Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2022):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 10, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why Cox Automotive Canada was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2022):
- Along with helping employees save for the future, Cox Automotive Canada offers a number of helpful financial perks and benefits including year-end bonuses, generous referral bonuses (up to $5,000), discounted auto insurance, discounted auto lease rates, and an employee vehicle purchase program
- Cox Automotive Canada maintains a charitable focus on initiatives related to inclusion, diversity and equity, health and well-being, and the environment -- and encourages employee volunteerism with up to four paid days off to volunteer
- Cox Automotive Canada invests in ongoing employee development with generous tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions (up to $5,250 per year), subsidies for professional accreditation, and financial bonuses for some course completion
At Cox Automotive Canada, balance and innovation rule
You might say that the pandemic has had a double silver lining for Krishna Juluri, Agile coach at Cox Automotive Canada. His fraternal twin daughters, Keerthi and Sruthi, were born on Aug. 29, 2019, so the bulk of their lives so far has coincided with COVID-19 and with dad working at home.
As a result, he was there to witness their developmental milestones, including learning to crawl and walk. Cox Automotive, he says, made it easier for him to focus on his baby girls because the company zeroed in on employees’ work-life balance as they worked remotely.
“It recognized that there wasn't a clear sense of when the workday ends and when the personal day begins,” says Juluri. “So, it declared that there would be no meetings before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m., or during lunch.”
He also notes that in the past two summers, employees could choose to work an extra hour the first four days of the week and take Friday afternoons off. Cox Automotive also gave its staff the Friday off before the Canada Day long weekend. Overall, says Juluri, the company really accommodated him as a parent of twins. “I got excellent support from my team and leader if, for example, we had pediatric appointments or anything else came up.”
For Christine Wood, senior director, product engineering, “Cox Automotive is like an extended family. We are extremely flexible and fully, fully supportive if someone's got family issues or other things they have to deal with.”
Mississauga-based Cox Automotive Canada, a subsidiary of global Cox Enterprises Inc., is a technology company that helps the auto industry, including manufacturers and dealers, modernize through digital transformation. And innovation – including the implementation of Agile methodology, in which Juluri is a certified trainer – is central to its ethos, says Wood.
“We really welcome new ideas. We've got an online ideas page because, with the pandemic, we can't get together or collaborate or whiteboard anymore. Anybody can submit ideas, and we review them monthly. And some of them get into our product launches, which is really exciting to see,” she says.
“If you have ways of improving or you want to bring in new technology, everyone’s all for it.”
Cox Automotive is continually adding new products and services, she notes. A recent development: it has partnered with Kijiji on a digital car-shopping platform where customers can get a vehicle and the financing for it.
The company is also very female-friendly, adds Wood, who worked in telecommunications before joining the firm three-and-a-half years ago. “For me, it has always been hard to break through the glass ceiling. But at Cox Automotive it doesn’t exist. We have a Women With Drive group to celebrate females’ achievements in the automotive industry. Prior to the pandemic, we had speakers come in to talk about their experiences, and it was amazing to see so many men, as well as women, attend.”
Community involvement is also integral to Cox Automotive culture. Among other recent philanthropic activities, in July team members participated in the Climb Every Mountain campaign of Make-A-Wish Canada, which grants wishes to critically ill children, walking a total of more than two million “steps” and raising $12,000.
Juluri took part by riding 25 km on his bike. “For me, that sort of thing stirs up more enthusiasm for what I do at work,” he says. “First of all, it’s a team-building experience with colleagues. But also, I’m not just clocking in and clocking out in my job; there’s that sense of giving back and representing your company.”