Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2021) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 12, 2020)
Here are some of the reasons why TD Bank Group was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2021) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2021):
- TD Bank has supported employees during the pandemic through a number of innovative and generous ways, including additional financial payments for employees who were required to come into work during the spring (two payments of $500 in April and May), two additional paid days off during the spring, and up to $100 per month to help offset internet costs of working from home (through the bank's existing Bring Your Own Device program)
- TD Bank provides maternity and parental leave top-up of 100 per cent of salary for up to 12 weeks for birth mothers and offers "mix and match" flexible work options to allow employees to create the best schedule for their needs -- additionally, the bank maintains a Flexible Work Options Business Committee for each line of business to help ensure appropriate work options are implemented and supported across the company
- TD Bank considers previous work experience when setting vacation entitlements and offers long-serving employees an additional week of paid vacation on their 25th anniversary (and every fifth anniversary thereafter)
TD Bank promotes a culture of care and growth
As a young university linguistics student in China, Mingming Ren never imagined she would ever work for a bank.
Fast forward to today, where Ren is a manager in business management at TD Bank Group in Toronto, a role she “absolutely loves”. There were plenty of challenges along the way, including her struggle to find work when she immigrated to Canada. Her break came when TD hired her as a part-time teller 16 years ago.
A former language teacher at Shanghai University – she is fluent in English, Japanese and Russian, as well as Mandarin – Ren jumped at the chance, not finding it strange to go from being an associate professor in China to a bank teller in Canada. Far from intimidating, Ren found TD’s work culture to be friendly and nurturing, with opportunities to grow.
“My career is a little different in that almost every promotion came from the encouragement of others who saw my potential and encouraged me to stretch,” says Ren. “I come from a background that values being humble and not putting yourself forward. I was fortunate that people at TD trusted in me and gave me the opportunities and training to become the person I am right now.”
With the support of her managers along the way, Ren continued to upgrade her skills by taking the FSR (financial service representative) program and Canadian Securities Course. She saw her career pivot to a variety of roles in Canadian personal banking, including a branch manager at one of the largest locations in Canada.
Melanie Burns, senior vice-president, human resources, talent management, says TD is committed to developing its people for changing roles, whether existing or emerging, helping them to navigate new experiences and gain skills to meet the bank’s business priorities and talent requirements both today and well into the future.
“Colleagues tell us that career development and understanding internal opportunities continue to be important, even during the pandemic,” explained Burns. “So we’re increasing our focus and launching additional career solutions this fall to provide colleagues with tools and resources to navigate new experiences and learn new skills as they plan for their next career move.”
The bank offers a wide range of learning and development opportunities that allow people to take their career into their own hands and learn on their own terms, whether it’s building digital skills, deepening financial expertise, building relationships through internal mentorships and networking programs, or volunteering outside of their day-to-day roles.
A growing collection of curated tools and resources such as TD Thrive gives employees access to more than 35,000 articles and videos. Launched during the pandemic, Digital Literacy @TD is a learning program that provides a foundational understanding of the digital trends and technology that are shaping the bank of the future – artificial intelligence, the cloud, open banking – and focuses on technology areas relevant to all employees.
TD Thrive will also have new skills assessment tools for employees to capture their skills, such as digital and data proficiency, communications and leadership. Through these assessments, people can identify areas of strength and support for more meaningful career development conversations with their leaders.
Mingming appreciates the positive impact leaders can make in an employee experience. One of her priorities is to encourage her TD colleagues to strive to upskill and advance their careers.
“I believe in the power of lifting people up,” she says. “That’s why I’ve been doing my best to mentor colleagues. Whenever I can, I share my story and encourage them believe in themselves. I want them to know that, like me, they can do anything by building up their skill set, being confident in their own abilities and going for it!”
TD pivots fast to shift thousands to work from home
TD Bank faced a daunting task when COVID-19 struck back in March. The bank needed to move thousands of employees from its 12+ contact centres across Canada to work from home – and do it quickly.
That meant providing each employee who would typically work in a contact centre environment with the necessary tools and technology to do the job at home.
The bank completed the migration in an unprecedented four weeks, shifting upwards of 85 per cent of this group’s employees to work from their own homes. Across all of North America, that totalled more than 9,000 people who provide support to meet the needs of its customers.
Greg Smith, senior vice president of shared services and leader of TD’s North American contact centres, says setting up a brand-new working environment for so many people was hugely challenging. All the components of the move – the technology and logistics, ensuring employee safety, customer service and privacy, and deployment – had to come together rapidly. It required a massive effort from a team devoted to the task.
How did the bank pull it off when so many organizations were scrambling for resources?
“As an enterprise we prioritized our frontline customer-facing colleagues first, so the contact centre had priority,” Smith explains. “Then we worked with our current inventory and strategic vendors to provide colleagues with the equipment needed, based on the impact to our customers and safety of our people.”
