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 BDC / Business Development Bank of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018) and Montreal's Top Employers (2017):
- As part of the organization's focus on employee well-being, BDC hosts an annual Wellness Day and quarterly awareness campaigns focused on everything from mental and physical health to financial planning -- and offers a wellness spending account as well as the option to purchase of up to 5 additional vacation days through the flexible health plan
- BDC encourages employees to find a balance between work and their personal lives with a range of alternative work arrangements including flexible hours, telecommuting, reduced summer hours and a shortened work week option
- BDC helps employees prepare for the future with the security of a defined benefit pension plan and retirement planning assistance
From offices to wharves, BDC's people go everywhere
Every company has a mission. Not so many have managed to create the strong sense of purpose that's shared by employees of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
"The BDC culture is all about the client. We focus on being in front of the customer and we take pride in the client experience. That's what makes BDC what we are -- we work with Canadian entrepreneurs to help them be the most competitive in the world," says Mike Ball, Senior Account Manager at BDC's office in Grand Falls-Windsor, Nfld., one of 122 business centres the bank operates across the country.
"My clients are spread over a very large area," adds Ball, who has been with BDC since 2006. "Many of them are in the fishing industry, so a typical day may find me on a fishing wharf or around a kitchen table. I've known some clients for more than 10 years and over two generations of ownership."
Founded in 1944 and based in Montreal, BDC is a federal Crown corporation that provides financing, advisory services and capital to small and medium-sized enterprises in all industries and at all stages of development.
"We play a complementary role to the chartered banks," says Michael Denham, BDC's President and CEO. "BDC is a patient, flexible lender. We assist companies in higher-risk segments and we focus exclusively on entrepreneurs."
To maintain BDC's laser focus on the customer, "we look for people who get it, who identify with and appreciate working with small businesses," Denham says. "Our employees come from a mix of business backgrounds. Some are from other banks and some have been entrepreneurs themselves."
BDC aims to provide a positive employee experience by offering comprehensive learning and development, an innovative recognition program, and by promoting health and wellness for its people.
In addition, the bank's close attention to its customers creates benefits for its employees at the same time. As an example, Denham cites the bank's recent "E-first" initiative.
"This enables our account managers to authorize loans from their tablets while they're meeting with their clients," he says. "Getting immediate approval is good service for the client but also good for the account manager. It's still early days but there's a sense of pride that BDC is using such a pioneering approach."
Ball is equally enthusiastic about the technology initiative: "I can take out an iPad on a wharf in Twillingate and get my client's loan approved on the spot."
Another recent project that enhanced both the employee and client experience was BDC's Innovation Challenge.
"We want to be innovative so we can help our clients be innovative, and to us being innovative means being better," says Denham. "We encouraged our people to form teams to work together to develop new products and services. It was amazing how many people took part.
"Not only were there tangible results that we'll be bringing to market, such as ways of helping new immigrants start their own businesses, but it showed us how an innovation process can work."
Mike Ball's team, a partnership with members from New Brunswick, was a finalist in the Innovation Challenge. "We had a lot of fun doing it and presenting it to top management, and now we're working with partners throughout the bank on developing it further," he says.
"It's a great example of why BDC is a fun place to work. We take time to celebrate our successes and the achievements of our clients."