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 Labatt Breweries of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2016):
- Labatt Breweries head office employees work out of the renovated historic Terminal Building in the centre of Queen's Quay on Toronto's waterfront -- designed by renowned architect Eberhand Zeidler, the office features hotel spaces for visiting employees, a beer training facility and a 20,000 square foot John Labatt Hall that offers table hockey, dart boards, multiple big screen televisions, various board games and gaming consoles and Muskoka chairs overlooking Lake Ontario
- One of North America's oldest and recognized brewers, Labatt Breweries continues to expand and compete in an evolving industry, adding over 140 positions last year and recently expanding its popular product line through the acquisition of one of Ontario's most popular craft brewers
- Along with a range of attractive financial benefits such as new employee referral bonuses, discounts on a variety of products and services (from travel to fitness club memberships) and a defined contribution pension plan, Labatt Breweries also offers interested employees the popular Labatt Beer Mastercard that comes pre-loaded with two cases each month
Labatt drives success from the bottom up
Christie Cunningham was headed for a career as a mechanical engineer until she met a representative of Labatt Breweries of Canada at a recruiting session during her final year as a student at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. She pulled a proverbial 180, joined the brewing giant after graduating in 2013 and has since specialized in logistics - the business of managing the flow of goods and services to the company's nationwide network of breweries and distribution centres.
"I'm not doing differential equations every day or sitting in front of a terminal doing computer aided design," says Cunningham, who is currently National Materials and Scheduling Manager at the company's Business Service Centre in Mississauga, Ont. "But I am using the analytical, problem-solving and leadership skills that I acquired while studying engineering."
She is also using skills acquired through Labatt's sophisticated and multi-faceted training programs. Recent graduates are recruited into a development program that can lead to a career in sales, brewing, logistics, human resources or information and business services. Each year a limited number of graduates are admitted to the Global Management Training program.
"Our talent programs set us apart as an employer of choice," says Agostino De Gasperis, Vice-President, People and Partnerships. "The Global Management Trainee program is the centerpiece. It's an accelerated development program for high potential talent coming right out of school."
Participants rotate through a number of positions in different divisions of the company and at different locations over a 10-month period. They're given the opportunity to work in breweries, warehouses, distribution centres and business centres and to manage parts of the operations in each facility. At the end of their rotation they receive a real business problem and they're expected to come up with an innovative solution.
"It's really important to work in the regions and to get first-hand experience at the field level. This way we learn to drive success from the bottom up," says Amanda Rohaly, Manager, People Continuity.
Labatt maintains a diverse and dynamic campus recruiting program, looking for talent at post-secondary institutions across the country. Besides attending information sessions and career fairs, the company's campus ambassadors routinely visit schools to promote their training and development programs and to explain them to career advisors.
The company frequently hires graduates of business programs and engineering schools, but also casts its net widely and recruits students with social science, liberal arts and humanities degrees. "We're looking for candidates with spirit, drive, ambition and the desire to make a difference," says Rohaly.
And new hires from professional schools frequently find themselves attracted to a totally unrelated field, thanks to the company's suite of development programs. Cunningham rotated through several of them, but found herself attracted to logistics and supply chain management.
"One of the great things about the development programs was how they challenged me immediately," says Cunningham. "In the end, logistics really spoke to me. I had the opportunity to apply engineering skills and I really loved being on the floor at a brewery or a distribution centre and seeing first-hand how things moved from point A to point B."
She has already held five positions in the company and currently oversees a team of 10 analysts, four in Mississauga and six in breweries across the country, who are responsible handling the flow of packaging and raw materials.
Cunningham has enjoyed a whirlwind start to her career. Her first full-time position involved managing a team of 60 truck drivers at a distribution centre, she says. "It's pretty crazy to think you could be doing that right out of school."
