Desjardins Group employee volunteering in Haiti
Chosen as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers and Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers for 2013:
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors
(Oct 9, 2012)
Some of the reasons why Desjardins Group
was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013
- supports ongoing training and development throughout an employee's career with tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions, online and in-house training initiatives, and even financial bonuses (to $1,000) for the completion of certain professional accreditation
- supports new parents with maternity (to 95% of salary for 18 weeks) for new mothers and parental leave top-up payments (to 95% for 12 weeks) for new fathers and adoptive parents -- and offers an onsite daycare centre for head office employees returning to work
- supports alternative transportation through a car-pool sign-up system, provides showers and change rooms for its bicycle commuters, and offers its employees generous discounts on self-serve bike transit programs in Montréal and Toronto
- continues to expand across Canada and create employment opportunities with the acquisition of Calgary-based Western Financial Group and the expansion of the Nunavik Financial Services Cooperative across northern Québec
- is also recognized as one of the most generous private organizations in Canada by "Imagine Canada" -- redistributing an incredible 4.2% of its pre-tax earnings in the form of sponsorships, donations and scholarships
- helps employees plan for life after work with retirement planning assistance services and provides generous employer contributions to a defined benefit pension plan -- the credit union's health benefits program also extends to its retired employees
Desjardins Group / Mouvement des caisses Desjardins is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada, serving over 5.8 million members and clients, including over 400,000 businesses across Canada.
Desjardins offers a complete range of financial products and services for its members and specializes in wealth management, life and health insurance, property and casualty insurance, personal, business and institutional services. Established in 1900, Desjardins Group has grown to become of this country's largest employers as well as the sixth largest financial cooperative in the world. Today, the cooperative is recognized as one of the world's most stable financial institutions and recently acquired Alberta-based Western Financial Group, highlighting the Group's continuing expansion outside of Québec and across Canada.
Industry: Credit Unions.
Major Canadian hiring locations: Québec QC, Montréal QC, Toronto ON, Mississauga ON, Ottawa ON, Calgary AB, High River AB.
Revenues: $13,206 million.
Full-time at this location: 6,019.
Full-time employees in Canada: 37,790.
Full-time worldwide: 37,863.
New jobs created in Canada last year: 3,077.
Part-time employees in Canada: 6,774.
Workforce engaged on a contract basis: 10.8%.
Number of applications received at this location last year: 267,308.
Average age of all employees: 42.28.
Longest serving employee: 50.07 years.
Desjardins Group's physical workplace is rated as very good. Desjardins head office is located in beautiful Lévis, which is located just across the river from historic Québec. The head office is located on the highest point in the city surrounded by landscaped lawns, mature trees and offering great views of the surrounding cities and the St. Lawrence River. The head office also features reserved parking for carpooling employees, shower and changing facilities for those who bike to work, and even a daily shuttle service that runs between the head office and the Group's offices in Montréal. (The company is also in the midst of constructing a new LEED certified building in Lévis.) Inside, the head office features an employee lounge (with comfortable seating); onsite cafeteria (with healthy and special diet menus); an outdoor eating area and space for taking a break in the summer months; secure bicycle parking; free parking; reserved parking for car-pooling employees (with a guaranteed ride home policy), and Montréal and Toronto employees receive a 50% subsidy when using the BIXI public bike systems (Desjardins is also major supporter of this initiative sponsoring numerous stations in both cities).
Work Atmosphere & Communications
Desjardins Group's work atmosphere is rated as very good. On the job, employees enjoy business casual dress; casual dress daily; casual dress Fridays; can listen to music while working; organized social events. The cooperative has over 30 active social committees across the firm, with the oldest established in 1965. Every year at offices across the country, the various committees organize a variety of fun events for employees, including golf tournaments, winter and summer excursions, wine and cheese parties as well as regional employee Christmas parties. Company newsletter; corporate intranet site; email suggestion box.
