Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 21, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Silvacom Ltd. was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2017):
- Silvacom invests in ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for job-related courses, subsidies for professional accreditation and financial bonuses for some course completion (up to $1,200)
- Silvacom maintains a flexible health benefits plan, allowing employees to customize levels of coverage according to their personal needs and transfer unused credits to additional salary, savings, or paid time off
- Silvacom encourages employees to lead healthy active lives, offering seasonal fruit and healthy subsidized snacks onsite and health or wellness spending accounts of up to $1,000
Silvacom cultivates careers - and fun
At Silvacom, the social event of the season is an annual pig-roast fundraiser. It brings together employees of the Edmonton-based environmental consulting and software development firm to support the company's continued corporate social responsibility efforts with Canadian charity Classrooms for Africa.
But it's by no means the only opportunity for Silvacom employees to enjoy each other's company. Popular events also include a sum- mer family picnic, a monthly catered lunch, an annual awards night, and fun days throughout the year ? like its video-game night "The SilvaCup" and the highly competitive Chili Cook-off.
"We're very results-oriented," says the company's co-founder, President and CEO Tom Grabowski. "We see ourselves as professionals who respect, care for and support one another. But whether we're helping a client complete an ecosystem services assessment or developing a custom web application, we like to have fun doing it."
Silvacom works hard at bringing out the best in its employees. That begins with listening, says Grabowski. The firm conducts periodic staff surveys and tracks employee engagement every year using Gallup's Q12 product. This year's results showed Silvacom scored a higher employee engagement rate than 89 per cent of the companies that completed the survey globally.
The company invests in ongoing professional development by work-ing with employees to find training options that align with their natural talents or passions - and that can potentially create new business opportunities for the company. They offer employees tuition subsidies for job-related courses and subsidies for professional accreditation.
The overall result, says Grabowski, is an extremely engaged staff and a vibrant team culture. "We're not a micro-managed company," he says. "We rely on our staff to participate and push the envelope. They get a lot of rope to make decisions and make a difference."
As a new mom eight years ago, front-of-house Administrative Assistant Lisa Davies was initially attracted to Silvacom's family-friendly environment. The fun-loving atmosphere and the excellent benefits convinced her to stay.
Silvacom maintains a $1,000 flexible spending account, which enables employees to customize coverage for personal needs such as childcare expenses, RESPs, RSP top-ups, extra vacation time or additional healthcare coverage. The company also encourages healthy, active living by providing the opportunity to allocate funds towards health and fitness expenses.
"It's one of those jobs where you never dread coming into work in the morning," says Davies. "There's a healthy balance. We make sure the work is done, but we definitely make time to joke around with one another."