Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 24, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Sigma Systems Canada LP was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2017):
- Sigma Systems Canada lets everyone share in the company's success through profit sharing and offers generous referral bonuses for employees who recruit candidates from their personal networks (to $5,000 per successful referral)
- Sigma Systems Canada provides maternity leave top-up payments to employees who are new mothers (to 75% of salary for 17 weeks) as well as a short parental top-up for fathers (to 100% of salary for 2 weeks)
- Sigma Systems Canada helps employees save for retirement with matching RSP contributions and provides phased-in work options for those nearing retirement
Sigma culture: from ice cream to career coaching
Having spent most of her career working for large corporations, Jasmine Roswell was struck almost immediately by the collegiality and spirit of cooperation that prevailed among her new colleagues when she joined Toronto-based Sigma Systems in April 2016.
"People really care about one another," says Roswell, Sigma's Director of Knowledge and Learning. "There's a willingness to help. They'll put aside their own work to help you get the job done. A big part of the attraction for me is the Sigma culture."
Sigma develops and sells software to communications, media and high-tech companies globally. Their solutions serve as a vital link between service providers and their customers, enabling agility and rapid product innovation in the digital age. Sigma's portfolio helps operators seamlessly create, sell and deliver any service, through any channel, across any network technology, to enterprise, SMB and consumer markets.
Sigma operates in a highly competitive field and that, too, shapes the corporate culture. "We're a performance-driven company," says Jocelyn Bryce, Vice-President Global, Human Resources. "Our people work hard, and they are very dedicated and engaged, but we also know how to have fun and always take time out to celebrate our successes together and with our customers."
Sigma goes the extra mile to promote engagement. For one thing, the company's profit-sharing plan kicks in as soon as a new hire has completed a three-month probationary period. "The reward is based on corporate objectives as well as individual performance," says Bryce. "We are open and transparent, so that our people understand what our financial goals are and how they can impact those goals."
The company is also open to flexible work arrangements. "Sigma entrusts employees to work wherever they have to and that trust is empowering," says Roswell. "I am able to work from home when work or family needs demand it. That type of work-life balance is greatly appreciated."
That said, there's lots of reasons to come to the office. The company ensures that there is fresh fruit in the lunch room every day, as well as free beverages. Tim Hortons breakfast happens every Wednesday morning, when the company provides coffee, bagels, donuts and croissants. On Thursdays at 2:30 p.m., the executive team makes the rounds with an ice cream cart. If a group of employees and customers happens to be in a meeting, well, they are encouraged to take an ice cream break.
The company's HR team recently introduced the Sigma Way Career Adventure, which allows every employee to plot their yearly goals, as well as their three- to five-year objectives. "If you're looking to move into a new role, you're able to see what skills and competencies you will require," says Bryce. "We provide the tools, resources and support necessary to get you there, but you are empowered to be responsible for your own career success."
Community involvement, whether local or across the globe, is important at Sigma. The company has a "Give a day, get a day" program in support of Me to We, a charitable organization which raises money to build schools and provide clean drinking water, among other things, in small, impoverished communities in developing countries.
Under this initiative, Sigma employees can donate a day's salary to Me to We, which entitles them to an extra day of vacation, and their contribution is tax deductible. Over a period of several years, the company's employees have contributed $250,000 toward community development projects in two villages in India. Sigma staff participate each year as volunteers at the annual We Day event in Toronto, which supports local students in the development of their plans to change the world at the local, national and international level.
Sigma also encourages employees to contribute to charitable initiatives in a number of ways. Employees have entered teams in the Scotiabank Rat Race, a five-kilometre run in support of the Toronto United Way, and the Heart & Stroke Foundation's annual Big Bike event.