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 Shell Canada Limited was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016) and Alberta's Top Employers (2016):
- Shell Canada offers exceptional financial rewards, including a share purchase plan, generous year-end bonuses, discounted financial services through the Shell Credit Union, and even discounts on gasoline purchases at the pump
- Shell Canada ranks among Canada's leading corporate donors, supporting approximately 700 charitable initiatives last year and encourages employees to get involved in their community with up to three paid days off each year to volunteer and matching financial donations to charities where employees volunteer their time and donate funds
- Shell Canada provides maternity leave top-up payments for new moms and offers assistance in finding daycare centres and nursery schools when employees are ready to head back to work -- the company also helps employees find retirement residences and elder care services for employees who are caring for older parents
Career growth at Shell builds on the company's wide horizons
Zoe Yujnovich was rising through the executive ranks at one of the world's largest multinational mining companies - a professional journey that had taken her from Australia to England, the United States, Brazil and Canada -- before deciding a year ago to make a bold mid-career move. Yujnovich joined Calgary-based Shell Canada as a vice-president of the company's joint-venture Athabasca Oil Sands Project.
"There were a lot of things I liked about Shell and a lot of things I was looking for," says Yujnovich. "It's a company with very strong corporate ethics and an equally strong commitment to health and safety."
There was another big plus from her perspective. Shell encourages employees to broaden their skills and competencies and provides plenty of opportunity to move from one line of business to another. Furthermore, Shell Canada is part of a diversified, multinational energy company with operations that span the globe and touch every segment of the oil and gas industry - from far-flung exploration to retail filling stations.
Shell has operated in Canada for over 100 years and employs some 8,700 people coast to coast. It is an integrated oil and gas company with interests in exploration, production, refining, manufacturing and it serves consumers at over 1,200 retail stations. As well, its Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture accounts for 17 per cent of the country's petroleum output.
Shell's workforce is as diverse as its operations and includes petroleum, mining, reservoir and other types of engineers, as well as a whole range of technicians. The commercial side of the business employs professionals in finance, procurement, sales, marketing and human resources.
The company invests heavily in career planning and professional development and every employee has an individual development plan. "I've benefitted from different mentoring relationships and from our formal learning programs," says Chantelle McGivern, a Commercial Deal Lead. "The Shell Commercial Academy helps staff develop in a formal setting through courses taught, in some cases, by Harvard business professors."
The company also has a multi-tiered management training program. Level one - leader of teams - is for those entering the management ranks; senior leader training is for those who may be managing multiple teams; and there is still more training for those who have risen to a level where they are overseeing multiple managers.
While grooming people to move up, the company also encourages them to expand their horizons. "Shell is very open to broadening the opportunities available to employees," says Laurie Neilson, Manager of Mine Engineering at the Athabasca Oil Sands Project. "They work with you on career maps to show you the full breadth of the organization."
Shell frequently creates cross-functional teams of employees to work on special projects and to learn through on-the-job experience. "The best learning opportunity is when you are assigned to a special project," says McGivern. "They are often staffed with high performers so you get to learn hands-on from the best and see how critical business decisions are made."
Shell has operations in dozens of Canadian communities and encourages its employees to contribute to their communities through charitable initiatives. The company is one of the country's leading corporate donors and supported some 700 charities last year. Employees are entitled to paid time off to volunteer and Shell matches contributions through United Way.
"People here really care about what they do for each other and for our communities," adds McGivern, "and for me that makes all the difference."
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 Shell Canada Limited was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):
- Shell Canada created a dedicated graduate program, a 2- to 5-year accelerated career progression program that includes structured training and placement in hands-on roles -- the program may be tailored to have a specific focus, such as technical, commercial or global functions
- Shell Canada offers "assessed internships", paid internships which provide students with an opportunity to work on projects that are specifically matched to their interests and abilities -- assessed interns join a project team, are assigned a mentor, a buddy, a supervisor, and an HR representative, are formally assessed throughout the program and present a summary of their work, learning, and achievements at the end of the term -- if successful, interns are usually placed in the Shell Graduate program
- Shell Canada's recruitment team hosts virtual and face-to-face events for interns to network, learn more about Shell and hear from senior leaders, HR staff and other employees -- additionally, the company manages a New Professional Network, which aims to create an engaged and interactive community of employees who are new to the company
Shell's learning culture produces future leaders
Emma Guppy joined Shell Canada in Calgary in the fall of 2013, not long after earning a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the university of Calgary but she didn't know much about the oil and gas industry. "I'm not a technical person and wasn't sure where you explore or how you discover oil and what the process is for extracting it," says Guppy, an Emerging Policy Issue Advisor in the Regulatory and Environment Department.
She learned in a hurry, however, thanks to the company's training and development opportunities. Shell provides employees with individual development plans, formal and informal mentoring, leadership training for personnel at all levels and a broad array of in-person and online courses through the Shell Graduate Program and Shell Open University.
Guppy got a crash course in the upstream side of the energy business - which includes exploration, development and production - through an innovative two-week onboarding program offered by the Upstream Business. She completed it with a multi-disciplinary group of other young professionals. Two senior employees facilitated the course and a panel of four senior leaders judged the work of the participants.
