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 Keyera Corp. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018) and Alberta's Top Employers (2018):
- Keyera Corp. cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan and encourages employees to save for the longer term with a defined contribution pension plan
- As part of the company's health benefits plan, Keyera Corp. offers a health spending account equivalent to 4.5% of their salary plus an additional $3,500 each year, which can be used to top up existing levels of coverage or allocated as savings, cash, share purchase options or RRSP
- Keyera Corp. focuses its charitable efforts on initiatives that support community enhancement, the environment, health, wellness, youth and education -- and encourages employees to give back to their local communities by providing paid time off to volunteer and matching employee donations
Teamwork fuels success at Keyera
When Tanis Wong graduated from the University of Calgary, she hoped her degree in electrical engineering would help her secure a job in Alberta's energy sector. But it was 2009, a tough year in the oil patch. When Calgary-based Keyera Corp. offered her a position in its HR department, she jumped at the opportunity. "I saw it as a chance to get my foot in the door, and am grateful to be part of such an extraordinary company," she says.
As one of Canada's largest midstream energy companies, Wong saw the business grow first-hand, and learned the value Keyera places on career development within the company. "Keyera is a great place to work because they're open-minded in helping employees progress their careers."
Three years later, there was an opening where she could apply her technical skills. A senior executive encouraged her to consider the position, which she accepted and has since grown her skills in business development and operations.
Today, Wong is a Business Development Representative for Keyera's Fort Saskatchewan storage and fractionation facility 40 km northeast of Edmonton. Her responsibilities include liaising between operations and management as well as working with commercial customers for the plant's natural gas liquid (NGL) products.
To aid her transition, Wong worked in Fort Saskatchewan for eight months. Wong relished the opportunity to see first-hand how the complex facility functions. And the highly skilled workers were generous in sharing their expertise. "Everybody was so willing to teach me," Wong says. "They knew that when I got back to Calgary, I could use that knowledge in my work every day."
That warm reception exemplifies a team culture found throughout Keyera. President and CEO David Smith notes that teamwork features on the list of the company's values, which was developed by employees themselves and embraced by senior executives. "We do better work when we work together to accomplish our goals," says Smith.
Smith was one of a group of executives at Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. who seized an opportunity to enter the midstream market when the oil giant decided in 1998 to sell off some of its non-strategic assets. They formed a spinoff focusing on natural gas gathering and processing, as well as NGL processing, transportation, storage and marketing. The company, which went public in 2003, continues to grow and evolve as it makes further investments and acquisitions.
Nearly all of Keyera's infrastructure, including over 4,000 km of pipelines, is in central Alberta. Many of its 24 facilities for storing, processing and/or transporting its products are located in small communities, like Fort Saskatchewan and Drayton Valley.
Since its inception, Keyera has worked hard to be a good neighbour. As well as placing a high priority on health, safety and the environment, its charitable initiatives focus on community enhancement. Most recently, Keyera supported a local elementary school outside of Houston and near the company's only U.S. terminal, by purchasing new curriculum materials following Hurricane Harvey.
In addition to its supportive workplace environment, the company also offers its employees industry-leading training, and competitive pay and benefits. Altogether, it's a winning combination. "We have one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry," says Smith. "A lot of our employees have been with us for 10 to 15 years."
Wong is one of those staying put. "These days in Calgary, it's easy to jump ship for a job that pays as well or better," she says. "But a satisfying career is one of those things that money can't buy. That's where Keyera is second to none."
Keyera helps employees find the right career path
For Danay Rajderkar, a position as a temporary receptionist at Calgary-based Keyera Corp. turned out far better than expected. The job taken to help pay the bills back in 2008 has morphed into a rewarding career.
Keyera, one of the largest independent midstream energy companies in Canada, soon hired Rajderkar full time. Since then, the company's commitment to its employees' career success has helped Rajderkar thrive as she tackled new challenges and responsibilities. After working in Corporate Services, where she was promoted to a supervisor position, she recently took on a new role, Supply Chain Management Specialist.
"The company gave me a chance and has always been very supportive," says Rajderkar, whose previous work experience had been in the cruise ship industry. "I feel very secure in my job."
Darin Stuckey has seen many employees rise through the ranks at Keyera, himself included. Today, as Director, Terminal Operations, he helps manage more than 100 employees, many in highly technical jobs.
They didn't necessarily start out with the required skills. Stuckey says that when hiring, the company considers fit and personality as well as an applicant's initial qualifications. Managers and mentors then work with individuals to put them on the right path to realize their ambitions.
"The philosophy here is 'the job we have today does not have to be the job we have forever'," says Stuckey. "Once we have a great employee, it's much easier to keep them in the organization than to hire someone who might not have the right attitude."
Keyera focuses on natural gas gathering and processing, as well as natural gas liquid processing, transportation, storage and marketing. Most of its infrastructure is in central Alberta, often in small communities like Fort Saskatchewan and Drayton Valley.
As well as industry-leading training and professional development opportunities, the company offers its employees competitive pay and benefits. It also works hard to be a good neighbour. Keyera, for instance, encourages workers to give back to their communities by providing them with two paid days off each year to volunteer.
Stuckey notes workers choose for themselves how and where to donate their time. "Some employees have helped supervise their kids' school trips when they'd otherwise have been working," he adds. "This is a very family oriented organization."
For her part, Rajderkar also enjoys the friendly, caring environment that Keyera fosters. "The culture here is really great," she says. "I'm not planning on leaving any time soon."