Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 8, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Save-On-Foods was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2017):
- Save-On-Foods head office employees are encouraged to stay healthy with subsidized memberships to an onsite fitness facility
- Save-On-Foods supports ongoing employee development through in-house training programs, subsidies for professional accreditation as well as tuition subsidies for courses both related and not directly related to their current position (to $200)
- Varying by employee group, Save-On-Foods employees are encouraged to save for the future with contributions to defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans -- employees can also save a little on their grocery bill through an employee discount program
Advancement can be quick at Save-On-Foods
For Kira Tateyama, it was one of those crossroads moments in life. Since she was 15, she had worked in Kelowna for Save-On-Foods, part-time or full-time, while going to school. But now, at 19, she had completed her training as a dental office administrator and she had to decide - would she follow that path?
Tateyama and her husband also had a one-year-old son to think about. The dental office sometimes stayed open late hours and on weekends. Save-On-Foods offered flexible work times. The dental office had free dental, but no medical. Save-On-Foods had a lot of benefits, from health to pension. And then there were the people.
"I loved my job at Save-On-Foods," she says. "I loved the people I worked with. So it just made sense to stay."
It didn't hurt that her dad had long been a store manager, but he left her to make her own decision. She hasn't regretted it. "Save-On-Foods is like family - it's like home," she says.
The fast-growing grocery chain is also a good place to advance quickly, as Tateyama found in 2015. Having worked in various areas of her Kelowna store, from the lotto booth to the meat department, she decided to apply for Save-On-Foods' Retail Leadership Excellence (RLE) program - 12 weeks of managerial training.
By the end of 2015, Tateyama had been posted as a merchandising manager in a Save-On-Foods in Red Deer, Alta., and nine months later became Assistant Store Manager at a second outlet in the city. "The training was awesome," she says. She hopes to be a store manager in 3-5 years.
Save-On-Foods President Darrell Jones understands Tateyama's journey well. "I started as a bag boy in Cranbrook 41 years ago," he says. The company prides itself on being a place where people can join after high school or after post-secondary education, and make it to the top either way.
Along with on-the-job training and RLE, there are online training modules, senior leadership programs and support for an MBA education.
Job opportunities abound as the chain, the largest based in Western Canada, expands in B.C. and across the Prairies - it has opened 29 new stores in the last three years.
But above all, says Jones, the company and its culture are very people-oriented. "We want to create an environment where people feel good about where they work and know that people care about them," he says. "We know that will get translated to the customer."
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 23, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Save-On-Foods was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016):
- In partnership with one of the organization's union groups, Overwaitea Food Group created the Joint Diversity Training Trust to recognize and embrace diversity and inclusion -- and offers scholarships and awards as part of the initiative, for external applicants and employees (or their family members) who demonstrate involvement in diversity initiatives within the community
- Overwaitea Food Group offers a number of online courses to help employees increase their understanding of diversity in the workplace -- topics include communication in cross cultural relationships, valuing team diversity and respect in the workplace
- In 2014, Overwaitea Food Group launched the Inspire Network to help profile women in leadership roles at the organization -- the network is currently working on strategies to advance women in the workplace and to build connections and mentors within the organization