Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why TD Bank Group was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- TD is one of Canada's largest corporate philanthropists, donating over $73-million last year and actively encouraging employee involvement across the country (and worldwide) through a number of in-house initiatives, from the "TD Friends of the Environment Foundation" (with over $6-million distributed to over 600 projects across the country) to the unique "MusiCounts" community program (with over $1.7-million donated to support music programs in underserved communities)
- TD helps employees plan securely for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and health benefits that extend to retirees (with no age limit) -- additionally, the bank maintains a dedicated Retired Alumni website and provides financial support for alumni associations across Canada
- TD considers previous work experience when setting vacation entitlements and offers long-serving employees an additional week of paid vacation on their 25th anniversary (and every 5th anniversary thereafter)
TD Bank prepares its people for a changing world
Recognizing that its employees earn the trust that sustain its business, TD Bank places a high priority on equipping them with the tools and expertise they need to adapt to the constantly evolving needs and expectations of its customers.
"If the world is changing for us as a business, as well as for our customers, that change is hitting home for our colleagues too," says Norie Campbell, Group Head of Customer and Colleague Experience. "To ensure our colleagues have the skills and experiences – and the confidence – they need to continue to win and grow, we're making significant investments to empower our people with the opportunities to upgrade existing skills and develop new ones.
"This includes offering new courses, programs and tools, as well as ingraining the development of our people as a core obligation in all TD leaders. By doing so, our colleagues can elevate their performance and take on new roles, which were unimaginable only a few years ago."
In 2018, TD introduced two new leadership development programs to help achieve these goals. One of these, known as Elevate, is designed for executives as part of the bank's approach to create inspiring leadership at all levels. The other, called Activate, aims to provide new managers with tools and tactics to lead their teams with confidence.
Ashley Tillenius, who recently moved into the position of Team Manager, Western Banking Services, based in Edmonton, has participated in the Activate program.
"It was inclusive and motivating," she says. "The focus was on coaching employees and the conversations you need to have with the team about their skills, their future and so on. The idea is to facilitate self-discovery, to let team members do the talking and take an interest in what they're saying. The employee is in the driver's seat.
"The Activate program was the next level up from other leadership programs. Obviously a lot of thought had gone into making it valuable for leaders. It gave me confidence that TD has confidence in me and invests in me so I can lead my team and serve customers better," says Tillenius, who spent 10 years in retail banking at TD before taking her current position leading a mortgage funding team in the summer of 2018.
Another career development innovation launched in 2018 is TD Thrive, a digital learning platform that delivers curated content, courses, training and videos that enable employees to develop new skills on their own terms.
"We work closely with our employees to help them be the best versions of themselves professionally," says Campbell. "The opportunity to learn, share knowledge, grow and be successful is fundamental to all our employees and to TD's ongoing success. Employees want to contribute in a meaningful way to the success of their team, business and the organization."
When hiring, TD looks for people with the potential to develop, grow and win, Campbell adds. "Our promise to candidates who join TD is one of opportunity and continued development – helping employees achieve their full potential and career goals. From mentorship to helping new hires integrate into the TD culture, to ongoing training programs and leadership development, our colleagues receive everything they need to succeed.
"Our ability to provide opportunities for career growth – both in an employee's current role and towards future career aspirations – is a priority for us. The cornerstones of our culture are to provide opportunities beyond expectations, work that matters and inspiring leadership. In doing that, we empower our colleagues to create meaningful experiences for our customers."
TD seeks a wide range of talent for its digital future
When Amy Yeung was finishing up her PhD in social psychology at University of Waterloo and was wondering if she should stay in academia, it never occurred to her that she might find work at a bank. Now, after a year and a half as a Senior Design Researcher in Digital Customer Experience (DCX) at TD Bank, she enjoys using her psychology and research training to help develop and test new designs and prototypes of digital interfaces like web pages or apps.
Yeung is part of a transformation of the financial services industry that's being driven by technology and led by companies such as TD, which are hiring people with a surprisingly wide range of backgrounds.
"As technology becomes a fixture in our everyday lives, the world around us is being shaped by it, and it's revolutionizing how we do just about everything," says Michael Rhodes, Group Head, Innovation, Technology and Shared Services (ITSS). "At TD, our customer journeys are increasingly beginning in the digital space. So as we build the bank of the future, we're also recruiting and developing for the skills of the future."
