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 Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019) :
- Samsung Canada embeds recognition into its corporate culture through the online "U r Awesome" platform, which allows employees to nominate, recognize and reward their peers -- employees receive a minimum of 3,000 points per month to distribute to colleagues for a job well done (points are redeemable for a variety of merchandise)
- Samsung Canada encourages ongoing employee development through a number of in-house programs, including an annual Development Week in March (with a number of guest speaker sessions), the "myDevelopment" career portal and a global mobility program
- Along with a number of financial benefits, Samsung Canada offers employees a variety of corporate discounts as well as a generous employee purchase program, allowing employees to purchase up to $20,000 in Samsung products per year
Samsung training is a gateway to opportunity
Employees at Mississauga, Ont.-based Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. are encouraged to take up to 60 hours of professional development training each year. Irina Alimouradova has no trouble meeting that target. Training has been her gateway to opportunity and she has enjoyed plenty of that during her 15 years with Samsung.
She started on an order desk, moved to a supply chain position and is currently a Specialist in the logistics department. "I've had a lot of opportunity to learn new things and to grow with the company," she says. "The company has been very supportive in allowing me to go where I want to go."
The 60 hours of professional development per year include training available internally as well as educational opportunities offered through accredited institutions. Samsung provides up to $4,000 annually to employees who want to enroll in external programs at accredited institutions.
Samsung employees can use the myDevelopment portal to look for opportunities to advance. They then work with their supervisors to determine what kind of training they need to attain their goals. The company also sponsors a yearly Development Week and brings in outside experts to offer one-hour Lunch and Learn sessions on a wide range of subjects including health and wellness, fitness, financial planning and naturopathic medicine.
The company recently developed new programs built on a "One Samsung" approach in response to the company's annual employee survey. Results from the 2017 survey showed that many felt Samsung's four divisions – home appliances, consumer electronics, mobile and IT – limited their contact with colleagues. The company took action and set out to facilitate more collaboration and visibility from one team to another.
"The One Samsung approach we take – across all levels of our organization – is transforming the culture," says Jennifer Safruk, Vice-President, Sales and Product Management, Mobile Division. "It allows more people to transfer between divisions, which leads to more opportunity, engagement and dynamic team collaboration. It also speaks to the connected experiences our ecosystem of products offer consumers – at work, at home and on the go."
Employees have also been responsible for initiating several affinity networks, including Women at SECA (Samsung Electronics Canada), a Working Parents Group and a third group for Millennials. The Millennial network leans toward social activities that bring together young people from various parts of the company. Working Parents attracts younger employees who are dealing with common interests such as child care and financial planning specifically for families.
Women at SECA focuses on issues of special interest to females in a traditionally male-dominated field. Safruk and two other female executive team members have participated in panel discussions at the office to share their career experiences. More recently, the group brought in a senior level government official to speak about the importance of mentorship for women in the workplace; nearly 25 per cent of the participants were men.
At Samsung's head office, onsite amenities include a gym that is open from early morning until late in the evening and includes classes such as aerobics, yoga and boxing. There is also a subsidized cafeteria with a menu recently revamped to promote healthy eating.
Along with a number of financial benefits, employees can buy up to $20,000 worth of Samsung products per year at discounted prices. "Everything in our house is Samsung – our TV, kitchen appliances, washer-dryer and phones for the kids," says Alimouradova. "We even have Samsung towels, T-shirts, bags and pants."
Samsung takes a holistic approach to employee wellness
Two years ago, Brittany Ashie joined Mississauga-based Samsung Electronics Canada as a Senior Specialist, Corporate Communications and Citizenship, and she quickly discovered she'd landed more than just a good job. She'd also landed an opportunity to grow personally and professionally.
"There are a lot of different programs we can access in order to enrich our lives," Ashie says. "There's leadership training, mentorship training and lots of other resources I can use to expand my knowledge. It's pretty awesome."
Samsung encourages its employees to take up to 60 hours of professional development annually and will provide up to $4,000 per year to offset the cost of training offered externally by accredited institutions. As well, the company began offering weekly Korean language training through the Korean consulate in Toronto and Ashie jumped at the opportunity.
"I'm very excited about it," she says. "It'll be great to explore Samsung's Korean roots and practice with some of my colleagues in their native tongue."
Apart from a rich array of professional development, Samsung takes a holistic approach to the personal wellness of its employees. The company has an on-site gym, a staff cafeteria that offers wholesome, subsidized meals as well as mental health training and education sessions for both employees and managers.
"I'm the executive champion for the mental wellness initiative," says Warner Doell, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Digital Appliance Business. "I speak at each of these training sessions. There's a much stronger recognition in the workplace today that we need to reduce the stigma around mental illness and to let people know that there is help for those that need it."
