Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 28, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Canpotex Limited was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2022):
- Canpotex's health benefit plan offers a generous mental health practitioners benefit (to $1,500 annually) as well as supporting a number of health and wellness initiatives, including resilience training, mental health first aid courses, monthly wellness activities and more
- Canpotex offers a monthly hybrid work allowance ($250) in support of a new hybrid working model that is built around having employees spend 60 per cent of their work time in-office and 40 per cent of their time working from home
- Canpotex helps employees prepare for life after work with retirement planning assistance services, along with matching RSP contribution and defined contribution pension plans
The Canpotex mission inspires employees
It’s been 21 years since Twila Gebkenjans joined Saskatoon-based Canpotex, the potash export and marketing company owned jointly by two of Saskatchewan’s largest potash producers, and she has seen a lot of changes at the organization. But one thing hasn’t changed – her enthusiasm for the job and the people around her.
“I enjoy what I do, I like the people I work with,” says Gebkenjans, coordinator of payroll and benefits. “Every day is a new day and I enjoy coming to work.”
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2022, Canpotex markets and delivers some 13 million tonnes of Canadian potash annually to over 40 overseas countries on behalf of its two shareholders, Mosaic and Nutrien. “We’re a world-class global company delivering product for a noble cause,” says president and CEO Gord McKenzie. “We help the world grow the food it needs.”
That is one of the attractions for many young people who join the organization fresh out of Saskatchewan’s colleges and universities. Canpotex participates in the Edwards School of Business Co-operative Education Program and the Computer Science Professional Internship Program (CSPIP) at the University of Saskatchewan.
The company has maintained these programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and continued to bring on new employees, though doing it virtually has been somewhat of a challenge, says McKenzie. “We believe that onboarding is a critical first step to get to know the company,” he adds. “So, we invest in onboarding with the goal of ensuring that new employees feel connected, integrated with our culture and our core competencies, and understand what’s expected of them.”
Canpotex invests heavily in learning and development as well as career planning to ensure that its employees can enjoy long, rewarding and unique careers with the company. “We encourage cross-functional opportunities in order to broaden your skills and experience,” says McKenzie. “It’s important to broaden your horizons in a company where you want to grow and spend your career.”
Recently, two big changes have taken place. The company has relocated to a new office tower which means physical changes in the work environment. “It is very different than our previous building where we occupied three floors and were very departmentalized with old-school offices and private space,” says McKenzie.
The new workplace extends over one and a half floors and is much more open in order to promote connections and collaboration among employees.
Flexible work arrangements have also been implemented. The company began bringing employees back to the office in the fall of 2021, although capacity was limited to 25 per cent of the workforce. The ceiling was later lifted to 50 per cent, provided employees were vaccinated and felt safe returning.
In the long run, McKenzie anticipates that employees will be in the office a few days a week and work from home the balance of the time. “It’s critically important to have a place where you can come to collaborate, to connect, to strategize and feel the culture of the company,” he says. “But you can work from home if you’ve got heads-down work where you need to focus and concentrate.”
That approach suits Gebkenjans. “It’s the best of both worlds,” she says. “There’s a lot more flexibility. You can work the hours you need, in the environment that is most suitable in order to get your work done.”