Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 22, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why BC Housing Management Commission was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2018):
- BC Housing helps employees plan ahead with retirement planning assistance and generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan -- and employees nearing retirement can ease into their life after work with phased-in retirement work options
- BC Housing employees are encouraged to stay fit with free access to an onsite fitness facility that features rowing machines, weights, stationary bikes and instructor-led classes such as yoga, pilates and boot camp
- BC Housing offers exceptional maternity and parental leave top-up payments for its new moms (to 85% of salary for the first 17 weeks, followed by 75% of salary for an additional 35 weeks) as well as parental top-up for new dads and adoptive parents (to 75% of salary for 35 weeks)
A service-oriented culture keeps BC Housing nimble
The glass sculpture Heidi Hartman keeps in her Victoria office has more than ornamental value to her. She received it from BC Housing in 2015 as a Service Excellence Award. "It was wonderful to be recognized," she says. "It's easy to do more when you love what you do."
BC Housing is a provincial government agency, responsible for the management, development and administration of affordable housing in B.C. Hartman is Regional Director, Operations, Vancouver Island Region. She is responsible for the direct management of 657 units and partnerships with non-profits that manage 10,606 units.
Hartman joined BC Housing in 2008, and soon discovered how "very nimble" the Crown agency is. "Everyone here is service-oriented," she says. "We're always looking for ways to do our work better or more efficiently."
BC Housing's employees display both professionalism and compassion. "We see it in the way our employees make a difference through their daily work," says Shayne Ramsay, CEO. "And we see it in how they donate their own money and vacation time to causes they care about." In 2017 alone, employees contributed a record-breaking $150,000, all within the three-week span of the agency's annual fundraising campaign.
Ramsay adds: "Really getting to know the folks who work here and understanding the culture has enabled us to structure programs to meet their specific needs. This is the core of our People Strategy, a set of initiatives that support our people in key areas like learning and development, recognition, retention and advancement."
Every employee receives training in core competencies of communication, personal effectiveness, results, teamwork and service. The agency also offers job-specific training and an award-winning leadership program. Hartman benefited from taking the program, finding it "a comfortable environment to try out new leadership skills." Subsidies are also available for courses and professional designations pursued by employees.
"We have worked to create a culture of coaching here," says Agnes Ross, Vice President, Human Resources. "We understand people are happiest and do their best work when they are growing personally and professionally."
Programming around diversity and inclusion is also part of BC Housing's People Strategy. "Our diversity helps us serve our communities at a higher level," says Ross. She notes that the agency provides respectful workplace workshops for all staff and offers training on aspects of inclusion such as Understanding LGBTQ Communities and Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples.
"Respecting the unique characteristics and life experiences of all employees makes our interactions richer and more meaningful," she says.
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 20, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why BC Housing Management Commission was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2017):
- BC Housing is committed to ensuring that all new housing projects are constructed to LEED Gold certification standards and, in partnership with its non-profit housing partners, has registered over 55 buildings with the Canadian Green Building Council -- additionally, the agency has reduced its energy consumption by 25 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by over 30 percent as part of its multi-year social housing renovation program
- BC Housing's employee-led "livegreen Employee Council" encourages all employees to make sustainable choices at home and at work -- the group works towards specific objectives developed around the annual Sustainability Survey, including encouraging alternative transit (over 51 percent of employees bike, walk or take transit to work), ongoing office composting, and a number of environmental initiatives to raise awareness throughout the year
- Every year, the livegreen Employee Council organizes two recycling weeks to collect almost everything from their homes and offices -- the initiative ensures the proper recycling and disposal of appliances, electronics and computers, styrofoam, batteries, light bulbs, and household paints and chemicals