Several months later in the pandemic, the change to home has been received very well. Smith reports receiving record high annual employee engagement scores from contact centre employees in its annual feedback survey, where people specifically mentioned working from home, new scheduling flexibility and the support received from their managers as all contributing to their overall engagement.
“Our colleagues are enjoying the flexibility of working from home while remaining productive, protecting customer privacy and finding new ways to connect as teams,” says Smith. “Now that the technology is in place and people are getting used to working differently, we’re focused on employee wellness.”
Besides providing all the necessary technology and office equipment, TD also introduced a wide variety of new scheduling options such as splitting shifts, condensing the work week, voluntary time off and increased flexibility to trade shifts with other colleagues facilitated through a mobile app or online.
Additionally, the bank is using technology to encourage teamwork and collaboration. All of the daily and weekly team meetings are conducted via video and Smith says colleagues tell him they feel even more connected to their teams now than they did in the office.
That’s something Rebecca Shao, a credit-card customer service officer, confirms. After taking maternity leave, Shao resumed work with TD in January and has been working from home since March.
“Even before the pandemic, we began having a virtual huddle with our team every day, so we’re really comfortable with connecting virtually from home,” says Shao. “To be honest, I actually feel like I’m communicating more with my managers and colleagues. I also have oneon-one personal coaching sessions regarding my interests and what opportunities I might move onto next in my career.”
With a 22-month-old daughter, Shao appreciates the flexibility working from home gives her. She shares childcare duties with her husband, who also works from home.
“As a parent, I’m saving time and money since I don’t have to commute or put my daughter in daycare,” says Shao. “I’d much rather have my daughter at home during this time of COVID-19 so I don’t have to worry about her. My personal life is so much better now. I have more of a balance and get to spend more time with my family.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2021):
By Kristina Leung and Stephanie Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 1, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why TD Bank Group was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2021):
- TD Bank continues to evolve its approach to diversity and inclusion with a recently refreshed strategy and initiatives directed at the intersections of different identities -- additionally, the bank employs a dedicated talent acquisition team focused solely on sourcing, attracting and advocating for hiring talent from diverse communities
- TD Bank measures progress towards its diversity and inclusion goals in three primary areas: workforce composition, talent activities and metrics; culture and employee experience of inclusion; and customers' perceptions of the company -- the company has embedded diversity and inclusion questions into its annual pulse survey for ten years and asks employees to self-identify in order to enhance understanding of diverse employee experience
- TD maintains ongoing partnerships with Career Edge and Lime Connect Canada to hire persons with disabilities, and works with Specialisterne Canada to identify talented neurodiverse candidates
When I became a branch manager, I was one of only a few Black branch managers in Ontario. This leadership opportunity inspired me to get involved to help drive change forward. I joined the TD Black Employee Network because I wanted to play an active role and help other Black professionals develop and foster a successful career. I'm proud to work for TD. [...] It gives me a great sense of pride to be a part of TD and to know that everyone has the same opportunities to succeed." Clifton Flushy, Manager, Enterprise Relations and Internal Acquisition
TD delivers on change-making initiatives
As the world changed with COVID-19, Alicia Rose looked at how TD Bank Group could best help underserved communities and marginalized groups that were struggling during the pandemic.
Through her job as manager, strategic initiatives, global corporate citizenship, Rose helps oversee the TD United Way Employee Giving Campaign and the $10-million TD Ready Challenge grant program, advising on community investment funding and delivering on enterprise-wide initiatives.
“The TD Ready Challenge was created with the acknowledgement that the world is constantly changing, but change isn’t always positive for everyone,” says Rose. “Some people get left behind, so if we want an inclusive tomorrow, we have to take proactive and innovative steps today. A big challenge right now is COVID-19.”
In 2020, TD pivoted its entire $10-mil- lion TD Ready Challenge budget to address sustainable COVID-19 recovery, with available grants ranging from $350,000 to $1 million for organizations across North America working on solutions with a pandemic focus.
“We’ve seen increasing evidence showing how specific communities and populations are being impacted by the pandemic at higher rates than other communities and that the pandemic is exacerbating issues that already existed,” says Rose. “So we focused the 2020 Challenge on investing in innovative solutions focused on providing a more equitable recovery for those that have been disproportionally impacted.”
The heightened conversation around anti-Black racism was another key focus in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“There’s been a concerted effort to have a conversation around anti-racism and anti-Black racism within TD," says Rose. “We’ve developed resources for employees to engage in learning how to be a stronger ally as well as implementing processes to help us ensure representation and diversity from a leadership perspective. These conversations are happening in every team and department across the bank.”
TD has also invested $12.1 million in Black-led and Black-focused community organizations and over $5 million in Indigenous communities.
“TD recognizes this is a long-term journey,” says Rose. “It’s key to have people who have the lived experience at the table helping to make decisions on how the bank can best serve these communities across Canada.”
