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 Oracle Canada ULC was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- Oracle Canada encourages employees to adopt an ownership mentality through a share purchase plan, available to all employees -- and provides referral bonuses for employees who recruit candidates from their personal networks (to $2,000)
- Oracle Canada supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments (to 75% of salary for up to 8 weeks) and offers the convenience of onsite daycare when they return to work
- Employees working at Oracle Canada's head office can take advantage of a number of onsite amenities including a cafeteria (with healthy and special-diet menus, as well as subsidized meals), a quiet room for meditation and religious observance, and subsidized access to a fitness facility (complete with shower facilities and a variety of instructor-led classes such as spinning and yoga)
At Oracle, flex arrangements help employees
Among the things in his life that have benefited from Alex Crawford's employment with Oracle Canada ULC are his dogs -- Kaya, a small, black Yorkshire mixed with Maltese, and Chloe, a 90-pound American bulldog. About two years ago, Crawford's live-in fiancée, who works at home, had a career opportunity requiring her to be out of town for three months. They fretted over care of the dogs.
"I had a conversation with my management team and explained that I'd have to pay for a dog-walker and a dog-sitter every day," recalls Crawford, now 28 and an Account Manager in the Customer Success organization of Oracle, a leading cloud company. "I was trying to figure out if instead, I could maybe work a couple days from home. They were very understanding and allowed me to work at home for those few months as long as I got all my work done. That's probably the No. 1 thing that I really like working with Oracle, the flexibility to work remotely. They don't have that short leash on employees."
In fact, says Sheryl Helsdon-Baker, Senior Human Resources Director for Oracle Canada at its Mississauga head office, a significant portion of the company's employees across the country are formally enrolled in the flex program, and probably many more take advantage of that freedom on an informal basis. She herself is in the latter category, working at home a few days a week. "We know the GTA traffic is crazy; I live in Mississauga, and even so it can take me 45 minutes to get to work," she says. "It really frees up a good portion of your day when you don't have to be in the car. Our flexibility with work hours and location gives people more options about where to have their home. And it really contributes to an ability to better balance your work and your home life."
Another benefit of working at Oracle is the opportunity to develop professionally, continues Helsdon-Baker. "We view ourselves as a career destination company where, because we're large and have so many lines of business, people have the opportunity to grow their skills, and they can come to Oracle and feel challenged." Crawford says that's definitely been the case for him. After getting an Advanced Diploma in Marketing from George Brown College, he started in technical support with IT company Eloqua, which Oracle acquired in December 2012, soon after he started. By 2014, he had moved up to Associate Account Manager; he's held his current job for about two years. "Career development is the reason I've stuck with the company," he says. "Every time I start feeling I'm getting stagnant in a role or I've mastered the role, there's something else knocking on the door."
Both Helsdon-Baker and Crawford cite Oracle's extensive in-house training opportunities as well as it mentorship and peer mentorship programs. The company also offers online Harvard ManageMentor and Lynda.com programs for free to employees who wish to pursue them in their free time, as well as a tuition reimbursement program of 100 per cent up, to over $5,000 a year, for post-secondary studies.
In addition to numerous philanthropic activities both within Oracle, for people going through difficulties, and in the community -- Crawford says volunteering in a soup kitchen last holiday season "really built the team" -- the account manager also notes the pleasure of working out of Oracle's bright new downtown office on Front Street. With its views of the Rogers Centre and its cool collaboration spaces, he says, "you get to the office and it opens up to that beautiful view, and it honestly does make you want to go to work."