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 Labatt Breweries of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016) 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
- Labatt Breweries celebrates employee innovation from all levels of the company through a unique "Ideas Process Awards" program -- approximately 60 employees with implemented suggestions are flown annually to a three-day "Ideas Showcase" celebration
- 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
Thinking big is a natural ingredient for Labatt employees
The perfect storm." That's how Candy Lee describes the various elements that combine to make her job at Labatt Breweries of Canada tailor-made for her skills and ambitions.
"Because of the nature of the beer industry, it's fun and exciting," says Lee, a Senior Brand Manager at the company's head office on the Toronto waterfront. "The culture at Labatt is very energetic and entrepreneurial. If you have a great idea, you're really encouraged to take ownership of it and run with it. The sense of speed allowed is pretty amazing."
From its 19th century origins as a single, small brewery in London, Ont., Labatt has grown into one of the nation's largest companies, with six breweries, 15 sales offices, and 23 warehouse and distribution centres throughout Canada. It is a subsidiary of Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, the global leader in beer and one of the world's top five consumer products companies.
In the 21st century, one of Labatt's key tenets is continuous improvement. This applies not only to its portfolio of 60 beer brands and how they are brewed, marketed, delivered and sold, but to the individuals who make it all happen. As a result, training and development represent a significant investment at Labatt, says Lindsay King, Vice President, People.
Along with a highly competitive range of pay and benefits, Labatt provides employees with thousands of opportunities to learn and grow. Ranging from self-directed studies via online courses to structured in-house programs, content can cover everything from the fundamentals of Labatt culture to technical skills for specific jobs. Some courses, such as lessons in safety, are mandatory while others enable employees to fill particular gaps in their resumes to better position themselves for their dream job.
"We're proud of our programs," says King, who is also quick to point out that formal study accounts for only a small portion of an employee's ongoing education. According to King, active, experiential on-the-job training as well as constant coaching, mentoring and collaborating impart many of the most valuable lessons.
"Each individual at Labatt has a responsibility to find, attract, retain and develop the best people," she adds. "It isn't just up to the HR department. We judge people by the quality of their teams."
While having the necessary skills is important, King says Labatt looks for something else in an employee: a good fit. "There are lots of talented professionals out there, but we're looking for people who are also willing to go the extra mile," she explains. "We want people who are dynamic, enjoy leaping over hurdles and who can evolve as the demands on them grow."
For Lee, the Labatt go-getter environment has made it possible to expand her horizons and thrive in the process. Before her promotion to the marketing department in Toronto, she worked in logistics and financial analysis in Montreal, in sales in Halifax and regional marketing in her hometown of Vancouver. At every step, Lee says, she was continually challenged to take risks and come up with bigger, bolder ideas.
"They allow you to jump into the deep end, but there's always access to resources, assistance and expertise," she says. "You can always go to a manager or mentor and while they never feed you the answers, they'll nudge you in the right direction."
She wouldn't have it any other way. As for the future, Lee sees a company with the size, scope and culture of Labatt as offering her ever more challenges to tackle. And more "perfect storms" to revel in.
This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's Canada's Top 100 Employers winners, published November 9, 2015 in The Globe and Mail. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which did not write or edit its contents.
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."
This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's Canada's Top Employers for Young People winners, published January 11, 2016 in The Globe and Mail. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which did not write or edit its contents.
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