SAS Institute Canada employees in training
Chosen as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers and Greater Toronto's Top Employers for 2013:
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors
(Oct 9, 2012)
Some of the reasons why SAS Canada
was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013
- on the job, employees enjoy full breakfasts (free breakfasts on Friday), a variety of healthy snacks throughout the day, a fresh fruit basket delivered to each floor every Monday and M&Ms on Wednesdays -- as well as an incredible rooftop patio complete with comfortable seating, barbecue and great city views
- supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments (to 100% of salary for 16 weeks) along with extended health coverage during their leave
- encourages ongoing employee development through tuition subsidies for job-related courses, a range of in-house and online training programs, formal mentoring and subsidies for professional accreditation
- unique custom designed head office building that is one of the city's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified structures and features a variety of onsite amenities including a fully-equipped fitness facility (with free membership), employee lounge and quiet room for rest, reflection and religious observance -- and recently partnered with the Art Gallery of Ontario to lease original artwork for display in the building's main lobby- maintains an employee-led "Sustainability Committee" to oversee its many in-house environmental programs -- the committee consists of ten employees representing each of the major business units and regions across the country
- maintains an busy social calender for employees throughout the year, including it's annual company-wide "Kick-Off" meeting (complete with an evening social and friendly hockey tournament), departmental team building events (from boat cruises to winery tours to go-karting), and a summer picnic for employees and their families
- is also an active member of the community, offering employees up to four volunteer days off to work with their favourite charities and works closely with a local elementary school in support of improving literacy, numeracy and the arts, as well as hosting winter clothing and skate drives -- and even follows-up with skating lessons for students
SAS Institute (Canada) Inc. develops business analysis software for clients in the automotive, financial, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications, education and government sectors.
The company's software helps customers integrate data from across their organizations to assist in making more accurate and informed decisions. Across the country, SAS software is operating behind the scenes supporting numerous everyday activities, from helping cities manage roadway repairs to optimizing food deliveries for restaurant chains to helping wireless telecommunications companies tailor their services for individual customers. Operating in Canada since 1986, SAS Canada is a subsidiary of Cary, North Carolina-based SAS Institute Incorporated. Founded in 1976, the parent company is the world's largest privately-held software company with software in use in over 100 countries.
Industry: Custom Computer Programming Services.
Major Canadian hiring locations: Toronto ON, Ottawa ON, Montréal QC, Calgary AB.
Revenues: $127 million.
Parent company: SAS Institute Incorporated (Cary, North Carolina).
Full-time at this location: 174.
Full-time employees in Canada: 269.
Full-time worldwide: 12,767.
New jobs created in Canada last year: 15.
Part-time employees in Canada: 16.
Workforce engaged on a contract basis: 2.5%.
Number of applications received at this location last year: 4,500.
Average age of all employees: 42.5.
Longest serving employee: 25 years.
SAS Canada's physical workplace is rated as exceptional. SAS Institute's head office is located just east of the city's downtown business district and within walking distance to the unique and ongoing restoration and redevelopment of the historic distillery district neighbourhood. The company's new $30 million head office is one of Canada's first office buildings to achieve the building industry's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. The 110,000 square foot building was constructed using 55% recycled building materials, uses 30% less energy than a conventional structure and even captures and recycles rainwater. Since the building opened over five years ago the building's energy saving features has helped the company cut its carbon-dioxide emissions by over 20,300 tonnes -- or the equivalent of removing over 3,000 cars from the road or planting over 100,000 trees. Located on an existing streetcar line, the building features an open eighth-floor covered terrace overlooking King Street and the surrounding neighbourhood. Designed with feedback from employees, the new head office also features an onsite fitness facility (with free memberships, treadmills, stationary bikes, weights, stairmasters, rowing machines, flat-screen television, music system, shower facilities, and instructor-led fitness classes such as spinning); employee lounge (with comfortable seating, television, reading materials, puzzles); free hot and cold beverages; fully stocked kitchen areas on every floor; free snacks (including fresh fruit, soup, full breakfasts, cookies, granola bars, peanuts, raisins and M&Ms on Wednesdays); rooftop eating area with barbeque and great city views; personal closet and individual temperature controls at each workstation; nap room; religious observance room; secure bicycle parking; free parking; streetcar access and company bus from Union Station; onsite car wash.
Work Atmosphere & Communications
SAS Canada's work atmosphere is rated as exceptional. On the job, employees enjoy business casual dress; casual dress Fridays; can listen to music while working; employee sports teams; organized social events. The social committee organizes several fun events each year, including a Christmas party with gifts from Santa for employees' children, whitewater rafting, hiking and biking, a family day at a nearby theme park, summer barbeques on the rooftop terrace and random celebrations throughout the year. Each January, employees from across Canada gather in Toronto for the company's unique annual meeting (called Kick-Off), which last year is followed by an evening social and even a friendly game of hockey between head office and regional office employees.
