Left
A Left employee relaxes in one of the company's hammocks   (Photo credit: Alan Bailward)

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers

Here are some of the reasons why Left was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019):

  • Left supports moms-to-be with an IVF subsidy (to $2,500) and follows up with a $1,000 baby bonus and maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers (to 100% of salary for up to 17 weeks) -- new fathers and adoptive parents also receive parental leave top-up payments
  • Left is redefining vacation, starting new employees with 18 personal time off days (PTOs), moving to 28 days after 10 years of employment -- the company's official policy is to actively encourage employees to use their days (or lose them) and also offers an unlimited number of community service days with the only obligation being that employees wear a company t-shirt and make it Facebook-friendly to inspire others to follow their lead
  • Left's suburban head office offers many unique features (such as an alleged secret whiskey room) and is located adjacent to walking trails as well as an open field in front of the building, where employees are free to engage the company's Director of Greetings (DOG) in a game of catch any time of the day (his name is Django and he's supported by the company's pet-friendly policy that lets employees bring the dogs to work)
Left employees volunteering at Ronald McDonald House   (Photo credit: Alan Bailward)

Employer Background

Industry Software Development
Established in Canada 2010
Major Canadian hiring locations Vancouver BC
Full-time employees in Canada 36
Full-time employees worldwide 106
Average age of employees in Canada 34 years
Longest serving employee 7.5 years

Physical Workplace Rating: A+

Commuter amenities transit subsidies, online car-pool sign-up, free parking, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features the suburban Maple Ridge head office offers employees shorter commutes (and more affordable environments in which to live and raise a family), located next to a running trail (there is an employee running club that participates in the annual Vancouver Sun Run and the Tough Mudder run), an open grass field right outside the front door that is often used for yoga, summer barbecues, Easter egg hunts or just tossing the ball with Django (the resident "Director of Greetings/DOG"), telecommuter workstations, sit-stand workstations, religious observance room, outdoor patio, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor barbecue
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, fireplace, music, television, video games, foosball table, board games, table tennis, fully equipped kitchen with a stove and oven (used for regular potlucks and pancake breakfasts), library with books to read in the office or borrow, the "secret" fireside Millennium Club lounge with a whiskey bar, trophy case of microbreweries recently sampled, open common area with bleachers for meetings and social gatherings, outdoor hammocks
Snacks available bananas, apples, oranges, bread from a local bakery, jam, Nutella, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherry tomatoes, red peppers
Onsite fitness facility for employees only, free membership, instructor-led classes (boot camp, yoga, pilates), weights, shower facilities
Other nearby amenities Pitt Meadows Athletic Park, fitness club, Bonson Park and North Bonson Park, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall, community garden, climbing gym, playing fields

Work Atmosphere & Communications Rating: A+

Employee social committee name The Culture Club (est. 2011)
Recent social events Christmas party, Easter brunch with families invited, a bouncy castle and egg hunt, Thanksgiving lunch with a turkey deep-fried outside, Halloween murder mystery and dress-up, B-Corp Family Feud, pajama parties, spontaneous pancake and waffle breakfasts, annual retreat, "Wins of the Week" over Beer O'Clock on Fridays, Friday Fives (high-five colleagues to appreciate their efforts during huddle), summer barbecues, paintball outings, potluck parties and regular birthday celebrations
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, music while working, can bring pets to work when needed
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter
Other in-house communications "Rain or Shine" walk and talks (one-on-one 30-minute chats between the co-founders and all employees)

Financial Benefits & Compensation Rating: B+

Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 6 months
Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months
Long-term savings matching RSP
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, life & disability insurance
Year-end bonuses available to all employees
Signing bonuses available for some positions

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits Rating: B+

Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 55% of the premiums
Minimum hours worked for coverage 20 hours per week
Waiting period for coverage 90 days
Family coverage option yes
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs) yes
Other health plan information employee assistance (EAP) plan, semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, homecare, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, nutrition planning, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. accupuncture, naturopathy)
Additional health and wellness information in addition to their health benefits plan, the company offers up to $2,500 for employees seeking IVF or fertility drug treatments
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 17 weeks
Parental top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 17 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 100% of salary for 17 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 100% of salary for 17 weeks
Adoption assistance subsidy up to $2,500 per child
Additional family-friendly benefits extended parental leave to unpaid leave, academic scholarships of up to $1,000 per child
Alternative work options flexible work hours, telecommuting
Additional family-friendly information has an evolved approach to alternative working options, where employees have the flexibility to manage their time accordingly and achieve an appropriate balance for their specific circumstance, but are encouraged to come to the office and be contributors to the company's team culture

Vacation & Personal Time-Off Rating: A-

Vacation allowance new employees receive 2.6 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 3 years of employment
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 4 weeks of vacation over their career
Paid holiday shutdown during the Christmas to New Year's holiday break, employees receive an additional 5 days off
Personal paid days off employees can schedule 9 personal days off each year, as needed
Unpaid leave of absence option yes
Additional time-off information unlimited paid sick days for physical and mental health, unpaid leaves of absence are determined on a case-by-case basis

Employee Engagement & Performance Rating: A

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 6 months
Managers receive performance review training yes
Confidential employee feedback employees can also provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition individual performance bonuses, on-the-spot rewards, peer-to-peer recognition awards, long-service awards, tailored and unique rewards (i.e. travel), small wins (bottle of wine on an anniversary), big wins ("brag-ables" such as a whiskey tasting on top of a glacier only accessible by helicopter for a 5-year anniversary), or gigantic wins (photo safari and river cruise with new camera gear to visit a World Heritage site in Bangladesh), generous "Dream Program" where Dream Managers help employees achieve personal dreams

Training & Skills Development Rating: A+

Career planning in-house career planning services, online employee skills inventory
In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, mentoring, in-house training, online training, leadership training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Annual tuition maximum employer pays up to $10,000 in tuition subsidies for job-related courses per year
Unrelated tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year for courses unrelated to current position
Unrelated tuition maximum employer pays up to $10,000 in tuition subsidies per year for courses unrelated to current position

Community Involvement Rating: A+

Scope of charitable involvement local, national, international
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities, employees receive paid time off to volunteer
Total employee volunteer hours (on company time) over 1,048 hours last year
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 57 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported Ronald McDonald House, Hour of Code, Salvation Army, ACM, NLCC, Iris Robotics, Covenant House, BACA, SPCA
Community highlight Left's charitable focus is advocating for the tech community in British Columbia, increasing access and exposure to technology education, and sharing knowledge with all age groups, including students, peers and children. Employees are also given unlimited Community Days to volunteer, with the only obligation being that employees wear a company t-shirt and make it social media-friendly to inspire others to follow their lead -- approximately 9 days of paid time off per employee were granted last year.

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