Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2023) and BC's Top Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 17, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Best Buy Canada Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2023) and BC's Top Employers (2022):
- Best Buy Canada finalized its first formal remote work program for corporate employees that includes hybrid work options for now and into a post-pandemic future of work -- and recently moved its head office to a more centrally located downtown Vancouver location
- Best Buy Canada has made efforts to increase the focus on mental wellness as part of its health benefits plan, introducing a mental wellness hub on its corporate intranet and expanding coverage for mental health services to include psychotherapy (recently increasing coverage from $500 to $1,000 per year)
- Best Buy Canada encourages employees to support their favourite charitable initiatives by offering $15 for every hour spent volunteering -- the donation is automatically applied to the appropriate charity through the "myGiving" program and doubles to $30 per hour during National Volunteer Week in April
Innovation and purpose inspire Best Buy employees
You’d think having weathered the COVID-19 crisis – and rising to the challenge of providing the technology people and businesses needed to survive the pandemic – employees like Jeremy Ramnanansingh would want to take a breather and a vacation. But the Best Buy Canada Ltd. senior manager, retail marketing is getting revved up for the new normal.
“You can tell companies that are well run by how they handle change. Best Buy has proven its ability to pivot, be flexible and adapt,” says Ramnanansingh.
“We embrace the opportunity to continue innovating. Best Buy provides me and my team with everything we need to solve complex problems for customers in a highly collaborative atmosphere.”
Headquartered in Vancouver, Best Buy is Canada’s largest consumer electronics retailer and most visited multichannel retailer. The company’s purpose is to “enrich lives through technology.”
During the pandemic, Best Buy helped meet the demand for more and easier ways to use technology as well as developing systems like curbside pickup to protect customers’ health. Now, the world is changing again and Best Buy is changing with it.
“There’s this contagious energy of wanting to solve things, within the company and the outside world, through the power of technology,” says Polly Tracey, vice president and chief communications and public affairs officer.
“For our employees, there’s a joy in leading change together. We find energy and innovation feed off each other and we’re often addressing long-term and short-term solutions for different things, at the same time. At this point, agility is ingrained in our culture.”
Ramnanansingh’s team has the freedom to come up with innovative ways to reach out to customers as partners in a shared enterprise. They came up with the novel idea of holding a social media poll to ask customers which product they thought should be put on sale. And it was a hit.
Creative ideas aren’t just used to boost sales – Best Buy makes a difference in communities as well. Last holiday season, stores offered Canada’s first-ever shopping bag that transformed into gift wrap, making it environmentally conscious while raising money for BGC Canada. The company supplies tech to schools and hospitals and even offers online STEM courses. Retail teams can choose local charities and causes to support.
An initiative close to Ramnanansingh’s heart is the Mentorship and Accelerator Program to identify and partner with Black and Indigenous tech entrepreneurs. This gives these innovators access to Best Buy marketing and product development capacities and the support they need to get their products to market.
Best Buy creates a culture that encourages employees to be the best while having fun living the company’s principles. In Ramnanansingh’s experience, that’s rare.
“I think there’s something really magical when your own personal purpose aligns with the company’s purpose and creates something that’s really rich,” he says.
“At Best Buy, you’re making a difference. You can work on social impact projects, you can come up with great ideas to change the way that people shop and you can be a highly valued part of a team while doing it.”
The combination of shared purpose and meeting new technological frontiers is what helps Best Buy attract and retain talent in the ultra-competitive tech retail space.
“Of course, we have good benefits, but it’s having meaningful work that connects with your own purpose and goals that makes people want to stick around,” says Tracey.
“We provide the opportunity for talented individuals to progress, to speak up, to bring new ideas and to always be respected by colleagues, those who are like-minded or different. We want everyone to feel able to fulfil their potential.”
Best Buy is out to exceed employee expectations
When Sara Aghvami first started working at an entry-level job at Best Buy Canada in 2000, she never dreamed she’d stay so long, travel so far or achieve so much. But it just seemed that every time she turned around, there was someone there to mentor her, an exciting new challenge to be met and great people to work with.
Now as director, Best Buy Health, Aghvami can’t imagine working anywhere else.
“I’ve stayed here because while they offer you encouragement and support, they let you write your own career prescription,” says Aghvami.
“They put their employees in a position where they can operate at their best because they care about people. I feel they care about me every day I show up for work.”
Best Buy Canada is the country’s largest consumer electronics dealer, operating the Best Buy, Geek Squad, Best Buy Mobile, Best Buy Health and Best Buy Business brands. With over 160 stores coast to coast, it’s Canada’s most visited multichannel retailer, with over 250 million visits in-store and on BestBuy.ca annually.
Aghvami and her team are responsible for finding ways to use technology to empower older adults to live independent lives. Working with Best Buy departments as well as health-care professionals, policy makers and community leaders, they develop high-tech solutions to help the “silver tsunami” of seniors to age in place.
Best Buy’s commitment to life-long learning has been central to Aghvami’s and other employees’ career success. In-house training programs and educational resources are supplemented by 100 per cent tuition subsidies for job-related courses. Aghvami is being sponsored by the company to take part in the Sauder School of Business Mini-MBA program.
“Whether it’s supporting their education or wellness, we want to exceed the employees’ expectations,” says Chris Taylor, chief human resources officer.
“Whatever you need, we’ll take care of you. You need to travel or take some time off, or you need a service but you’ve used all your coverage, I’ve told my entire team we’ll find a way to solve the problem. We don’t let our policies get in the way of treating employees right.”
Born in Iran, Aghvami appreciates Best Buy’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity as core company values.
“Inclusive is the key word I would use in describing our environment. Everyone appreciates each other, even though we may think differently and take different approaches,” says Aghvami.
“As someone born outside of Canada, I know how important it is to embrace different cultural backgrounds in a workplace and Best Buy does that – every fibre of me believes in that.”
Employees like Aghvami are also encouraged to connect with the community. Best Buy gives them opportunities to work on farms to collect fresh produce for food banks, partner with schools and youth groups to provide tech training, or counsel students looking for a career in the industry.
It’s a time of big changes at Best Buy with the headquarters moving from Burnaby to central Vancouver in early 2022, and the company shifting to keeping most of its head office employees working remotely in future. But that’s all positive for Taylor.
“We’ve seen lots of things evolve and transform, especially with COVID-19, but while it’s been a tough ride for nearly two years, we have never let go of our value of having fun while being the best,” says Taylor.
“We’re constantly recognizing what’s wonderful,” he says. “We want the leaders and teams to have fun, let loose and celebrate shamelessly because they do great work every single day.”