Those skills include highly specialized tech knowledge - DevOps, data science and artificial intelligence, for example - but also research expertise and transferable skills such as Yeung's to provide insights into customer needs and expectations.
"We're hiring top talent from a range of different areas, from engineers and data scientists to mobile and web developers and anthropologists who work on customer experience design," says Rizwan Khalfan, Chief Digital and Payments Officer. "The scope of skills and expertise that we need has never been more diverse."
Yeung had not quite completed her PhD when she came across a TD job posting for a researcher in the DCX Design Research Team. She had some related experience from an internship with Facebook doing foundational research about users, so she applied for the position.
"My first interview was held in a research lab room that had just been built at TD headquarters in Toronto," she recalls. "I thought that was pretty cool. They'd built their own space instead of renting vendors' space. It showed they thought the work was important."
As part of a team of seven researchers in Canada and another three in the U.S., Yeung works with bank customers and employees on a variety of digital projects.
"As well as testing new interfaces, we also do more conceptual research," she says. "We try to understand the potential barriers that people come across when using digital interfaces. It's not just about where to click but how comfortable they are with the experience. People are very serious about banking online - there are important issues about privacy and trust.
"Our role is to understand their experiences as well as their expectations. I have to uncover the real problem, which isn't always what it seems. I really like discussing issues with other researchers with such a diversity of ideas, thoughts and specializations. Our team is very collaborative."
Khalfan adds, "We believe that creating an inclusive work environment that brings out the best in people is essential to our success. So beyond technical expertise, we look for people who are passionate about enriching lives in ways that are meaningful to our customers and colleagues."
To find people who might not be considering working at a bank, TD gets involved with organizations like #movethedial and events such as Elevate, Canada's biggest tech festival, where it sponsored the Elevate Hackathon.
"This type of experience isn't expected from a bank," says Rhodes. "It gives participants the opportunity to experience the kinds of exciting technology opportunities that exist at TD. There has never been a more exciting time to work for a bank."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 17, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why TD Bank Group was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
- TD manages a dedicated 2-year program leadership development program for recent MBA grads -- the program consists of four rotations in total and participants may select rotations from across the entire organization
- Through TD's Scholarship Summer Employment program, the bank provides scholarship recipients summer employment as a Customer Service Representative, a placement at a corporate or regional office, or employment at a Canadian charitable organization, depending on the student's year of eligibility
- TD manages a generous Scholarship for Community Leadership program for students in their final year of high school or CEGEP (up to 20 scholarships are awarded each year) -- recipients receive scholarships of up to $70,000, including up to $10,000 per year for tuition, $7,500 per year for living expenses, paid summer employment, mentorship opportunities, annual gatherings and networking opportunities
TD Bank wants young people to help shape its future
TD Bank aims to provide its people with work that matters in an environment where everyone feels welcome. In particular, says Steve Knox, Vice President of Talent Acquisition, the bank strives to ensure that its young employees are comfortable, stimulated and able to reach their potential as unique individuals.
"Young people are a significant part of our talent strategy," Knox says. "We have a team dedicated to campus hiring and strong partnerships with schools. We're strengthening the program because we recognize that young talent is more tuned into our rapidly changing world, more digitally savvy."
That's important to TD because banking itself is also changing rapidly. Students and recent graduates understand the emerging trends and technologies that will shape the bank of the future. They bring fresh perspectives that help TD meet the evolving needs of its customers.
"I find great value in talking to students and learning how they see things," says Knox. "It also gives me an opportunity to explain to them how the digital world has transformed banking. They don't always understand how diverse a career in banking can be."
Through its summer co-op and associate graduate rotational programs, TD introduces students and recent graduates to the wide variety of opportunities that are available at the bank.
Stefanie Bodnar is currently in the third of four rotations in the associate program, as an Associate Business Systems Analyst at TD headquarters in downtown Toronto.
"It's a great learning experience for me," she says. "We try different areas of the bank, experiencing different points of view, so we can see what we find most interesting. It's on-the-job learning, living and breathing the role. After the program is done, we can apply for our dream job when it's available."
Bodnar started with TD six years ago, when she was 18, as a part-time Customer Service Representative at a branch in Windsor, Ont., while she worked towards a business degree and then completed an additional one-year degree in computer science at the University of Windsor. After that, she took a full-time position in the branch, and a year later was accepted into the associate program.
"The program brings real value to a young person, with the option to try something totally new, to learn and apply the new knowledge," she says. "It's meaningful work and I'm treated as an equal, which is a huge thing, especially for a new graduate."
