Carleton University has been named one of the top employers in the National Capital Region – a major honour awarded to only 25 institutions in the area.
It’s the second time Carleton has been recognized in the competition, which is organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. The university was also honoured in 2011.
“Being a Best Employer is a continuous journey for us as an institution. We have great people here so we have to ensure that this continues to be a great place to work,” says Rob Thomas, assistant vice-president of Human Resources.
Terrence Odin, manager of Human Resources Information Services, led Carleton’s application for the National Capital Region’s Top Employers. Odin, who has been a Carleton employee for 15 years, says the honour proves something he already knew about the university.
“This a great place to work and the fact that we’re being recognized for that is awesome. To me, its validation of what I think is the strength of the Carleton story,” says Odin.
The application process is a rigorous, requiring applicants to outline major data points and programs at their institutions. Applicants are judged based on eight criteria:
- physical workplace;
- work and social atmosphere;
- health, financial and family benefits;
- vacation and time off;
- employee communications;
- performance management;
- training and skills development; and
- community involvement.
Odin thinks Carleton was probably selected for its exceptional employee opportunities and benefits – many of which he has enjoyed during his time at the university. He specifically cites the new Carleton Leader program, which offers professional services staff and faculty the ability to build leadership capacity.
“Learning and development on campus is great. And the one shining example of that is our new Carleton Leader program.”
Carleton employees enjoy a generous benefits package, pension and competitive compensation. Employees also have access to career development, and free tuition for them and their family.
But for Odin, it’s the Carleton community that makes the university an exceptional workplace.
“There’s pride in the organization, whether it’s because of our basketball team or whether it’s because of our research,” says Odin. “It is really is unique that you work at a place where you proudly wear a baseball cap with a big ‘C’ or a raven on it.”
For all of these reasons, Carleton has high employee retention. According to Odin, the average tenure at Carleton is 14 years. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for some employees to have 30 to 40 years of work experience at the university.
“People come to Carleton and they stay, absolutely,” says Odin.
For Faculty of Public Affairs Communications Writer Karen Kelly, working at Carleton has been vastly different from her years working in media and the federal government.
“When I arrived at Carleton, the difference in the environment was immediately evident. Perhaps the most striking thing is that so many people are excited about their work here. The faculty, staff and students all seem to share a creative energy,” says Kelly.
The full list of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers was published in the Ottawa Citizen on Feb. 5.