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What does a Great Place to Work Canada® look like?

November 1, 2023.

I’ve been reflecting on the nine years I’ve been at Spiria, and this past one has been a source of pride. Our Culture and Talents team shines with accomplishments that include setting up policies, processes, and initiatives that make our teams’ lives much easier, at work but also at home.

The Great Place to Work Canada® certification

This summer, the organization that issues the Great Place to Work® certification surveyed our employees anonymously. We are very proud that 97% of Spirians described Spiria as an excellent place to work. This is all the more commendable because the average satisfaction rate in Canada is 60%. Moreover, Spiria earned the additional “Best Workplace for Professional Development” and “Best Workplace in Quebec” certifications.

Since today is the national celebration of the Great Place to Work® certification, let’s talk about all the things that make Spiria a healthy and positive work environment according to our teams.

But before we get into the thick of things, it bears mentioning that management agrees on a key point: Spiria trusts its employees. Spiria hires professional, competent people who deserve all the tools they need to grow. This principle is apparent in the many initiatives put in place this year that not only make our jobs more flexible, but that also adapt to the reality of our teams’ lives.

“Hours Useful to Get better” unlimited and paid

Given all the unforeseens that crop up in our employees’ lives, which then call for unexpected time off, it just made a lot of sense to come up with a new, more flexible solution. To be truthful, making exceptions to the rule in order to accommodate each person had become the new rule, and it was time it was made official.

The result is HUG – “Hours Useful to Get better” – to which all employees are entitled. This unlimited time off can be used for mental or physical health days, or for a host of serious issues: grieving, dealing with acts of nature such as flooding, forest fires, storm damage, or even chronic pain such as menstruation, the hours are there for the taking.

Professional development

No matter their professional ambitions, Spiria employees get the support they need to build a multi-year personal-development plan. And with more than 150 people at Spiria, that’s more than 150 development plans in progress! We offer assistance in choosing from among several kinds of training, ranging from mentorship to learning or perfecting a language, and even postsecondary programs.

A transparent payscale

We are strongly committed to providing a fair and equitable work environment, which can’t be dissociated from remuneration. Obtuse criteria for payscale and for individual remuneration computations inevitably foster suspicions of inequity, but also give rise to a margin of error in a company. The way we see it, salary transparency, as practiced at Spiria, is a mighty weapon to fight systemic inequities, such as the wage gender gap. Statistics Canada figures for 2022 show that women’s average hourly pay is still a sizable 11.1% less than men’s. You can read further on this topic in our blog post, Spiria moves toward pay transparency.

Ritualized habits anchor transparency

At each new quarter, our CEO Stéphane Rouleau sets off on a tour of Spiria’s offices that we call Broc ‘n Roll (🥦🎸 — don’t ask 😉). The C-suite presents the past quarter’s results in a totally transparent manner and announces what’s to come. The Buzz is another internal event where everyone is invited to ask the C-Suite anything, even if it’s a sensitive subject, anonymously as needed. These regular meetings play a key role in ensuring transparency at Spiria.

Beaming in from everywhere

For Spiria, it’s quite simple: we firmly believe that what you do is more important than where you’re doing it. You’re not required to come into the office any more than you’re obligated to stay at home. We all choose to work where we feel our best, no explanation needed. For the sake of a smoother workflow for our teams, international telecommuting is subject to some restrictions.

Annual 500 $ flex allowance

Every Spirian gets a yearly 500$ Spiri-Flex allowance to cover expenses related to well-being, participation in sports activities, public transit, remote-workplace improvement, and much more besides.

To sum up, the national Great Place to Work® certification day was the perfect occasion to celebrate Spiria’s work culture and the stuff its team is made of. We’re already thinking up other initiatives for next year that will make Spiria an even better workplace.

Isabelle Thériault, Culture & Talent Director.