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 Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016), Ten Best Companies to Work For (2016) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2016):
- Samsung Electronics Canada recently introduced maternity and parental leave top-up payments to support employees who are new parents, to 75% of salary for up to 17 weeks for mothers and up to 6 weeks for fathers
- Samsung Electronics Canada encourages ongoing employee development and offers a global mobility program, which provides employees with an opportunity to work in Korea for up to one year -- Samsung also manages a 10-month rotational program that provides training, mentoring and job-shadowing opportunities to help new grads gain entry-level experience
- Samsung Electronics Canada established "Samsung Gives", a new community involvement initiative that provides employees with up to three paid days off each year to volunteer and access to the company's "benevity" program, which matches employee donations of up to $400 each year
Samsung employees use innovation to help others
Twice a year, Samsung Electronics Canada gives its staff the day off to volunteer. On October 16, its most recent volunteer day, employees could, among other things, choose to plant trees, pick up and deliver fruit, or create toy kits for Toronto's SickKids Hospital - a Samsung charitable partner.
These special days are large-scale initiatives where employees engage in informal team building while they're out in their communities. "It drives an incredible amount of pride," says Christine Greco, Vice President Human Resources and Corporate Affairs.
Twitter backs her up.
"About to start building bikes for the Samsung day of giving! More to come... @SamsungCanada #SamsungGives," tweets Dwayne Rookwood.
"Samsung's day of giving, 10k walk! #SamsungGives," says Julietta Wong, who also Instagrams some photos.
Kayla Lunter, a Supply Chain Manager whose team took part in Milkweed for Monarchs, a milkweed planting initiative for butterflies migrating through Mississauga, Ont., where Samsung has its Canadian headquarters, says one of the things she really appreciates about the Samsung Days of Giving is that it's simple to participate.
"The company organizes them from start to finish. From arranging transportation to and from the office, to providing lunches onsite - they are making it easier for everyone to do this," she says.
Lunter has seen Samsung's charitable giving become more of a priority since her early days with the company in 2008, when volunteering was more about bake sales, car washes and the annual United Way campaign. But that's not to say Samsung no longer supports individual volunteer efforts.
Greco notes that employees can also get time off to participate in smaller-scale opportunities like reading to children or wrapping gifts at SickKids Hospital.
For Samsung, a huge multinational organization, global corporate citizenship efforts are anchored in supporting children's education, healthcare and sustainability. It's called the Hope for Children platform. Some two years ago, when employees sat down to identify their local "passion points," they chose children's hospitals in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, explains Mark Childs, Chief Marketing Officer.
Samsung reached out to SickKids. A day-long workshop was held where representatives of the hospital brainstormed alongside all local Mississauga employees. "The goal was to think about how our technology could help patients, families and healthcare practitioners," explains Greco
Samsung and SickKids will be implementing some of the ideas generated in the future. Among other initiatives, Samsung chose to support the hospital's Epilepsy Classroom program, where children with intractable epilepsy use Samsung technology to develop learning skills and a sense of community with one another.
"Technology is really an enabler to help these children meet their full potential no matter what life has thrown at them," says Childs.
As far as its own employees are concerned, Samsung has made significant new investments in mentorship, education and career development. It launched its first Graduate Program in Canada (June 2014 to April 2015) and sends Canadian employees to Korea for work exchange experiences through its Global Mobility Program.
Lunter earned a Masters Certificate in Leading Business Excellence through the Schulich School of Business, taking courses offered onsite at Samsung's office. She also participates in mentoring events held as part of the Women@SECA development program. Working with external partners, Samsung hosts speaker series, offers professional development courses and supports formal mentoring opportunities.
Other perks include new office space housing a subsidized Samsung Café, which caters to on-site and take-out needs, and the Activity Centre with gym equipment, trainers and group classes. Bright collaboration workspaces feature the latest technology, including 500+ LFDs for communications. Outside, Samsung has covered bike racks and designated preferred parking spaces for employees who carpool or drive hybrids.
Samsung's people power elevates brand to new heights
When Kayla Lunter, a supply chain manager, joined Samsung Electronics Canada in 2008, friends had heard of the brand, but weren't overly familiar with the company. This year, for the first time, Samsung made it to the top 10 of both Ipsos Reid's Most Influential Brands in Canada and Léger Marketing's Most Reputable Brands.
"Now," says Lunter, "the first reaction is 'Wow!'"
Samsung's popular Galaxy smartphones and tablets have been an integral part of building the brand visibility in Canada, as well as an increased presence in the GTA, where it's engaged in a wide range of activities. Since the summer of 2014, for example, Samsung has operated the largest outdoor LED billboard in Canada at Yonge-Dundas Square.
Visitors can frequently be spotted up gazing up at the 97-feet-wide by 60-feet-tall screen, which is equivalent to one third the size of a soccer field. They could be informed with real-time traffic or weather updates from a partnership with the Weather Network to footage from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), where Samsung was a key sponsor in 2016.
"We felt that it was a perfect way to get closer to our primary audience, young-minded Canadians, by aligning with one of their core passions of film and entertainment," says Chief Marketing Officer Mark Childs.
Samsung has also just opened its first standalone store in the GTA, which - at 2,535 square feet - is its largest in Canada. Located in CF Sherway Gardens, the store allows Canadians to engage with Galaxy mobile devices and the latest Samsung innovations. It also features a Samsung Service Centre with walk-in support for a variety of products, including one-hour repairs.
"Our experience stores are all about bringing our technology and brand to life," says Childs.
Samsung's cutting-edge technology is also integrated throughout the company's new Mississauga headquarters, which opened in 2013. Designed by employees for employees to reflect the Samsung culture, each floor is meant to inspire creativity and collaboration and represents company values through colours. The first floor is purple for people. The elevator is red for change. The second floor is orange for prosperity. The third floor is blue for excellence. And the fourth floor is green for integrity.
"Creating the first floor was a fantastic expression of the brand coming to life," says Christine Greco, Vice President Human Resources and Corporate Affairs. The space features a showroom with Samsung's latest and future technologies, and bleacher-style seating for employees.
For employees like Lunter, the building offers both traditional meeting rooms and more relaxed spaces with sofas and giant cushions. There's a subsidized Samsung Café catering to on-site and take-out employee needs, featuring both western and Korean food choices. At the complimentary Activity Centre, complete with gym equipment and shower facilities, employees can work out with trainers and take group classes like yoga.
There's also an employee lounge and a dedicated room for meditation, prayer and reflection. Outside the office, there are covered bike racks and designated preferred parking spaces for employees who carpool or drive hybrids.
Samsung is actively involved in giving back to many GTA causes and community organizations including the Sick Kids Foundation. It encourages employees to take two days each year to volunteer through its "Samsung Gives" initiatives.
"We want every single employee to feel inspired every day, and be proud to work for Samsung Canada," says Childs.