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 National Leasing Group Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017) and Manitoba's Top Employers (2017):
- National Leasing Group cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan, available to all employees, and helps employees save for the future with matching RSP contributions
- National Leasing Group provides maternity and parental leave top-up payments to employees who are new mothers or fathers (including adoptive parents), to 75% of salary for up to 17 weeks
- In addition to supporting a number of national charitable organizations, National Leasing Group encourages employees to be active in their community, providing paid time off to volunteer and matching employee donations
National Leasing owns its can-do attitude
As manager of contract administration for National Leasing, Rose Mandaliti oversees a wide range of issues, including the collection of delinquent payments. It's a challenging job, but one Mandaliti approaches with an upbeat and creative attitude.
"The fact is very few people enter into a contract intending not to honour it," says Mandaliti. "But sometimes customers face unforeseen difficulties. Our goal is to work with them to problem-solve and get them to the end of the contract. And helping people get through tough times is very fulfilling."
Mandaliti's positive, can-do attitude is typical of National Leasing, a firm that helps over 57,000 Canadian companies to lease, rather than own, everything from combines to golf carts. It's apparent as soon as you walk into the firm's 72,000-square-foot head office in south Winnipeg, which is drenched in sunlight streaming in from windows on all sides of the building, as well as eight overhead skylights.
Unlike more traditional workplaces, where executives work in closed-off offices with all the best views, here many of the prime spots are filled by more junior employees. Instead, executives work at modest desks surrounded by co-workers who are free to approach them at any time.
President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Pundyk occupies one of those desks. Pundyk, who co-founded the company in 1977, today works with 350 employees, including some 60 account managers and support staff at field offices across Canada. Assets currently managed by National Leasing (which is now owned by Canadian Western Bank) total nearly $2 billion.
Yet Pundyk still makes a point of meeting with every new employee three months into the job. He talks about the company's expectations of them and listens to what they expect in return.
"It lifts me up every time," says Pundyk. "Afterwards, I often get an email from them saying, 'boy, that's the first chance I've had to speak to a CEO.' I tell them, 'make sure it's not your last - I want to see you coming back to me with ideas about how we can improve our business.'"
Individual and team initiative is a big priority at National Leasing. "When I started as a junior collector 15 years ago, it was all pretty open-ended," says Mandaliti. "There were expected results, but how I got there was largely up to me."
Carol Stubits, who joined National Leasing two years ago as a sales manager in the company's Burlington, Ont. office, concurs. After two decades working for competitors in the Greater Toronto Area, Stubits was charged with expanding National Leasing's presence in Ontario.
Recalls Stubits: "From the very start, it was 'what do you need, Carol, to get the job done? Help us to help you' It's not top-down; they give employees a voice."
On a recent weekday, Stubits was in the Winnipeg head office, a place she visits whenever she can. "I'm in a great mood because I'm among my people," she said. "There's something very different about National Leasing, which reflects its Winnipeg roots. I've never seen a company this successful that has so little ego or pretension."
The company has high expectations of all employees, including the best sales results and customer service in the industry. In return, National Leasing is committed to providing a fun and engaged workplace.
An on-site gym, yoga classes and office hockey games every winter Friday are among the attractions. Annual themed dress-up parties, group skits featuring executive members and champagne breakfasts to celebrate reaching sales goals are some others.
"We work hard and we're rewarded by having a lot of fun," says Mandaliti. "It's a pretty nice balance."