TD has built a community of "the next best" in young talent, cultivating its young employees through exposure to leaders, a culture of networking and development, and a push for innovation. "It's our whole concept of the bank as offering very diverse work and a diverse, rich and meaningful career," says Knox.
The push for innovation includes what the bank calls an ecosystem of experimentation. "We want to get people more comfortable with experimentation - to try and sometimes fail in the pursuit of learning and innovation," Knox explains. "This is new to banking and it makes us more agile and nimble."
"The idea of experimentation is part of my comfort level in trying new things," adds Bodnar. "There are enough people supporting you that you can learn from any mistakes. I began at TD because it was always known as a very open, welcoming bank, and now the biggest reason I stay is the culture, which is so supportive.
"It's also consistent throughout the bank. Moving from the retail space to the corporate space, I've seen how consistent it is. Even senior leaders are very open and easy to talk to. I like being around so many intelligent, open-minded people. I've made great friendships at work and outside of work. And it's fun."
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 28, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why TD Bank Group was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2019):
- In partnership with Lime Connect Canada, TD manages a summer internship and scholarship program for third-year students with disabilities and piloted a recruiting program with Specialisterne Canada to identify talented neurodiverse candidates -- TD's workforce representation of individuals with disabilities exceeds labour market availability
- TD continues to work towards inclusion with recruitment and retention programs that address various intersections of identity, such as millennial women and growing up gay in a multicultural context
- Since 2005, TD has partnered with Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council's Mentoring Partnership, providing over 1,700 mentoring relationships since the project's inception -- and, working with ACCES Employment, designed a week-long course for professional women who are new to Canada called "Empowering Women"
"The impact of TD's Diversity and Inclusion initiatives on my career has been transformative. Previously, I felt unsure of my own value and skill-sets, and uncertain of how I could affect change in my business. Through participation with the Indigenous Circle @ TD I have had opportunities to connect with mentors, become inspired, build relationships, develop my leadership profile, and more importantly, I have come to know the value of my voice as an Indigenous person." Josh C., Anti-Money Laundering Supervisor & Chair of Greater-Ontario Indigenous ERG
TD creates an inclusive environment to benefit diverse employees
In March 2017, while Anthony Spezzano was in his fourth year of a bachelor's program in cognitive science at York University, he applied to several organizations, including TD Bank, for a full-time job following graduation. It's an anxious time for anyone, but Spezzano was particularly worried that he might have to settle for a position that wouldn't allow him to make full use of his strengths and skills, because he has autism.
"Neurodiversity can be an asset - for example, I'm very self-aware and focused," he says, "but the usual types of interviews are difficult for me." To overcome that obstacle, he worked with Specialisterne, a recruiting agency that helps people on the autism spectrum find meaningful employment.
"Through partnerships with organizations like Specialisterne, we ensure that we're accessing the widest talent pool and bringing unique perspectives to the table," says Kelley Cornish, TD Bank Group's Global Head of Diversity andInclusion. "We know that to build our capacity for innovation we need to bring together and engage all backgrounds, skill sets and mindsets."
In June 2017, Spezzano went through an interviewing process managed by Specialisterne for TD. "It was intricate and focused on capturing my aptitudes," he says. "I was given tasks to solve to assess how I would fit into different work roles. For the first time in an interview, I didn't feel overlooked. I felt TD was interested in me, not just itself."
In July, he was offered a position as an Analyst on the margin accounts team in the Capital Markets Risk Management Group, located at TD's head office in Toronto, and he has been "overjoyed" by his experience since then.
"TD was incredibly adaptable and accepting," he says. "It was a shock to me. Right off the bat, I was given a mentor, who later became my manager.
We broke down barriers and established a connection of trust, openness and acceptance."
Respecting and honouring differences is part of TD's DNA, says Cornish, "but we take it one step further. We believe it's important to embrace our shared experiences too. We've learned that diversity and inclusion enable each individual to achieve their full potential while helping us achieve our common mission of enriching the lives of our customers, colleagues and communities. This is about evolving our culture to be an organization where everyone has a seat at the table and feels valued for their contributions and for who they are."
TD fosters an inclusive culture through various initiatives, such as Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Councils in every business area; a growing network of more than 50 Employee Resource Groups focused on employee engagement, career development, mentoring and networking opportunities; and inclusive leadership training for all people managers that covers how to identify and address unconscious bias.
