Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 28, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Peto MacCallum Limited was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2016):
- Peto MacCallum encourages continuous development with in-house training, tuition subsidies for courses related to their current position as well as financial bonuses for some course completions (to $2,000)
- Peto MacCallum also supports parents with children pursuing post-secondary studies through an academic scholarship program (to $1,000)
- Peto MacCallum helps employees plan for the future with a defined contribution pension plan as well as phased-in work options for employees nearing retirement
Sharing the wealth at Peto MacCallum
Melissa King did not take kindly to being labelled as a "Category C." That's how a large consulting engineering firm described her potential position when she was looking for a new job in 2003. Instead, she opted to join a competitor, Peto MacCallum Ltd., in its Geoenvironmental Services division. "They were smaller, and saw me as an individual, rather than fitting into a corporate slot," King says. "I felt I would not get lost and have more opportunities to develop my career."
Indeed, King has more than found her way, advancing over the years to her current position as the Toronto-based company's lead for Geoenvironmental Services, one of the firm's specialties. En route, early on, she became a Peto MacCallum shareholder, an opportunity only some small and mid-sized businesses offer to their staff.
Explains company Director Wayne Belcourt: "We respect all our people, regardless of their level. We look at the job they do, not where it fits into the pecking order. Based on demonstrated motivation, leadership and technical skills, we invite employees from clerical to senior management to become shareholders."
Belcourt, who joined the company in 1984 and became a Director in 2000, adds that allowing everyone to potentially share in the company's profits is one of several ways Peto MacCallum encourages employee growth. "Staff are encouraged to advance up the corporate ladder as far as their talent will take them," he says.
Offering shares to employees is also an essential element of Peto MacCallum's corporate culture. "If you look after your employees," says Belcourt, who manages the firm's Hamilton office, "your employees will look after your business."
King, who also works out of Hamilton, became a shareholder just three years after joining the company. "I considered it a huge compliment," she says. "I was honoured that they saw potential in me and were prepared to invest in it."
Adds King: "It's a wise policy. As a shareholder, you are invested in the company's success and reap the benefits of your hard work. Being a part owner makes you realize that your work is not just a job. You appreciate that you are a part of something much larger."
Peto MacCallum also encourages professional growth by providing employees the tools they need to acquire new skills. "If someone needs a laptop, they get a laptop," says Belcourt, who has over the years attended numerous company-sponsored courses. In King's case, she acquired a diploma in Management Studies part-time, with the company picking up the entire tab. Education support extends as well to employees' children, who can receive annual scholarships of $1,000.
Brian Squire joined Peto MacCallum's Kitchener, Ont., office in 1996 after graduating university in civil engineering. He came as a field technician to help with the expansion of the Toyota car-assembly plant in nearby Cambridge, a major Peto MacCallum contract. Within five years of joining, he, too, became a Peto MacCallum shareholder. "Becoming part owner means that you are not just putting in time, but that the company recognizes efforts and potential," says Squire, now the company's Geotechnical Lead. "I really appreciated it."
For King and Squire, the company's relatively small size, with fewer than 200 employees, is a real boon. Says Squire: "We're not a multinational, which means you are not just a number. We work in small teams with mentors. You won't get buried within the company, and you have tremendous opportunities to learn. It also means that you can have an impact early in your career."
Adds King: "Most engineering firms divide up projects into separate tasks with people working only on that aspect until the very end. At Peto MacCallum, we work collaboratively as we tackle the whole project."
That means a greater chance to participate meaningfully and influence results. Says King: "You are seen and you are heard."