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 R.F. Binnie & Associates Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016) and BC's Top Employers (2016):
- R.F. Binnie & Associates is employee-owned and managed, and lets everyone share in the fruits of their labours through a profit sharing program
- R.F. Binnie & Associates' charitable giving program enables employees to participate in the selection of charities supported by the firm and paid time off to mentor local high school students
- R.F. Binnie & Associates encourages employees to balance work and personal lives with flexible work hours, shortened and compressed work weeks and a telecommuting option -- and maintains telecommuter workstations for employees when working in the office
R. F. Binnie stays civil and punches above its weight
Jonathan Ho is under no illusions about his job at R.F. Binnie and Associates Ltd. "I do the stuff that everybody hates," he laughs.
In reality, as Traffic Engineering Manager for the Vancouver-based firm of civil engineering consultants, Ho makes things better for the drivers of British Columbia. But he admits that at public forums, people are always concerned about congestion on the roads.
Since joining Binnie in 2007 straight out of the University of British Columbia, Ho has had an impressive career path. To begin with, the company supported him through four years of qualifying for his professional engineer (P.Eng.) licence, covering his fees, giving him time off, and aiding in his training. "Binnie went above and beyond," he says.
In traffic engineering he has worked on some of the area's biggest road projects, including the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler, which was upgraded for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the Port Mann stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway. Recently, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure chose Ho's team to provide traffic engineering services for the entire province of B.C.
In 2013, Ho was promoted to manager and invited to join the elite group of 26 shareholders in the employee-owned firm, which has 110 full-time and 30 part-time staff.
"I think working in a smaller place, you get more hands-on work," says Ho. "And the path to career growth is quite clear. In a bigger firm with many more employees, I might be looking at another 10 or 15 years to become a shareholder. But here, when you do good work, it's very easy for senior management to notice it. Recognition is one of the huge perks of working here."
Chief Operating Officer James Martens says Binnie is committed to remaining employee-owned, constantly renewing itself with new shareholders like Ho. "It's part of our culture," he says.
The firm is smaller than many of its competitors, he agrees, but it has long punched above its weight in its major area of provincial and municipal government projects.
"We try to keep the feeling of a small company," Martens says. "People feel they have access to senior management and they get treated more like a family than like employees of a large company. At the same time, we have some high-profile projects that keep their lives exciting."
Currently, Binnie's engineers might find themselves working on a major redevelopment of Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster or designing new roads at the giant Site C dam project in northern B.C.
In addition, the firm has a contingent of landscape architects who are also working on the Royal Columbian, as well as the Abbotsford MRC sports complex involving three synthetic sports fields and a skate park.
"We're looking for energetic high-performers," says Martens. "People who want to move their career ahead, people interested in growth, and people who want to provide high-quality engineering."
In return, the firm offers a record of steady growth and stability as well as strong benefits, such as profit sharing, education allowances, top-ups for maternity and parental leave, and considerable mentoring and career development.
"We do a lot for work-life balance and managing stress," says Martens. "We try to be as flexible as possible with work hours, and we have people working from home in remote offices." There are also shortened and compressed work weeks available.
To Ho, the company is a place where staff feel they have a real say in the firm's growth strategy. "Everyone has a sense of belonging," he says, "because they feel they can be part of that growth."
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.
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 R.F. Binnie & Associates Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):
- R.F. Binnie & Associates maintains a Young Professionals Committee, which hosts monthly breakfast or lunch meetings that are subsidized by the company -- the committee discusses current industry events, career development, mentoring opportunities, and offers suggestions to improve the organization through liaison with human resources
- R.F. Binnie & Associates manages an Engineer-in-Training program to support the career advancement of its employees and facilitate professional accreditation -- the program includes mentoring, in-house training, and reimbursement for APEGBC membership dues and examination costs
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 R.F. Binnie & Associates Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2016):
- R.F. Binnie & Associates encourages employees to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date with tuition subsidies for job-related courses as well as a variety of in-house and online training programs
- R.F. Binnie & Associates provides new mothers with maternity top-up payments (to 90% of salary for 17 weeks) as well as a short parental leave top-up for fathers and adoptive parents (to 90% for 2 weeks)
- R.F. Binnie & Associates helps employees balance their work and personal lives with flexible work hours, shortened and compressed work weeks and telecommuting options -- the firm also maintains dedicated workstations for its telecommuting employees