Financial Benefits & Compensation
Desjardins Group's financial benefits are rated as above-average. To keep salaries competitive the company participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months. Individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months. In addition to ensuring competitive compensation rates, the cooperative offers signing bonuses for some employees; year-end bonuses for all employees; defined benefit pension with employer contributions (up to 10% of salary); new employee referral bonuses (to $1,500 for some positions); life & disability insurance; retirement planning assistance; phased-in retirement work options; subsidized auto and home insurance.
Health & Family-Friendly Benefits
Desjardins Group's health and family benefits are rated as exceptional. The cooperative's health plan is self-insured through Desjardins Financial Security. As part of the health plan, the employer pays 80% of the premiums. Employees who work 10 hours per week receive coverage. There is no waiting period before coverage begins. Family coverage is available on the health benefits plan. Retiree coverage is also available on the health plan, with no age limit. The basic plan includes routine dental; restorative dental; traditional medicine coverage; alternative medicine coverage; employee assistance (EAP) plan; healthclub subsidy (to $250 each year); medical equipment and supplies; massage therapy; travel insurance. Desjardins Group family-friendly benefits include: maternity top-up payments (to 95% of salary for 18 weeks); parental leave top-up for new fathers (to 95% of salary for 12 weeks); parental leave top-up for adoptive parents (to 95% of salary for 12 weeks); health benefits during maternity and parental leave; extended unpaid parental leave option (beyond the first year); onsite daycare centre; with 138 spaces; 33 childcare workers; and a 24 month waiting list for available spaces. Additional family-friendly benefits include: flexible working hours; 35-hour work week (with full pay); shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay); compressed work week; telecommuting; and job-sharing.
Vacation & Personal Time-Off
Desjardins Group's vacation and personal time-off are rated as average. New employees receive 3 weeks of vacation allowance after their first year. Vacation increases after 5 years on the job. Long-serving employees receive a maximum of 5 weeks of vacation each year. Employees can also apply for an unpaid leave of absence. Employees can also arrange to take a deferred pay leave of absence, from six months to one year in duration.
Desjardins Group's employee engagement program is rated as very good. Employees receive individual performance reviews every 4 months. Managers receive training in how to conduct effective performance reviews. Depending on their position, employees may receive generous performance recognition bonuses. Managers are also encouraged to be creative and tailoring recognition awards to suit the needs and interests of the individual employees. Desjardins Group also recognizes its long serving employees with cash bonuses and additional vacation time. Desjardins Group hires an outside consultant to conduct confidential employee satisfaction and engagement surveys. (These surveys are held every 12 months).
Training & Skills Development
Desjardins Group's training and skills development program is rated as exceptional. Employees receive tuition subsidies for courses related to their position. (Employer covers up to 100% of tuition). Employees may also receive tuition subsidies for courses unrelated to their current position. (Employer covers up to 50% of non-related tuition). Subsidies for professional accreditations; in-house apprenticeship and skilled trades programs; financial bonuses for course completions; career planning services; in-house training programs; online training programs; online employee skills inventory; new employee orientation program; formal management training program; financial bonuses for certain course completions (to $1,000).
Desjardins Group's community involvement program is rated as exceptional. Every year, the Group and its employees support numerous local, national and international charitable initiatives. Employees receive paid time off to volunteer with their favourite charitable organizations. Employees across the company are strong supports of the annual Centraide/United Way campaigns across the country -- with Desjardins Group being recognized through the charity's "Thanks a Million" award for the past twelve consecutive years. The cooperative and its employees donated over $2.8 million to the campaign last year alone. The Group has also been recognized by "Imagine Canada" as the country's most generous private organizations redistributing 4.2% of its pre-tax earnings in the form of sponsorships, donations and scholarships (this ratio greatly exceeds the program's recommended 1% threshold). Through the company's longstanding "Fondation Desjardins" the company has been busy supporting the "next generation" for the past four decades, granting nearly $12 million to over 9,300 students from across the province since the foundation's establishment. In addition to generous corporate donations, employees volunteer and raise funds for numerous other organizations every year, including the Montréal Heart Institute Foundation, Canadian Red Cross and Héma Québec, Sainte Justine University Hospital Centre, and the Foundation Amand-Frappier, to name a few.
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