SaskTel employees at charity event
Chosen as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers, Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 and Saskatchewan's Top Employers for 2013:
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors
(Oct 9, 2012)
Some of the reasons why SaskTel
was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013
- one of the country's leading corporate citizens that provides an instructive example for others -- employees and retirees donate tens of thousands of volunteer hours every year in support of community projects across the province
- a progressive employer that created an Aboriginal recruitment strategy back in 2009 that includes partnerships with First Nations Bands, Tribal Councils and Aboriginal employment agencies
- supports ongoing employee development through subsidies for tuition (to $2,500) and professional accreditation, formal mentoring program and a variety of in-house and online training programs
- supports employees with older children through an academic scholarship program available to their children pursuing post-secondary education (to $3,000 per child)
- encourages employees to stay in-shape with free membership to an onsite fitness facility that includes state-of-the-art fitness equipment and instructor-led classes, from body blast to yoga to low-impact aerobics
- located in downtown Regina, head office employees can easily walk to a variety of restaurants, including a Tim Hortons and a Second Cup, and shops as well as an outdoor farmer's market, festivals and live entertainment throughout the summer months in nearby Victoria Park
- helps employees prepare for life after work with retirement planning assistance services and generous contributions to a defined contribution pension plan
SaskTel provides a complete range of communications services to residential and business customers.
As a provincial Crown Corporation the company has been in the business of delivering leading-edge communications services across Saskatchewan for a century. Today, SaskTel provides a complete range of communications products and services including voice, data, Internet, entertainment, security monitoring, messaging, cellular, wireless data and directory services. In addition to its core businesses at home, SaskTel International offers software solutions and project consulting in countries around the world.
Industry: Wired Telecommunications Carriers.
Major Canadian hiring locations: Regina SK, Saskatoon SK, Moose Jaw SK, Swift Current SK, Yorkton SK, Weyburn SK, Estevan SK, Prince Albert SK, North Battleford SK.
Revenues: $1,125 million.
Full-time employees in Canada: 3,131.
Part-time employees in Canada: 629.
Workforce engaged on a contract basis: 5.7%.
Number of applications received at this location last year: 11,000.
Average age of all employees: 45.
Longest serving employee: 43 years.
SaskTel's physical workplace is rated as above-average. Across the company, SaskTel employees work in a variety of environments, including traditional offices, call centres and switching stations. Installation and repair personnel work at customer sites throughout the province. Located in downtown Regina, SaskTel's head office is within easy walking distance to restaurants and the city's central Victoria Park, which offers live entertainment, a farmer's market and quiet places to enjoy lunch breaks during the summer months . Inside, the head office features an onsite fitness facility (with free memberships, stationary bikes, stairmasters, rowing machines, weights, cross-trainer, medical department with staff nurse, instructor-led fitness classes, shower facilities); in-house auditorium; employee lounge (which is located in the cafeteria and offers comfortable seating, television as well as self-serve kitchen area); onsite cafeteria (with subsidized meals, special diet and healthy menu items); secure bicycle parking; subsidized car parking; nearby outdoor farmers' market and live entertainment in the summer; variety of restaurants within walking distance.
Work Atmosphere & Communications
SaskTel's work atmosphere is rated as exceptional. Head office employees at SaskTel enjoy business casual dress; casual dress Fridays; employee sports teams; organized social events. Individual departments often organize their own events to recognize excellent job performance. The company's social committee also organizes a variety of fun events every year, including curling, hockey, softball and golf tournaments. SaskTel employees also have their own choir that travels to shopping malls and seniors' residences during the Christmas holiday season. Throughout the year, the company also hosts a number of events, including a retirement banquet and a special banquet to honour employees who have 25 years of service with the company. With employees located across the province, SaskTel is a leader in utilizing its communications network to ensure employees are kept up-to-date about company news, events, goals and objectives. Throughout the year, SaskTel captures employee feedback and keeps employees up-to-date through email updates; monthly online video reports from the President and CEO (with an online forum for asking direct questions); quarterly conference calls for managers; an annual leadership conference; company newsletter; corporate intranet site; email suggestion box.
Financial Benefits & Compensation
SaskTel's financial benefits are rated as very good. To keep salaries competitive the company participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months. (Union employees receive salary increases in accordance with their collective agreements.) SaskTel also provides signing bonuses for some employees; year-end bonuses for some employees; defined contribution pension plan with employer contributions (up to 7% of salary); new employee referral bonuses (to $250 for some positions); life & disability insurance; subsidized home Internet access; retirement planning assistance; discounted company products (10% discount at company stores).
