Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Rogers Communications Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- Rogers' unique workplace features quiet zones, interactive spaces, and access to the latest technology -- the company also completed renovations to the Radio Café at its head office, which includes windows overlooking its radio stations, new food kiosks and menu items (which can be pre-ordered through the "Rogers Eats App")
- Rogers organizes a number of social events and celebrations throughout the year, including the traditional children's holiday party, hosted at the Rogers Centre with over 7,000 guests in attendance -- the celebration included a stage show, a merry-go-round and Ferris wheel, an arts and craft area, an XBox play area, and a chance to have photos taken with Santa
- Rogers invests in the long-term career development of employees, providing opportunities to participate in leadership training and formal mentoring -- additionally, employees can take advantage of tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions
Rogers powers ahead with its entrepreneurial legacy
In less than two years with Rogers Communications Inc., Chelsea Parker has worked in three different areas of the company, participated in five different marketing initiatives and led and executed a company-wide photography project. "It's been pretty awesome," she says, "especially for someone like me, who's just out of school."
Now a Brand Specialist with the company's Corporate Brand Team, Parker moved to Toronto to join Rogers after graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University in Hamilton.
She spent her first year in the company's New Graduate Leadership Development Program, which immerses new grad hires in different parts of the business, including a frontline experience. In the process, they meet team members at every level of the company. A year later, she turned her attention full-time to corporate branding.
Rogers pays close attention to selecting and encouraging new employees like Parker. It's part of a deliberate strategy, led by senior management, to capture the drive, passion and entrepreneurial spirit that form the legacy of the company's founder, Ted Rogers.
"I'm continually inspired by the drive and passion that I see here," says Chief Human Resources Officer Jim Reid, who joined Rogers in 2011, three years after the passing of its founder. "Our job as leaders is to light that up and restore that drive to win."
For almost 60 years, entrepreneurial passion has driven Rogers Communications into the fields of wireless communications, cable television, telephone and Internet connectivity, with significant additional telecommunications and media assets.
The company traces its heritage to the early 1920s and the founding of Toronto's CFRB radio station by Ted Rogers' father. In the 1960s, the younger Rogers purchased CHFI Radio in Toronto, then led the company's expansion into cable TV and wireless communications and established its brand throughout Canada. Those brands now include the Toronto Blue Jays, Citytv and Sportsnet.
"People join Rogers because we're a proud Canadian company with some of the most sought-after brands in the country," says Reid at Rogers headquarters in Toronto. "When you walk in here, you feel the energy."
Reid and the company's C-suite executives have worked hard for the last five years, he says, to build on the company's performance-driven culture and its entrepreneurial legacy. To define its values and purpose, for example, they consulted employees across the country and received more than 3,500 responses from over 13,000 team members. These form the basis of the company's six core values, which include teamwork, innovation and placing the customer first.
"Our employee engagement levels are up past 80 per cent," he says. "We've reinforced our pride in the company and our drive to win."
For Parker, the company has provided an opportunity to exercise her leadership and challenge her skills as a marketing professional. Leading a company-wide photo project, for example, Parker spent several months finding candidates, working with photographers and strategizing with the company's internal creative team.
"Rogers really trusts new leaders to take on projects," she says, "and gives them the tools to do it on their own. I've been able to do things here that people in other companies are jealous of."
As Reid knows, Parker and other young employees represent the future of the company. "We want to get behind their growth and development," he says. "We want to lay out a clear vision for Rogers they believe in, so they can and will build a career here."
After less than two years, Parker is still considering her options, although she says, "it's cool to be in a company that values sports, so maybe that's where I'll head."
From TV to the Jays, Rogers offers big opportunities
When Jasmin Matalla followed her fiancé to Toronto in 2016, she didn't expect to fall in love with the city or with her job at Rogers Communications. "I grew up in Germany," she says. "Before I met my boyfriend, I'd never intended to move."
Matalla met her fiancé in Dusseldorf, where she worked for a global telecommunications company that had a relationship with Rogers. After arriving in Toronto, she enrolled in an MBA program and became a junior fellow at the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre at Ryerson University.
"Every day at the centre I walked past a plaque and saw the words of Ted Rogers: 'The best is yet to come'."
That was just the beginning of Matalla's exposure to Rogers. From her wireless provider to the Toronto Blue Jays, she seemed to see references to the company and its founder at every turn.
"Rogers is everywhere," she says. "It's one of the reasons I enjoy working here. We're part of the community. And," she adds, "we get a 50-per-cent discount on Blue Jays tickets."
For Jim Reid, Chief Human Resources Officer at Rogers, Matalla's first impressions of the company in Toronto reflect one of the company's goals. Since he joined about eight years ago, Reid and the company's senior executives have focused on identifying Rogers as one of the top places in the city to work.
"When potential employees see our success in the marketplace," Reid says, "they want to become part of a winning team."
