Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why R.F. Binnie & Associates Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017) and BC's Top Employers (2016):
- 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 -- the firm also offers a dedicated Engineer-in-Training program to support the career advancement of its younger employees
- 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 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
Binnie builds champions
After 15 years with R.F. Binnie and Associates Ltd., Tom Rabey says he has learned the key to employee engagement - it's all about helping people make their mark.
"I tell our staff that every great idea needs a champion and all champions are welcome," says Rabey, Professional Services Group Manager for the Vancouver-based firm of civil engineering consultants. "So if something sounds like a good idea, take it and run with it. Be that champion. If you do, you will help shape our company. That kind of work environment keeps you interested, engaged and excited at the prospect of coming to work each morning."
Certainly, there is no shortage of opportunities at Binnie. Projects run the gamut from highway and bridge construction to building sports and recreation facilities to helping create entire municipal subdivisions.
Most of the projects are based in the B.C. communities where Binnie's employees work, live and play - another key attraction for both new recruits and veterans like Rabey.
"We do a lot of work in our local communities and there are few things that engage people more" says Rabey. "You take that extra amount of care and pride because you know the area and you may end up using the infrastructure you're helping to build. You want to make it the best it can be."
Another way Binnie seeks to empower employees is through its Young Professionals Committee, made up of individuals with 10 years' experience or less in the industry.
"The YP Committee is a force to be reckoned with," observes Rabey. "They put proposals forward to our Board of Directors and have direct input into our annual planning process. They also act as a peer support group and as champions for a lot of social events and volunteer activities."
YP members recently volunteered to build a playground at a local children's centre and to create a new outdoor learning and community park. The volunteers are recognized for time contributed through Binnie's profit-sharing program.
Longer-term, high-achieving Binnie employees are invited to become shareholders in the firm. Currently, about a quarter of Binnie's full-time employees own shares.
"It's very satisfying to be part of an employee-owned company," says Rabey. "Rather than reporting to some far-away mystery head office, we have the ability to influence and change policies. It allows us to be a lot more dynamic, responsive and accountable."
Like other engineering firms, Binnie places a lot of emphasis on its engineer-in-training (EIT) program which takes new university graduates and provides them with the on-the-job training and mentoring required to become accredited professional engineers.
Emma Yee, who graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2014, is at the midpoint of her EIT program. She is also a member of Binnie's YP Committee.
Yee says she benefits from Binnie's supportive and collaborative work culture. "My division has people ranging in experience from a couple of years to many decades. They are always willing to share their knowledge and expertise with people like me."
As part of Binnie's formal mentoring program, Yee was paired up with a more senior engineer with whom she meets regularly. "I've learned a lot from her, not just about the work itself, but also how you balance work and other aspects of your life."
Among other initiatives, Binnie offers employees flexible work hours, shortened and compressed work weeks and the option of telecommuting.
"What I like is that they value people," says Yee. "It's not just about billable hours or my work output. They care about helping me meet my career objectives while also growing as a person."
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