving the company forward," says Gunderson. "In Keyera you actually feel like you make a difference."