Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Bayer was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- Bayer strongly encourages ongoing employee development with generous tuition subsidies for courses both related and indirectly related to their current position (from $3,500 for undergraduate programs to $7,000 for graduate programs) and recently redesigned its intranet learning portal to provide expanded content and easier online access
- Bayer cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan, available to all employees -- the organization offers a range of additional financial benefits, including signing bonuses for some employees, year-end bonuses for all and referral bonuses of up to $3,000
- Bayer helps employees prepare for the future with contributions to a matching RSP plan, non-matching RSP plan and defined contribution pension (depending on their position), retirement planning assistance and health benefits that extend to retirees (with no age limit)
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 9, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Bayer was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017):
- Bayer manages the Bayer International Management Simulation Global Program to develop the company's younger employees for leadership roles -- the program allows participants to take on management roles through an online simulator, replicating 7 fiscal years over a 4-month period
- In partnership with the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus, Bayer offers 12-month internships to students enrolled in the Masters of Management of Innovation program -- the internship is geared towards students with a background in science and technology and provides opportunities to gain pharmaceutical industry experience
- Summer students working at Bayer receive extensive week-long training that includes themed evening activities such as a Luau, a billiard party and a Bermuda Shorts party -- the company also oversees a student blog, allowing students to share their experience with others
At Bayer, millennials are the future
Summer students at Bayer's Crop Science division are out almost every day getting their hands dirty in work that is far from routine. In the division's Saskatoon-based Environmental Affairs Group, they are often immersed in experimental farm fields, working the soil on their own and monitoring the quality of new crops. "Bayer is great for young people because it provides them with meaningful experiences," says Lee Huber, an environmental Senior Principal Investigator with the company. "They are given lots of independence, responsibilities and the chance to develop new skills."
Huber has been supervising university students during the summer for several years and enjoys the interaction with the students as much as the students appreciate the challenging work opportunities. "I learn as much from them as they do learning on the job," he says. "They bring a fresh approach, and I also learn by being with people from a younger generation."
He explains: "There's a huge difference, even between 18- and 24-year-olds. I have to understand their strengths and tailor tasks accordingly. If they're not engaged, they won't enjoy their work and they won't be as productive."
Providing a stimulating and welcoming work environment for young people is an essential element of Bayer's corporate strategy. Approximately 25 per cent of Bayer's workforce is aged 35 and under. "Millennials are the future," says Lynda Newcomb, Vice President, Human Resources. "Our summer students, especially, are our pipeline of future talent."
Bayer hires about 220 university and college students every summer, some of which are hired permanently when new positions arise. "We aim to create a positive work experience and help them grow," says Newcomb. "And the vast majority wants to continue that growth with us."
Indeed, there are numerous programs designed to help young hires find their way when starting their Bayer careers and to grow professionally. For example, in Crop Science, Technical Sales Associate summer students in their first week are invited to participate in a four-day conference that includes product training, safety training, networking opportunities and an introduction to career development discussions.
In addition, this year Bayer hired an intern from the University of Toronto's Master of Management of Innovation program who worked closely with a newly formed Innovation Council to deliver Bayer's first-ever innovation week for employees. "We believe in career flexibility and also encourage movement," says Newcomb. "At Bayer, there are many areas you can work in, both in Canada and abroad. If you want to grow, the sky's the limit."
She adds Bayer also attracts young people because it is a company determined to make a positive difference in people's lives, a major concern among that demographic. "Millennials want to contribute to a positive global future," Newcomb says.
As well as its prescription drug business, Bayer is best known for its over-the-counter medications such as ASPIRIN® and, more recently, trusted brands such as Coppertone and Claritin.
For its growing Crop Science Division, the Bayer summer student experience in one of its eight Canadian agricultural centres can be a real eye-opener. Says Huber: "From the science side, they learn what is required to grow a healthy and productive crop. And from the business side, they learn the effort it takes to bring a new product to market."
And working for Bayer can be fun as well as rewarding. "Students who are required to travel to research sites are provided a truck for the summer," he says. "And we buy their meals when we take day trips or more, so they don't have to pack a lunch. We look after those little things that make a big difference to them."
But most of all, Huber says young people at Bayer benefit from the encouragement and mentoring they receive from senior staff. "We are more than willing to train and support people as they grow," he says. "It's what we're all about."