Alberta’s Best Workplaces: Best Overall Workplace (More than 750 Employees)
All Weather Windows: for building a forty nation workforce
by Alberta Venture Staff
Best Overall Workplace, More Than 750 Employees
All Weather Windows
Head office: Edmonton
CEO: Gord Wiebe
Number of Alberta employees: 834
Photograph Ryan Girard
The manufacturing line at All Weather Windows is in a massive, 184,000-square-foot building. As many as 340 people are on the floor at a time, operating hundreds of machines and building thousands of windows and doors.
The large structure and the bustling atmosphere should come as no surprise. All Weather is, after all, the largest privately owned manufacturer in Canada. Not only does its workforce include the workers on the floor, but it also has head office staff, a comprehensive shipping department, long-haul drivers and installers. And it has gotten to this prodigious state, says president and COO Richard Scott, by putting the emphasis on the employee. “We have a lot fun here,” he says. “I think everybody looks after everybody else.”
Which is remarkable when you consider that the employees come from more than 40 countries.
Scott says regular and clear communication is important to the company. “We have a learning culture here,” he says, “and we say that because we want to have all of our employees engaged.” The company has an open door policy because one of the best ways to keep employees engaged is to listen to them when they have suggestions for new products or suggestions to improve operating situations. Scott and other executives make frequent trips to the manufacturing floor to ensure that they’re available to the employees. “There is definitely a lot of caring going on in the organization,” Scott says. “We make sure we’re caring for our customers and for each other.”
Alberta Blue Cross, Edmonton
All full-time employees are eligible for an annual educational reimbursement of $4,000, and ABC encourages employees to build a “Career Blueprint,” in which they identify motivators, conduct a self-assessment and find out about positions with the company that might fit their skill set.
Pembina Pipeline, Calgary
Also a finalist in the Benefits, Perks & Incentives category, Pembina’s employees worked more than two million hours in 2013 and suffered only two days of lost injury time in its field offices and one day from third party contractors.
Syncrude Canada, Fort McMurray
A three-time finalist this year (Aboriginal Employees; Volunteerism & Community Service), Syncrude has a retention program for its Fort McMurray-based employees that pays 20 per cent of their salary up to $60,000 if they stay with the company for three years.