Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2024):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 4, 2023)
Here are some of the reasons why AIG Insurance Company of Canada was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2024):
- AIG Insurance Company of Canada offers parents-to-be coverage for fertility drugs if needed (to $10,000) and provides new mothers with 100 per cent of salary for up to 15 weeks and new fathers and adoptive parents with 100 per cent of salary for three weeks -- and created the Parents@Work program along with a dedicated welcome back package to help new parents transition back to work
- AIG Insurance Company of Canada manages a unique paid time off program that provides flexibility for employees to take time off for vacation, illness or personal matters with 26 annual paid days off to start (and employees can carry forward a maximum of 10 unused days to the following year) -- employees also receive 17 or more company-paid days off (increased from seven days) to observe federal holidays and special pre-holidays, in addition to paid time off
- AIG Insurance Company of Canada helps employees plan securely with a defined contribution pension plan, as well as an additional savings plan that employees can contribute to with a 100 per cent company match -- additionally, all investment management fees are covered by the company, helping employees save money during the course of their career
AIG Canada balances work, life and community
Employees at AIG Insurance Company of Canada (AIG Canada) already benefited from very generous paid time off provisions; this past year, it got even better.
The existing policy gave even new graduates at AIG Canada 26 annual paid days off which they could use for vacation, illness or personal matters. Now, they have seven more paid days off, immediately preceding statutory holidays.
Along with their global colleagues, AIG Canada employees are also given an annual health and wellness day off, where they are encouraged to take part in activities that enhance their physical and mental health.
All of these initiatives are aimed at providing employees with a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives and part of AIG’s total rewards philosophy.
“Careers in our industry can be pretty intense and people spend quite a bit of time focusing on their work,” says Pete Walker, president and CEO of AIG Canada. “We want to make sure people have enough time to spend with their families and enjoying their personal lives.”
Walker adds that work-life balance is a particular priority for new and younger recruits when they are looking at potential employers. It also helps foster a sense of loyalty and commitment from all concerned.
“To be a high-performing company, you need to be able to attract the best people and also retain them,” says Walker. “I think part of the reason we have a lot of longevity in our workforce is the emphasis we place on work-life balance.”
It’s a way of doing business that Karlo Villanueva, who leads AIG Canada’s Toronto Region distribution team, finds very appealing.
“We all have tough weeks at work and sometimes it takes even more than a three-day weekend to fully wind down,” says Villanueva. “So now, with these extra days, we really have the chance to rest, recharge and get that separation we sometimes need from work.”
Villanueva agrees that it is also a smart strategy for attracting and retaining the best and brightest.
“A healthy workforce is an effective workforce,” he says. “It’s in any company’s interest to make sure their employees stay healthy and happy, and I think AIG does a great job of that.”
Another way AIG Canada engages employees is through community outreach and volunteerism. That includes matching, two-for-one, every dollar employees donate to a registered charity of their choice.
“The work we do in the community is very much defined by our employees telling us what they are passionate about,” says Walker. “It’s a grassroots effort that helps create a sense of belonging and engagement within the organization.”
For example, a recent tree-planting event organized by AIG Canada saw a third of its staff taking part to plant over 900 trees.
Walker, who became CEO in 2023, says that understanding and supporting the value of community outreach has been a major focus for him during his first months on the job.
“I really do think it makes for more holistic employees and drives greater collaboration,” he says. “The experiences people have volunteering and supporting their communities are something they bring back to our organization.”
That’s certainly been the case for Villanueva, who took part in the tree-planting campaign and also recently spent a work day volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.
“AIG is a large organization and sometimes we can just get caught up in our own little bubble,” he says. “These outreach events are a perfect opportunity to connect with our colleagues, while also making a difference in our communities.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2024):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 22, 2024)
Here are some of the reasons why AIG Insurance Company of Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2024):
- AIG Insurance Company of Canada offers an early career analyst program for recent graduates and young employees who are still new to the insurance industry -- the two-year program is completed mostly online through the Enterprise Core Curriculum and is supplemented by four in‐person encounters throughout, ongoing assessments, support, coaching, formalized mentoring and structured managerial support
- AIG Insurance Company of Canada's early career analyst program also lends support to new graduates in their transition from school to career through the First 100 Days initiative, which concludes with the multi-month Horizon Challenge, a learning experience focused on developing innovative solutions for strategic challenges the organization currently faces
- AIG Insurance Company of Canada also welcomes students to the organization through a 10-week summer intern program -- the internship is a primary source for campus hires into the full-time early career analyst program
AIG embraces the priorities of young employees
While still a university student, Sarah Levine participated in the robust co-op program offered by AIG Insurance Company of Canada (AIG Canada). Even then, Levine says she knew she was with a company committed to helping her realize a rewarding career path.
The co-op program gave Levine exposure to various aspects of AIG Canada’s business and put her in good stead when she joined the company full time five years ago.
More recently, Levine participated in AIG Canada’s 12-month underwriting excellence program, which is an interim career development initiative for those who have been with the company for about five years and who are looking to hone their leadership skills.
The program includes master classes with members of AIG Canada’s leadership team and places a strong emphasis on forging ongoing mentorship relationships.
“With all these programs in place, it really feels like leaders and managers are trying to raise everyone up,” says Levine, now a senior underwriter. “You are supported in finding your niche and getting the most out of your career.”
Levine also appreciates the emphasis AIG places on both work-life balance and giving back to the community.
Until recently, even new recruits started with a generous 26 annual paid days off which they could use for vacation, illness or personal matters. Starting in 2023, the company added seven more paid days off, immediately preceding statutory holidays.
“That just reflects the importance they place on work-life balance,” says Levine. “It’s great to be able to enjoy those longer weekends with friends and family.”
Employees also receive an additional two paid days a year to volunteer in the community and are regularly presented with opportunities to get involved in ways that reflect their personal interests and passions.
For example, Levine, who loves spending time with animals, has volunteered with local humane societies. She has also joined her colleagues in providing lunches for families in need at Ronald McDonald House.
“That’s one I really appreciated because it’s a good reminder of what people are going through and how you might be able to help,” says Levine.
President and CEO Pete Walker says career development, work-life balance and community outreach are all priorities young people tell recruiters they value when looking at potential employers.
“Young people do their research and want to understand how a company values its employees and interacts with the larger community,” says Walker. “Over the long term, they also want more clarity about their career path.”
In response, he adds, the company has become much more deliberate about working with younger employees to help map out a career path and provide the support and skills they will need to achieve their aspirations.
“We want people to think broadly across all of AIG Canada, and potentially globally as well, in terms of where their careers could take them,” he says.
Mentorship is a key part of that, he adds.
“Mentoring across the whole organization is something we definitely encourage. And part of that is a direct result of listening to our younger team members.”
Levine appreciates that, five years in, she is now part of that mentorship culture.
She is currently helping to interview and select new recruits for AIG Canada’s co-op program and providing successful applicants with advice.
“I have a good perspective because I went through the program not that long ago,” she says. “It’s so great to see these students start in the co-op and then progress in their careers, just like I have.”