Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 20, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Stuart Olson Inc. was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018):
- Stuart Olson encourages employees to adopt an ownership mentality with a share purchase plan, available to all salaried employees, and offers referral bonuses for employees who help recruit candidates from their personal network (to $1,500 per successful hire)
- Stuart Olson maintains a flexible health plan, allowing employees to customize levels of coverage according to their personal needs and transfer unused credits to additional salary, savings or a health spending account -- additionally, employees receive a personal wellness spending account of up to $300 per year which can be used personal health and wellness purchases
- Stuart Olson employees enjoy a lively social life with a variety of events and celebrations organized throughout the year including family camping trips, holiday celebrations for employees and their children, summer barbecues, Stampede parties and an annual floor hockey tournament for the prized Stuart Cup
Stuart Olson builds with 'a passion to do great things'
Stuart Olson is a $1-billion-plus company that is the construction contractor for one of the biggest public building projects in Alberta in decades -- the $245 million New Central Library, scheduled to open in downtown Calgary in November 2018. Stuart Olson also recently completed the processing plant for one of the largest diamond mines in the world, located in the Northwest Territories. But while the company takes pride in delivering these kinds of projects, Joette Decore, EVP, Strategy & Development, says Stuart Olson's identity is rooted in something deeper.
"We are big enough to handle any project, but we are also small enough to care about our people," explains Decore. "It's about caring for, and supporting, every individual employee, seeing each of them as a leader, and providing them with the opportunity to share their insights."
What matters, she adds, is also embodied in the Stuart Olson Promise, which simply states, "We are committed to creating a culture built on a passion to do great things."
A key vehicle for fulfilling that pledge is the Living Our Promise Task Force. About 15 employees from across the organization meet three or four times a year to discuss what is working -- and what is not -- in the company's day-to-day-operations. President and CEO David LeMay and other senior executives attend these meetings and then act on that feedback.
Daris Coombs, a Stuart Olson field manager, is in his second year on the task force. "What's really nice about the task force is that your title stays at the door," says Coombs. "Sometimes the discussions are fun and sometimes they are tough but, at the end of the day, we are all there to make the company better."
Coombs has also participated in the company's leadership academy, which each year takes 30 employees off-site for an intense, week-long personal and professional development session. One feature is what's called a "360 peer audit" where questions about a participant's strengths and potential areas for growth are posed to both the individual and work colleagues.
"You learn a lot about the way you perceive yourself as well as the way others perceive you," says Coombs. "You also learn about different leadership techniques. It's a fantastic experience."
Mentorship is another key priority at Stuart Olson -- and, for Decore, this is an aspect of the job she enjoys the most.
"I'm passionate about investing in people and watching someone grow," says Decore. "I love helping great people become even greater."