Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 31, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Sandoz Canada Inc. was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2018):
- Sandoz Canada invests in ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions, subsidies for professional accreditation, a variety of in-house and online training programs, and opportunities to participate in international assignments
- In addition to 3 weeks of starting vacation allowance, Sandoz Canada provides up to 5 days of paid holiday shutdown during the winter months
- Along with helping employees save for the future, Sandoz Canada offers a number of financial incentives, including signing bonuses for some employees, year-end bonuses for all, and generous referral bonuses for employees who recruit candidates from their personal networks (to $4,000)
Valet auto service is just another Sandoz perk
To comply with Québec's tough winter safe-driving legislation, Angela Nguyen knew she had to put snow tires on her car by December 15. "But who has the time to line up during the week or on weekends to get your tires changed?" asks Nguyen, Sandoz Canada's Scientific Director of Sales and Marketing.
Concerned about its employees' work-life balance, Sandoz offers a number of helpful perks, including Valet Express auto maintenance service. Perfect for Nguyen. One morning she dropped off her car keys at reception and, at the end of the day, retrieved her vehicle, fitted with snow tires -- and with an oil change to boot. Says Nguyen: "It was seamless. It shows the company understands and cares about employee needs. They really walk the talk."
There are other examples of how Sandoz looks after staff overall well-being. Fridays are half days if employees have put in their hours. Casual wear is fine, as long as there are no business meetings requiring more formal wear. The cafeteria offers healthy -- and subsidized -- meals. There's free coffee and tea available on all four floors of the pharmaceutical company's Boucherville head office on the South Shore. When there's cause for celebration, like the launch of a new product, food trucks from leading local restaurants are brought in for free lunches.
In response to employee suggestions, management recently created an onsite state-of-the-art fitness
facility. Staff are encouraged to leave their desks for workout breaks. Nguyen, a former hospital pharmacist, is a regular gym user, following a fitness plan developed by the facility's kinesiologist. All provided at no charge.
To build a workplace that is pleasurable as well as productive, there is even an Enjoyment at Work committee. "We want to create a positive environment so people can have fun," says President and General Manager Michel Robidoux. "We want to touch hearts as well as minds."
Of course, there's also a serious side to working at a company dedicated to increasing access to high-quality medicines and helping people live healthier and longer. To keep employees agile when confronting marketplace challenges and shifts, there is a raft of free professional development opportunities. Within months of joining Sandoz, Nguyen had signed up for a project management course as well as after-hours language training in both German and Spanish to better communicate with colleagues abroad. "At Sandoz, they offer a career, not a job," she says. "Everything is put in place for the long run."