Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Pembina Pipeline Corporation was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Alberta's Top Employers (2018) :
- In addition to the company's regular health benefits plan, Pembina offers a health and wellness spending account of $1,000, allowing employees to adjust levels of coverage to suit their personal needs -- the company also promotes overall employee wellness through its dedicated "Take a Pembina Wellness Break" campaign that features monthly themes to address physical, mental, financial and workplace health
- Pembina cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan and encourages employees to prepare for the future with retirement planning assistance and contributions to defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans, as well as a matching RSP program
- Located in a LEED-certified office complex in downtown Calgary, Pembina's head office features all-weather access to numerous shops and restaurants through the city's enclosed walkway system, free access to an onsite shared-use fitness facility (with instructor-led classes) and a fully equipped lounge complete with video games, a pool table and bean bag chairs -- the building also features a rooftop vegetable garden with the harvest available for building restaurants and even a bee apiary with honey available for purchase
Growth and giving back engage Pembina employees
During a period when many Canadian energy companies experienced challenging times, Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline has been a happy exception. Over the past 18 months, Pembina completed a $9.7-billion acquisition of a smaller energy company, placed into service the largest suite of capital projects in its 64-year history and nearly doubled the size of its full-time workforce.
Another organization might momentarily rest on these accomplishments – but that's not the Pembina way. "We believe we can do more, which is why we've now broadened our strategy to include getting Canada's energy molecules to the rest of the world," says Pembina CEO Mick Dilger. "This is engaging and exciting for everyone who works at Pembina."
Pembina owns and operates an integrated system of pipelines that transport various hydrocarbon liquids and natural gas products throughout North America. The company also owns gas gathering and processing facilities and an oil and natural gas liquids infrastructure and logistics business.
Despite significant growth over the last few years, Dilger says Pembina is determined to maintain its roots as a family-style workplace culture.
"Organizationally, we've kept our business divisions small enough so people don't get lost in the system," says Dilger. "We also work hard to make sure the lines of communication are always open and that our people have a say in the direction we're heading."
With all of the growth and activity, supporting work-life balance is a priority. "We've just come off the busiest year in our company's history and that put some real demands on people," says Dilger. "One way we tried to compensate is by acknowledging their efforts with an additional week of paid holidays in 2018."
Pembina employees also enjoy generous financial and health benefits, including a defined benefit pension plan. "That's a pretty rare commodity these days and quite expensive to fund," says Dilger. "But that's also part of being a family; you take care of each other."
Giving back is a key to how Pembina extends this culture of caring to the communities in which it operates. The company will invest $7.5 million in charitable initiatives this year, including the Fuel 4 Thought program, a signature partnership with Breakfast Club of Canada that strives to ensure all students start their school day with a nutritious meal. Pembina employees are also supported in their giving through unlimited dollar-for-dollar matching donations, paid time off to volunteer and grants for personal volunteering.
Tony Tomkiewych works as a maintenance planner in Pembina's office in Whitecourt, Alberta. He lives in nearby Mayerthorpe and grew up on a family farm in the area. Tomkiewych, 33, joined Pembina three years ago after more than a decade working in the forestry sector.
"Growing up here you always heard a lot about Pembina and how well they treated people," he says. "For a kid raised on a farm, when times were often tough, getting a job at Pembina is almost like winning the lottery. I have challenging work, a stable income, a great pension to look forward to and I get to live in my home community. It doesn't get much better."
The father of three young sons, Tomkiewych appreciates that he can take time off to be a parent helper in the schools. With Pembina's support, he has also become involved in the local school breakfast program and with mentoring students interested in trades work.
Given some of the current pessimism in the oilpatch, Tomkiewych says he is also lucky to be part of a thriving company with such big ambitions.
"You really feel like you can have a future and bright career here. Right now, that's a great thing."
Pembina's talent pipeline is based in the community
To a company like Pembina Pipeline Corporation, having a good relationship with the communities in which it operates is essential to doing good business. It's one of the mandates of the Calgary-based company, and its commitment to giving back does not go unnoticed.
Tyler Hadden is Steam Chief at a 27-person plant near Empress, Alta. When he started there in 2012, many people in the small community hadn't heard of the company. Now, Hadden says, everyone knows Pembina. "Pembina is always striving for expansion and growth, and that creates jobs," he adds. "Not just Pembina jobs but jobs for contractors and restaurants and hotels."
Pembina also gives financial support to non-profit and charitable organizations that serve or are based in the communities in which they operate, focusing on education, the environment, community space, and health and safety. "Everyone recognizes it's a company that's creating jobs and investing in the area," says Hadden.
For CEO Mick Dilger, community support is key. "Hydrocarbon investment comes with some impact," he says, "but we work hard so that the positive impact outweighs the negative and they welcome the investment." Pembina encourages employees to give back to their communities, matching their donations without limit and providing grants for volunteer hours. And as an ongoing corporate initiative, last year Pembina helped provide 120,000 breakfasts for children in local communities.
Just as important to Pembina is the engagement of its employees and the preservation of its family culture, even as the company continues to grow. "We work hard," says Paul Murphy, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Services, "but we treat people well and we recognize hard work through all kinds of different venues."
Murphy has been with Pembina for almost seven years, first as a business unit vice-president, then through several positions to where he is now. "We like to see people move around, right up to the senior executives," he says. "We put the onus on employees to come up with a career plan and we'll do what we can to make it happen. Basically, we want our employees' next best job to also be at Pembina, not somewhere else."
Hadden considers himself lucky to be a part of a company that's full of opportunities. "If you're willing to step up to the plate, I can't see a limit to what I can achieve under Pembina's flag," he says. "They're more than willing to invest in you because they know they'll get it back many times over."