Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 6, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why RSA Canada Group was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- RSA Canada Group offers a full suite of financial benefits, including a share purchase plan for all employees, signing bonuses for some, year-end bonuses for all, and referral bonuses for employees who recruit candidates from their personal networks
- RSA Canada Group supports employees who are new mothers and fathers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments, to 100% of salary for up to 17 weeks
- RSA Canada Group invests in ongoing employee education with generous tuition subsidies of up to $4,500 each year and provides access to a variety of in-house and online training programs
RSA Canada focuses on how you work, not where
When Alan Ly heard of an opening for an internal auditor at RSA Canada Group, he looked at the company's website to learn more about the company and the job.
The first thing he noticed was the job description: it said little about skills, credentials or routines, but emphasized the characteristics of a person who would thrive in RSA's culture.
"I knew that I had the qualities they were looking for," he says. "I knew I could excel in this culture."
Culture counts at RSA Canada and helps to distinguish it from its competitors in the industry. With more than 2,800 employees in Canada, the company ranks among the largest property and casualty insurance companies in the country. Its network of related organizations extends into 140 countries, employing almost 19,000 people.
"But we're not just another big, boring insurance company," says Mark Edgar, Senior Vice President, Human Resources. "We're not bureaucratic or hierarchical.
"We're very inclusive and conscious that people bring their whole self to work. That means they can shape their roles and their team to take full advantage of their strengths to find the best way to serve our customers."
That's not to say that credentials don't matter. Ly came to RSA Canada after graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto, completing his Chartered Professional Accountant's designation and working for seven years for major companies in Canada.
Now an Internal Audit Leader, Ly enjoys his work. It can be challenging, he says, but it gives him the opportunity to apply his personal strengths. "I have an outgoing personality," he says. "I really enjoy connecting and working with different people in different parts of the business. Ultimately, we all work together to better serve our customers."
Ly's approach is consistent with the company's emphasis on character over credentials. In recruiting, its website says it looks for individuals who "can shout out and be curious, make things better, keep their commitments, are team-spirited and big.hearted and are themselves and proud of it."
The company also pays close attention to work-life balance. Flexible hours, working from home and generous maternity and paternity leave programs are all part of its approach to creating a solid organizational culture.
"We focus more on how you do your job," says Edgar, "not where."
To encourage employees to fulfill their potential, RSA Canada has undertaken initiatives to raise awareness of mental-health issues and to provide support and counselling for work, life, family health and financial issues. In Toronto, the company even began a pilot program to bring harmony to the city's overcrowded road network by learning more about the way its employees get to work, what they know about road safety and how they feel about other road users.
"We're creating an organization that's consistent with our cultural aspirations," says Edgar.
As part of its emphasis on continuous improvement, RSA Canada provides financial support for employees who complete designated professional courses and offers workshops for employees to enhance their professional and leadership skills.
Ly has enrolled in courses to improve his capabilities in writing and conflict resolution. "I'm concentrating at the moment on my soft skills, but I'm also looking at building my professional credentials, both through on-the-job learning and focused programs."
In defining and pursuing his own ambitions, Ly's initiative also contributes to the strength of RSA Canada's culture.
"My biggest fear is just going through the motions - not being of value," says Ly, who's been with the company for almost a year. "But in this job, when I get up in the morning, I look forward to going to work."