Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2022) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 11, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why Rogers Communications Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2022) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2022):
- Rogers supports employees who are new mothers and fathers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments and recently introduced a phased return-to-work program for new parents, allowing them to work on a modified schedule for the first five weeks of their return while receiving 100 per cent of their salary
- Rogers employees enjoy discounted home internet and television services along with a full suite of long-range financial benefits, including a defined contribution pension plan and a share purchase plan
- Rogers' unique and thoughtfully designed workplaces feature quiet zones, interactive spaces, and access to the latest technology -- the company also manages an impressive work-from-home program with more than 90 per cent of employees moving to work from home during the pandemic, including 7,000 call centre staff -- the transition was supported by weekly online forums
Rogers is investing in the next generation
Suchitra Maria Saha joined Rogers Communications Inc. in June 2021 shortly after graduating from Ryerson University with a bachelor of commerce degree in business technology management. But for her first six months, Saha never set foot in an office. Nor did she meet any of her new colleagues face-to-face.
And it didn’t bother her in the least. “My mentors and my business unit champion at Rogers have been very supportive,” says Saha. “The company is very aware of what their team members want and need when it comes to COVID-19. They’re very diligent in their support and responsibilities.”
Rogers has had to be both diligent and responsible, given that upwards of 20,000 of its employees have been working remotely since the spring of 2020. In addition, the company has hired some 3,000 people since then, all of whom have come onboard virtually, which is no small feat.
“When you step into a crisis like this, there’s no playbook,” says Jim Reid, chief human resources officer. “You manage decision by decision. Our people are the heart of our success and our top priority has always been to keep our teams safe.”
To that end, Rogers has held weekly question and answer sessions for its team members since the start of the pandemic. CEO Joe Natale and chief medical officer Dr. David Satok have addressed top employee concerns ranging from vaccinations to return to work protocols. As many as 6,000 employees have dialed in weekly.
Rogers also increased the benefits available to support both physical and mental health. The company offered virtual healthcare consultations with doctors and nurses. Employees could also access an app called Headspace that offered tools and resources for mindfulness and well-being. Another app called HELM Life provided educational resources to support employees with young children while working from home.
Reid notes that Rogers has a youthful workforce with an average age of 40. As well, millennials and Gen Zs – people born after 1997 – currently comprise 57 per cent of the workforce. Within three years, that figure is expected to reach 75 per cent.
“Competition for young talent has intensified,” says Reid. “We’re looking for people who want to be part of a growing, innovative company with a great team – there are endless possibilities to grow your career here.”
The New Grad program is one of the initiatives developed to recruit top-flight young talent. In 2021, Rogers hired 150 new grads, up from 50 three years ago. “We hire a diverse slate of candidates from across the country, and right now we’re keen to go after STEM grads to build the strongest team,” says Reid, referring to science, technology, engineering and math.
Saha has become an enthusiastic advocate for the program. As she explains, new grads spend their first year doing four-month rotations through three different roles before making a decision about where they want to start their career at Rogers.
“My experience has been amazing,” says Saha. “I’ve participated in multiple information sessions with different universities and shared my story. All the projects I’ve worked on have been meaningful. You’re not just stuck at a desk doing paperwork, you’re truly making an impact.”
Return to work is the next challenge in the ever-evolving pandemic. Reid says flexibility will be key to the Rogers approach. “Flexibility is here to stay,” he says. “Be at the office for team meetings and collaborative work. And for heads down, productive work, people can do that from home or wherever works best for them.”
Rogers commits to career growth for young leaders
Nick Chin-A-Loy started with Rogers Communications Inc. as a sales rep at a retail store in the Toronto suburb of Whitby. He was still a student, working toward a business degree, but he had his eye on a future with the company.
“I reached out to my manager and expressed an interest in growing my career in the company,” says Chin-a-Loy. “The response I got was positive and supportive so I worked on a development plan to prepare myself for my growth opportunity.”
In June 2021, after completing his degree, Chin-A-Loy won a coveted spot in the Rogers New Grad program and, along with it, a position as a technical operations analyst on the Connected Home team.
“It’s such a valuable program,” says Chin-A-Loy. “Rogers is helping students make the transition into the corporate world. It really shows their dedication to developing new talent and grooming future leaders of the company.”
Rogers hired 150 recent graduates this year for the program. Currently, millennials and Gen Zs – people born after 1997 – make up some 57 per cent of the company’s workforce. Those two groups are projected to represent 75 per cent within three years, says Jim Reid, chief human resources officer.
The company is also committed to developing team members across the company. Reid notes that growth and development is the number one driver of engagement at Rogers, and there are endless opportunities.
