Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 20, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund Board / ATRF was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018):
- ATRF supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments of up to 95% of salary for up to 8 weeks, as well as flexible hours to help them transition to their new roles as parents
- As part of ATRF's health benefits plan, the organization offers a health spending account of up to $750, allowing employees to top up existing levels of coverage based on their personal needs
- ATRF encourages employees to continue to develop their skills with tuition subsidies for job-related courses and subsidies for professional accreditation
At ATRF, growth inspires engagement
The Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund (ATRF), which manages and administers pension plans for 80,000 retired and active teachers, is in a period of significant growth. ATRF's investment portfolio has risen from $5.5 billion in 2010 to $15 billion today, and the investment staff has more than doubled in the same period. ATRF's membership base is also growing, with the number of retired teachers served by the organization increasing by 50 per cent over the past decade.
"It's a very dynamic and exciting place to be," says CEO Rod Matheson. "With growth, there's been a wide range of new opportunities for people to come in at different levels and advance within the organization."
The expansion has also inspired new initiatives aimed at keeping employees fully engaged and promoting career development.
One of those initiatives is the recently formed Employee Engagement Committee, comprised of staff from across the organization. This committee solicits, assesses and implements employee-driven ideas for continually improving the workplace and how ATRF functions.
The committee has already implemented a "buddy program," which pairs new employees with more experienced peers to help them better integrate into ATRF's work culture. A mentorship program is in the offing, which will see senior staff members work with newer staff to identify career advancement opportunities and provide guidance. The committee is also establishing an online "ideas box" to encourage employees to come forward with innovative proposals for management to act upon.
Amina Kabir, Senior Manager, Investment Finance, is a member of the Employee Engagement Committee. "It's been quite empowering to take on new ideas, bring them forward and see them take shape," says Kabir.
ATRF also recently established a Corporate Events Committee to look at more formal ways the organization can give back to the community. Those efforts will be supported by yet another new ATRF initiative -- providing employees with two paid days per year to volunteer for the community activity or charity of their choice.
All of these initiatives are designed to further enhance a work culture Kabir describes as "very friendly and collaborative." A mother of two young children with an increasingly demanding job overseeing ATRF's investment finance team, Kabir appreciates the organization's efforts to promote work-life balance.
"As a parent with a young family, working in capital markets balancing work and family life can be challenging. My position offers a flexible work sche-
dule, and ATRF provides me with what I need -- which allows me to get my work done without compromise."