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 Liquor Control Board of Ontario / LCBO was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2022):
- In response to the challenges of 2020, LCBO raised $3.3-million for its COVID-19 Food Relief Fund (to support food relief programs across Ontario) and donated $30,000 to the Bartenders Benevolent Fund’s COVID-19 Support Fund (to help offset the financial hardship experienced by those in the hospitality industry)
- Additionally, the LCBO launched the Time for Gratitude campaign in 2020 to provide managers with a way of recognizing employees' extra efforts over the course of the pandemic
- LCBO supports new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up (to 93 per cent of salary for up to 27 weeks) as well as parental top-up for fathers and adoptive parents (to 93 per cent of salary for up to 10 weeks)
LCBO supports employees every step of the way
Kendra Greenwood couldn’t have imagined how much taking a job at her local Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) was going to change her life. She was 19 years old and studying business and computer science at university, so working nights and weekends at the local LCBO seemed the perfect fit.
That was 21 years ago. Since then, Greenwood has taken advantage of every opportunity offered to her by managers at LCBO – and there have been many – who saw her potential and encouraged her to keep moving forward. Now, after having worn many hats at LCBO over the years, Greenwood is a regional director, and grateful for the help and support she’s had along the way.
“If you really want to grow with the company, they’re willing to help you,” says Greenwood. “I had a ton of great mentors through every step of it. LCBO leadership consistently supports and appreciates a job well done.”
To facilitate an employee’s development and movement through the company, LCBO has a series of programs, available to everyone from front-line workers to directors. “We’re very much focused on employee engagement in the whole life cycle,” explains Siobhan Calderbank, senior director of talent management.
The program Is Management for Me? helps employees understand what’s involved in moving up in the company. Next, the LEAP program provides the fundamentals of management; Lead Up gives managers tools to hone their skills; and Catalyst gives managers access to sessions that are focused on mentoring and leadership coaching connected to LCBO values and competencies.
“It’s like a real cultural accelerant because you’re exposed to different individuals with different perspectives and you’ve really expanded your network,” says Calderbank. “And the more you have friends in the network, the more you are engaged and the more you are likely to stay as a result.”
The opportunity to learn is available to everyone, from those on the front lines of service to senior leaders, via Workday Learning, which has thousands of programs that employees can delve into at their leisure.
“There is a huge focus here on employee engagement, and making sure people get what they need and that they are engaged throughout the whole process,” Calderbank adds. “And I fundamentally believe that everybody should have an opportunity to learn and develop and grow.”
More than 700 employees have been identified as Good Culture Ambassadors, representing all of LCBO’s storefronts and regions. A recent initiative, the ambassadors serve as champions of diversity, inclusion, belonging and equity (DIBE), as well as change, mental health and the spirit of sustainability, and help drive engagement. “They are there to provide support,” says Calderbank. “They’re the voice of the employee to find out how programs are resonating and how we can make things better.”
As a result of her experiences with the company, Greenwood is in the position now to pay it forward by supporting her own people in their development. “I feel like I want to give back because people gave to me – they believed in me,” she says. “So, focusing on people and their strengths is what I think of as my legacy. If you focus on your people, if you focus on your customers, things are going to happen and you’re going to be able to move those mountains.”