In February and March each year, employees are encouraged to set goals and objectives for the year. They can take advantage of a whole suite of online seminars to develop and enhance a variety of skills, and help carve a path for new career opportunities.
As well, all employees can apply to be matched up with a mentor.
“Leadership development is a top priority,” says Reid. “Coaching is at the heart of it. It’s one of the things that threads through our career development programs.”
Career opportunities within Rogers have expanded greatly in the last five years. “We really encourage promoting from within,” Reid says. “Almost 60 per cent of our roles today are filled internally. It’s a really important part of our culture.”
Throughout the pandemic, new hires have been brought onboard virtually and have worked from home for the most part, and the company coached managers to ensure everyone was set up for success. “We did a lot of short, intense sessions to help our leaders lead remotely,” says Reid. “One of the key elements was about empathy and care, including the importance of starting meetings by checking in to see how people are doing, how their family is.”
For his part, Chin-A-Loy felt well supported from Day 1, although he hasn’t set foot in the office or met his colleagues face to face. “You feel trusted and supported right off the bat, even while working remotely,” he says. “The culture is really engaging and inclusive.”
Most Rogers employees will continue to work remotely part-time and be in the office for team meetings and collaborative work. Flexibility is key – a welcome innovation for many living in the Greater Toronto Area and dealing with sometimes long, trying commutes.
“Rogers corporate employees have started the shift to a hybrid way of working, where teams will come into the office to collaborate and make connections,” says Reid. “Employees are saying they’re not productive when they’re commuting, so flexibility will be key to our approach.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2022):
By Kristina Leung and Stephanie Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 7, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Rogers Communications Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2022):
- Rogers' inclusion and diversity council monitors progress to achieving its goals through quarterly updates (metrics include representation, promotion, retention, and engagement), and maintains representation goals and action plans for each of its business and functional units (with dedicated inclusion and diversity dashboards)
- Rogers recently established a Black Leadership Council which aims to advocate for anti-Black racism, keep the organization accountable, and influence programs and initiatives supporting Black employees -- additionally, the company introduced resources on anti-Black racism and allyship in the past year, including a toolkit for leaders on how to talk about race at work, and an employee guide on what it means to be anti-racist
- Rogers launched a Guide to Inclusive Customer Interactions series to help front-line teams introduce inclusive principles when interacting with customers (series starts with a focus on gender identity and expression)
Rogers is out to build a truly inclusive culture
Last summer, months after becoming the first director of Indigenous collaboration at Rogers Communications Inc., Jennifer Campeau shared her remarkable personal and professional journey with thousands of her colleagues in one of the company’s Safe Talk & Listening sessions. The forum was created to give employees a safe space for sharing and to build allyship as part of Rogers’ commitment to building a truly inclusive culture.
Her journey began on the Yellow Quill First Nation, a two-hour drive northeast of Regina, and included 10 years as a residential school student, six years as a Saskatchewan MLA, and several years teaching at the post-secondary level before landing at Rogers.
“This role was everything I wanted and more,” says Campeau, who now leads a dedicated all-Indigenous collaboration team. “The purpose of our team is to bring a mindful Indigenous approach across the Rogers organization, and to maintain trusted partnerships with Indigenous communities, businesses and their representatives.”
The creation of an Indigenous collaboration business unit reflects Rogers Communications’ commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce, says Sharon Hinds, manager, All IN, Rogers Sports & Media. “Inclusion is part of who we are – it’s embedded in our values,” she says. “We’re committed to driving meaningful change for our team members, customers and communities.”
To that end, the company has a team dedicated to inclusion and diversity. It has introduced inclusive hiring training and created diverse hiring panels to help remove personal or racial bias and attract a range of diverse applicants.
Hinds says job postings for Rogers Sports & Media no longer ask for educational background or professional experience, and Rogers is rolling this out across the organization. “We’re looking for a diverse group of people who can bring unique perspectives and experience to the team.”
The company’s five employee resource groups are actively engaged in promoting inclusion and diversity, and building allyship within the organization and externally with Canadians.
The multicultural Rogers Mosaic group, which has chapters across the country, sponsors employee events celebrating Black History Month, Pride, Carnival, Ramadan, Diwali and the Lunar New Year, among many others.
The Indigenous Peoples Network held events last year to recognize Indigenous History Month, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Orange Shirt Day and the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. Campeau adds that the network launched an initiative to have land acknowledgement plaques placed in all corporate and retail locations, including Rogers Centre in Toronto, which will be rolled out across the country over the next several years.
