Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 7, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Olympus Canada Inc. was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- Olympus Canada offers generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses (to $5,250 per year) as well as subsidies for professional accreditation
- Olympus Canada supports employees who want to start a family with maternity and parental leave top-up payments for mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents (to 100% of salary for up to 12 weeks)
- In addition to the company's regular health benefits plan, Olympus Canada offers a health spending account of $500 per year, allowing employees to top up coverage according to their personal needs
Keeping the focus on people at Olympus Canada
Founded almost 100 years ago, the company that ultimately became Olympus Canada Inc. was named after the mythical Mount Olympus -- the highest mountain in Greece and home to the gods. Much has changed in those 100 years. Where it once specialized in manufacturing microscopes and thermometers, Olympus Canada now develops and distributes a variety of medical and surgical products, imaging systems, industrial measurement solutions, and consumer products such as cameras and audio recorders.
Equal to its commitment to manufacturing excellent products is Olympus' commitment to being true to its employees. With over 50 per cent of its staff out in the field across the country, Olympus Canada keeps the focus on team building and camaraderie.
Carmela Reyes is a Customer Care Associate, Team Lead, and has been with Olympus for almost eight years. Starting in the sales area, Reyes was transferred to the service department after only six months, an "amazing opportunity" for her. "It showed me a broader picture of what we did as a company," she says. "It's rewarding to work for a company that makes a difference to someone's life and health on a daily basis, and to continually contribute to that."
Reyes is also the co-chair of the SocialIn, a volunteer group of employees who organize team-building and charitable events as well as various company celebrations and sporting events, which keep employees engaged with each other and with the broader Olympus community. "Getting out there and interacting or playing sports with employees from the office gives you different perspectives and opportunities to learn more about them" she says. "It brings the team together. I'm very proud of being a part of it."
Similarly, Olympus understands that communication is pivotal to keeping employees engaged and happy. Martin Branch is Group Vice-President, Medical Systems Group, and has experienced a lot of changes and growth over his 20 years at the company. As a former sales representative in British Columbia, Branch understands that success must be recognized, while communication as well as the company vision must be clear in order to help keep field-based employees engaged, focused and motivated.
"When people clearly understand the direction and focus of the organization as well as the challenges we face, they're less inclined to run into frustration." Branch says. "We strive to be a destination company that attracts individuals to our organization."
In another effort to team-build, Olympus Canada recently held a product fair in the company auditorium. Colleagues from every department were invited to experience the latest technology, what the products do and how they help patients.
"Things are ever changing here, so departmental lunch-&-learn sessions provide us with great overview and preparation," says Reyes. "Employees build an understanding of how their job may impact and help other areas on a daily basis. Little things like that help integrate all the departments."
In terms of employee benefits, Olympus Canada offers generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses and for professional development. The company supports employees with maternity and parental leave top-up payments and, in addition to its regular health benefits plan, provides an additional spending allowance to each employee that can be used to top-up health coverage according to their own specific needs.
But the conversation always comes back to the people. "Aside from the job I do, it's really the team and the individuals that work in my department that truly make me want to come to work every day," says Reyes. "There are challenges, but I have a great team, and that is the key."
Branch agrees. "If we really achieve our ultimate goal of having a good, positive workplace environment, strong culture and strong morale, then people will enjoy coming to work," he says. "We have our challenges, like every organization. But I think it's our ability to respond to them that sets us apart from others in the industry."