Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 21, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2019):
- BC Liquor Distribution makes it easy for employees to give back to the community, providing paid time off to volunteer during working hours and offering a unique opportunity to volunteer overseas for up to two years through a partnership with CUSO-VSO while continuing to receive benefits
- BC Liquor Distribution provides maternity and parental leave top-up payments for its new moms (to 85 per cent of salary for 17 weeks, followed by 75 per cent of salary for 35 weeks), as well as parental leave top-up for new dads and adoptive parents (to 75 per cent of salary for 35 weeks) -- head office employees also have access to onsite daycare when they return to work
- BC Liquor Distribution helps its employees plan for life after work with retirement planning assistance services and generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan
Flexibility is the key to success at the BCLDB
Ric Tong's worked at many places, but never at one with a corporate culture so flexible he felt he could stretch his career from entry level right to the top of the company ladder.
Then he landed a job at the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) and started climbing.
"I've worked a lot of jobs, but never one where I could say I hope I spend the rest of my career with this organization," says Tong. "Now I truly feel that way about the LDB because this place is amazing to work at and I love every minute of it."
The LDB is one of B.C.'s largest liquor retailers, with over 40 million retail customer visits to B.C. Liquor Stores (BCLS) annually. The LDB is also the sole wholesale distributor for liquor and non-medical cannabis in B.C. and the public retailer for non-medical cannabis. The LDB contributes over $1.3 billion annually to the province of B.C., providing funding for services like health care and education.
Tong's an example of the LDB's flexible job training and advancement. The senior store manager of the Park Royal BCLS, he's currently acting as senior manager of store operations administration. Instead of managing one outlet, he oversees day-to-day operational needs for 197 BCLS. The temporary assignment will make him more qualified for that next rung up the LDB ladder.
"We ask employees what their talent is and how we can make them the best in their role," says Rita Ferrara, executive director, human resources. "Moving beyond that, we identify their interests and how we can get them there through the support of our flexible opportunities."
Ferrara exemplifies the opportunities at the LDB. She started as a receptionist 32 years ago and worked her way up to her current executive position.
The LDB's flexibility and benefits extend to working hours, vacation allowance for part-time and full-time employees and a generous pension plan. The package creates a sense of mission for employees.
"We're upbeat because we're all working towards the same goal. Whether it's the person on the till or the person in the warehouse, everybody's trying to make sure the customer experience is second to none," says Tong.
Knowing LDB revenue goes back to the public is also a big motivator for the over 4,000 full-time and part-time employees.
"It all goes back to helping people and that permeates the entire organization," says Tong. "We do things because we care and we want to give back."