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 Labatt Breweries of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):
- Labatt Breweries manages a comprehensive 16-week internship program for university students, which includes participation in "beer school", to learn how the company's products are made, a tour of the London-based brewery, day-to-day tasks of each department and access to Labatt's speaker series
- Interns at Labatt Breweries are also assigned a mentor, who is responsible for providing professional guidance, performance appraisals and support as they prepare for their final project presentation
- Labatt Breweries created an expansive 10-month Global Management Trainee Program for undergraduate students -- the program includes rotations through various business segments and access to senior leaders, such as company zone presidents, vice presidents and other senior-level employees
Career development is on tap at Labatt
Since joining Labatt Breweries of Canada fresh out of university in July 2010, Adam Coated had worked in four different Canadian cities in six different roles. While some might view all that moving, meeting new co-workers and tackling unfamiliar assignments as disruptive, the 28-year-old sees only opportunity.
"Labatt is all about stretching yourself," says Coates, currently working as Manager, Special Projects, at head office in Toronto. "I've already had the chance to do things way earlier in my career than I ever thought. Labatt offers roles that may be outside your comfort zone and then, with the right support and feedback, equips you to live up to your potential. At the same time, you're also acquiring life skills, so you benefit personally as well as professionally."
Established by John Kinder Labatt in London, Ont., in 1847, Labatt is one of Canada's founding businesses. It evolved to become the nation's leading brewer, with over 3,000 employees and a portfolio of more than 60 beers. Facilities include six breweries, four Beer Institutes, 15 sales offices and 23 warehouses and distribution centres nationwide, as well as Mill Street Brewery.
Backed by its nearly 170 years of brewing tradition, Labatt has its sights set firmly on the future. With this in mind, the company has a wide range of programs aimed at attracting and retaining bright young workers with diverse backgrounds and aspirations. Each program, whether it's focus in on logistics, sales or beer craftsmanship, enables new hires to learn from the ground up and gain exposure to senior management, while developing critical leadership skills and obtaining business experience.
"These programs extend far beyond job skills and know-how," says Lindsay King, Vice President, People. "We immerse new graduates in our culture and ensure they have an enriching experience, where they gain a full understanding of our character and how we get things done."
For Coates, his introduction to that culture started even before he was hired. The Winnipeg native was in his final year of an Honours BA program at the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario when the Labatt team visited the London, Ont., campus. He'd heard good things from former schoolmates already with Labatt and when the recruiters made clear the sort of challenges he could expect, Coates was sold.
Immediately upon joining the company, he entered its 10-month Global Management Trainee program, where recruits learn about Labatt and the global beer industry, while developing commercial and strategic skills. Graduates then rotate through roles such as sales rep, front line manager and brewery group manager. Working in a variety of these roles took Coates to Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, before Toronto.
Successfully completing a development program, however, does not signal the end of the chances to grow. "Our training programs for new graduates are just the beginning of our approach to winning the war for talented young people," says King. "Just as important to millennials is our ongoing training and development. We support our people with continual opportunities to grow beyond their current role."
This includes self-directed studies via online courses. Active, experiential on-the-job training, along with constant coaching, mentoring and collaborating, also help young employees to hit their stride early.
As a result, a large number of millennial workers have already earned responsible roles at Labatt. Today, the average age of salaried employees is 35, and 46 per cent of young employees received promotions over the past two years. For those looking beyond Canada, Labatt is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, one of the world's top five consumer products companies, offering career possibilities in 25 countries.
With so much opportunity to learn, grow and advance his career, Coates, no doubt, is in the right place, at the right time. "The sky is the limit at Labatt," he says. "I don't see myself anywhere else."
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 21, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Labatt Breweries of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016):
- Labatt Breweries' environmental program focuses on two key components, measurement and employee engagement -- the company measures water, heat, electricity and CO2 output at each location, and as a result, reduced its water consumption by 40 percent since 2006, electricity use by 3 percent since 2006 and total operating waste by 66 percent since 2005
- As a major brewer and part-owner of the The Beer Store and Brewers Distributors Limited, Labatt Breweries helped develop one of the earliest and most successful recycling and re-use programs in Canada, with models replicated by both public and private sector entities -- The Beer Store is also one of the very few retailers to take back all the packaging it sells, including bottles, cans, cardboard, bottle caps, plastic rings and bags
- Labatt Breweries encourages employees to participate in an annual World Environment Day facility competition, which is designed to inspire ever more water conservation practices, including the "Find-Fix-Save" employee challenge to save water usage at work and the "Best of the Beards" competition to encourage water conservation at home