Alberta’s Best Workplaces: Benefits, Perks And Incentives
Shahauna Siddiqui and BluEra win for offering unlimited vacation and more
by Alberta Venture Staff
Best Workplace For Benefits, Perks And Incentives
Head office: Calgary
Senior executive: Shahauna Siddiqui
Number of Alberta employees: 14
Hey you, worker with your puppy playing in your office: why not take a half-year sabbatical to pursue your passions? Few workplaces would contemplate such an exchange. Indeed, traditional orthodoxy says giving workers too much freedom means lost productivity. But BluEra, a Calgary human resources company in the business of building better workplaces, is not like most workplaces. Its perks and incentives are like a big, trusting kiss from the Goddess of HR.
Think of BluEra’s approach as a balance. There are the aforementioned sabbaticals and bring-your-dog-to-work Fridays, the fitness perks that see weekly boot camp classes offered, the monthly Monday team breakfasts and fully stocked kitchen that keep employees fed, the cash bonuses given for Christmas and birthdays, and the donation-matching for volunteering on company time. But there is also flexibility and trust. At BluEra, employees work from home if they like. Heck, they work every other day if they like. And, as of 2014, they can take as much time away from work as they need thanks to the new policy of unlimited vacation, which essentially means untracked work time.
The balance is a workplace built around the principals of the results-oriented-work-environment (ROWE), where what’s most important is the work itself, not the hours a worker keeps or the lifestyle that fuels them as individuals. The result is a workplace that feels, as BluEra’s Julie Kemp says, empowering. “If there is a day when I feel it is important to attend an event at my child’s school, or help out a family member, I can do that,” she says.
“No questions asked, and no time tracked. In return, I work hard every day to deliver – for our clients and ultimately for the success of BluEra.”
Bonavista Energy, Calgary
All Bonavista employees participate in the company’s long-term incentive programs, receiving stock options or restricted share awards upon hire and at the beginning of each year.
Northern Mat & Bridge, Grande Prairie
Also a finalist in the Health & Safety category, Northern Mat has a semi-annual profit-sharing program, an RRSP matching plan, and it gives a Thanksgiving turkey to every employee (typically free range from the local butcher shop).
Pembina Pipeline, Calgary
Also a finalist in the Best Overall, More than 750 Employees category, Pembina’s employees are on the benefit plan from day one, pay no premiums or deductibles, and dependants can be up to 22 if they’re not financially independent, or 26 if they’re a registered student.