Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 12, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why VelocityEHS Canada, Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2018):
- VelocityEHS Canada focuses its charitable efforts on initiatives for youth, hunger and the environment -- employees are also encouraged to give back with a paid day off to volunteer and matching charitable donations (up to $500)
- VelocityEHS Canada helps employees balance work and their personal lives with a variety of alternative work options, including flexible hours, compressed work weeks and a telecommuting option -- the head office also features telecommuting workstations
Shout-outs for going above and beyond at VelocityEHS
Sarah Zych is dedicated to meeting clients' needs. As Customer On-boarding Manager for VelocityEHS Canada in Oakville, Ont., she helps mid-market customers with the set-up, training and overall implementation of the software products they buy from her company. The VelocityEHS solutions enable customers to reach their environmental, health, safety and sustainability goals faster.
"Juggling the number of customers can be challenging, especially when dealing with a variety of personalities and different objectives," says Zych. "Time zones can be challenging, too, as we have customers in Europe and Australia, not just Canada and the U.S. On a weekly average, we are talking to eight to 10 customers a day."
VelocityEHS currently has 87 employees in Canada, up from 60 last year at this time. "The workplace culture here is unique in that everyone, regardless of what job they are doing or function they have, is considered important to the success of the company," says Nikki Buchan, HR Manager. "No one group or person is more important than any other. We are all working toward a common goal."
The company has recently redefined its values. These are: Champion customer success; Build open and honest relationships; Choose simple; Be humble; and Make a difference.
Employees who reflect those values receive peer-to-peer recognition. "If someone did something to help you out that goes above and beyond -- say they stayed late to help you accomplish something -- you send a shout-out to them," says Buchan. "It's a note saying this person helped me in this way."
Once a month, the company holds a High Five breakfast, where staff who have received shout-outs spin a virtual wheel on the wall. Gift cards are given as prizes, at the platinum, gold and silver levels. Zych has won two platinum awards, as well as several silver ones, in her two years at VelocityEHS.
For new employees, the company runs a two-week on-boarding program called AccelerateU, which features in-depth instruction by multiple teachers. After completing the training, the new hires are certified not only on their product knowledge but on their awareness of the VelocityEHS values. "It's the best on-boarding training I've ever received," says Zych.
All employees can attend regular Lunch & Learns and access online training known as Skillsoft, which covers workplace issues such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and harassment. Zych found it useful to take a half-day seminar on Emotional Intelligence.
"We send employees to conferences and reimburse their tuition costs if they take courses related to their role or to a role they wish to move into," says Buchan. "Project management courses are popular, as are IT-related courses."
VelocityEHS also supports the local community. The company gives employees one paid volunteer day annually and matches staff's charitable donations up to $500. Among the beneficiaries are the Canadian Cancer Society, the United Way and the Humane Society. Up to 20 employees at a time volunteer at Burlington's Food for Life Food Bank. Zych and other employees have used their volunteer days to participate in tree-planting at Oakville parks. "I don't have a green thumb," she says, "but I did okay."
The company's benefits package includes matching RRSP contributions and covering up to $2,000 annually in paramedical services, such as physiotherapists and chiropractors.
Sixty percent of its managers are women, so VelocityEHS takes a keen interest in promoting work-life balance. "If people need to work from home a few days a week, that's fine," says Buchan. "If it makes sense for staff to come in earlier and leave earlier due to traffic or responsibilities with children, they have the freedom to do that. We don't view it as a privilege."