By the end, they were able to prepare a business case for the development of an oilfield that included everything from drilling wells to working with other industry partners, community stakeholders and regulatory agencies. "I learned a ton," says Guppy. "We're definitely encouraged to learn different parts of the business to see what you like and where you fit in."
And there's lots to learn in a big, diversified multinational like Shell, which has operations across Canada and around the world and is involved in every aspect of the oil and gas business, from exploration to retail filling stations. On the technical side, Shell hires young professionals in engineering and the geosciences as well as health, safety and environmental sciences. The company also recruits for a wide range of commercial positions, including marketing, contracting and procurement, supply chain management and human resources.
Shell has a long-standing practice of hiring recent graduates from university and college programs. "I was hired as a new graduate almost 30 years ago and we have been doing it all along," says Denise Burzminski, Recruitment Manager - Canada. "Shell is always looking for talented young people who will develop into our future leaders."
The company uses multiple platforms to attract and recruit both student interns and graduates for permanent employment, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as traditional advertising through campus career and student centres. Burzminski notes that mentors are assigned to all new hires.
"I have a formal mentor whom my supervisor helped me find," says Guppy. "I had coffee with a bunch of people and the person I landed with is a nice fit for the type of career paths I'm interested in pursuing. There's a lot of informal mentoring in the company as well."
Shell has a wide range of affinity networks open to employees at all levels, but these networks are particularly helpful for younger people. They include the New Professionals Network, the Women's Network, the LGBT Network and Aboriginal, Asian and Hispanic networks. "Our employees don't need to identify with a particular group," says Burzminski. "They may simply be interested in making new friends and learning about different groups that the employee networks represent."
Guppy has joined the New Professionals and Women's Networks and says they provide both social and professional opportunities. She is part of a mentoring circle that includes five women from different business units, both technical and non-technical, and a senior leader heads up their sessions. "It's a really robust process," says Guppy. "One of the things that sold me on Shell was the value they place on new grads and the mentoring and training you receive."
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 23, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why Shell Canada Limited was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016):
- Shell Canada created a 14-week career development program to help female employees achieve personal and professional goals and manages "Senior Women Connect", a dedicated leadership program for senior-level women
- Shell Canada launched its fourth annual cross-regional diversity and inclusion week across Canada, Brazil and the United States, which included employee network fairs, lunch and learns, Aboriginal awareness sessions and senior leadership engagement sessions
- In addition to tracking recruitment activity, Shell Canada notes employee attendance of diverse recruitment events and shares this information with human resources through a quarterly newsletter
Shell's diversity strategy drives hiring and promotion
Lydia Courteoreille joined Shell Canada eight years ago and for her, it has been an eye-opening and exhilarating experience.
Calgary-based Shell Canada is part of a global, vertically-integrated energy company that recruits employees from diverse backgrounds and encourages them to follow diverse career paths. "From my perspective, there are lots of opportunities and it's equal for everyone," says Courteoreille. "I always felt there were ceilings for me in the past. There are no ceilings for me at Shell."
Courteoreille, a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation of Northeastern Alberta, grew up in Fort McMurray and attended Keyano College, where she earned an occupational health and safety certificate. She started her career with another energy company before joining Shell as a team leader in the safety department at the company's Albian Sands oilsands project.
She received several promotions before moving to a totally different role. Currently, she is the Terminal Manager at the Calgary Terminal, a storage facility capable of holding millions of litres of gasoline and diesel, which is distributed to retail outlets from Edmonton to the Canada-U.S. border. "Working for Shell has been an amazing journey," Courteoreille says.
She has participated in a number of professional development programs, benefitted from mentoring from business leaders, including a senior vice-president, and flourished amid a workplace that attracts talent from around the world and from very diverse backgrounds.
The diversity of Shell's workforce is no accident or coincidence. The company has a rigorous nationwide Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to guide recruitment and to ensure that the company attracts high-calibre talent that is representative of the Canadian population, says Trish Moore, Vice-President, Human Resources Operations.
"A diverse workforce and an inclusive work environment are vital to our success and are aligned with our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people," Moore says. "Shell benefits from a diverse workforce through a stronger market focus, the ability to attract and retain top talent and the strengthening of our productivity."
Shell has adopted a number of measures to ensure that diversity and inclusion are embedded in the corporate culture. Each line of business - from petroleum exploration and production to refining and retailing through its nationwide network of filling stations - has a diversity and inclusion plan. Leaders in each division set goals and measure their progress annually.
"We track recruitment of women, Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities and visible minorities," says Moore. "More important than numbers, we focus on inclusion for all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and their families."
The company encourages employee participation in its employee diversity networks for women, Asians, Hispanics and members of the LGBTQ community, among others. Courteoreille is a member of Shell's Aboriginal employee networking group, which has provided her with the opportunity to connect with peers from other First Nations communities, some of whom have risen to more senior leadership roles.
She is also part of an Aboriginal training and recruitment program. Courteoreille has been featured in a company-produced video distributed to high schools in Aboriginal communities to raise awareness of the career possibilities at Shell.
"We did a workbook for teachers using my story," says Courteoreille. "It explains my background, what I've accomplished and how I got to my current position. Teachers use the video and the workbook to encourage students and to help them realize that there are opportunities out there."