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 Charles River Laboratories was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2018):
- Charles River Laboratories supports charitable initiatives that align with its corporate social responsibility pillars: humanitarian efforts, health and wellness, environmental sustainability, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education -- and encourages employees to give back to the community through a matching gifts program (to $500 per year)
- Along with helping employees save for the future, Charles River Laboratories offers a number of financial benefits including a share purchase plan (available to all), signing bonuses for some, year-end bonuses and referral bonuses of up to $900
- Employees working at Charles River Laboratories' primary office can take advantage of a number of onsite amenities, including a cafeteria with healthy and special diet menus, an employee lounge with a pool table, foosball and board games, and subsidized access to a fitness facility, featuring circuit training, yoga, pilates and Zumba classes
Charles River strives for satisfaction in the workplace
Thanks to the four-week paid sabbatical granted by her employer, Charles River Laboratories, Inc., Annie Jawad fulfilled her dream of volunteering abroad. In February 2017, she travelled to Arusha, Tanzania to teach English and basic math to young school children and provide them with nutritious meals.
"I feel grateful to Charles River for approving my sabbatical, which was focused on my own personal growth and development, instead of on my career," says Jawad, 38, a team leader in Immunology.
Charles River, a leading early-stage contract research organization providing support in drug discovery and development, has more than 1,200 employees in the West Island suburb of Senneville, many of whom, like Jawad, are committed to improving their communities. In the company's first Global Day of Service, staff on site packaged more than 120,000 meals to be sent to developing nations. And through One Day, a program in which employees are given 7.5 paid hours to volunteer, Senneville employees donated more than 2,700 hours in 2017.
Glenn Washer, Corporate Senior Vice President, North American Safety Assessment, recognizes the importance of learning what benefits and programs are most important to his employees. Regular polling has led to the creation of a forested walking path outside the facility, a post-secondary scholarship fund for employees' children, and the development of an on-site gym with daily fitness classes.
Charles River even brings in a massage therapist weekly to provide free, 15-minute massages. "That's a very nice perk, especially when you work in a lab," says Jawad.
It is all part of the company's commitment to employee satisfaction, notes Washer. "We recognize that well-trained, highly engaged, happy employees are the key to our success as an organization. We can pour money into facilities and equipment, but if we don't focus on the engagement, satisfaction and development of our employees, the rest is wasted time and money."
Washer started at Charles River's Senneville site in 1983 as an assistant laboratory technician, and says he's one of many who've grown their careers within the company. "Every quarter, I sign off on longevity awards of 35-plus years. I think that demonstrates people get a lot out of working here, both personally and professionally."
Jawad, too, has been able to grow at Charles River, and she says the company's employee-engagement programs promote camaraderie. "Any time you run into a problem in the lab and you're stuck, people always come and help you get through it. There's always that team spirit."