Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2022), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2022) and National Capital Region's Top Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 11, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why Export Development Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2022), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2022) and National Capital Region's Top Employers (2022):
- EDC launched a new benefits plan in the past year to provide employees with increased flexibility in determining appropriate coverage options -- flex credits can be allocated to health and wellness spending accounts, RRSP, TFSA or RESP accounts, used to purchase additional time off (up to five days), or distributed as a donation to the United Way
- EDC maintains a LiveWELL hub with extensive wellness resources and organizes weekly webinars as part of its annual Healthy Workplace Month initiative in October (topics include eating well, setting limits at work and in our personal lives, and living through a pandemic winter)
- EDC offered a $1,000 allowance to help employees with home office set-up or wellness equipment at the start of the pandemic and provided an additional allowance of $750 in 2021 to further enhance remote work
Health and wellness take top priority at EDC
Mohammad Al Jarrah, a risk analyst for Export Development Canada (EDC), was on his honeymoon in Jordan when COVID19 hit and the couple had to cut their trip short to catch the last flight back to Canada. As they adjusted to a new normal working from home in their one-bedroom apartment, tragedy struck.
Four months into the pandemic, they went through a miscarriage.
“It was a crazy, crazy year and I realized it was time to reach out for help,” says Al Jarrah. “I knew support was there but never needed it until we had such big life events happen in such a small time period. It was tough mentally for both of us.”
Besides his manager’s support, Al Jarrah tapped into EDC’s Employee Family Assistance Program. Given that there were so many people stressed by the pandemic, he expected a long queue, but connected with a counsellor within the week.
EDC, an Ottawa-based Crown corporation and national export credit agency that helps Canadian businesses expand internationally, had increased support for mental health and wellness at the start of the pandemic. This includes enabling employees facing extenuating circumstances to take paid special leave, making additional wellness resources such as Virtual Healthcare available through a flexible benefit plan, and providing a separate allotment to support health and wellness in the past year.
“The support system to speak to a counsellor extended to my wife as well,” says Al Jarrah. “If my wife isn’t doing well, I won’t be doing well, so it was nice that help was available to both of us for as long as we needed it.
“On that first call, my wife and I opened up about things that we hadn’t spoken about before, so it was instrumental to our healing.”
By sharing his story, Al Jarrah hopes to inspire others to get mental health support when they need it.
“I grew up in a culture where you just don’t speak about these things,” says Al Jarrah. “I’m sure other people are going through similar crises so if this helps someone reach out, I’d feel really good about that.”
Al Jarrah says these supports are essential to any company that wants to help employees with work-life balance.
“I’ve always felt EDC is a place where you can thrive at work and life, simply because they set you up to succeed at both.”
President and CEO Mairead Lavery says EDC changed its wellness and benefits program because this year was challenging for a lot of employees in terms of mental health – and “you can’t just have all words and good feelings” without backing it up with concrete action.
“My human resources team ensured there was frequent communication, that leaders were briefed and employees were provided with necessary support,” she says. “We also enhanced the overall benefits we offer. For example, we never had access to doctors online before, but now we have that as part of our health benefits program.”
“Making sure our workforce is healthy is our number 1 priority because we can’t continue to support Canadian companies unless we actually achieve that,” says Lavery.
“Crisis is the mother of invention. We’ve learned some positive things during this time that we shouldn’t forget, such as how we can come together as a community, how we can change our policies on a dime to make it a bit easier to work, how we rely on the flexibility and the passion of our employees and to never forget that.
“In the darkest moments, that’s when you need to come to the table and demonstrate your values.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 17, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Export Development Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2022):
- EDC's dedicated Growing Professionals Committee offers development opportunities, resources and support to students and young professionals, as well as organizing various social events throughout the year -- the committee also manages a mentorship program designed to promote career development, support diversity and inclusion, and facilitate connections among employees of all experience levels
- The 24-month Project Finance Associate Program provides a combination of structured and hands-on training to new associates at EDC -- participants are immersed in finance fundamentals and supported with regular feedback on progress and performance
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 19, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Export Development Canada was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2022):
- EDC manages a comprehensive recycling program that includes paper, metals, plastics and waste -- the company Green Team has set the goal to reduce the company's annual food waste from over 16,600kg down to approximately 9,000kg
- Along with a rooftop patio and green roof, EDC partnered with Alvéole to introduce two rooftop beehives that are home to 50,000 bees -- in their first season, the hives produced 180 jars of honey, which were sold to employees with the funds donated to United Way
- EDC's environmental commitment extends beyond the company's internal initiatives with the issuance of green bonds to help support environmental companies or projects that "preserve, protect or remediate air, water or soil, create renewable energy or help mitigate climate change"