Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2015)
Here are some of the reasons why RBC was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2016):
Here are some of the reasons why RBC was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016):
- RBC manages an in-house wellness program called "Living Well" to encourage employees to adopt healthy lifestyles -- through the program, the bank rewards healthy behaviour with credits for a personal Wellness Account, which can be used for wellness-related expenses such as gym memberships and weight-loss programs
- As one of the country's most successful financial institutions, RBC offers all employees the attractive benefit of becoming an owner through a share purchase plan -- the bank also offers a variety of additional financial benefits including a defined contribution pension plan, matching RSP contributions, referral bonuses for employees who successfully refer a candidate (to $5,000) and a range of discounted banking services, from fees to mortgage rates
- RBC supports it new moms with maternity leave top-up payments (to 100% of salary for 6 weeks) as well as offering an academic scholarship program for employees with older kids who are pursuing post-secondary studies, up to $2,500 per child
For RBC employees, three simple words say it all
RBC uses three very straightforward, yet meaningful, words to highlight its relationship with its employees: Career, Community and Connection.
And as Canada's biggest bank and one of its largest employers, it can deliver on these three pillars like few other companies can.
"It's a very large organization but when you get connected, it can feel like a village," says Jenny Poulos, Senior Vice-President, Personal and Commercial Banking Human Resources and RBC Recruitment.
In fact, whatever you want to do at RBC in terms of your career, involvement in the community, or connecting with fellow employees, there's bound to be a program or support for you. "The flexibility and options that RBC offers are vast," agrees Poulos.
Just ask Dana Drover, who became the manager of a leading RBC branch in downtown St. John's, Newfoundland, only five years after joining the bank straight out of university. "They set people up for success right from the get-go," she says.
With a BA in English, Drover started at the bank in 2009 as a client advisor, or teller. Supported by training, coaching and development programs, she moved through a series of roles, including banking advisor and financial advisor, before being named manager of the Aberdeen Avenue branch last year. Drover says her branch area's combination of business clients and young professionals makes it one of the fastest growing market opportunities in Atlantic Canada.
Which makes her rise all the more impressive. "It was pretty fast, but more and more you see that happening," Drover says. "People are moving through the continuum of their training at a quicker pace. It speaks to how supported they feel and how RBC enables individuals to reach their career potential."
So tick "Career", as Drover continues to discuss her path for growth with her current mentors and coaches. What about "Connection"?
As a member of the screen-savvy millennial generation, Drover embraces RBC Connect, the bank's internal social networking and collaboration platform for employees to interact online, whether locally or globally. She is also a member of the NextGen employee resource group, where she can reach out to her peers under 40 for mentorship or coaching, again often electronically. "I feel very well connected," says Drover.
As for "Community", Drover notes that "not a week goes by where there's not something posted on Connect" about a Newfoundland and Labrador RBC branch doing something in the community. Her team supports several local causes including the Janeway Children's Health and Rehabilitation Centre. "Throughout the year, we're fundraising at the branch, and then we join in the annual Janeway telethon to present our donation and help answer the phones," she says.
To Poulos, Drover's experiences are replicated across the bank. "This is where you see the energy of RBC come alive," she says. "There is a collective sense that working for RBC is about making a difference. You see that your contributions matter, and people feel proud to do what they do for clients and communities and each other. That runs right through the organization."
In terms of growth, Drover may one day be able to participate in two relatively new initiatives that Poulos is a proponent of. Women in Leadership is designed to develop high-potential, non-executive women from across the bank by mentoring them and assessing the opportunities and experience they need to move up. Meanwhile, the Executive Women's Peer Network brings together women in more senior roles for learning and networking.
At any level, Drover says, there is tremendous support at RBC for employee development. "I think they really, invest in the people they hire."
This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's Canada's Top 100 Employers winners, published November 9, 2015 in The Globe and Mail. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which did not write or edit its contents.
Finding the right mental health care: how RBC helps youth
When Lynda Clarke needed to find more help for her teenage son's troubles, she decided to check out a link one of her colleagues had shared with her - the Family Navigation Project. It turned out to be a life-saver, but only later did she discover that the project was sponsored by the very company she has worked at for 28 years: RBC.
Launched by Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in 2013, the project helps families navigate the complex mosaic of services for young people, aged 13 to 26, with serious mental health and/or addiction problems. Since then, the RBC Run for the Kids in Toronto has raised more than $5.1 million to support it.
Clarke, a single mother who works as an Executive Assistant in RBC's Canadian banking division, says her son had needed help since he was young, but things got much worse during his teenage years. "A tidal wave came at me," she says. His high school had provided some useful information about services, "but the key thing is the right fit." For two years, she was unable to find it, until she contacted the Family Navigation Project.
After talking it through, her Family Navigator, as its professionals are called, set up a tailor-made list of agencies and services that could specifically help her son, including a youth drop-in and counselling service she had never heard of.
"I was just in awe," says Clarke. "I felt like a weight was taken off my shoulders."
Equally important, she got support for herself. "When there was nothing available for those two years, I also crashed," she says, "because I was trying to be his psychologist, his everything. So my navigator found me help as well."
Jamie Anderson, Deputy Chairman of RBC Capital Markets and RBC Run for the Kids' champion in the bank, is quite blunt about the situation that led to the creation of the Family Navigation Project.
