yes, *that* Dawn person (dawn_guy) wrote,
yes, *that* Dawn person
dawn_guy

Top employers, or how to game a checklist

$Employer made, for the first time, a list of top employers. A big deal is being made of belonging to this elite group. I note in passing that organizations need to request evaluation in order to be considered: an excellent employer that does not apply for the designation will not be sought out.

How does the report compare to employee perceptions and documentation?

Fully accurate:
  • defined benefit pension plan
  • health benefits that extend to retirees with no age limit [caveat: benefit reductions have previously affected retirees and may again]
  • LEED Platinum building [which relates to sustainability, not so much employee wellbeing]
  • bicycle centre [run by student volunteers with a focus on students]
  • nearby amenities [lists resources in the city and region at various driving times/distances from the workplace]
  • annual staff conference
  • Canada Day celebrations [run largely by student volunteers]
  • summer picnic [part of a fundraising drive]
  • company newsletter
  • multiple employee group benefits vary by position
  • no waiting period for coverage [provided employment is for indefinite term or longer than 2 years]
  • life and disability insurance
  • family-friendly policies may [do] vary by position
  • parental leave top-up
  • unpaid leave options
  • paid holiday break from Christmas to New Year's
  • short term disability varies by employee group [and is self funded to reduce costs]
  • employees receive individual performance reviews every 12 months [using a common template, with executive officer oversight]
  • long service awards
  • teaching awards [for teaching employees, mostly faculty, who are nominated by students]
  • exit interview option [not actively encouraged by managers or human resources]
  • career planning services [on again, off again for employees; typically one resource person for 2500 employees; career planning focuses on students]
  • training and development programs [which are under-resourced, not well advertised to the people who would gain most benefit from them, and not required in some cases where they would be highly advisable]
  • support charitable organizations [participates in United Way campaign]

Misleading or partially accurate:
  • three weeks of starting vacation allowance, moving to four weeks after four years of employment
    • vacation is earned up to one year before it can be taken; until an employee passes the institution vacation year date (days to months after starting), they may in exceptional circumstances request to borrow against vacation earned; compare with UofT where employees may take vacation within a month of it being earned
  • onsite amenities including a quiet room for meditation and religious observance, a cafeteria with special and healthy diet menus, a fully equipped fitness facility
    • these amenities are provided for students and incidentally available to employees: a multi-faith room largely used for one religion's prayer times; multiple food service outlets; cafeterias in student buildings and student residences [students with special dietary needs have noted accommodations are far from ideal]; pool, ice rink, squash courts, climbing wall, gym are used by school clubs, students, and teams as well as the much smaller employee population
  • transit subsidies
    • no better than anywhere else in the region; require locking in to extended purchase plan
  • secure/sheltered bicycle parking
    • for less than a dozen bicycles on a campus where thousands of students commute by bicycle
  • nap room
    • nobody I have spoken to has a clue what or where this resource is, or to whom it is available
  • outdoor barbecue
    • several groups run seasonal outdoor fund-raising events aimed at students by selling hot dogs and hamburgers at near cost
  • employee lounge with comfortable seating and fireplace
    • presumably there is a room that senior administrators have access to that matches this description; or maybe the faculty club
  • subsidized meals
    • food services runs as a profit centre; subsidy is a 3-5% discount (same as given to students) on purchases from non-branded food service outlets provided the employee puts funds on a preloaded identity card
  • employee sports teams, business casual dress, casual dress daily, casual dress Fridays, music while working
    • strongly dependent on management in the area an employee works
  • individual salaries reviewed every 12 months
    • performance is rated every 12 months; fixed pay rise is awarded based on performance rating relative to rest of group, which is highly skewed in many areas
  • alternative work options
    • not available in many circumstances, depending on department and supervisor
  • managers receive performance review training
    • managers have no mandatory training at this point; all training is at the manager's/supervisor's option
  • 360 feedback option
    • dependent entirely on the evaluator's initiative; not consistent
  • tuition subsidy coverage up to 100%, regardless of whether job related
    • for employees taking courses offered by $employer only
    • excluding full cost recovery programs
    • partial subsidy for third party education related to job can be applied for, is not guaranteed

Apparently inaccurate:
  • subsidized home internet


The relations between and among employee groups seem to be, from my broad perspective that includes regular discussion over several years with employees of many types, much better than between employees and Human Resources or Senior Administration in general.

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