Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Best Buy Canada Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018) and BC's Top Employers (2018) :
- In keeping with the evolving nature of work, Best Buy Canada recently renovated its corporate office to introduce more couches, casual seating and collaborative work spaces -- employees can also take advantage of a variety of onsite amenities, including a cafeteria (with healthy and special diet menus), a quiet room for meditation and religious observance and subsidized access to an onsite fitness facility (open 24/7)
- Best Buy Canada cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan, available to all employees, and helps employees save for the future with a defined contribution pension plan
- Best Buy Canada is an active member of the community and maintains a charitable focus on connecting youth with technology to benefit their education -- the company also supports employee volunteerism through the Blue Gives Back awards and provides donations to organizations where employees volunteer their time ($1,000 for a minimum of 40 hours volunteered)
Best Buy Canada unleashes the power of its people
One of Best Buy Canada's core values is, "Unleash the power of our people." Recently, feedback from the almost 200 Best Buy big-box and mobile stores let management know that employees wanted to hold more decision-making power so they could better take care of customers.
"We needed to give them more autonomy in doing what's right for their customers -- just take the foot off the policy pedal," explains Chris Taylor, Chief Human Resources Officer. "We've focused a lot on engagement and culture and we try to listen to our people and move the organization forward based on their feedback."
Taylor says that what's kept him at Best Buy Canada for more than 13 years is that culture and the people in it. And there is much emphasis on letting staff know how much they are valued. Employees at a high-performing store can be surprised by a "Be Amazing" ambush, for example, during which a senior executive shows up to an all-employee meeting -- no matter where the store is in the country -- with a $500 cheque to recognize and celebrate their amazing service levels.
"Acknowledging hard-working, caring employees has been very powerful for us," says Taylor. "We're unashamed to give massive amounts of recognition."
The job at Best Buy Canada was Laura Buchanan's first out of university. "I thought, I'll do this for a year," she says. That was 10 years ago, and Buchanan has stayed with the company because of the opportunities she's been given, all within the eCommerce department. "Every role I've moved into has been a newly created role," says Buchanan, Manager of Research, User Generated Content and Administration. "There are so many opportunities. It's great to try new things -- it's okay to fail but you have to learn from that."
The company encourages people to follow their passions. "Best Buy really cares about developing people and is willing to invest a lot of time and resources to make sure these opportunities and resources are available so people can have a long and rewarding career," says Buchanan.
There is plenty of incentive to move around and explore new areas to find what fits your passions and career aspirations. "Ninety percent of general manager jobs are filled internally," adds Taylor. "So many of our general managers started as seasonal employees and are now leading multi-million stores."
Best Buy Canada offers a share purchase plan to all employees and it helps employees save for the future with a defined contribution pension plan. The company is also active in local communities, particularly when it comes to connecting children with technology for their education. It supports employee volunteerism and donates to organizations where staff volunteer. And the company address the needs of every generation on their staff -- ranging from a daycare program to help its working parents to a rewards program to recognize tenure.
Another core value of Best Buy Canada is, "Have fun while being the best." For Buchanan, there's an undeniable family atmosphere in her department that makes going through the busy, challenging times much more rewarding. "The amount of work and the amazing work that people do here is so impressive," says Buchanan. "Being part of that community and that team that delivers on that level is really inspiring."
And they do work in a challenging industry, as Taylor acknowledges, which keeps it interesting for all involved. "Our company adapts and does very well, continuously changing," he says. "It creates a very exciting dynamic for people who want to build a career here -- another strength of our organization."
Taking care of customers -- and each other -- at Best Buy Canada
When Ranvir Uppal got hired at Best Buy Canada's corporate headquarters, it wasn't only because he had previous store experience. He was hired, he says, because his ideas and perspective were a cultural fit. From his first day at the major consumer electronics retailer, Uppal felt like part of the family. "Best Buy is all about supporting you and your growth," says Uppal. "Not just day-to-day, but long-term."
Two years later, Uppal, a Retail Capability Specialist, has changed jobs, but the goal is still the same: delivering an amazing customer experience. "Taking care of our customers and taking care of each other as employees has always been at the heart of what we do," explains Chief Human Resources Officer Chris Taylor.
The phrase employees live by is "Be Amazing." That encompasses everything from ambushes -- surprise celebrations of employees who have gone above and beyond -- to changes on the store floors to help employees do what they need to do to best take care of their customers.
There is no shortage of opportunities for advancement or of people who want to help their co-workers along that path. After a year with Best Buy, Uppal indicated his interest in taking on another role. People from different departments took time to talk about what they did and what skills Uppal would need to work towards. "That, to me, was just mind-blowing," he says. "It's about really seeing our people advance and finding the career that works for them. And I got that from management from day one."
Uppal acknowledges that there is much to keep people at Best Buy. The benefits (including the much-loved employee discount) are excellent, and Best Buy provides plenty of opportunities for staff to volunteer for and give to the causes they are most passionate about. The company also matches employee donations to charities of their choice.
But the biggest draw is the people and the culture. "After a while you start to realize that everyone is living the values," says Uppal. Having fun while being the best is one of Best Buy's core values, and that's lived out every day. "We have goals we want to attain and we're helping each other attain those for ourselves, and for the company," he adds. "And we're having a heck of a lot of fun on the way."