Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 24, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Pushor Mitchell LLP was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2017):
- Pushor Mitchell LLP lets everyone share in the fruits of their labour with profit-sharing and helps employees save for the future with matching RSP contributions
- Pushor Mitchell LLP invests in ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for job-related courses, formal mentoring opportunities, in-house and online training programs and subsidies for professional accreditation
- As part of the firm's health benefits plan, Pushor Mitchell LLP provides health and wellness spending accounts of up to $300 per year, allowing employees to top up coverage as needed
Pushor Mitchell's dragon boat team ethos
Last summer's annual Kelowna, B.C. Dragon Boat Festival reveals much of what you need to know about working at local law firm Pushor Mitchell LLP. Some employees approached the partners to say they wanted to form the firm's first team for the August event. "And of course, the leadership here said, 'Absolutely, what can we do to help that?'" recalls Human Resources Manager Jennifer McKenzie, noting the partners were happy to take care of entrance fees.
Paralegal Caitlin Kessler was one of the 22 paddlers -- lawyers and other staff -- who placed fourth in their division, with the partners cheering them on. "We just gave it our all," she says. "We went to this tournament and shocked everyone because it just showed how much we enjoy each other and can work well together. It was great to see that the staff I work with on a daily basis are way more than just my job, they are part of my entire life."
Staff initiative, collaborative spirit, teamwork, mutual support, work-life balance -- they're all hallmarks of the full-service law firm. And Managing Partner James Paterson believes those principles are key to Pushor Mitchell's success. He says PM has maintained the close-knit feeling that goes back to its founding just over 40 years ago by a group of friends who'd attended UBC law school together.
And Paterson notes that 99 per cent of respondents in client surveys say they'd recommend Pushor Mitchell to others. "We think that if we're healthy in our organization, then we're really going to outperform other legal organizations in providing service to our clients."
Another key part of the Pushor Mitchell ethos is a deep commitment to the community. "It runs from being on the board of almost every major charity and community group in town," says Paterson, "to closing the office for half a day every year in order to participate in the United Way Day of Caring, which involves volunteering on projects for various local groups."
For Kessler, that local involvement contributes to the esprit de corps. "The focus is not just on ourselves, our desks or the work that's in front of us. The focus is also on each other and working and communicating with each other to connect with our neighbours outside of our office." Kessler points out that Pushor Mitchell has various committees and regular social events that also promote cohesiveness. How many other law firms, she asks, have fundraising karaoke sessions involving lawyers and other staff members?
Meanwhile, the 25-year-old says the firm actively promotes professional development. Kessler, who's been at PM for three years and works in land development and estate administration, has been mentored (all employees are assigned a mentor before they even begin work) in corporate records, conveyancing, land development and Native land development. "They're not expecting you just to be static at your desk. They want you to grow."
In addition to various other subsidies to help employees upgrading their skills, Pushor Mitchell offers benefits including matching employee RRSP contributions, bonuses pegged to profits and individual performance, and wellness subsidies, including a monthly fitness credit and annual wellness credit. It doesn't hurt, either, that the firm is located in Kelowna, situated on Okanagan Lake, with its beaches, sunny summers, golf courses, wineries and proximity to hiking trails and both Nordic and alpine ski areas.
HR Manager McKenzie says all that means many employees stay at Pushor Mitchell a long time, with four staff members being awarded for 30 years of service last year. "People work hard to come into our organization because they know it will be an employer that's going to commit as much to their career as they are."