Girish Ganesan, global head of diversity and inclusion, says TD aims not only for colleagues to feel the organization reflects who they are, but for customers to feel TD reflects them and for the community to recognize that TD is working to help create conditions where everyone can feel included.
COVID-19 added additional challenges. “We’re focused on maintaining a sense of belonging and connectedness with our distributed workforce,” says Ganesan. “At TD, inclusion is top of mind as a guiding principle, with every decision we take. Last year, we saw the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on certain segments of society that had limited access to healthcare. This is one of the motivators for the launch of the TD Community Resilience Initiative to help support the nonprofit sector which works with these segments.”
Ganesan points out how diversity and inclusion is embedded across the employee lifecycle at TD, with business resource groups dedicated to Black employees, individuals with diverse abilities, minorities in leadership, the LGBTQ+ community, and women in leadership – each led by a senior executive sponsor.
“Diversity and inclusion are a key component of how we actually measure progress and performance in the organization,” says Ganesan. “We focus a lot on internal education and training which is built on the basis that it takes everyone within the enterprise to help build an inclusive workplace and learn how to be an inclusive and respectful individual.”
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Chantel Watkins, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 18, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why TD Bank Group was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2021):
- Employees across TD Bank volunteer for over 80 green teams across corporate offices and retail branch locations across Canada (and the United States)
- TD Bank's longstanding TD Friends of the Environment Foundation has provided over $90-million to over 26,000 local environmental projects since 1990 -- employees have been actively involved in numerous initiatives every year, including the flagship TD Tree Days, having planted over 433,000 trees since 2010
- Along with many green "firsts," from establishing a chief environment officer back in 2008 to being the first bank to issue a green bond in 2014 (followed by a bigger issue in 2017), TD Bank announced the impressive $100-billion investment program (by 2030) for the development of the low-carbon economy, including lending to companies and projects with low-carbon operations and supporting local environmental projects in communities across the country
TD Bank Group looks towards nature for inspiration
The names make you smile: Straight Off the Couch; Waist Management; Donut Disturb; 2Fit2Quit. That playfulness may seem unexpected in banking, but at TD Bank Group, it’s part of the fun.
These are just a few of the 179 teams, as well as 65 individuals participating solo, taking part in the Spring Fit Challenge, a TD Insurance (TDI) Green Teams national campaign to foster engagement. The initiative combines wellness with a Vibrant Planet, one of the drivers of the TD Ready Commitment, the bank’s global corporate citizenship platform focused on helping to create a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.
Louella Machado, an analyst with TDI’s environment, government and industry relations team and a volunteer TDI Green Team lead, says the response to Spring Fit has been beyond expectations.
“We kept the ask very simple – a minimum of 20 minutes of physical activity every day, which could be walking, running, yoga, Pilates, even line dancing – whatever works for them,” says Machado. “It can be inside, outside, individually, with their immediate family or virtually in teams. We have special prizes for those who show us how their physical activity connects with the environment, such as gardening or cycling to the store instead of taking your car.”
Participants share pictures and videos on the bank’s intranet to show what they’re doing, which has boosted morale at a time in the pandemic when many may be feeling a bit fatigued or disengaged.
“Work-life balance has become more challenging with most of us working virtually from home, especially for those with young kids,” says Machado. “So we’re looking at wellness and building engagement on green initiatives in a different way. The amazing response to Spring Fit made me realize people are looking for more opportunities to do something positive.”
Andrea Barrack, global head of sustainability and corporate citizenship, says COVID-19 really turned the bank’s normal environmental programming on its ear and inspired change. For example, its long-standing TD Trees Day campaign with employees and volunteers planting trees and shrubs in communities across North America couldn’t be held.
Instead, the bank launched a North American virtual campaign called Fall in Love with Nature, encouraging employees and their families to get outside with suggested activities to experience green spaces safely in their local communities while also promoting awareness of being environmentally responsible.
“If people can experience the benefits of nature, it helps them feel connected to their communities and more motivated to care for the environment,” says Barrack. “So then, maybe they want to get involved locally to protect park space or think about how much gas they’re using. Becoming environmentally aware can spark all kinds of other positive behaviours.”
More broadly, together the four TD Ready Commitment drivers of change address the interconnection of what it takes to help create the types of conditions needed for people to be able to succeed and fully participate in a changing world.
“I think COVID-19, followed shortly by the rising awareness of anti-Black racism, raised the bar across all of our stakeholder groups in terms of their expectations for what companies should be doing,” says Barrack. “We not only looked at our environmental programming and support for programs in the community, but also how we can help have a positive impact through our business.
“So, as an example, our decision to prohibit oil and gas development in the Arctic and for us to align with the Paris Accord and say, yes, we'll target net-zero carbon emissions commitments by 2050. We were the first Canadian bank to do that.
“We recognize there’s a real interplay between health, the environment, our communities and financial security,” adds Barrack. “They don’t exist in a vacuum.”