Health & Family-Friendly Benefits
SaskTel's health and family benefits are rated as very good. The company's health benefits plan is managed by Great-West Life. As part of the health plan, the employer pays 100% of the premiums. Employees who work 13 hours per week receive coverage. The maximum waiting period for new employees is 180 days. Family coverage is available on the health benefits plan. The basic plan includes routine dental; restorative dental; orthodontics; eyecare ($400 every 2 years); traditional medicine coverage; alternative medicine coverage; medical equipment and supplies; physiotherapy; massage therapy; travel insurance. The company's family friendly benefits include; maternity top-up payments (to 95% of salary for 17 weeks); health benefits during maternity and parental leave; extended unpaid parental leave option (beyond the first year); flexible working hours; 35-hour work week (with full pay); telecommuting; earned days off (EDO) program.
Vacation & Personal Time-Off
SaskTel'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 8 years on the job. Long-serving employees receive a maximum of 6 weeks of vacation each year. Employees receive 12 paid sick days every year. Employees can schedule 5 personal days off each year, as needed. Employees can also apply for an unpaid leave of absence. The amount of paid sick days depends upon employee group. (Management employees recieve 13 paid personal leave days each year.).
SaskTel's employee engagement program is rated as exceptional. Employees receive individual performance reviews every 12 months. Informal progress reviews are also held during the year. 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. As part of the review process, employees solicit feedback from their peers, evaluate their own performance and receive coaching from managers throughout the year. To complement this process, SaskTel has developed an intranet tool that guides employees through the self-assessment process so they can develop their own career action plans. In some departments, employees have the opportunity to provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance. SaskTel recognizes exceptional performance through a traditional performance based awards program, with management bonuses based on both corporate and individual job performance and a separate program for its top performing sales employees. The company manages a peer recognition program for all employees (called the Alex Awards) that lets employees nominate colleagues for recognition awards through the company's intranet site. SaskTel also hosts an annual employee recognition banquet to celebrate long-serving employees, a retirement banquet and various departmental recognition awards celebrations. SaskTel sponsors its own in-house employee satisfaction survey. (Surveys are conducted every 12 months); SaskTel hires an outside consultant to conduct confidential employee satisfaction and engagement surveys. (These surveys are held every 12 months).
Training & Skills Development
SaskTel's training and skills development program is rated as exceptional. Employees receive tuition subsidies for courses related to their position. (Employer pays up to $2,500 in subsidies). Employees may also receive tuition subsidies for courses unrelated to their current position. (Employer pays up to $2,500 in tuition subsidies). In addition to tuition subsidies, SaskTel provides subsidies for professional accreditations; formal mentoring program; career planning services; in-house training programs; online training programs; online employee skills inventory; new employee orientation program; formal management training program.
SaskTel's community involvement program is rated as exceptional. SaskTel actively supports an incredible variety of local, national and international charitable initiatives. Employees take part in the selection of charitable groups assisted each year. Employees receive paid time off to volunteer with their favourite charitable organizations. Through its corporate donations program, SaskTel donated an incredible $2.4 million to over 930 non-profit and charitable organizations across the province last year. The company's formal corporate donations program also provides matching donations (to 50%) to an employee-led benevolent fund (called SaskTel Telcare). Every year, the company and its employees raise funds and volunteer with a variety of community and charitable initiatives, including Kidsport Saskatchewan, the United Way, and the Alzheimer Association of Saskatchewan, to name a few. One of the SaskTel's most enduring community programs is the "SaskTel Pioneers" club that includes current and retired employees. Every year, the unique community service club donates tens of thousands of volunteer hours and raises needed money (over $144,000 last year) for community projects across the province.
SaskTel also works closely with educational institutions, community initiatives and First Nations communities across the province to promote continuing education and job training. As a result of its many initiatives, the company has hired hundreds of summer students with nearly half being Aboriginal, visible minority and disabled students. SaskTel also awards 8 post-secondary scholarships ($3,000 each) annually and summer job placement to students pursuing careers in the telecommunications sector. SaskTel is also a strong supporter of Aboriginal organizations and initiatives across the province, including the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, the Saskatchewan First Nations Winter Games, and the SaskTel Aboriginal Youth Awards of Excellence (in partnership with the Wicihitowin Foundation), to name a few. 2.50.
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