Employee also participate in a number of fundraising events every year, including the SAS Rush Hour Relay Race, the SAS Charity Golf Tournament, and participation in the CIBC Run for the Cure. In a unique event the company recently hosted a benefit concert for the United Way that featured the Barenaked Ladies. The company even has its own in-house band (called "SASquatch") who play at company events and charity fundraisers. In addition to their busy social calendar, SAS Institute captures employee feedback and helps keep employee up-to-date through a company newsletter; corporate intranet site; traditional suggestion box; email suggestion box; exit interviews with departing employees.
Financial Benefits & Compensation
SAS Canada's financial benefits are rated as 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 competitive compensation, SAS Institute provides profit-sharing plan for all employees; signing bonuses for some employees; year-end bonuses for all employees; generous year-end bonuses (to $70,000), depending on the position; new employee referral bonuses (to $8,000 for some positions); life & disability insurance; subsidized home Internet access; retirement planning assistance; phased-in retirement work options; subsidized home and auto insurance; low-interest home loans; and discounted auto lease rates.
Health & Family-Friendly Benefits
SAS Canada's health and family benefits are rated as very good. SAS Institute's health plan is managed by Sun Life of Canada. As part of the health plan, the employer pays 100% of the premiums. Employees who work 20 hours per week receive coverage. The maximum waiting period for new employees is 30 days. Retiree coverage is also available on the health plan, with no age limit. The basic plan includes routine dental; restorative dental; orthodontics; eyecare ($300 every 2 years); traditional medicine coverage; alternative medicine coverage; employee assistance (EAP) plan; healthclub subsidy (to $1,100 each year); medical equipment and supplies; massage therapy; homecare; travel insurance. (Based upon years of service and age, retirees receive a $2,000 credit each year to a lifetime maximum of $50,000.). As part of their health plan, employees also receive a wellness allowance (to $1,100 every year) that can be used for a variety of wellness initiatives, including gym memberships and even the purchase of home fitness equipment. SAS Institute's family-friendly benefits include: maternity top-up payments (to 100% of salary for 16 weeks); parental leave top-up for adoptive parents (to 100% of salary for 16 weeks); health benefits during maternity and parental leave; extended unpaid parental leave option (beyond the first year). Additional family friendly benefits include: flexible working hours; 35-hour work week (with full pay); shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay); telecommuting; reduced summer hours program; free network software and subsidized home hi-speed internet service (to 50%) for telecommuting employees. (The duration of the company's compassionate top-up leave benefit is determined on a case-by-case basis).
Vacation & Personal Time-Off
SAS Canada's vacation and personal time-off are rated as very good. 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 4 weeks of vacation each year. During the Christmas to New Year's holiday break, employees receive an additional 3 days off. Employees receive 10 paid sick days every year. Employees can schedule 1 personal day off each year, as needed.
SAS Canada's employee engagement program is rated as above-average. Employees receive individual performance reviews every 6 months. Managers receive training in how to conduct effective performance reviews. Performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work. As part of the review process employees can provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance. Exit interviews are provided for departing employees. In addition to the formal reviews, employees and managers are encouraged to view the review process as an ongoing initiative with managers and employees communicating as needed on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Performance excellence is recognized with gift certificates, family box seat concert passes at the Air Canada Centre, Toronto FC soccer tickets, Toronto Maple Leaf hockey tickets, Toronto Raptors basketball tickets, restaurant dinners and rewards points. The company publicly recognizes its top performing employees through an awards celebration at the annual "Kick-Off" event -- with winning employees receiving a bonus cheque (amounts vary with award) and a special crystal piece to accompany the recognition from their colleagues. SAS also celebrates is long-serving employees with monetized gift certificates, from $250 to $1,000, depending on length of service. SAS Canada hires an outside consultant to conduct confidential employee satisfaction and engagement surveys. (These surveys are held every 12 months).
Training & Skills Development
SAS Canada's training and skills development program is rated as above-average. Employees receive tuition subsidies for courses related to their position. (Employer covers up to 100% of tuition). The company also provides subsidies for professional accreditations; formal mentoring program; in-house training programs; online training programs; online employee skills inventory; new employee orientation program; formal management training program. SAS operates internal training centres across Canada and the United States with each employee allotted a yearly training allowance, based on position and title.
SAS Canada's community involvement program is rated as exceptional. SAS Institute actively supports a variety of local, national and international charitable initiatives. Employees take part in the selection of charitable groups assisted each year. As part of this program, employees receive 4 paid days off to volunteer. Last year, employees donated over 500 hours volunteering with charitable projects. Every year the company and its employees support a variety of charitable initiatives, including Free the Children, Prostate Cancer Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundaton, YMCA, a karaoke fundraiser and the Ontario SPCA, to name only a few.
In a couple of unique local initiatives near the head office, SAS Institute has invested $45,000 towards the restoration of the neighbourhood David Crombie Park and Parliament Field municipal parks. In another local initiative, the company and employee volunteers are working closely with a local elementary school in support of improving literacy, numeracy, the arts, as well as student safety initiative and winter clothing drives. Employees have also conducted a skate drive and a learn to skate program to help outfit and teach kids from the neighbourhood how to skate and enjoy a favourite winter pastime.
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