Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 6, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why CWB National Leasing Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018) and Manitoba's Top Employers (2018) :
- National Leasing Group maintains a Wellness Advisory Group to help raise awareness of wellness in the workplace -- the group organizes Wellness Wednesdays activities each month which include mental health workshops (offered in partnership with Partners for Mental Health), meditation classes and speakers on a variety of topics (such as nutrition and work-life balance)
- In addition to 3 weeks of starting vacation allowance, National Leasing Group helps employees find more time off through flexible work arrangements and paid personal days off
- National Leasing Group cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan, available to all employees, and offers generous referral bonuses for employees who help recruit candidates (to $2,000)
National Leasing stresses innovation -- and fun
Every year, Michael Dubowec clears his desk, packs up his computer and moves to another office in the building. Actually, the National Leasing Senior Executive Vice President doesn't have a traditional office. He works out of a doorless cubicle, just like all the other company senior managers, including the President and CEO. And every summer, they rotate to another area. "At first, it was tough," says Dubowec, "but now we would never go back to the isolation of a closed space."
The National Leasing office shuffle reflects the Winnipeg-based company's emphasis on transparency and innovation. "I get to interact with new people, get fresh ideas, learn new things," Dubowec says. "We know that our employees are our experts. And we want to ensure that work doesn't become mundane for anyone, that it's fun."
Adds Sandy Rozecki, Director, Strategy & New Business Research, who has had several different jobs in her nearly 15 years at the company: "When you see the executives moving around, it makes you more willing to take on new challenges."
The annual office rearrangement is not the only "fun" initiative at Canada's leading equipment-financing company, which helps businesses, small and large, acquire the tools they need for success, from trucks and tractors to software and office infrastructure. Other National Leasing employee-directed fun activities include Friday lunchtime hockey games in the winter when employees get to check their bosses, champagne breakfasts to celebrate sales successes, and free membership at the onsite fitness facility.
"If you are not having fun at work," says Dubowec, a company hockey regular, "you are probably not putting your best foot forward with our customers or at home. We rely so much on our people, the ones who are closest to our clients and know our business best, that it only makes sense that we do everything possible to make them happy."
For her part, Rozecki is an avid user of the corporate gym and its free programs. "The smallest things really can make the biggest difference," she says. "They show management has a caring attitude about how we work as well as how we feel."
Last year, National Leasing won the prestigious Operations and Technology Excellence Award from the U.S. Equipment Leasing and Finance Association for its state-of-the-art online quoting system, National Leasing Interactive. What made that achievement extra special is that it was largely employee-driven, an example of empowerment and innovation dividends.
Explains Rozecki: "We first created a cross-disciplinary employee team, people of different levels, different genders, different cultural backgrounds, to address the challenge of how to make life easier for our equipment dealer clients. We proposed a plan to develop a mobile system for generating instant financing quotes. From the start, senior management supported us and provided the resources and time we needed to bring our idea to fruition. They trusted us and the award was icing on the cake."
National Leasing, now celebrating its 40th anniversary, also offers generous compensation, including a share-purchase plan, matching RSP contributions and low-interest home loans for all its coast-to-coast employees. It pays 100 per cent of health-plan premiums and provides perks such as a community garden, free fruit every second Tuesday and free lunches at all-staff meetings once every six weeks.
But most of all, says Dubowec, people join and stay at National Leasing because they realize they "will be empowered here a lot faster than other workplaces." He adds: "And they stay with us because they see how we encourage and support their ideas and professional growth. Our employees can and do make a difference."