As part of the company’s efforts to build morale, employees at Hatfield Consultants gather for an annual hockey game
Garth Taylor acknowledges that his employer is a bit unusual. Launched in 1974, environmental consulting firm Hatfield didn’t really hit its stride until 15 years ago. Since then, the North Vancouver–headquartered company has ballooned into a global operation with some 200 employees and offices in places like Indonesia and Botswana.
As the business has grown, it’s also “worked very hard to maintain all the things that we had in the smaller company,” says Taylor, who serves as president. “The nature of the work is that we, and technical staff especially, spend a lot of time together out in the field, working on programs, getting to know each other really well and making strong bonds.”
Growth has also brought the need to formalize arrangements that used to be more casual, something that was important for many of Hatfield’s younger staff. “We’ve always had a lot of flexibility in how people work—working from home, flexible hours, et cetera,” explains Taylor, who has been with Hatfield for more than 20 years. “It’s a little more formally documented in policies, but is something that’s always been around and something we’ve heard from the young folks in the company. They expect that, and if you don’t have that kind of culture, people will move on.”
Offering flexible working hours and conditions are just two ways that Hatfield supports its workers. An employee assistance program helps people with personal issues like stress and health problems, staff can take special occasion leave for events such as weddings and family time, and each year every team member has the chance to attend one technical or professional development course or conference, with the company footing the bill.
Odlum Brown employees show their support for Pink Shirt Day
Odlum Brown is two years away from celebrating its 100th anniversary, but the Vancouver investment firm with about $13 billion in client assets and five other offices across B.C. hasn’t stopped trying to innovate.
Last year, Odlum Brown presented its Total Rewards strategy to its team of 300. The four-component plan integrates compensation, work environment, learning opportunities and benefits. “We looked at it from the position of the work environment and your growth and development,” says Barbara Bahry, vice- president and director, organizational development.
“Then there’s the traditional health care benefits, but also things that support employees well in terms of mental, physical, financial, environmental,” Bahry adds. That means everything from mental health coverage to holistic nutrition. Says VP Deena Magtoto, director of marketing: “The culture for us at the firm is such that everybody feels a part of something.”
Salts Spring staff celebrate their coffee quality manager’s 10-year anniversary
The organic coffee roaster, also recognized in our Inclusivity category, is known for crafting a sustainable, fair-trade product, and for fleeing its namesake island in 2010 after local government rejected plans for a bigger facility. Although “Richmond Coffee” might be a more accurate handle, the company–which employs 47 people–isn’t a corporate machine.
“I think it helps that we’re still a fairly small business,” says marketing manager Peter Chu of the culture at Salt Spring Coffee. “Part of the reason why our staff feels that the company is aligned with their own values is that [co-founder and CEO] Mickey [McLeod] fairly frequently communicates with the team and likes to make sure their well-being is considered.”
A 2019 survey indicated that staff agree with Chu’s assessment: 97 percent of respondents said the company’s values matched their own, and the same share felt that their jobs were important to Salt Spring’s mission. Besides standard medical benefits, staff are given a $350 annual wellness benefit toward gym memberships, yoga classes and the like.