Recognized as one of National Capital Region's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 30, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited was selected as one of National Capital Region's Top Employers (2018):
- Alterna Savings invests in ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions, subsidies for professional accreditation, and a number of in-house and online training options
- Along with helping employees save for the future, Alterna Savings offers a number of financial perks including discounted mortgage rates, free day-to-day banking services, and free access to investment advisors
- Alterna Savings supports a number of charitable initiatives each year and re-invests 1% of its pre-tax profits into partnerships with non-profit organizations, sponsorships, and grants
Alterna turns its job focus to digital
Katherine Brown likes working at Alterna Savings and Credit Union Ltd. so much that during her 16-year career, she has referred multiple friends and family members for jobs there. "Most of them are still here," she says. "If you're looking for a rewarding career, where you can develop your skills and grow in many different ways, this is the place."
As a Personal Finance Manager, Brown leads and coaches a team of 10 tellers and account managers at the credit union's St. Laurent Centre branch. "Our motto," she says, "is to hire talented people and help them achieve their dreams."
Inclusive in hiring the best, Alterna increasingly seeks those who also understand "the journey of the digital consumer," says Rob Paterson, President and CEO. "Many of our members wish to access services through digital channels -- mobile and web -- so we are rethinking how we deliver products. More and more of our jobs are starting to focus on those experiences." In the past year, Alterna has reinvented some 50 jobs in this direction.
"Our employees have the opportunity to take on new assignments and be innovative," says Paterson. Alterna, he adds, has led the financial services industry by creating the first digital mortgage offer available to Canadians coast-to-coast. "It has ignited many of our people and motivated them to share their new ideas and recommend refreshed ways of doing things," he says, "because they understand that we're looking to evolve."
Alterna has introduced a new online learning tool, at the leading edge of HR technology, which allows employees not only to upgrade their skills but to do so at their convenience. "The tools are available on mobile devices, so employees don't have to attend in-class sessions. Instead, they can learn at their own pace," says Brown.
As part of its commitment to the communities it serves, Alterna gives employees one paid day annually to volunteer for a worthy cause. "The beauty of it is that each employee can volunteer with a charity of their choice," says Brown. Employees are not limited to charities that the company supports. Brown, for example, uses her day to help at the non-profit daycare that her children attend.
In addition, employee panels have a major say in selecting the beneficiaries of Alterna's bursary and scholarship program as well as its micro-loans to borrowers who would not otherwise qualify for loans.