Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 6, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why George Brown College was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- Employees working at George Brown's main campus can take advantage of a number of amenities, including an employee lounge (with television, pool table and table tennis), a variety of dining options, and free access to the college's fitness facility with personal trainers and instructor-led classes such as yoga, pilates and Zumba
- George Brown provides exceptional maternity and parental leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers (to 93% of salary for 52 weeks) as well as parental top-up for fathers and adoptive parents (to 93% of salary for 35 weeks) -- employees working at the college's main campus can also take advantage of subsidized access to onsite daycare when they return to work
- As part of the organization's role as an educator, George Brown encourages ongoing employee development with generous tuition subsidies (up to $20,000 for PhD studies) and a variety of in-house and online training programs -- the college also offers tuition rebates for eligible family members
Continuous learning and improvement are fundamental at George Brown College
With five university degrees under his belt and years of experience at Fortune 100 companies, Robin Yap could have worked anywhere in the world. He chose George Brown College.
For Yap, a Professor and researcher in the college's Centre for Business, the deal was sealed when he suggested an innovative way of teaching his Organizational Behaviour course.
The veteran teacher - whose credentials include a law degree, a master's in computer science and a doctorate in international leadership - turns every class in the course into a different social experiment. The students perform the experiment on- or off-campus, and then reconvene in class to discuss the results. Yap, who began teaching full-time at George Brown in 2014 following eight years of part-time work, says his approach to experiential learning increases retention of course content by 62 per cent even six months after the end of the course.
"That kind of class could be a challenge for other organizations, but not for this school," he says. "George Brown said, 'Sure, let's try it.' That was a good feeling for me because I realized I was in an environment of continuous learning and improvement."
Yap, who also serves as chair of the college's research ethics board, likes George Brown's emphasis on applied research, as well as its diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment. "I wanted to merge all those things into what I call my 'sunset career'," he says, "which means I will be in this job forever!"
In all of the organizations he has worked for over the years, Yap adds, he has never experienced the level of support for employees that George Brown provides. That support is reflected in many of the college's policies and benefits.
Employees working at George Brown's main downtown campus, for example, can take advantage of a number of amenities, including an employee lounge (with a television, pool table and table tennis), a variety of dining options, and free access to the college's fitness facility, including personal trainers and instructor-led classes such as yoga, Pilates and Zumba.
As part of the organization's role as an educator, George Brown encourages ongoing employee development with generous tuition subsidies of up to $20,000 for PhD studies, as well as a variety of in-house and online training programs. The college also offers tuition rebates for eligible family members.
In addition, the college provides exceptional top-up payments for employees who are new mothers (to 93 per cent of salary for 52 weeks) and for fathers and adoptive parents (to 93 per cent of salary for 35 weeks). Employees can also take advantage of subsidized access to onsite daycare at the Casa Loma campus when they return to work.
George Brown offers a variety of wellness programs, personal development leave, generous extended health-care benefits and a defined benefit pension plan - an increasing rarity in Canada.
Employee engagement surveys at George Brown regularly show a high degree of job satisfaction and pride, says Leslie Quinlan, Vice-President, Human Resources and Organizational Development.
"We're trying to do the right things for our employees," she notes. "People really do feel it's a good place to work, and we see that in how they feel about what they do and the effort they put into being the best they can be."
The college's culture is underpinned by its core values of continuous learning, excellence, empowerment, accountability and mutual respect, explains Quinlan. But employees are motivated most of all by their dedication to a common cause.
"One of the most notable things for me when I came here three years ago was how singularly focused our employees are around one thing, and that's students," she notes. "People really feel they're doing work that's good and important - helping students get prepared for life and shaping the future workforce of the city."