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 Kinross Gold Corporation was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- Along with tuition subsidies for job-related courses, Kinross Gold Corporation supports ongoing professional development through a number of in-house training initiatives, including "Generation Gold" for high-potential employees with less than 2 years of experience and a professional development program to provide international experience for more seasoned individuals
- Kinross Gold Corporation provides maternity and parental leave top-up payments to new mothers (to 95% of salary for up to 27 weeks) as well as parental top-up for new fathers and adoptive parents (to 95% of salary for up to 10 weeks)
- Kinross Gold Corporation encourages employees to become owners through a share purchase plan, available to all, and lets everyone share in the company's success with profit-sharing
Kinross is golden for putting people first
Michal Kowalczyk lives in a suburban community and works in an office tower in the heart of Toronto, but almost daily he's in contact with colleagues based in Russia, Africa and across the Americas - from Alaska to the Chilean Andes. "It's a great way to make sure that no two days are the same," says Kowalczyk, Senior Manager, Continuous Improvement and Innovation, at Kinross Gold Corporation.
That is just one of many reasons he likes working at Kinross, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018. The company operates nine mines, produces approximately 2.5 million ounces per year and employs over 9,000 people globally.
Then there is the culture, which is based on four core values - putting people first, outstanding corporate citizenship, high-performance culture and rigourous financial discipline.
"We make decisions around those guiding principles," says Gina Jardine, Senior Vice-President Human Resources. "We really do put people first. We think about people as individuals and any decisions we make are based on how it might impact people, not just in Toronto but in the communities around the world where we operate."
The company recognizes employees who exemplify those guiding principles through its annual Living Our Values Awards. Employees nominate their colleagues and this year there were 3,800 nominations for 12 awards. Kinross hosts a celebration for the winners, including a gala evening hosted by CEO Paul Rollinson.
"We fly in winners from all our sites," says Kowalczyk, who won a Living Our Values award in 2016. "It's an absolutely fantastic event."
Kinross employs a number of different types of engineers, including those with mechanical, mining, metallurgical and processing degrees, as well as financial, legal and human resources professionals. The company has a Gold Rush program for summer interns and this past summer hired 22 students to work in various corporate departments.
Kinross has several formal professional development programs tailored to employees at various levels of the organization. The Generation Gold program is designed for high potential young professionals. They receive rotational assignments which allow them to spend 18 months at two different mine sites to gain varied experience. The Executive Development Program - the top of the development pyramid - is for vice-presidents and above and also involves rotational assignments to mines.
"The company recognizes hard work and performance," says Kowalczyk. "I've been able to participate in C-suite meetings with the CEO, CFO and CTO and contribute to the conversation. I bring people who report to me and they have a voice as well. It's very fulfilling."
Jardine notes that members of the company's technical team - mainly the engineering professionals - often work extra hours or are away from home for extended periods. However, the company compensates in a number of ways, including flexible hours arranged between employees and their supervisors.
"We don't have a lot of formal procedures," says Jardine. "We let leaders lead from a common-sense perspective. We like to say we're policy-free but practice-rich."
Kinross also has an active social committee that arranges events throughout the year. The company has its own gym, complete with treadmills, elliptical machines and weight machines. The company holds a Fitness Challenge in which teams from different departments compete against each other to raise money for charity.
Jardine adds that the Kinross head office is conveniently located for employees across the GTA who want to commute via public transit rather than automobile. "We practically sit on top of the GO, subway and UP Express," she says. "We did an employee survey and found that 95 per cent of our people use public transit."