Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 20, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan / ASEBP was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018):
- ASEBP employees receive a health spending account ($50 per month or 1% of annual salary) and a generous wellness spending account, which can be used for items that support overall health and wellness, such as fitness equipment and family experiences, from hockey games to family vacations (up to $1,150 per year)
- ASEBP supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments of up to 100% of salary for up to 13 weeks and offers a variety of alternative work arrangements to help them transition to their new roles as parents
- The organization recently moved its head office to a newly constructed LEED-certified building, which features electric vehicle charging stations, shower facilities and sound-masking technology on each floor -- employees also receive discounted gym membership to a 24-hour fitness facility located in a nearby building
On work-life balance, ABESP walks the walk
Ryan Mussbacher knew he'd found the right place to work when he interviewed for a job at the Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan (ASEBP).
"Right from the outset, they emphasized work-life balance," he says. "It was one of the key things that attracted me to the organization."
As a project manager, Mussbacher had worked for almost two years at a job that required 14-hour days, sometimes for days on end. "I wouldn't see my wife for a week," he says. "I'd get home at two in the morning, and she'd be gone by seven."
The relentless schedule left no time for a session at the gym or the squash court. Nor did it accommodate plans by Mussbacher and his wife to start a family. "I needed to find a place with more balance," he says.
In ASEBP, Mussbacher couldn't have chosen a better place. Providing health benefits and services to Alberta's public education sector, ASEBP focuses on fostering healthy lifestyles and healthy workplaces, not only for its members but for its employees as well.
"Our culture of wellness is really important here," says Shandy Reed, Director of Health Strategies and Stakeholder Engagement, in Edmonton. "We live our brand, mission, vision and values, inside and out."
ASEBP's culture includes having fun, being knowledgeable, fostering innovation and being trustworthy. Employees participate in a variety of social events from costume contests to annual Corporate Challenge events. They also receive formal learning and development support and regular coaching sessions.
While their jobs are demanding, ASEBP encourages collaboration and teamwork so that employees develop ideas, address challenges and devise solutions together. "And we're trusted," Reed says. "We look for people with good soft skills and emotional intelligence. We try to be good humans."
For Mussbacher, ASEBP's values quickly became apparent the day he started his job. As Project Facilitator, he matches teams of employees from across the organization to work on projects such as application development and website construction that further ASEBP's strategic objectives and support the employees' daily work. To this end, he developed a methodology that advanced ASEBP from a "water-cooler approach" to a more formal procedure for initiating, developing and executing projects.
Finishing his first day, he got up from his desk to walk around the office and chat with some of his co-workers, "but many people had gone home to their families," Mussbacher says. "I realized they take work-life balance seriously."