To commemorate Orange Shirt Day, the Rogers-owned Blue Jays had the first pitch of the game thrown by a residential school survivor, and the Canadian national anthem was sung in three languages – English, French and Anishinaabemowin. On television, the Rogers channel TSC, Today’s Shopping Choice, sold Orange Shirts designed by two-spirited Ojibway artist Patrick Hunter. All proceeds from the 2021 shirt sales were divided between the Orange Shirt Society and the Residential School Survivor Society; 2021 Orange shirt sales through TSC brought the two-year campaign total to $250,000.
In 2020, Rogers team members formed a Black Leadership Council to advocate for Black team members. The company has also partnered with the Black Professionals in Tech Network and the Onyx Initiative.
All of these efforts are part of Rogers’ five-year strategy to accelerate inclusion and diversity and drive change for its employees, customers, audiences and Canadians.
Campeau says she is always looking for ways to create an im- pact for Indigenous communities. “This role at Rogers spoke to me, along with the company’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, and I’m excited to see the impact we can continue to make.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2022):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 19, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Rogers Communications Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2022):
- Rogers created a unique waste management program aptly named "Get Up and Get Green" to help employees sort their waste properly at centralized waste stations (the company's goal is a 70 per cent waste diversion rate) -- also hosts an annual Waste Reduction Week to raise employee awareness and encourage suppliers and contractors to adopt sustainable strategies through a formal supplier code of conduct
- Rogers employees are encouraged to volunteer in support of a number of environmental initiatives, including the WWF Canada Shoreline Clean-up initiative (picking garbage up across over 30 kilometres of shoreline) and Forest Recovery Canada’s tree planting events (nearly 3,000 trees at five sites in Ontario, New Brunswick, Québec, Manitoba and Alberta
- Rogers' environmental compliance committee is comprised of employees from across the company's many lines of business who meet quarterly to review ongoing progress of the company's corporate environmental program -- employees also spearhead many local initiatives through informal employee-led green teams across the company
Small actions have a big impact at Rogers
Sometimes, simple measures can yield big results when it comes to promoting sustainability and good environmental stewardship. Case in point: the Get Up and Get Green waste management initiative, which has been introduced throughout workplaces at Rogers Communications Inc.
When the company replaced individual waste baskets with centralized disposal bins for paper, organics and waste, recycling increased by 70 per cent in some workplaces and as much as 90 per cent in others.
“We look at everything we have control over to see where we can make an impact,” says Patrick Thomsen, senior director of planning and strategy, who leads the company’s 10-member sustainability team. “There’s a lot we’ve done and can continue to do to minimize energy use and reduce emissions at our corporate locations, our retail space and our data centres.”
Over the past several years, the company has been redesigning its corporate workplaces, which has also yielded big wins environmentally. Enclosed offices and personal cubicles have been eliminated in favour of shared, activity-based spaces. There are meeting rooms of various sizes, depending on the number of participants, booths for private telephone conversations and common work desks in open areas.
“We’ve reduced our footprint and our total space per person,” says Thomsen. “Reduced space per person becomes reduced emissions due to reduced energy.”
Transforming workplaces has also resulted in a remarkable amount of recycling. Abena Burrowes, manager of wireless order management, was part of the transition. “We recycled thousands of pounds of paper,” she says. “We got rid of all our filing cabinets and desks as part of our new ways of working.”
She and her colleagues scanned and digitized 8.8 million sheets of paper, which had been stored in filing cabinets. The cabinets were among $360,000 worth of office furniture and equipment that were donated to other organizations. By the time the project was complete, over 3,550 tons of materials were recycled, repurposed or donated.
Rogers has adopted a similar approach – recycle, repurpose or donate – when doing renovations at any of its several hundred retails locations scattered across the country. Thomsen says the company is constantly upgrading its stores to new standards.
“We’ve become very diligent about renovation waste,” he says. “We’ve achieved over 90 per cent in terms of waste that would have gone to landfills that we’re diverting through donations or recycling.”
The company is also encouraging consumers to return used phones when they are upgrading. Devices turned in are inspected and, providing they are still working and in pristine condition, can be re-packed and sold as certified pre-owned phones.
This led to another seemingly small initiative that has produced big results. Last September, Burrowes had an idea to create a program to collect cell phone charging cables that were turned in by customers. The cables were shipped to a central warehouse where they were tested and inspected. In the space of four months, 96.8 per cent of the 19,000 cables tested were in pristine condition and could be reused rather than ending up in a landfill.
To support communities where employees live and work, Rogers grants employees a paid day off to do volunteer work under its annual Give Together campaign and matches employee donations up to $1,000. In recent years, green initiatives have become increasingly popular. Last fall, Burrowes’ team spent a day uprooting invasive shrubs at a Scarborough, Ont., park. Other groups have taken part in shoreline clean-ups, tree planting events or collecting neighbourhood trash to help make a positive impact.