Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 11, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Olympus Canada Inc. was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2017):
- Olympus Canada supports employees who want to start a family with maternity and parental leave top-up payments for mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents (to 100% of salary for up to 12 weeks)
- Olympus Canada offers a number of financial incentives including profit-sharing for all employees, signing bonuses for some and referral bonuses for employees who recruit candidates from their personal network (up to $2,500 per candidate)
- In addition to supporting a number of local, national and international charitable organizations, Olympus Canada encourages employees to give back to the community by providing paid time off to volunteer and company donations to organizations where employees volunteer their time
The big picture at Olympus Canada is diversification
When CEO Bill Collins says that improving society's health and safety is one of the most rewarding things about working for Olympus Canada, he's not talking about taking pictures.
Although the public still associates Olympus with consumer cameras, in the era of the smartphone the camera business now accounts for just 10 per cent of the company's global sales.
Olympus Canada's main product line is medical devices, which globally make up more than 75 per cent of the Olympus Corporation's annual revenue. The most common device is the medical scope - laparoscopes, colonoscopes, endoscopes and more - all of which use camera technology for everything from diagnostics to surgery.
"We are in some of the most innovative and high-growth markets," says Collins. He notes that Olympus has captured more than 70 per cent of the global market for gastroenterology (or colonoscopy) equipment. Colonoscopy is, of course, a procedure that has become ever more common in recent decades. "It's one of the few cancers where if you catch it in the pre-cancerous stage, you can remove the polyps and prevent an occurrence," says Collins.
Olympus is also known for specialized microscopes, including multi-photo laser models that can look deep into tissue to improve diagnoses. Yet another of its businesses is devices that check the health of oil and gas pipeline walls by shooting x-rays through the ground to detect deterioration.
Surgical sales representative Darren Mortier joined Olympus Canada six years ago from another medical device company. "I saw Olympus from the outside looking in," he says. "Some of my key accounts had a lot of Olympus equipment in the operating room and I knew they were well regarded."
In his first year and a half, he was responsible for a specialized small product line in a large territory. Then he switched into a bigger product line in a smaller southern Ontario territory. As the company has grown and new sales representatives have been added, he's become more specialized again.
Along with the satisfaction of selling cutting-edge medical technology, Mortier appreciates how Olympus encourages employees to try new job opportunities. There's also the support he gets from colleagues in sales and at the Richmond Hill head office. "Communications have always been great," he says in a call from the road.
Unlike Mortier, contract specialist Colin McDonald doesn't deal with hospital customers directly. Instead, he works behind the scenes to respond to requests for proposals and prepare contracts. He also chairs what's known as the "SocialIN" committee, working to engage employees in charitable and social events. "IN" is short for Olympus's values of integrity, innovation and involvement, which are promoted worldwide.
On a volunteer basis, McDonald and several other employees organize a wide range of activities. Colon cancer awareness is a key cause in keeping with the company's business while campaigns for the Heart & Stroke Foundation and Daily Bread Food Bank are regular annual events. Olympus Canada also encourages employees to give back to the community by providing paid time off to volunteer and company donations to the organizations where employees volunteer.
"Family is a big component here," says McDonald, "and work life balance." Employees have flexibility around their workday hours, and family are invited to both a summer event and a holiday season party for children and grandchildren.
Should anyone want to preserve those memories, they can always use the cameras Olympus Canada still sells - niche products including shockproof and waterproof models and digital SLRs - for the best possible photos.