Recognized as one of National Capital Region's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 12, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Lumentum was selected as one of National Capital Region's Top Employers (2017):
- Lumentum cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan, available to all employees -- and offers a range of additional financial benefits including signing bonuses for some employees, profit-sharing for all, and referral bonuses for employees who recruit candidates from their personal networks (to $1,500 per successful referral)
- Lumentum invests in ongoing employee education with generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses (to $5,000 per year), subsidies for professional accreditation, and a variety of in-house and online training programs
- Lumentum provides maternity leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers (to 90% of salary for up to 17 weeks)
Lumentum focuses like a laser on empowerment
Keith Aguinaga is a man of modesty. As Director of Global Customer Service, he leads a team of 34 customer support staff at Lumentum Holdings Inc. His team's members are located at sites in Ottawa, China and Japan. For his outstanding leadership, he received the company's Zenith Award for 2014. But he contends the trophy belongs to his team rather than solely to him.
"All the credit goes to my team," he says. "They go above and beyond the call. What's important is that we have relationships with our customers. We're not a call centre. We have dedicated people on our accounts. Most of my team has been with the company 14 or 15 years, and many of them have had the same customers during that period. We view it as a competitive advantage."
Lumentum was created in 2015 as a spin-off of the optics and photonics division of California-based JDSU. But the firm's high-tech roots in Ottawa date back to 1981. It serves optical networking and commercial laser customers worldwide.
Lumentum Ottawa is predominantly a research facility, with 28,000 square feet of laboratory space. Of its 335 full-time employees, 80 per cent are engineers. The company hired 17 new employees in Ottawa last year. Voluntary turnover in the last 12 months was a mere 2.8 per cent.
"At Lumentum Ottawa, we have our functional roles in R&D, manufacturing, sales and customer service," says Doug Alteen, Vice President of Marketing. "However, our culture is one of shared purpose, commitment and spirit. We understand our business goals, strive to deliver exceptional products, and work to be an advocate for our community."
Lumentum promotes an ownership culture through its Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which enables staff to buy shares at 85 per cent of fair market value. Employees can contribute up to 10 per cent of their compensation through semi-annual payroll deductions. Two of every three employees have enrolled. "It's a great opportunity to participate in Lumentum's success," says Aguinaga, who has been enrolled since he first joined the company 18 years ago.
Lumentum encourages professional development, too. Up to $5,000 per employee can be approved annually for job-related courses or conferences. Internal training is also offered, such as the "empowerment camp" which Aguinaga attended in 2013.
"It focused on how, as a leader or manager, you can empower staff within their job function, so that decisions are made at the right level," he says. "That's a really worthwhile program, especially as the company continues to grow."