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 Translational Research In Oncology was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2021):
- TRIO supported work-from-home options prior to the pandemic, offering a one-time home office allowance of $500 as well as a subsidy of $70 per month to help cover the cost of internet
- TRIO provides maternity and parental leave top-up payments to new and adoptive parents (to 100 per cent of salary for the first week, followed by 85 per cent of salary for an additional five weeks) and offers the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
- TRIO helps employees balance work and their personal lives with flexible hours and up to 10 paid personal days annually, which can be used for a variety of personal matters including illness and child care
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 5, 2021)
Here are some of the reasons why Translational Research In Oncology was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2021):
- TRIO encourages employees to save for life after work with matching RSP contributions and offers phased-in work options to help employees make the transition into retirement
- TRIO starts new employees with three weeks of paid vacation and considers previous work experience when setting vacation entitlements for experienced candidates
Employees are passionate about the work at TRIO
Some global companies are so big that people get boxed into narrow job descriptions. But Edmonton-based Translational Research in Oncology (TRIO), an academic clinical research organization specializing in global cancer trials, is the perfect size, according to Samantha de Agostini, quality assurance computer systems validations unit manager.
“You’ve got great opportunities to be exposed to a lot of diverse job tasks, responsibilities and systems,” she says.
Aside from Edmonton, TRIO has offices in France and Uruguay as well as home-based employees spread all over the world. “TRIO is a really diverse company in all areas,” she says, “from the work that we do, the systems that we use, even the people that we work with – it’s all very diverse, and it keeps the work interesting.”
But employees are also deeply committed to the work they do at TRIO. “Cancer touches absolutely everyone in one way or another, so all of the people who work here are very passionate about that cause,” says CEO Launa Aspeslet. “Getting up in the morning knowing that you’re going to contribute to finding a cure or finding better treatment options makes a big difference. It’s easy to see the true value in what we’re doing.”
De Agostini agrees. “Everyone is committed to the science and to the lives of the people who have cancer,” she says. “There’s a very strong focus on teamwork and inclusion. And I think the fact that you have this large base of employees who have been with the company for a very long time speaks volumes.”
Another part of TRIO’s success in retention, de Agostini says, is the fact that leadership is always working with employees to ensure they have everything they need in terms of resources, “whether that’s just information, training, help to manage stress, or encouraging work-life balance.”
Many different programs allow for people to grow in their positions and within the company, and flexible working conditions mean employees can work some longer days to take longer weekends or work from home whenever possible.
“That’s important for a lot of people,” says Aspeslet, “whether it’s because they want to decrease their commute time or burden on the environment, or because they need to be more accessible when their kids come home from school.”
Communication, while always a priority, has become even more important as a result of the pandemic. Aspeslet holds monthly meetings with the entire organization to keep them up to date about projects and corporate affairs. Her monthly newsletter is more informal, highlighting community and charity events, health and IT tips, and personal celebrations such as birthdays and work anniversaries.
“I’m trying to keep the whole family feel even though we’re spread out in different locations,” she says. “During COVID-19, especially, I’ve been sending more emails and doing videos for staff, trying to keep the morale up and let them know that we understand they’re all working in different situations at home.”
For Aspeslet, it’s important that everyone feels that they’re on the same team. “When your employees are happy and love what they do, they’re going to do a really good job,” she says. “And we encourage feedback to make sure we’re doing what would benefit them. It’s all about the employees.”
Leaders are always evaluating the company’s benefits package and usage as well, she adds, to make sure staff are getting what they really need.
All of which explains why so many people like de Agostini have stayed at TRIO for so many years. “They value their employees,” she says, “and in turn employees are very loyal to the company.”