Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 25, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why Stuart Olson Inc. was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2021):
- As part of its health benefits plan, Stuart Olson offers a personal wellness spending account of up to $300 per year, which can be used to subsidize related expenses such as home gym equipment, fitness resources and subscriptions, and personal development classes (cooking, language, photography)
- Stuart Olson redirects unused credits from health spending accounts to a Hardship Fund in order to provide additional financial assistance to employees who are managing unforeseen costs for certain prescribed medications and/or medical equipment
- Stuart Olson honours employee achievements and accomplishments through the peer-nominated Promise Award, which recognizes individuals who have had a strong impact on the company's culture -- winners receive a monetary award of $3,000 while runners up receive $1,000
Stuart Olson looks for ways to help staff give back
When COVID-19 threatened to shutter the residents at the Canterbury Foundation care home in Edmonton away from their families, Stuart Olson Inc. built them a window into the world.
“It was heart-wrenching to see how those seniors weren’t able to give a hug to a grandchild or a son or daughter and vice versa,” says Grant Rae, branch director, Northern Alberta. “My heart broke for them.”
The company, already doing work on the building, added a viewing patio with screens and windows so residents’ loved ones could look in on them, chat at a safe distance and maintain contact. It’s one example of Stuart Olson’s commitment to give back to the communities in which it operates, both as a company and for individual employees.
“People feel very passionate about being able to contribute locally as well as nationally,” says Laura Schuller, senior manager, learning and development. “We’ve ensured our approach to giving back allows people to give to causes that are important to them.”
Headquartered in Calgary, Stuart Olson Inc. delivers projects across Canada. Starting as a family firm in 1911, it has grown to be one of Canada’s leading construction companies, with clients in commercial and residential development, oil and gas, hospitality, mining, healthcare and education.
Deemed an essential service, Stuart Olson had to build a whole new model to continue work on its portfolio of projects, many of them related to health and extended care as well as critical public infrastructure, while maintaining employee safety.
Mandatory masks, temperature checks, physical distancing and staggered lunch breaks were implemented at project sites. Office employees shifted to telecommuting. The company provided other resources, including placing a heightened awareness on supporting the mental health and well-being of all employees.
It was a challenging human resources and health & safety mega-project. But it’s been an overall positive experience for Schuller and her fellow employees.
“We’ve shifted from focusing on the person at work to the whole person, to understanding what people need to work through all the uncertainties of the pandemic and be the best they can be,” says Schuller.
By pulling together, Stuart Olson people have made a difference both inside the company and in the communities they serve.
“I know the term ‘family’ gets used a lot and sometimes too loosely, but for me, it’s true,” Rae says.
“We’re like a family. Everybody looks after everyone. It starts at the top and it just trickles down and becomes infectious really quickly.”