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 Export Development Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2017) and National Capital Region's Top Employers (2018):
- EDC's 18-storey head office was constructed to meet LEED Gold standard and designed with employee feedback in mind -- the head office features cafés and lounge areas on every floor, telepresence rooms, a fully-equipped onsite fitness centre (with free membership and instructor-led classes), and a spectacular rooftop terrace and garden
- EDC offers academic scholarships for children of employees pursuing post-secondary education (up to $2,700 per child) as well as a dedicated scholarship program for undergraduate studies in international business (up to $4,000)
- EDC supports its new moms with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 95% of salary for 24 weeks) as well as extending parental leave top-ups to new dads and adoptive parents (to 95% of salary for 18 weeks)
EDC helps its clients and employees grow
When Stephanie Butt Thibodeau took a job at Export Development Canada, she figured she'd stay for two or three years and then move on. That was 20 years ago. Like so many other employees at EDC, an Ottawa-based Crown corporation, Butt Thibodeau has had many careers without ever leaving the building.
Starting in an insurance-related position, she moved to Business Development, on to Financing and then to Human Resources, where she is currently Senior Vice-President. "I have had the opportunity to have multiple careers in one place," she says, "and to work with some fantastic people who really want to make a difference for Canada."
Export Development Canada is a national export credit agency that provides financial and commercial services to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. "Our mandate is to help Canadian companies go, grow and succeed internationally," she explains. "We attract really, really strong talent who could work anywhere in the world but choose to work here because they want to make a difference."
Butt Thibodeau's career trajectory is common at EDC. One of the many draws of the company is that employees are offered various opportunities to learn and grow and try new things. An emerging leaders program helps EDC employees who have been identified as having leadership potential get on track for greater responsibilities. "It's a very positive work climate," says Butt Thibodeau.
Indeed, a January survey confirmed an 86 per cent engagement score among the staff. "People typically come and they stay," she adds. "We will see movement within the organization but our external turnover is very low."
Ross Dilks started in a student position at EDC almost two years ago. "In university we were told that as millennials, we are expected to change careers as many as 10 to 15 times," says Dilks, who is an Underwriter. "I've spoken to so many senior employees here at EDC who have found fulfilling careers with a variety of work opportunities within the same organization."
Other benefits include free round-the-clock access to a fully equipped gym and exercise classes ranging from boxing and spin to outdoor running. And there is generous time off; despite the fact that Dilks is a contract employee, he still gets three weeks paid vacation plus two floater days and time between Christmas and the new year.
"It keeps your head in the right place," he says, "and when you go back to work you're ready." In addition, EDC provides post-secondary academic scholarships for employees' children as well as a scholarship program for undergraduate studies in international business.
EDCers meet one-on-one with managers regularly and can discuss career development and ongoing issues. Management has also refreshed their Career Framework, which provides greater clarity and information on roles and disciplines across the organization and what skills and competencies are needed to move up or sideways. And EDC boasts an "amazing" student program, Dilks says, hiring approximately 60 students for the summer. "It means they are investing in the next generation. In order to compete and stay relevant, EDC recognizes the importance of hiring recent grads."
Staff learn to approach everything with four mindsets: that of a player, of an activist, of an entrepreneur and of one who is engaged. "When you think of a large organization, you would think it would be hard to make changes," Dilks says. "But at EDC, they encourage change and encourage continuous improvement. No matter how big or small the issue, I am enabled to create a problem statement and identify potential solutions and implementation strategies to improve the way we work. It's empowering."