Samsung also maintains robust co-op and internship programs for students who are interested in a career in the technology sector. In fact, within the last year, the company has placed 31 students in a variety of roles, including marketing, human resources and research and development.
Doell notes that several members of his team worked as co-op students before joining the company full-time and one has become a product manager. "We put our students to work when they're here," he says. "They're not just photocopying documents. They become part of a team and they're given responsibility so that they're fully engaged. We want them to return to school energized and eager to start their careers."
Samsung is committed to equity and diversity in the workplace and, to that end, has created employee resources groups - led by employees themselves - for women, millennials and working parents. Ashie joined the Women@SECA committee and has helped organize a number of events. "We've had women from other organizations, who were very successful, come in to speak to us," she says. "They told us how they overcame obstacles and went on to thrive in their careers. It was so inspiring."
One of Samsung's guiding principles is to contribute to communities across the country and it puts that principle into practice through its 'Samsung Gives' initiatives. Through this initiative, charitable events are organized by various divisions, as well as an annual companywide Day of Giving which is planned by employees. This year, over 400 employees from three different offices spent the day doing volunteer work in their communities. All totaled, Samsung employees have volunteered over 3,000 hours with charitable organizations in 2018.
"That's one of the reasons I love working here," says Ashie. "There's such a big focus on corporate social responsibility and giving back to the community. You feel good that you've done something to help."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- In the past year, Samsung Canada hired co-op and summer students in a variety of disciplines, including marketing, HR, content and services, and research and development -- the company also organized a competition challenging student teams to create engaging content using its Gear 360 camera technology -- the winner's videos were featured on Samsung's YouTube channel
- Samsung Canada also partners with post-secondary institutions on a number of different initiatives, recently working with Centennial College to create a unique Samsung Tech Institute appliance service certification course
- The company organizes the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Challenge, a national educational initiative for Canadian students from grades 6 to 10 to apply STEM learning to solve issues in their communities, and compete for Samsung school technology grants (four grand prizes of $20,000 each)
Samsung offers innovative work and high engagement
It can be daunting as a young person to come into a new workplace in a large company, especially if you're pretty new to the country as well. But for Roopam Mehta, joining Samsung Electronics Canada Inc., first as a co-op student and then full-time, was easy -- and very satisfying.
"Everybody was very understanding," says Mehta, who works as a Data Scientist at Samsung's Research & Development Centre in Burnaby, B.C. "They helped me manage my studies and my work together. Because of the support I got from HR and my colleagues here, I was able to sail through it."
Mehta came to Canada from India in 2015 and enrolled in the Professional Master's Program in Big Data at Simon Fraser University, where she says Samsung was top of her list as a co-op placement because the work was so well suited to her data analysis skills. Now, as a full-timer since the spring of 2017, she says all her expectations have been fulfilled.
"I feel very happy about the fact that I'm working on such innovative technology and such challenging projects," she says. "It's a great team and a very positive environment. It really gives me the motivation to work even harder."
Mehta likes the very open feel of the culture at Samsung. "We all sit together, and my director sits just two rows away," she says. "We can reach out to anybody, with no real sense of hierarchy. There is also a lot of cross-team collaboration, so if I am interested in another team's project, I can help with it, too."
She also points to the commitment to work-life balance at Samsung as well as perks like an onsite gym and massage sessions. "All these little things help a lot."
But most of all, she says, there's the job itself. "Challenging work is in abundance here, and that's what young people look for, so they can learn as much as they can in the early years of their career."
Indeed, Samsung has a lot of challenging work to offer young recruits across the country, says Paul Brannen, Chief Operating Officer. There is a wide range of opportunities, from digital jobs like Mehta's in data or software development through sales and marketing of the company's brand and products to corporate positions. The Canadian headquarters, in a LEED-certified building packed with employee-friendly features, is in Mississauga, Ont., with more offices in Burnaby and Montreal, as well as newly integrated subsidiaries in Halifax and other cities.
Samsung offers several career development programs for younger employees, as well as a Millennial Network to help them connect across the company. There is also the popular employee recognition program, U r Awesome, in which colleagues can give each other online kudos or points that are redeemable for goods or charitable giving.
Samsung's global scope is also part of the opportunity, notes Brannen. "About 50 to 60 per cent of our people are focused specifically on the Canadian marketplace. The others are focused on global initiatives inside Samsung."
Perhaps most critically, though, Samsung has major cultural advantages young people seek, says Brannen. "They want to know -- what does your company stand for?" He points to a strong commitment to diversity, both cultural and gender, in which more than 30 per cent of the senior management team is female. "People also look for community engagement -- they want to be proud of where they work," he says. All employees take part in the annual Samsung Gives day of volunteering in the community, and the company actively supports such causes as autism through its Look at Me project in partnership with Autism Speaks Canada.
"People are at the core of everything we do," says Brannen. "It's all about continued innovation and investment in our people through our culture."