Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 31, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Groupe Dynamite Inc. was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2018):
- Groupe Dynamite manages an extensive Showtime Recognition program to honour and celebrate exceptional employee performance at all levels of the company -- the program features a variety of initiatives including an annual 3-day Awards Gala, a trip to a luxurious destination for top store leaders, a VIP Weekend Getaway for store teams that provide exceptional customer service (with senior management from head office working at retail locations while employees are away), and various sales competitions to boost individual and team performance
- Along with year-end bonuses for all, Groupe Dynamite helps employees save for the future with matching RSP contributions
- Groupe Dynamite encourages employees to provide feedback and manages an innovation program to solicit input from head office, retail, and distribution centre employees on ways to improve the business
Groupe Dynamite relies on young talent to keep growing
Alexia is 16, has good marks, loves hanging out with her friends and on social media, and wants to fit in and be loved as she is discovering who she wants to be. Rachel is 30 years old, building her career while looking to meet Mr. Right. She sets goals and is ambitious and wants to feel good about herself.
The people at Groupe Dynamite Inc. think a lot about Alexia and Rachel -- their target-market muses -- when they are designing clothes for their Garage (Alexia) and Dynamite (Rachel) brands.
Groupe Dynamite has been in business for 43 years and now operates more than 400 women's clothing stores. They're also in 10 countries, which makes it very attractive to a diverse -- and young -- workforce. "We've got very special values we try to live up to," explains Denis Marceau, Chief Human Resources Officer. "Passion's got to be present, ownership's got to present. And we're all about creativity."
The work environment at head office has been designed to be conducive to innovation, creativity and teamwork. People there call it a "campus." That environment is one of the things Stéphanie O'Hara loves about working at Groupe Dynamite. "It's very fast-paced but I find that motivating," says O'Hara, who in an Allocation Analyst for Garage International. "And that's also what attracts so many young people -- we like to have a lot of responsibilities; we want to go on to the next thing."
O'Hara came to Groupe Dynamite in 2016 through its Graduate Rotational Program, a company initiative to attract the emerging talent it values so deeply. "It's a company that is constantly evolving and innovating -- it constantly wants to surpass itself," O'Hara says. "Our leader is not afraid to take risks; sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. But everyone is encouraged to have ideas and to think outside the box."
The perspectives of all the talent -- emerging and established -- are highly regarded at Groupe Dynamite. "A lot of what we do is following what they told us that they value," says Marceau. "It's all about listening to the talent we bring in on how we become a better organization and a more attractive environment to anyone at any age."
And that is the one of the secrets to the success and longevity of a privately owned company that is competing with global players. "It's a constant battle," Marceau adds. "It's a very competitive market, so we try to stay humble in the context of our growth."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Groupe Dynamite Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- Groupe Dynamite's Graduate Rotational Program helps cultivate young talent through rotations in allocation and supply chain management, in-store sales and operations, finance, planning, product management and merchandising, marketing, and regional product intelligence
- Program participants also attend lunches and presentations hosted by senior leaders and work on a business case based on one of the company's key initiatives (to be presented to the executive team)
- Groupe Dynamite hosts a number of social events throughout the year including cocktail events to introduce graduates to the executive team -- employees also attend Groupe Dynamite's annual meeting and fashion show, which features the company's spring and summer collections
Young ideas help Groupe Dynamite dress the world
To be a privately owned women's clothing company and compete in a global market, you have to be constantly creative and innovative. And there is no group in an organization more likely to have fresh ideas and perspectives than those in the earliest stages of their careers.
Groupe Dynamite Inc. has been in business for 43 years and operates more than 400 stores worldwide under the Dynamite and Garage banners. The company depends on young talent to keep the business growing and evolving, which is why it has developed strong partnerships with key business and design schools across the country. Groupe Dynamite has two initiatives to introduce recent grads to the workings of a global fashion company -- and, potentially, their first full-time jobs.
"The fact that we're growing has enabled us to put more focus on emerging talent," says Denis Marceau, Chief Human Resources Officer. And that's a big plus for people who are just out of school, as so many companies require previous experience before hiring. But to earn a coveted spot in Groupe Dynamite's Graduate Rotational Program, no experience is necessary. Instead, says Merchandise Assistant Chelsia Solari, "you have to have a good attitude, a desire to learn and a passion for fashion."
Grads begin their full-time position with the eight-week rotational program. Through the program, they have the opportunity to meet with key players in the business and shadow employees in six departments: buying, planning, allocation, marketing, regional product intelligence and finance. They also go into the stores to get a feeling for working in the field, and to learn about store operations and customers' shopping behaviours. "It's a 360-degree experience," says Solari. "You really have a chance to look at the whole company."
Through its summer internship program, Groupe Dynamite accepts about 30 students at the end of their second or third year of post-secondary study for 12 weeks. The program attracts a diverse group, with people in fashion design, visual, graphic design, marketing, supply chain, finance and information technology studies. About a third of them will be offered full-time positions.
"There's a need for strong bench strength and long-term succession in key areas of the business, and therefore bringing youth in has been a bigger segment," says Marceau. Fully one-third of the workforce is in their 20s; the average age at head office is 32; in stores, it's 24. "They offer a fresh perspective," he adds. "They bring new ideas. And as we're growing and shifting from bricks and mortar to e-commerce, that's created a need for more tech-savvy individuals."
So it's not surprising that the energy at the Groupe Dynamite's Montreal "campus," as it's known, is high. "It's really, 'Work hard, play hard,'" says Solari. "And employees are rewarded with a great culture." There are numerous social events, including summer barbecues, holiday parties and Halloween contests. There are opportunities to give back to the communities through participating
in activities related to the causes Groupe Dynamite supports. And there is tuition assistance for those employees interested in further education, among other things.
The Groupe Dynamite campus itself has been renovated to open it up and make room for more creativity. The design is conducive to innovation and teamwork - and the energy in the open space is palpable. In the campus Atrium, a chef cooks fresh food for employees every day. All year long, weekly yoga classes are offered, and in the summer they are taught on the rooftop terrace. The whole environment serves as inspiration for entrepreneurship a highly valued quality at Groupe Dynamite. "You have the latitude to bring projects to life," she adds. "Regardless of your age you can have impact."
Everyone's opinion is valued and considered, and each person has the opportunity to be involved in big projects. "You work with so many different people," says Solari. "The backgrounds here are very diverse, which makes the interaction very rich."