Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 23, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Access Communications Co-operative Ltd. was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2018):
- Access Communications supports its new and adoptive moms with maternity leave top-up payments (to 100% of salary for up to 17 weeks) -- and allows new parents to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
- Access Communications encourages ongoing employee development with full tuition subsidies for courses both related and not directly related to their current position, and offers a series of in-house and online training programs
- Access Communications offers new employees 3 weeks of paid starting vacation and 3 paid personal days off to use as needed -- the co-operative also considers previous experience when setting individual vacation entitlements
Giving back drives Access Communications
Everyone who applies for a job at Access Communications Co-operative gets asked the same question: Are you involved in your community? "It's not a pass-fail question," explains Carole Sauer, Manager, Human Resources and Safety, "but it opens up a discussion on the importance of giving back. We believe in helping others and want to hire like-minded people."
As a co-op, Sauer adds, "we are all about our communities. Everything we do is for the people we serve, not only our products and services but our volunteer initiatives."
As a leading Saskatchewan provider of Internet, TV, phone and security services, Access Communications is well-positioned to deliver such com-munity support. Take its TV Bingo initiative, one of several successful charitable activities. Viewers purchase cards and then tune in as numbers are called. Since 2006, the effort has raised more than $1.7 million for the Access Communications Children's Fund, helping children in need.
TV Bingo is broadcast weekly on the Access7 community channel. Winners must call in to claim their prize, and among the many employee volunteers answering the phones is Zohra Masani, whose regular job is providing telephone Internet support. "Access has been so good to me that I welcome the chance to return the favour," she says.
Masani came to Saskatchewan from India three years ago to study at the University of Regina. She almost immediately landed a part-time job at Access's head office and then became full time after graduation. However, she almost lost her work permit recently over a bureaucratic snafu. Desperate, Masani turned to her HR department for help.
"They were amazing," she says. "They knew more about the immigration rules and regulations than I did. They solved the problem within hours."
For Masani, that was another demonstration of a caring employer. "Access doesn't see the colour of your skin or your gender," she says. "If you are knowledgeable and talented, they do see that. Your work is what matters."
And your ideas.
Says Sauer: "Everyone is listened to, and all suggestions are welcome. If there's a better way to do things, we want to hear about it. Nearly 95 per cent of our employees say they are empowered and feel they contribute to the company's success."
In return, they receive professional development opportunities and generous benefits, including heavily discounted Internet service. That's a boon for Masani to keep in touch digitally with family and friends in India. "It's the cherry on top," she says.