Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 20, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Inter Pipeline Ltd. was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018):
- Along with the company's head office, Inter Pipeline's field offices operate Community Investment Committees which evaluate and fund charitable organizations in local operating areas that focus on basic societal needs of food, shelter and wellness
- Inter Pipeline encourages employees to lead healthy, active lives by offering free access to a fully-equipped onsite fitness facility (with instructor-led classes such as spinning and yoga) and an annual $1,000 flex credit allotment that can be used for health or wellness spending accounts
- Inter Pipeline supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments (to 100% of salary for up to 17 weeks)
Company culture is key at Inter Pipeline
When Katie Sparling joined Inter Pipeline in 2015, she'd already worked in the oil and gas industry. "But I was looking to join a company where I could develop my career," she says.
A leading petroleum transportation, storage and natural gas liquids processing business, Inter Pipeline operates facilities in western Canada and Europe, including 7,700 km of pipeline systems that carry about 1.3 million barrels a day. It also has a reputation, Sparling says, for focusing on career development.
As a Pipeline Scheduler, Sparling administers the movement of energy supplies over the company's network for its customers. It's a demanding job, involving deadlines and priorities. "But Inter Pipeline values teamwork and rewards hard work," she says. "It also has the best corporate culture I've seen since I began my career."
Inter Pipeline's culture didn't happen by chance. Since its founding in 1997, its leaders have cultivated a positive environment that combines "strong business acumen with an easy-going atmosphere," says Bernard Perron, Vice President of Project Development.
Growing from a small company with fewer than 100 employees into a billion-dollar operation employing more than 700 while preserving its small-company atmosphere, Inter Pipeline has recently formalized some of its policies and procedures to accommodate its continuing expansion. Its leadership framework, for example, helps to define the personal attributes of emerging leaders based on the company's core values such as honesty, teamwork and personal accountability.
For Sparling, career development involves regular planning and evaluation of her long-term goals at the company. "They encourage us to take opportunities to transfer within the company," she says.
Those opportunities are continuing. The company is building the Heartland Petrochemical complex, Canada's first integrated propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene complex, which will convert low-cost propane into high-value polypropylene plastic used to manufacture a wide range of products. The $3.5-billion project in central Alberta will create 180 full-time jobs, and provide new leadership roles for current employees.
For Sparling, it's not only an opportunity to build a career with a growing company, "it's also a chance to be involved in creating something meaningful."
Unlike many companies in the energy sector, Inter Pipeline hasn't laid off a single employee for economic reasons in the most recent industry slump. "We rely every day on our team members to ensure the integrity of our assets in the field and to drive business growth. And it's still a fun place to come to work," Perron says.