All TD employees and leaders are encouraged to share their own stories through face-to-face gatherings, online discussion forums and videos.
"The sharing reminds us of the benefits of human experience in growing the leaders of the future - more resilient and determined, more empathetic and patient," Cornish says. "A recent example of that open culture in action is when Anthony Spezzano shared his experiences as someone with a neurodiversity and inspired a number of colleagues to disclose their own invisible disabilities."
For his part, Spezzano welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the culture and the organization. "TD has given me an opportunity at a young age and the freedom to see what my potential is," he says. "I'm determined to make the most of it. I want to know what I can accomplish for the institution and the communities around me - where can I end up if I keep going like this?"
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 14, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why TD Bank Group was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2019):
- TD's longstanding TD Friends of the Environment Foundation has provided over $80-million to over 24,000 local environmental projects since 1990 -- employees are actively involved in numerous initiatives every year, including TD Tree Days, having planted over 300,000 trees since 2010
- Along with many green "firsts", from establishing a Chief Environment Officer back in 2008 to being the first bank to issue a green bond in 2014 (followed by a bigger issue in 2017), TD recently announced an incredible $100-billion investment by 2030 in the development of the low-carbon economy, including lending to companies and projects with low-carbon operations to supporting local environmental projects in communities across the country
TD grows green spaces for more livable cities
As urbanization continues to put pressure on Canada's cities and the people who live in them, TD Bank Group is working to grow and enhance green spaces as a way of making cities more sustainable, enjoyable places to live, work and play.
"We realize as a Top 10 North American bank and major employer that the future success of our business depends on the well-being of our customers and communities, as well as the long-term viability of the overall economy," says Andrea Barrack, TD's Global Head of Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship. "Today we exist predominantly in cities, so we have to ask, how can we help create more livable and resilient cities?
"Green spaces are critical for the environment, carbon reduction, reducing the risk of flooding, and for health and social wellbeing," Barrack continues. "When people live in towers, the ability to be outside really matters for a sense of community, exercise and reducing isolation. And we're not talking only about the biggest cities. Smaller centres are being urbanized too, and we need to make sure they work well."
To help create change in this area, TD recently announced its sponsorship of Evergreen's new national hub for city-building. The TD Future Cities Centre, located at Evergreen Brick Works in central Toronto, will be a world-leading, collaborative innovation and training centre for sharing and testing new ideas for more livable cities.
On the ground, the bank's flagship urban greening program, TD Tree Days, has been engaging employees, their families and communities since 2010 in planting trees across Canada and the United States. This initiative is contributing to TD's target of planting one million trees and shrubs across Canada by 2030.
Kate Fraser, an Investment Representative with TD Direct Investing in London, Ont., has been a keen participant in the program since 2016. "I've always been passionate about the environment," she says. "It's so important that we all get involved in greening the planet. I worked on TD Tree Days, but I wanted to do more so I also started planting trees with Reforest London, a group with similar goals."
Fraser is now a volunteer Tree Specialist with Reforest London and, as a result of her work, TD has donated $500 to the organization through its Volunteer Grant Program.
Fraser explains how she joined the bank in 2015: "I was waitressing while looking for a more permanent career and one day a customer told me I had outstanding service skills. She was a manager at the TD contact centre and said I should work there. I researched TD and loved all the environmental activities. Since I started, many new opportunities have come my way and I really appreciate the initiatives to create a more vibrant planet."
Vibrant Planet is the name of the environmental driver of TD's overarching corporate citizenship platform known as The Ready Commitment, which was launched in 2018 to help open doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow. As part of this, TD is targeting $1 billion towards community giving by 2030 in four areas the bank believes can help people feel more confident about their future: Financial Security, Connected Communities, Better Health, and Vibrant Planet.
"We refer to the four areas as interconnected drivers of change," says Barrack. "It's not a siloed approach - we're looking for things that cross over the different areas. We call it a platform because we want others to jump on board as well.
"We've set out an aspiration to tackle major issues. We want to be a catalyst, but we're humble about what we can do and know we'll have greater impact if we bring in other partners. We want to leverage all the tools we have through our business and philanthropy to engage customers, employees and governments."
At the grass-roots level in London, Fraser adds, "Tree planting is a positive action that influences everyone. Each tree is a visualization of prosperity - as the tree grows, so do the benefits that come with the tree for years to come, leaving a lasting influence on our city."