Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 6, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Canadian Standards Association / CSA was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- CSA Group offers onsite yoga classes and a fitness club subsidy of $300 per year to encourage employees to keep healthy and active -- head office employees can also take advantage of onsite massages provided by an RMT every Wednesday
- CSA Group provides generous referral bonuses as an incentive for employees to recruit candidates from their personal networks, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for successful hires
- CSA Group is an active member of the community, focusing on youth engagement and initiatives related to occupational health and safety -- additionally, the company matches employee donations to United Way dollar-for-dollar
CSA Group meets the standard for dynamic workplaces
When Ana Restovic meets people at a party, she offers a concise explanation of her job. "I ensure the safety of your dishwasher," she tells them. It encapsulates her role as a Senior Operations Manager at CSA Group. "I am delighted that what I do is something people can relate to in their everyday lives," she says.
CSA Group is a not-for-profit association that provides testing, inspection and certification services for products in a wide range of market sectors. It is a leader in safety and environmental certification for Canada and the U.S.
The CSA certification mark appears on billions of products worldwide. The organization has operations in Asia, Europe and North America, employing some 2,000 people, including about 600 in its Toronto headquarters.
"For the past century, we have continuously innovated as our clients' needs have evolved," says David Weinstein, President & CEO. "This has created endless opportunities for our employees to learn, grow and achieve their career goals."
Restovic, a trained chemical engineer, joined CSA in 2011 as a certifier. "I was working for a plastic pipe manufacturer recalls. "My technical background was key in getting the CSA job." She was promoted to her current position in mid-2017, and now oversees staff who test, inspect and certify products submitted to CSA.
CSA's technical experts - including both engineers and trade school graduates - work in a fast-paced, dynamic workplace where they collaborate across technical disciplines to promote safety and sustainability.
"Employees enjoy the positive, high-energy environment," says Paul Keane, Executive Vice President, Human Resources. "Our vision and mission support the importance of reinvesting in our people - in their development, career planning and progression."
CSA offers online and in-class learning, In 2018, the organization launched its first CSA Academy learning centre, a classroom learning space that leverages technology to deliver content on topics such as technical training, people and business leadership, standards (project management), commercial, and health, safety and environment.
"Almost all our employees participate in internal training," says Keane. "We are seeing an annual increase of 25 per cent each year in our training hours." In addition, CSA encourages staff to pursue education externally, particularly courses related to their jobs.
When Restovic was promoted to a managerial role, she took courses in business and finance at York University, earning a mini-MBA in 2015. "We provide tuition reimbursement for a number of our employees," says Keane. CSA does succession planning, and offers career planning workshops for employees that complement their career and personal development goals.
The Toronto office promotes staff camaraderie. An employee mutual benefit association, led by seven elected employees, organizes a series of annual events, such as trips to the Zoo and Canada's Wonderland, a bowling night and a golf tournament, as well as family parties during the holiday season. "It's great to see staff with their families," says Restovic, who recently enjoyed taking her two young sons to a Blue Jays game.
The United Way is the main focus of CSA's charitable efforts. In addition to voluntary employee payroll deductions, the cause is also supported through bake sales and silent auctions organized by a committee of 22 volunteers. CSA matches employee contributions dollar for dollar. Last year's United Way campaign raised about $40,000 in the Toronto office through the combination of employee donations, CSA matching and fundraising events.