"We do not currently have an integrated mental health care system in Greater Toronto that is easy to navigate," says Anderson, who has served as Chair of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "What we have is quite a wide array of organizations, ranging from very small to quite substantial, that provide mental health care and addictions care. But unless you really know all these organizations, you're hard-pressed to find where you should be getting care."
RBC, which first mounted the Run for the Kids in New York and now organizes it in eight cities worldwide, wanted the Toronto version to support improved access to mental health care, and contacted Sunnybrook. Dr. Anthony Levitt, Research Director of Sunnybrook's Department of Psychiatry, brought forward the Family Navigation Project idea - and a partnership was born. Levitt became the project's Medical Director.
This year's RBC Run for the Kids in Toronto attracted some 8,400 participants, including more than 5,800 RBC employees and family members. "People really get behind it," Anderson says. "Employees today are interested in multiple aspects of what their employment entails - including the organization's commitment to helping communities prosper and how can they get involved. Giving employees an opportunity to be engaged in something they're excited about works in every way - employees like it, it is good for the community and it helps us attract people to work here."
Anderson counts himself as one of those people. When he rejoined the bank at a senior level in 1995 after a stint in New York, "it was in part because RBC is very involved in communities across the country," he says. "I wanted to be involved with an organization where I could make a difference."
Lynda Clarke is quite sure RBC has made a difference. Today, her son is 19 and is still working through his challenges. "But the great thing is," she says, "he knows where to go to get support."
This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's Greater Toronto's Top Employers winners, published December 8, 2015 in The Globe and Mail. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which did not write or edit its contents.
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 10, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why RBC was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):
Here are some of the reasons why RBC was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):
- Recent university and college graduates can gain career experience through RBC's Career Launch Program, a 1-year paid internship for graduates under the age of 24 -- the program features opportunities for formal learning, mentorship, professional networking and community experience through a work term with a registered Canadian charity
- RBC created the Next Great Social Innovator Challenge, an annual competition for RBC Career Launch Associates -- participants submit a response to the challenge question, which is based on a specific business need, and finalists are flown to Toronto to present their ideas to a panel of RBC executives -- students have a chance to win up to $20,000 as well as interview with an RBC recruiter
- RBC maintains a dedicated employee resource group called "NextGen" for employees in their 20s and 30s -- the group has approximately 3,000 members and helps employees build connections across the organization
- RBC established the Global Emerging Leadership Program, a 2-year cross-enterprise leadership development program for individuals with demonstrated leadership capabilities -- the program features a series of rotations, including the possibility of an international rotation
RBC helps break the 'no experience, no job' cycle
After graduating from the University of Ottawa, Peirre Diop began his job hunt in the summer of 2013. By that fall, he was pretty discouraged. "I had sent out dozens and dozens of resumes," he says. "I had a few interviews, but they said I wasn't experienced enough." Then he saw an online posting for the Career Launch Program offered by RBC.
"I was saying to employers 'give me a chance'," he says. "And that's what Career Launch is all about. It gives you a chance."
RBC's Career Launch Program, unique in Canada, helps talented young people to gain valuable work experience at a time of high youth unemployment.
The program, which started with Diop's cohort in early 2014, hires 100 young people annually from a wide variety of backgrounds and employs them at the bank for a one- year paid internship, including three months at one of RBC's charitable partners. After that, the next step is up to each person. Some apply for a position at RBC, while others return to the job market in their chosen field, hugely bolstered by their experience - and by RBC on their resume.
"We refer to it as breaking the 'no experience, no job' cycle," says Susan Uchida, Vice President, Learning, at RBC. "The program focuses on university and college graduates up to age 24 who are having difficulty transitioning from school to work.
Uchida stresses that the program is not "a talent sourcing strategy" for RBC, although many from the first-year cohort - including Diop - ended up successfully applying for jobs with the bank after they finished in January 2015.
"The program is about giving the 100 associates experience," says Uchida. "Our goal is to help them develop the skills, the confidence and the network to pursue their chosen career path with greater success. In the latter half of the program we start working with them on their resumes, we support them in terms of their interests, and we really try to help them learn to effectively present themselves."
In their year, associates rotate through a six-month period in a local RBC branch as a client advisor, or teller, where they learn the fundamentals of client service and branch banking as a foundation. This is followed by a three-month placement at a charitable organization which RBC arranges, and a final three months at RBC head office in Toronto, using professional skills from their original field of study.
Gabriel Dionne was selected for the program in January 2015, after studying management at Concordia University in Montreal. Working in the branch allowed him to meet people in a variety of banking roles, he says, and "I saw what the structure of a big company is all about." His charity placement was with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, ideal for him due to his interest in arts marketing. At head office, he worked in the corporate citizenship department, which appealed to his desire to make a difference through his work.
"I feel like a new person," says Dionne. "I have been mentored and guided a lot. I'm much more confident. And I have been able to create a network and will be able to leverage these contacts as I look for my next opportunity."
Diop, meanwhile, is now working in an RBC branch as a banking advisor. Like Dionne, he feels the experience has given him much more confidence and has educated him about working life. "In the beginning I was naïve and had big dreams," he says. "Now, I am a well-trained adult and I have big goals."
This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's Canada's Top Employers for Young People winners, published January 11, 2016 in The Globe and Mail. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which did not write or edit its contents.