Rogers traces its heritage to the early 1920s and the founding of radio station CFRB. In the 1960s, Ted Rogers purchased CHFI Radio, then led the company's expansion into cable TV and wireless communications and established its brand throughout Canada.
Since then, entrepreneurial passion has driven Rogers into the fields of telephone and Internet connectivity, with significant additional telecommunications and media assets including the Toronto Blue Jays, Citytv and Sportsnet.
Since the passing of Ted Rogers in 2008, senior management at the company have paid close attention to capturing the drive, passion and entrepreneurial spirit that form his legacy. They've done this, in part, by hiring and encouraging new employees like Matalla.
Now the Manager of Rogers' Digital Omni Channel, Matalla works closely with representatives in all parts of the organization to create a uniform experience for customers no matter where they come into contact with the company.
"My role is bridging the gap between business and technology," she says, "understanding the business requirements of each segment of the company. Ultimately, we want to make sure that current and potential customers find the same information at each touch point."
In less than two years with the company, Matalla has worked hard to learn about all aspects of the Rogers brand. "I've learned so much," she says, "mainly through lots of on-the-job training. It will have a big impact on my future career, as I help with digital transformation across all segments of the business."
Rogers wants to strengthen its team with people who share the same passion for their work as Matalla's. "We have a big opportunity in Toronto to attract great talent," says Reid, "because we have some of the most recognizable brands in Canada, like Sportsnet and the Jays.
"Once people join the team, they realize what amazing opportunities they have to work across all segments of the company, from consumer to enterprise to media. They can build a career here like no other."
As Matalla builds her career at Rogers, her enthusiasm for the city hasn't waned. In Dusseldorf, where the Strassenbahn tram system includes 22 underground stations, her office was not accessible by public transit.
"But here we live near Eglinton and the Allen Expressway," she says. "It's just a short commute. I love it. I've never been able to take the subway to work before."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 17, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Rogers Communications Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
- Rogers manages a Student and New Grad Leadership Program, which allows participants to spend the first 12 months of their career exploring the business, working with leaders and gain personal and professional development
- The comprehensive program features a monthly learning curriculum, exposure to customers on the front lines and direct business experience
- Rogers created "Walk a Mile in My Shoes," a job shadowing program that allows employees to work within different roles across the company -- over 10,000 Walk a Mile sessions have been completed since the program's inception in 2003, and the initiative currently features over 100 roles, including service technician, retail and call centre positions
Rogers connects with the workforce of the future
Before he went to work for Rogers Communications Inc., Eugene Ebonka wanted to learn more about the company.
"I discovered Rogers is everywhere," says Ebonka, who came to Canada from Nigeria to study for his master's degree in engineering. "Sports, media, publishing, TV, radio. But I also wanted to know how this business has given back to the community."
Among the programs that caught his attention, Ebonka was particularly impressed with Connected for Success, through which Rogers provides highspeed Internet connections to residents of more than 300 rent-subsidized non-profit housing communities across Canada.
"High-speed internet access helps people to find opportunity," Ebonka says. "Instead of giving them a fish," he adds, in a variation of the parable, "you give them the Net and they can fish for themselves."
While its community initiatives convinced Ebonka that Rogers was a good corporate citizen, the company's New Graduate Leadership Development Program had a more immediate impact.
Under the year-long program, Ebonka will spend three-month periods in different business units at Rogers such as Network, Engineering, and IT. New employees in the program can also learn the ropes in Digital, Cyber Security and other areas where workforce demands are booming. At the end of each period, participants deliver a presentation based on their experience to their co-workers, managers, directors and VPs, who provide useful career-focused feedback.
Investing in new graduates and new employees like Ebonka is part of Rogers's strategy, led by senior management, to grow strong teams and capture the drive, passion and entrepreneurial spirit that form the legacy of the company's founder, Ted Rogers.
Over more than 40 years, he led the company's expansion from radio into cable TV, telephone and Internet connectivity and wireless communications and established its brand throughout Canada. Those brands now include the Toronto Blue Jays, Citytv and Sportsnet.
"We know that employees who are new to the workforce are passionate about career development," says Sandra Pasquini, Vice President of Human Resources, Consumer & Digital.
That's why Rogers pays close attention to creating an attractive environment for Ebonka's generation of leaders. "They're the workforce of the future," she says. "We're focused on attracting bright new talent and supporting their career growth."
When he joined Rogers as a Network Engineering Associate, Ebonka moved to Toronto from Ottawa, where he'd obtained his degree at Carleton University. He began the first of his four rotations at the company's Brampton facility, west of the city, working on its wireline Fibre Optics network across the country.
"I was encouraged to be creative," he says, "to ask questions, present ideas and see how they work for the customer.
"We work in an open-concept office," he continues. "There's no hierarchy. I can ask anyone anything. As a millennial, I find that attractive."
