Algonquin has been named one of the top employers in the National Capital Region by Canada’s Top 100 Employers.
The announcement was made in a special insert in the Ottawa Citizen on Jan. 31.
Canada’s Top 100 Employers is “a national competition to determine which employers lead their industries in offering exceptional workplaces for their employee,” according to their website. The organization names 100 winners on a national level, as well as 100 in 18 different sub-regions and categories, of which the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area is one.
The award marks the fifth consecutive year that Algonquin has been recognized. Canada’s Top 100 Employers lists some of the reasons for the designation as providing “exceptional family-friendly benefits, including a full year of paid leave for mothers,” creating “a leadership development program for women in order to empower and better prepare female employees for future leadership opportunities” and being “an environmentally conscious employer.”
Cathy Frederick, vice-president of human resources at Algonquin, believes that employees’ commitment to making a difference is another reason why the college is such a unique workplace.
“I think that people feel a purpose to the work they do and that they can actually connect and see students here, and that they’re contributing to that education, that experience,” said Frederick. “So right away, you get a feeling of gratification and purpose. You say, ‘I want to work there. I know my contribution will make a difference.'”
Frederick believes another reason for why employees enjoy working at Algonquin is the professional opportunities it affords them.
“People also speak to the investment the organization makes in terms of their own professional development, in that we have the Learning Centre, we have a leadership program, we have access to courses here,” she said, adding that employees’ dependants also have access to certain benefits.
The National Capital Region is a very large demographic with thousands of employers vying for recognition as one of the region’s leading candidates.
Frederick said Algonquin’s reputation speaks for itself.
“I think we do have a good reputation as an interesting place to work. We talk about getting 20,000 applications a year, so there’s a lot of people interested,” she said. “I think the fact that we are open about our opportunities, too, speaks to that transparency as an organization. We post all our opportunities.”
No organization is perfect, and in order to maintain their status as a top employer in the region going forward, Frederick acknowledged that there are some things Algonquin is working to improve upon, for which they’ve been recognized.
“There are areas that we are focusing on and I think we’re getting some recognition for it and you hear some people talk about that, and that is what we do in terms of supporting people bringing their whole selves to work, that inclusivity,” said Frederick. “We’re doing a lot of work around accessible buildings, accessible policies, wellness, both physical and mental.”
Algonquin will inevitably look to be recognized in 2019, for what would be a sixth consecutive year.