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“Employee wellbeing is critical to us,” says Jim Lynch, chief executive officer of Commissionaires Newfoundland and Labrador.
It’s also one of the reasons the provincially-incorporated, not-for-profit security company was selected as an employer of distinction by the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council for 2017 this past fall.
“It’s making sure that we retain our focus, not only on the customer — which is important to us — but on the employee as well,” Lynch explains.
Commissionaires, which has operated in Newfoundland and Labrador, for nearly 70 years, has a social mandate to provide meaningful employment in the security industry to veterans of the Canadian Forces, RCMP, other police services, as well as any other Canadian, Lynch says.
Since the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the company has hired many non-vets to keep up with demand for security personnel.
Because it’s not-for-profit, the business returns 95 per cent of revenues to its employees through pay and benefits.
One of those benefits is “floating holidays.”
“We don’t call them sick days. They can use them for whatever purpose they choose,” Lynch says.
Commissionaires also gives its employees adequate uniforms and clothing for all seasons for free.
They receive Christmas bonuses based on a percentage of hours worked and have numerous training opportunities to make sure they are informed about their roles as much as possible.
It’s about treating employees with dignity and respect, Lynch says.
In return, they tend to stay with the company, he says. For a business which has, Lynch estimates, three dozen competitors, that’s important.
Commissionaires has also grown from around 100 employees at the start of this decade to over 750 located across the island and into Labrador.
“Our turnover rate is very low,” says Lynch.
“That’s the biggest value. Our clients say that our Commissionaires, they find in comparison to other companies, are better trained, they’re more mature, they’re more satisfied in their work.
“So, we get a residual benefit by making sure that our employees are well treated.”
Have Atlantic Canadian businesses embraced corporate social responsibility?
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