Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 19, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why WinSport was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2019):
- WinSport's unique head office is the former site of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, offering views of legacy assets such as a bobsleigh track and ski jump towers -- additionally, WinSport organizes a variety of physical activities during the lunch hour including shinny, fitness classes, skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking
- Along with 3 weeks of starting vacation allowance, WinSport offers flexible hours and paid personal days to help employees balance work and their personal lives
- WinSport recently hosted its first annual service awards and provides the Better than Yesterday Bucks recognition platform for managers to offer quick thanks to employees who live the company's values (recognition includes $5 vouchers for WinSport programs, food, beverage or retail)
WinSport brings its winning ways to the workplace
When you're surrounded by people learning new skills every day, you can't help but be inspired yourself. At WinSport, a not-for-profit community-based organization that owns and operates Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, that spirit of learning and winning is at the heart of the culture.
"Because you are interacting with people who are trying new things in winter sports, that does influence us," says Amber Baker, team and culture advisor. "Mostly they're doing something exciting and their energy is contagious. I'm trying things that I've never tried before."
For Baker, trying new things involved softball, a sport that terrified her until she did it for fun with her colleagues, as well as new challenges in her career path. Baker joined WinSport part-time 10 years ago, working in guest services while she was still a student, but stayed for the numerous opportunities to take on new positions - from running activity centres to events to her current position with human resources.
"I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, so being able to try out all these different things really helped point me in the direction I wanted to go," says Baker. "You don't have to be scared of failure because you can learn from that, whether it's sport or part of your job. There's so much learning opportunity here. It's a supportive environment that way."
President and CEO Barry Heck believes the organization's most valuable resource is its people, so he's a big supporter of professional development at all levels for their young workforce.
"I'm always looking for ways to effectively provide training to as broad a base of our employees as we can," says Heck. "We've got a lot of moving parts here, which is a tremendous advantage for people looking to pursue different areas of interest. That's something we encourage."
While sport is what WinSport does, with a mission to inspire and activate human potential, Heck says that not only applies to guests and athletes, but to employees as well. For example, WinSport works collaboratively with the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary and has been able to offer high-level management training to a broad cross-section of staff, including some who wouldn't ordinarily receive it.
"I love the energy and passion these team members bring," says Heck. "Nothing gives me more satisfaction than seeing young people evolve in their career and move on up in the organization."