Now in his second rotation, in Rogers' wireless data core and Service Delivery unit, Ebonka is learning about the company's long-distance roaming services and its relationships with other wireless service providers throughout the world.
"We work to provide reliable roaming for Canadians overseas and for overseas users in Canada," he says. "It's another opportunity for me to think outside the box, to learn and broaden my skill set."
For Pasquini, Ebonka's enthusiasm reflects the company's investment in helping new employees thrive. "Innovation sets us apart," she says. "You can be who you are and excel."
Ebonka's third rotation will take him into the area of cybersecurity at Rogers, a prospect that he anticipates with excitement. "It's great to wake up to something you love doing," he says. "where you feel productive, valued and appreciated."
From Canada, Ebonka keeps in touch with his parents in Nigeria and his sister, who now lives in the U.K. In a recent conversation, his sister asked if he was having fun. "I said I was having lots of fun.
She said, 'Do you see yourself staying at Rogers?' And I said, 'Oh yeah!'
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 28, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Rogers Communications Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):
- Rogers is conducting an internal analysis to identify opportunities for the retention and advancement of female employees and recently launched a sponsorship program to help accelerate the development of female directors
- Additionally, the company's Women's Network maintains chapters across the country and organizes a number of initiatives throughout the year, including mentoring circles to match employees with peers and mentors at various levels (regardless of gender)
- Rogers manages a diversity scorecard to encourage executives and directors to report and work towards targets within their teams and to hold them accountable for meeting diversity goals
"How do you build trust? What helps you feel belonging? I support leaders everyday to help them lead with inclusion, and have these courageous conversations with their teams. By creating an environment where every employee feels seen, heard and valued, Rogers is cultivating an inclusive culture that makes me proud!" Donna F., Senior Manager, Organizational Effectiveness
Doing the right thing is good business at Rogers
Before Jasmine Wong joined Rogers Communications Inc. five years ago, she knew that the company was a leader in innovation and technology. "I hoped I'd find that entrepreneurial spirit here," she says, "and I did."
If the company's innovative drive attracted her to join the team, she became even more enthusiastic when she saw the emphasis that Rogers places on inclusion and diversity in supporting its team members, customers and communities across the country.
"When I joined, I checked out some internal videos on inclusion and diversity." she says. "Then I looked around my building and saw diversity all around me. Plus, the people in the video actually worked here."
Not only does Rogers want its employees to reflect the diversity of all Canadians, it also wants to bring more diversity of thought to the table to maintain its leadership as one of the country's most innovative companies.
Innovation has been at the heart of Rogers since the founding of CFRB Radio in the early 1920s. In the 1960s, Ted Rogers purchased CHFI Radio, then led the company's expansion into cable TV and wireless communications and established its brand throughout Canada.
Since then, Rogers has expanded into the fields of telephone and Internet connectivity and added telecommunications and media assets, including the Toronto Blue Jays, Citytv and Sportsnet. In all these areas, the company aims to attract more diverse talent to maintain its success.
"We try to create a workplace where people feel comfortable," says Bart Nickerson, Vice President & GM, Rogers Wireless. "There's top-down support here for LGBQT+, visible minorities, people with disabilities and women.
"We've also had Employee Resource Groups [ERGs] here for several years to support our diverse teams. They're grassroots driven, accommodating our different backgrounds, personalities and experiences."
Nickerson is also the Chair of the LGBTQ+ group called Spectrum, a name that captures the essence of the company operations and its employees. "It encapsulates the non-binary nature of the group," he says, "and reflects the rainbow-driven spectrum and the communications spectrum, which is an important element of what this company does."
As she's progressed through the company, Wong has also become more invested in supporting diversity at Rogers, signing on as a Vice-Chair of the Rogers Women's Network, one of the company's ERGs.
"We emphasize mentoring and networking," she says, "with a focus on how to build talent from the bottom up."
Meeting biweekly, the network plans activities such as networking events and speaker series for employees from Vancouver to Atlantic Canada to support women and their male allies in the workplace.
"Over my five years here, I've worked with four different organizational teams in a number of different business units," says Wong, now Senior Manager, ChannelMarketing. "When my current role opened up, my managers said, 'You have the skillset to be a leader. You can learn the functionality.' It showed me how committed Rogers is to helping me grow and develop."
Nickerson seized an opportunity to become a planning executive at Rogers after three years as a leader in product development.
"I went in not knowing the role," he says." But people said, 'Bart, this job's for you.' It was created from scratch to fit my skill set and to support my growth. Taking this job was one of the best decisions in my career.
"We create opportunities for talent," he adds. "It's less about the person in the job and more about the person's career - the next role and the one after that."
An emphasis on inclusion and diversity not only provides opportunities for individuals at Rogers, it also contributes to the company's leadership as an innovator.
"What differentiates us is that people here are already passionate about what they do," says Nickerson. "For us, diversity and inclusion are not just good business. They're the right thing to do."